Brainerd and Armstrong Company Trade Card
The Brainerd and Armstrong Company manufactured silk thread in New London. This trade card from 1884 advertises the company’s spool silk, claiming it as the “best in the world” and drawing a comparison to the soon-to-be-installed Statue of Liberty. The colorful and patriotic advertisement would have appealed to many Americans at the time, especially in New York and coastal Connecticut, as they eagerly awaited the dedication of the Statue of Liberty just two years later. In addition to information about the offices and salesrooms for the company, the back of the card features a short history of the Statue of Liberty and comparison of its height to several other landmarks, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Bunker Hill Monument, and U.S. Capitol dome.
The Connecticut Historical Society houses a rich (and often amusing) collection of ephemera—those paper items that were never meant to last, but which capture the daily lives and activities of people. The collection includes trade cards, train and boat tickets and schedules, menus, greeting cards, performance programs and tickets, calling cards, dance cards, Civil War envelopes, invitations, and more.