Trade Card which advertises the award of a 'First Order of Merit' at Melbourne's International Exhibition, 1880, to the Davis Sewing Machine Co. for its Vertical Feed Sewing Machine.

The trade card lists the jurors responsible for awarding the First Order of Merit, alongside an invitation to view 'the great variety of desirable and useful work which can be done on 'The Davis'.'

The manufacturing arm of the Davis Sewing Machine Company was based at Watertown in New York, but the company had an outlet in Chicago. This Trade Card was issued by the Chicago outlet.

Physical Description

Front of card has tinted lithograph depicting a child kneeling beside a circular box upon which two puppies sit. A cat lurks in the background. A diamond shaped lozenge in the upper left hand corner advertises the company. The reverse of the card is printed with text in a variety of fonts.


This Trade Card is significant as it illustrates how important the awarding of a First Order of Merit was to manufacturers who exhibited at International Exhibitions. Contestation of the award by longer established companies who exhibited at the Melbourne International Exhibition indicates such awards were perceived to be highly important outcomes of their participation at International Exhibitions.

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