Trade cards were handed out as
advertising souvenirs at all of the major stores and products.
Trade cards were also handed out by merchants or left on sales
counters free for taking.
Many sets of cards are, in effect, mini-encyclopaedias covering
a multitude of themes. Some are interesting from an
informational standpoint whilst others are simple attractive to
look at. To someone with a strong collecting streak the sets
offer neatly packaged (and, quite importantly, achievable)
targets to obtain which themselves can be developed into one or
more thematic collections. Moreover, Cartophily is a
well-established and reasonably well documented hobby.