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Grolier Club Exhibitions


On the breakfast tables of the world; Van Houten’s, A cocoa you can enjoy. C. J. Van Houten, [ca. 1890].

Van Houten cocoa was introduced into the United States from Amsterdam in 1889 and marketed to be added to your breakfast cereal. A table pops up upon opening this trade card laden with images of the cocoa tin and cups of the chocolatey drink. An effective and evocative use of the pop-up!

[Aesop’s] Le Lion et le Moucheron [The Lion and the Gnat] and Artiste Peintre: Peter Paulus (1577–1640). Paris: Chocolat Guérin-Boutron, [ca. 1900].

The latter part of the nineteenth century, and well into the twentieth, saw remarkable advances in printing and movable paper elements. Léopold Verger, a Parisian printer, took great advantage of both and produced huge numbers of movable trade cards, especially for the Au Bon Marché department store. These two cards created for the chocolate company Guérin-Boutron are well represented in my collection with fifty-one Aesop fables and fifty-five historic fine painters. Pull the tab at the bottom of the abridged Aesop fable to reveal the moral of the tale. For the painters’ bios, pulling the transformation tab shows their most notable artwork.

Touristes visitez … [Tourists visit]. Voiron-Chartreuse (Isère), France: F. Bonnat & Fils, [ca. 1940s].

When opening this diorama, the F. Bonnat & Fils Chocolaterie facade appears on its street. Most likely this card was given at the store or in the packages. On the back, a catalog is offered free of charge. The diorama format is one of the rarer mechanisms in advertisements, probably because of the assembly difficulties and fragility.

Chocolate: Three Little Pigs [Шоколад: Три поросенка]. Moscow, Russia: Red October Chocolate, [ca. 1957].

The very Disney-like characters in this Russian-language pop-up all seem to be enjoying themselves, presumably from having consumed chocolate. This was an insert in the Red October chocolate bar’s package. The front image shows three pigs but only two pop up inside, along with the wolf. Publishing pop-up books in Moscow was quite popular, especially in the 1980s.

Discover a thrilling combination. McLean, VA: Mars Company, [ca. 2007].

It has been well-recognized that pop-up ads in magazines reach the targeted audience, hang around waiting rooms and homes, and have been effective for product recognition and sales. The first pop-up inserts began appearing in magazines in the 1980s [see Promoting Business - Transamerica Insurance]. The 3 Musketeers Mint bar was created to celebrate Mars’s 75th anniversary. This 2008 Annual Gold Ink Award winning magazine insert shows an actual-sized bar. The insert, created by Structural Graphics, also had a peel-and-sniff component.

“Kis=Me” is popular with everybody. Louisville, KY: Kis-Me [sic] Chewing Gum Co., [ca. 1892].

Lift the tab on the reverse and the shade goes up to reveal the couple smooching, presumably with clean breath. This premium card could be had for a two-cent stamp and five gum wrappers. A March 14, 1949, Life Magazine article that discussed Sam Gold, dubbed the King of Premiums, began, “American civilization has now reached the point where cereal packages and soap wrappers are a form of currency.”