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John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera and Women's Studies: Women in Advertising

A guide to finding the easiest ways to accessing ephemera of interest to Women's Studies in the John Johnson Collection


Women's clothing is divided into Fashion (prints and plates) and Women's Clothes and Millinery (advertising)  The latter has been catalogued and digitised as part of the ProQuest project.  The Fashion boxes are uncatalogued, except for the satirical prints relating to Bloomerism, Dandies etc. which appear on the VADS site.

Pryce Jones advertisement

JJ Coll: Women's Clothes and Millinery 7 (33b)

Women in trade

Trade card for Arabella Morris, seller of seeds

There are many advertisements BY women in the John Johnson Collection - in Booktrade, Trade Cards, Bill Headings, and in the various Advertising sections. Women in Trade were featured in our A Nation of Shopkeepers exhibition (2001), the catalogue of which is online.

JJColl: Horticulture 8

Women in Advertising

Advertisements very often depict women, whose charms helped to sell products whether or not they were aimed at a female market, just as they do today.  While the women are frequently idealised, representing aspiration (to beauty, elegance, domestic perfection), they also mirror their age in terms of fashions, furnishings and myriad small details of daily life.

The Advertising section has been catalogued and digitised within our ProQuest project, with the exception of: Electricity & Electrical Appliances, Fire Fighting, Fortnum & Mason, Furniture, Gramophones, Horticulture, Housing & Houses, Musical Instruments, Office Equipment, Scientific Instruments, Shell-Mex, Television, Tobacco, and Wireless. Records and images can be seen through our ProQuest project. Women are indexed as subjects of illustration, but do use the 'Select from a list' to maximise the usefulness of this iconographic indexing.

)Goddards advertisementAdvertisement for Ridgways tea, showing woman and man in railway cafeWindow bill for Vinolia golf balls soap, showing woman playing golfAdvertisement for Angier's emulsion lung healer, showing billboard in snowy landscape, with girl

Top left: JJColl: Oil and Candles 3 (40a), c. 1910

Top right: JJColl: Tea and Coffee 3 (41) c. 1910-1930

Bottom left:JJColl: Window Bills and Advertisements folder 5 (30), c.1890-1910

Bottom right: JJ Coll: Patent Medicines 1 (18b), c.1900-1910


Trade card for Wood, ladies shoe manufacturer, showing shop in Cornhill, London, around 1820Print of the interior of Ackermann's print shop, 1809

Prints and trade cards (Image search Stores and shops) show the interiors and window displays of shops, conveying something of 18th and 19th century shopping practices. See A Nation of Shopkeepers

Top: Trade card for Wood, London. JJ Coll: Trade Cards 3 (55)

Bottom: Interior of Rudolph Ackermann's print shop. JJColl: Ackermann folder


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Julie Anne Lambert
John Johnson Collection
Bodleian Libraries
Broad Street
+44 (0)1865 277047

The Art of Advertising exhibition

The Art of Advertising exhibition ran (in an interrupted manner) from March 2020 to August 2021. A major theme was women in advertising. It is online.