Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Oldest Cards In My Collection

I was looking around eBay a little while back. I was searching for Singer Sewing Trading Cards. There are cards of Elias Howe, an early inventor, and I thought there may be cards of Isaac Singer. I didn't find any Singer's, but I did find a beautiful collection of cards. 
These cards are from a set called, Costumes of All Nations. The Singer Sewing Company released boxed sets of cards to coincide with the Chicago World Colombian Exposition of 1893. The "Costumes of All Nations" was the first set produced, featuring actual photographs taken from the various countries or provinces. The colorful card fronts showcase subjects wearing traditional folk costumes while using Singer sewing machines. The reverse of each card has a compact description of the country while adding a note about the location of the Singer sales office in that country.
I picked up this lot of 34 cards, which was advertised as a set, for $40.89 shipped. 
After some research, It seems as though there may be as many as 39 cards in the set. According to the Wisconsin Historical Society website, there are 39 cards to this set. Many other sites report a set of 36 cards. 
My 34 cards came with this original box.
To get an idea of the size of these beauties, a scan of one of them with Bob Gibson.

As I get older, I find myself appreciating the beauty of vintage cards. Although I am mostly a sports collector, the opportunity to add cards featuring sewing was one I had to jump on. I hope you enjoy them.


  1. Definitely a great find for you! Some very nice artwork on these cards. Thank you for sharing these with us!

  2. Those are pretty awesome man. Nice find.

  3. Those are nice. Any chance you could scan the back of one of the cards? I'd love to see the fonts.

  4. Just awesome, man. Zululand, especially, is a real piece of history and a work of art.

  5. Sweet find! The cards alone, but the box too? Damn, well-done sir.

    By the by, speaking of the 1893 World's Fair, if you haven't already read it, you should check out "The Devil In The White City."

  6. very cool. I love old sets like that.

  7. Those are terrific! I know it's fun to open new cards but man, those are much better than two blasters of Topps. Great find!