Newly Identified!6th September 2020 by Michele Auborn
We are delighted to report the identity of this card has been tracked down thanks to a reader.
It is Bewlay & Co. Ltd’s “Bewlay’s War Series of 25 Copyright Pictures” which appears in our World Tobacco Index as B359-200.
The cards are numbered brown gravures depicting scenes from World War One. This card is number 21, “Another Gallant Deed by the West Yorkshires”. The cards have not been cut down, the image was designed this way, to go right to the edge of the card and have no borders. This one appears to have a border but the cards were printed in sheets and this is simply a cut line to aid the printers when it came time to cut the sheet.
The reverse of each card carried a decorative box at the top saying “BEWLAY’S WAR SERIES OF 25 COPYRIGHT PICTURES ISSUED BY PERMISSION OF THE GRAPHIC”. Then there is the number, title and descriptive text. At the bottom you can find one of three advertising wordings on the back –
“MODERN MAN Cigarettes are delicious, as good as the MODERN MAN Tobacco….” – we have not yet found a sample to expand this, anyone out there have one?
“MODERN MAN Mixture. A most delicious and tasty tobacco sold in 1 oz. packets at 6d. ; also in 2 oz., 4 oz., 8 oz., and 1 lb. tins.” [Italic]N.B. One of these pictures in each packet of the tobacco.”
– or –
“TWO GREAT FAVOURITES of Connoisseurs :- Bewlay’s “MODERN MAN” MIXTURE. Bewlay’s “MODERN MAN” CIGARETTES.”
The other Bewlay’s “War Series” cannot be confused with this as it is a set of 12 portraits of leading war figures with brown borders.
Our set was also issued by Hill in 1916. Their cards carry additional wording “Passed by the Press Bureau for Publication” at the very top, which was a way of censorship, simply checking to make sure pictures or text did not contain any details that could help “the other side” . The text within the decorative box is identical save the issuer name is HILL’S not BEWLAY’S. It still includes mention of the Graphic.
The Graphic was an illustrated newspaper, reputedly named as proof its images would be more graphically vivid than its rivals. It had two forms, the “weekly” and the “daily”, which started in 1890 and lasted until the late 1920s when it became part of the “Daily Sketch”. During World War One it frequently featured authentic pictures from the front.
There are notes that say the Hill set is only “similar to Bewlay’s issue but we will investigate further!
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