Monday, February 9, 2015

Ephemeral Beauty: A Trade Card for Clark's Mile-End Spool Cotton

Click image to enlarge.

I think that the Coats Thread Company and the Clark Thread Company (now merged as Coats and Clark) were responsible for the majority of the trade cards printed in the U.S. in the Nineteenth Century. No matter what, every lot of ephemera that I buy has a huge amount of Coats and Clark cards scattered throughout.

Here’s another one which I recently acquired. It’s typically odd. A poor, deformed man in mustard yellow pants is being tormented by a child with a skin condition who just happens to have access to an enormous spool of Clark’s Trade Mark Mile-End Spool Cotton. The lad, in his wee plaid suit, has tied one end of the spool to a stick and, stretching it across a sidewalk, is using it to bloody the knees of the hairy-faced ginger fellow.

Let’s see what the reverse says and if it incites children to violence.

Nope. No violence implied.

It reads below the Clark’s logo.


ALL NUMBERS from No. 8 to 100.

 are especially dyed to match 

ALL SHADES of Dress Goods and can be
INSTEAD OF SILK by Dress makers and
THE BLACK is Strong and Smooth, and
               of the
PUREST DYE. It will retain its very 

DEEP BLACK hue as long as Silk Fabrics. 
                The White, Black and Colored
IS THE STANDARD for us upon all 


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