Chromolithography Advertising

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Trade card for Joseph R. Hofflin. Beautiful women were also a frequent choice of subject matter for advertisements. Courtesy of the Hennepin County Library via Minnesota Digital Library.

The chromolithography printing process brought huge changes to American advertising. It allowed full color images to be cheaply and easily applied to metal and paper. The result was the creation of brightly-colored tea, biscuit, and tobacco tins, as well as color postcards and holiday cards. Full-color book illustrations, calendars, and almanacs were also in widespread production.

In addition, the chromolithography process generated large numbers of advertising or trade cards. Trade cards leveraged the new printing process to its full advantage. Images of beautiful women and children, flowers, cats and dogs, and bucolic landscapes were added to labels to help sell various products.