Victorian Turkish Baths Picture of the Month for June 2006

American advertising (or trade) card for
Miller's Turkish, Electric, and Roman baths, New York

Trade card for Miller's Turkish Baths, New York

The picture on this late 19th century trade card clearly has nothing to do with Dr E P Miller's Turkish Baths which it advertises.

According to an article in The Encyclopedia of ephemera,1 'the American trade card became radically different from the British in the 19th century'. Whereas in Britain such cards tended to be rather formal in appearance, often only a typograhical design, and designed individually for each individual trader, in America 'it was a brightly coloured picture' designed to be collected.

American chromolithographic printers supplied "sets" of cards ready-printed with the tradesman's name or [as in the case of the Miller card above] for overprinting locally.

A number of Turkish bath establishments in the United States used trade cards of this type and, unlike this one, some gave additional information (such as opening hours or charges) on the reverse.

This item is from the collection of the Victorian Turkish Baths Project

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  Malcolm Shifrin, 1991-2023

 1. 'Trade card' In: The Encyclopedia of ephemera: a guide to the fragmentary documents of everyday life for the collector, curator, and historian /Maurice Rickards. London : British library, 2000. pp.334-6 [return]