From early in her reign Queen Victoria's likeness was exploited to promote products as diverse as condiments and corsets. By the time the Queen had celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 1887, marking 50 years on the throne, and her Diamond Jubilee ten years later, Victoria had become synonymous with all those industrialist and expansionist values for which the Empire stood.
In an age before mass media, Victoria's was the most recognized face in the world. Promotional material, packaging, rewards of merit and song sheets all provided a repository for decorative lithographed images of a queen who had become the trademark for an "Empire on which the sun never set" and grist for manufacturers seeking to capitalize on the patriotic fervor of the newly emerging middle class consumer. Here is the story of Queen Victoria's reign from youth to old age told on lids and labels, calendars and copybooks, tins and trade cards.