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How can one know the history of the Victorian era? Through its architecture, its writings, its political leaders? Yes, yes, and yes. And a fourth "yes" to the world of trade cards. These quotidian items were used to promote everything from bromides to bicycles and the University of Iowa has this wonderful collection for those curious about such matters. First-time visitors might do well to start by looking over the ads for Clark's Cotton, which includes maudlin and interesting illustrations of boys playing with a kite, colorful birds and bicycle races. It's worth noting that visitors can also search all of the items here by keyword or creator. Visitors can also make their own themed collection for future reference and students of 19th century American culture will find much to enjoy here. The site is rounded out by a site of links to other relevant digital collections, including some from the Library of Congress.
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