Rock Island Victorian Era Trade Cards

contributed by John Nelson
Trade cards were issued by companies from the 1880's up until
about 1920.  They were traded much as Pokemon cards are today,
and they provided a very colorful means of advertising.  They
were not really cards, but were printed on paper of much the same
thickness as newsprint, but much higher quality to have survived
over 110 years.  This collection had been pasted in a scrapbook,
since the back sides show signs of that paste.

The most interesting are those of the Palace sleeping car and
reclining chair car interiors, but it is interesting to see how
many places could be reached by The Great Rock Island Route!  Many
of the destinations were served directly by the BCR&N  or could
be reached by taking the BCR&N and transferring to the M&StL,
which during that time provided service even to the Lake Superior
region. The M&St:L also was in heavy competition with the Great
Northern to serve the Lake Minnetonka area west of Minneapolis
which was also a very big tourist attraction. These cards provide
a rare colorful look at the Rock Island sometime in the early

Please take a look:
Kansas City Union Depot
Rock Island and UP Station at Council Bluffs
Blue Island Junction
Palace Sleeping Car interior
Reclining Chair Car interior
BCR&N owned Hotel Orleans
Albert Lea
St Anthony's Falls
Iowa Falls
The Rock Island Arsenal