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Related Reading: A complex network of intersecting financial, legal, political, and cultural factors all contributed to the development of the South Sea Bubble, the eventual collapse of the South Sea Company in 1720, and the financial ruin left in its wake. The years leading up to the South Sea Bubble were a time of financial promise and enthusiasm for Britain. Following the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714), there was the increased potential of foreign trade and the turn toward a more global marketplace. Wealth and luxury were no longer reserved to the aristocracy. Consumerism was on the rise, and class and gender boundaries were increasingly blurred when it came to investing in the stock market.

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Historical Collections Exhibit As new consumer markets developed following the Civil War, the advertising trade card met the need for an effective national advertising medium and heralded the arrival of an extraordinary variety of manufactured goods newly available to the American public. An exhibition organized by the Historical Collections Department of Baker Library. Search Catalog records for 1,000 of Baker Library's advertising trade cards, with accompanying digital images, are now available through the Visual Information Access (VIA) system, an online catalog of visual resources at Harvard. Baker Library holds more than 8,000 trade cards representing the full range of products and businesses advertised through this medium from the 1870s through the 1890s.

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