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The bird on this cigarette card is a Blue Headed Tanager, a New World songbird from Thraupidae family known for its brightly-colored plumage.

Blue Headed Tanager. Cigarette Advertising Trade Card, late 19th century. WHI 9810


Cigarette Trade Cards

During the late 1800s, tobacco companies used trade cards to advertise their products, as well as for the practical purpose of stiffening the box. The cards were a powerful advertising method, combining brand marketing with popular, collectible images. They featured such appealing subjects as theatrical and sports stars and wildlife. Much like later bubble gum cards, cigarette cards were meant to be collected and were attractively printed as photographs or by the chromolithograpic process, which used a separate limestone plate for each color.

Browse a variety of 27 colorful cigarette cards in our collections.

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