The Iterative Process of Teaching Children Consumerism and Racism through the Trade Card

This exhibit focuses the turn of the 19th century and how instrumental advertisement collecting among children was to the expansion of American consumerism and the perpetuation of racism against African Americans and people of other races.

The first chapter "The Trade Card" gives a brief history of the trade card and and its emergence in youth culture as a tool for education. The following chapter narrows into the trade cards ability to educate children and focuses on what messages are being displayed when interacting/consuming trade cards with depictions of African Americans. The the third chapter "Iterative Education: Scrapbooking", explores the idea of scrapbooks as intertext and what messages about ideas of race are conveyed in scrapbooks with the use of racially charged trade cards. The fourth chapter explores the other races and what prejudices were being directed toward the general public. Finally, just as important as the rise in popularity of the trade card it is important to consider why the trade card sharply fell in popularity soon after the turn of the century and what this meant for children as members of consumer culture.