I'm a little addicted to trade cards, as long as they are soap related. Have you ever seen Victorian Trade Cards?
Trade Cards were used during the late 1800s to advetise American goods and services and were very similar to our modern business card. I've spent many happy hours (too many?) pursuing, collecting and studying Advertising Trade Cards. What keeps my interest are all the unique ones out there. They are so much fun to come across! If I'm ever in an antique shop, I always ask if they have any trade cards. And, if I can't get to an antique shop, there's always Ebay.
What is fascinating about these cards is the advertising. Let's look at Bloom of Youth's White Lilac Soap. Here's the front of the card:
And the back:
Don't you just love where it says, "Ladies afflicted with tan, freckles, rough, or discolored skin should lose no time in procurring and applying Bloom of Youth. It will immediately obliterate all such imperfections..." I guess this was before truth in advertising laws.
Just a few of the trade cards that I have squirrelled away, each one beautiful in its own right.
Now, I should warn you to be careful.
Reading trade card advertising is addicting and you may become hooked.