US TxAM-C 685
Name and location of repository
Level of description
Chromo Trade Card Albums Collection
- 1929-1987; Undated (Creation)
Name of creator
Liebig's Extract of Meat Co. Ltd. was founded in London in 1856 by Baron Justus von Liebig and Georg Christian Giebert with a share capital of £480,000. During the next century, there were several changes of name, and in 1971 the Company was acquired by Brooke Bond's and is now known as Brooke Bond (Liebig) Ltd. Baron Justus von Liebig, a chemist, produced a meat extract that was energetically marketed in jars, tubes, and packets under a variety of names, such as Liebig, Sapis and Oxo. The extract was so popular that many rivals attempted to pass off their products as those of Liebig; several legal cases followed, and after this time the celebrated signature in blue of the founder appeared on packets and cards. The company prospered to the extent that it had branches and subsidiaries in many countries, such as Italy, Germany, France, South Africa and the United States; at one stage they claimed to own supply branches in Africa and South America totaling nearly 10,000 square miles, and containing 500,000 cattle.
At a very early stage the Company discovered the value of advertising and began to issue series of cards in 1872; these continued, with two short breaks during the World Wars, until 1974. The first series were probably handed out to customers by retailers, and were confined to France; this followed the pattern of most early French 'trade cards', which were produced en masse by printers, and then sold to shops and manufacturers who then had their own names and advertising printed on the backs and fronts - hence many of the early Liebig series of cards which may well have assisted in the continued expansion of the Company. The method of distribution also changed, and customers were able to obtain complete sets of cards in exchange for coupons which appeared in, or on, the packets. Sets were soon prepared for distribution in several countries, and many occur in six or more different languages, including English, Russian and Swedish.
In addition to the regular card issues, the Liebig company was responsible for a wide variety of other card types. Of these the best known are the Menu Cards, Table Cards and Calendars. But they also issued such varied items as playing cards, postcards, cookery books and wallets. Indeed there are so many that they could in themselves form the subject of a large reference work.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
This collection contains chromo card albums dating from the 1920s to 1970s, represented by sheets from the album rather than a bound album. The cards are colorful and represent cultures from countries throughout Africa that were under European colonial rule.
Given the strong presence of African cultural awareness in the colonial powers of Europe, a robust pop culture emerged in the form of children’s books, comics, and chromo trade cards. The latter were cards that were offered with food products, usually chocolate, meat extracts, tea, etc. A card would accompany each chocolate bar for instance and when you had completed the set of cards you could write away and get an album to paste the cards. Most card sets did not have an album, and only a few in each country dealt specifically with Africa. They were collected over ten years and were sourced from Germany, England, France, Belgium, and Spain.
System of arrangement
No formal arrangement, just a description of materials and dates.
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Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Acquisition and appraisal elements
Immediate source of acquisition
Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Finding Aid Authors: Rebecca Hankins and Alton Ward.
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