The lady’s scanty attire on this victorian trade card, advertising Diamond Cigars, is what caught my eye. The trade card features the burlesque and variety actress, Arline Stanley, in a romper (a one-piece garment consisting of shorts and top). This type garment was quite shocking to be seen wearing in public during the victorian era. She is also seen wearing a similar garment on a photographic card advertising Sweet Caporal Cigarettes. I can imagine Arline’s romper caught the gentlemen’s eyes, but wonder what their wives thought of them noticing.
As for Diamond Cigars, it was founded by John W. Potts and a man named Eberle as the Redding Cigar Factory in 1888. It consisted of a cigar store and room behind it where the cigars were rolled. Eberle sold out to Potts sometime between the late 1880s and early 1890s. A July 1899 advertisement in the Daily Free Press read, “Smoke Smooth Diamond Cigars at the the top of the brevities”. It wasn’t until January 1901 that Potts changed the cigar’s name to “Grindstone Club”. John J. Bartosh, a cigar-maker for Potts, bought the company in July 1907.
**You can find many more wonderful victorian trade cards with great graphics, and advertising in my store.
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