Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, January 5, 2008, pg. 9

Back in the late 19th century companies issued “trade cards” which were used for advertising various products they produced. They were postcard size, and often contained a beautiful flowery scene or some piece of decorative art along with the name of the company. Some however were more bizarre and the illustration on the card had little to do with what the company produced.

Take for example some of the trade cards issued in the 1880s by the Gale Manufacturing Company, Albion’s major producer of plows and agricultural products. I’ve seen several of these with bizarre depictions. They were sure to attract attention, which I guess was the reason company officials had them printed.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present an 1887 card depicting a cabbage headed man standing in a cabbage patch. His suit is red with a yellow shirt, and of course a green head. Was this the first “cabbage patch doll?” The upper caption reads “1st Premium Cabbage Head.” At the bottom is the advertisement, “Big Injun, 3 Wheel Sulky Plow. Gale Chilled Hand Plows, Gale Man’fg Co., Albion, Mich.” In small print below is the producer of this card, “Copyright 1887 by J.H. Buffords Sons.”

Gale Cabbage Head Card - 1887


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