Tobacco Premium Quilt
Possibly made in North Carolina
International Quilt Study Center 1997.007.0902
Ardis and Robert James Collection
The American Tobacco Company’s James B. Duke is credited with introducing collectible cards as premiums to promote sales of cigarettes, a gimmick adopted by competing firms as well. Beginning in the 1890s, printed fabric premiums began to replace the cards, which by this time were waning in popularity. Tobacco product manufacturers began to include cloth premiums with subject matter designed to appeal to women, who promptly incorporated them into quilts.
This quilt is featured in the exhibition, "Posing with Patchwork: Quilts in Photographs, 1855-1955," which was guest curated by Janet Finley.