About this Collection
A collection of 247 patent medicine trade cards. Patent medicines were medical compounds sold under a variety of names and labels, though they were for the most part actually trademarked medicines, not patented. The trade cards are small, colorfully illustrated advertising cards touting a particular medicine and its many cures. The era of patent medicine began to unravel in the U.S. with the passage of the first Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.