1890s Victorian Trade Card
This trade card is from the "One Hundred Years Hence" Series - a group of Victorian Trade Cards that depicted future technological developments as the Victorians imagined them. Trade cards were used from 1876 to 1900 in the United States, as a form of product advertising. They usually came in bright and vivid colors, with interesting (or sometimes humorous) graphics on one side, and the product details and merchant info on the reverse side.
This card - "Concerts and Opera at Home" - shows people with individual receivers listening at home to a live concert, while a funnel-shaped device transfers a visual image to the wall. This predicts the future invention of television - simultaneous transmission of both sound and picture.
The text on the reverse side of the Victorian Trade Card advertises the "Montana Favorite," a pocket knife manufactured by Mahler & Grosh of Toledo Ohio, as well as the company's other knives, razors, and shears. Size: 3 1/2" x 4 3/4".
Believed to be the first color-lithograph concept drawing of television. (Shows color projection TV of the 1990s!). Previously, the only concept drawings on the subject were black & white sketches by the caricature artist Albert Robida, in the early 1880s.
Here is an example:
Additionally, written literature describing the possibility of TV was published in Scientific American magazine in the 1880s.
There were a total of 12 known cards in this series, each printed more than 100 years ago. Among the other cards from the set are: roofed cities to avoid bad weather; moving sidewalks; city improvements; and polar travel by balloon. (Information courtesy of Evie Eysenburg of New York).
1900 Paris Exposition
IN THE YEAR 2000 ..........
At the 1900 Paris Exposition, there were a set of trade cards sold as souvenirs, titled: "In the Year 2000" (in French, of course!). Card collectors have identified at least 50 different cards in the series, one of which illustrates another example of a future 20th century invention which resembles television! (or perhaps a videophone!).
Coincidently -- at the same exposition (fair, show) -- on Friday, August 25, 1900, a paper was read by Mr. Constantin Perskyi, to the International Electricity Congress, which he describes a device called "Television" .
Just like the 1890s series of "future cards" above, there are some interesting ones in the bunch ...
What if "we" looked 100 years into the
future .... what kind of cards would we make today?
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