Map Unavailable

Date(s) - 01/01/2020 - 01/31/2020
1:00 am - 4:00 pm

Arlington Historical Museum


Visit the Arlington historical Museum this holiday season to see our annual holiday exhibit. This year we are featuring “Gimmes, Giveaways, and Premiums.”  Free promotional items, sometimes called a “gimme” (as in “gimme one of those caps.”) have a long history in American marketing. Colorful trade cards were a popular give-away in the decades after the Civil War. Chromolithographed and very colorful, they became popular collectables for women and children starting in the 1870s. Handed out by retailers and companies, and passed out at public events such as fairs, the cards featured images from the realistic to the fantastic, from serious to sentimental to humorous. Often the images had little relationship to the actual product being promoted.

Useful items made the best such premiums. Ideally they should be items that were used frequently, could be displayed in constant view, or were carried by the consumer. Other objects could be passed to loyal customers, to both cement their loyalty to the brand as well as to a specific retailer. Almost anything could be used that placed the company or product name before the consumer. This exhibit contains a selection of items from the beginning of the 20th century to modern objects used by Arlington businesses.

On display are items donated by Arlingtonians and some rarely seen artifacts from the AHS collection including unusual giveaways like a lighter, a sewing kit, and a hand fan.

Visit FREE during Arlington Historical Museum hours: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 1-4 pm. The exhibit will be up through January 2020. 1805 South Arlington Ridge Road, free parking.