1880s Brown’s Iron Bitters Trade Card

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Brown’s Iron Bitters Trade Card
Year 1880s
Size 5 1/2″ x 10″
Images Color
Type Trade
Number in Set

1880s Brown’s Iron Bitters Trade Card Overview

Browns Iron Bitters Trade Card Tri-fold BackBrowns Iron Bitters Trade Card Tri-foldThis trade card was created as an advertising tool for Brown’s Iron Bitters medicine.

The card does not have a standard trade card layout. Instead of merely being a front and back card, this card actually has a tri-fold design with text and pictures printed on both sides. Technically, it could be considered more of a brochure than an actual card. In all, there are a total of six panels. I have not seen a date for this trade card but like most others, it likely originates from the 1880s or thereabouts.

One panel explains what the medicine was ‘good for.’ Things it purportedly cured were indigestion, weakness, malaria, chills, fever, headaches, liver and kidney issues, and several other disorders. It was said to enrich the blood, strengthen muscles, tone nerves, and improve appetites. Another panel included testimonials from customers that claim it aided them.

The other panels included color pictures with minimal text touting the advantages of the medication. Of interest to sports collectors is one panel in particular that includes a color illustration of a baseball game and one of a tennis match. While the images only feature generic subjects, the card is popular among sports card collectors because of its age and rarity. While other Brown’s Iron Bitters trade cards are more common, this one is exceptionally rare.

Of lesser importance is another panel that depicts the sports of swimming and badminton. Again, the subjects are generic ones.

To my knowledge, at the time of this writing, this card has not been cataloged in any other resources.

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