Vintage sewing machine trade cards from the 19th century are something to enjoy. They had a practical purpose – a business card advertising a specific salesmen of a particular type of sewing machine. And they were pretty; sometimes depicting everything but what the card was meant to sell. They were traded much like we trade Magic: The Gathering cards or baseball cards. In many ways they are like the ACEOs that can be found on Etsy and other marketplaces. I rounded images of some of the ones I enjoy. If you want to learn more about them check out ISMACS International.
Despite my somewhat catty comments on these, I actually really love American art of this period. Some of these card are good examples of that. I just often wonder at the message that the advertisement company was trying to get across with some of these images.