The Wells Richardson Building on College Street is a Burlington, Vermont landmark. These days it houses Bennington Potters, but in it's heyday at the end of the 19th Century, Wells Richardson & Company patented, manufactured and distributed analyne dyes under the name of Diamond Dyes, as well as butter dye, baby food and proprietary medicines like Celery Compound.
Print Advertising was a part of their marketing strategy. Before the advent of color ads in newspapers and magazines manufacturers and distributors relied on trade cards and medical pamphlets -featuring their own cures - to sell their products. These they made by the gajillion, and distributed nationwide. They would be distributed for free in retail stores or any public venue where they might drum up business. Trade cards were hugely collectible, even in those days, and would often end up in scrapbooks, which were also the rage. The trade cards and pamphletss were printed by chromolithography, and retain their brilliant colors to this day.
Two links in the above text are from The Library Collection of Philadelphia, which has great collections. Check out their website.
Images below are from the Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.
Diamond Dyes, Wells Richardson trade card. 1890's Vermont. Cowan ephemera collections.
Diamond Dyes Trade Card. Detail.
Diamond Dyes booklet. Cousin John's Extravagant Wife, A Story. 1890'st. Cowan ephemera collections.
Diamond Dyes booklet, detail.
Diamond Dyes. Unequaled for making Ink, or for coloring any articles any color. Cowan ephemera Collections.
Diamond Dyes, detail.
Diamond Dyes booklet, front and back covers. Cowan ephemera collections.
Diamond Dyes, back cover detail. Dying Easter eggs.
Diamond Dyes, back cover detail. Easter eggs.
Diamond Dyes booklet, front cover
Diamond Dyes, back cover detail. Color your childrens clothes with Diamond Dyes.
Diamond Dyes booklet, detail. She's sad because her clothes haven't been dyed with Diamond Dyes.
Wells, Richardson & Co. Lactated Food.
Wells Richardson & Co. Lactated Foods, What Are These Babies after. Die cut trade Card. Cowan ephemera collections.
Wells Richardson & Co. Lactated food. Die cut trade card. Cowan ephemera collections. The background here is blue because I scanned it on a piece of blue paper.
Wells Richardson & Co Lactated food trade card. Cowan ephemera collections.
Paynes Celery Compound probably contained opiates or other drugs, which were perfectly legal. Before the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, manufacturers didn't have to list ingredients or prove their effectiveness. This Wells Richardson & Company ad from the 1889 book from Burlington Business Association.
In this ad it is touted as a cure for Nervousness, one of the most "popular" diseases of the 19th Century middle class. Here is a link to a good post about 19th Century Nervousness from the blog (what is this).
I did my Master's Thesis in Anthropology on 19th Century American Uterine diseases, in which I write a lot about middle class women and nervousness or neuresthenia. Someday I'll write more here about it.