‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||X-Zalia Trade Cards (H558)
|Size||4″ x 6 1/2″
|Images||Black and White|
|Number in Set
1894 X-Zalia Trade Cards Set Overview
These unique trade cards were cataloged as H558 in the American Card Catalog by Jefferson Burdick. They are a trade card issue used for advertising purposes.
The cabinet cards were distributed by X-Zalia, a medicine manufacturer as well as the name of a liquid vegetable to cure all sorts of things. Per the trade card, it would cure eczema, piles, inflammatory rheumatism, burns, scalds, cuts, bruises, poison, and surface inflammation. It also claimed value for head colds, hay fever, canker, catarrh, and sore throat.
The cards are a little unique, featuring rounded corners like those of playing cards.
A Boxing Spokesman
This set was listed by Burdick to include only actresses. But at least one sports card is found in it – that of famous boxer James Corbett. His lack of mention of Corbett is interesting as a checklist of the set was actually provided on the backs of at least some of the cards and he is listed there.
Corbett is not only pictured in the set but served as a spokesperson of sorts. The back of the card provides an interesting write-up where he discusses using X-Zalia following a fight with Charlie Mitchell.
The write-up, purportedly from Corbett, is as follows:
“Gentlemen: During my late contest with Charles Mitchell for the championship of the world, I strained and bruised the small muscles and tendons of my left hand and wrist quite badly. Both were much swollen and inflamed. None of the common remedies, such as Witch Hazel, which I used on the train from Jacksonville, proving of benefit. On my arrival in Boston I learned through a friend of X-Zalia and immediately procured half a dozen bottles. X-Zalia gave me relief from pain with the first application, and its continued use has proven so efficacious that my hand and wrist are now well.
I consider X-Zalia the best remedy I ever used for subduing inflammation, and shall hereafter keep it with me.”
Yours truly, James J. Corbett
More than X-Zalia
However, a little-known fact is that this set was also distributed by other companies/products as well, including Lister’s BBB, Foster-M, and Larkin, as well as possibly others. While it is commonly called the X-Zalia set, that is only one of the types of these cards.
Collectors should note that, while the size is given as 4″ x 6 1/2″, Burdick says that is only an estimate. Further, it is not known if the size ranged for the other sets of these cards.
1894 X-Zalia Trade Cards Set Checklist
- Lottie Collins
- James Corbett
- May Irwin
- Lillian Russell