In celebration of the publication this week of Susan Jacoby’s The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought, a new biography of the 19th century’s best-known American freethinker, I’m posting images of some of my favorite Ingersoll collectibles. First up, this little advertising card (somewhat larger than a credit card):
I believe this is one of a series of author portraits for a collection called 99 Choice Readings and Recitations, compiled by publisher J. S. Ogilvie some time in the 1890s. I haven’t been able to find out anything about this book, but presumably there would have been other advertising cards with some of the other authors’ portraits on them. I’m not sure. What makes this card an interesting collectible is that it misidentifies Robert G. Ingersoll (who would have been alive at the time this card was distributed) as Robert J. Ingersoll.