The home of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain

newsletter April 24

newsletter April 24

A slightly more condensed version of our newsletter than usual, but you will have lots of additional reading with our Virtual Convention….

Over in America the Last Saturday in April is National Pool Opening Day – this is when home owners check their swimming pools to make sure they are safe and working properly. While a personal swimming pool in your garden is less likely over here, if you do have one why not mark this date in your diary as a permanent reminder? This year public swimming pools have been much missed, but since Monday 29 March in England they have been allowed to open, though many former users remain unwilling to return. Coincidentally mainland Scotland will reach level three on Monday, April 26 and swimming pools and leisure centres will be allowed to reopen. So they will indeed be checking their swimming pools over the weekend to make sure they are safe and working properly.
The cards you will almost certainly come across with the greatest ease are both by Ogden`s – our main card above is from O100-580 [tobacco : UK] Ogdens Ltd. “Swimming, Diving & Lifesaving” (1931) and below is “How To Swim” (1935).

O100-528 [tobacco : UK] Ogdens Ltd. “How to Swim” (1935)

However it may take slightly longer to find the Hignett version of “How to Swim” – longer still for the Ardath version of “Swimming Diving and Life Saving” which was issued in March 1937, for export only, and in fact in the 1950 volume of “British Cigarette Card Issues, there were no stocks in hand, and in the price columns for odds and sets there is just a line – and almost certainly longer to find the version of “Swimming Diving and Life Saving” which was redrawn for the Chinese market.
We also found a website which can put any amateur or club swimmer on a card – have a look at their output at – but it also says “The Vintage 11 card design [is] inspired by an iconic 1911 trading card series. So who out there can name that? No prizes just for educational purposes… though we will happily add your name or pseudonym next week if you would like.


On Sunday 25th of April millions of Australians and New Zealanders will pause to remember ANZAC Day. It seems surreal that it will be the 106th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli during the First World War where so many lost their lives. The best site we have found this year is and there are lots of links within it. So do please take time to read and to remember. And also give a moment to think of our counterparts over at and – as well as to visit these sites which contain ANZAC cards that we seldom see : – and –

One of the best sets to do with the ANZAC Campaign is Wills War Incidents (1915), not all the cards show Gallipoli but it does include Suvla Bay, Gaba Tepe and other names that hopefully will always be remembered. Our card shows H.M.S Queen Elizabeth in the Narrows and its card 12/50. Do be aware that this set was reprinted more recently.

Wills “Historic Events” card no.28

April 1564 – Apparently William Shakespeare was baptized on this day in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England though his actual date of actual birth is unknown. Shakespeare is one big conundrum – some people believe he was born on St George’s Day but he also apparently died on that day too – others believe that at some time he was connected with England’s National Day and the link just stuck. Whilst some question whether he ever existed, whether he write his plays all by himself (or at all), or whether he was really the son of Queen Elizabeth I. If so this card would be very intriguing indeed, but sadly it is almost certainly not based on truth, as it seems unlikely that Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I ever met – however there is a fascinating webpage on this subject at
Like many mysteries, the solution would only be to build ourselves a TARDIS, and sadly we cannot do that yet.

Churchman Sports and Games in Many Lands

27th of April is Babe Ruth Day – its more known of in America but his cards are consistently high sellers. And there are plenty of them as states that there are 12,265 showing him! This card is just one of a general set of sports and games has even become sought after, even though it does not name who the players are, but collectors believe it shows Babe Ruth! You can read more about this theory at – and more about the day at


The mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel HMS Bounty occurred in the South Pacific Ocean on 28 April 1789.

Whilst hunting for Convention memories this morning I found an interesting fact, that an unnamed card has the Bounty flying the Union Jack flag – but that flag was not designed until later. So do you know that card? If you do please tell us. It is not the card by Amalgamated Tobacco of South Africa nor our featured card, which is Ogdens “Shots from the Films” (1936) which shows Clark Gable as a rather handsome Fletcher Christian squaring off against Charles Laughton`s William Bligh.

This version of the film was released way back in 1935, but it was also made in 1916 with George Cross and John Storm, as well as in 1962 with Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard, and in 1984 with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins.

The drawing on this card is by Alick P.F Ritchie (actually Alexander Penrose Forbes Ritchie) a popular and talented artist who had also drawn the artwork for John Player “Straight Line Caricatures“, issued in 1926.
He died in 1938

A210-760 [tobacco : OS] African Tobacco Manufacturers (S. Africa) “Some Beautiful Roses” (Silk) (1928) 18/30

Thursday 29th of April will be National Peace Rose Day. The peace rose was only named in 1946 so it does not appear on cigarette cards. You can read about that at

However roses are popular subjects for cards, see possibly because roses were the earliest flowers known to be cultivated, and they have been found in ancient Egyptian Tombs.

Wills issued three sets of standard sized “Roses” in 1912, 1913, and 1926 plus a larger sized set in 1936. Most people thinkl that these are the only sets devoted entirely to roses but our featured card is a silk, which is part of another set “Some Beautiful Roses”. This was issued in South Africa, and it is not hard to imagine these cards being sewn on to cushions and bedspreads.

The first strains of what we now call Jazz music were heard in New Orleans over a century ago. But it was not until the 30th of April 2011 that Herbie Hancock chose this day to forever immortalise International Jazz Day, in conjunction with the United Nations. And if you are wondering how the two are connected, Herbie Hancock is not just a jazz supremo, but he was a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
In 1936 Lambert and Butler issued a set which is titled “Dance Band Leaders” but which seems often to be referred to Jazz & Dance Band Leaders. Here is a video about them, just one of the many cartophilic creations made by cream of cards – – I am not sure whether he reads our newsletters, but maybe if he does he will let us know via our contact form
However our featured cards come from Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company`s “Music of America”; this company is now part of R.J. Reynolds, but started out as a small independent company run by the author of a Handbook of Marijuana, an acupuncture student, and an estate agent.

And now for our Cards of the Day for Last Week


TOP-140 [trade : UK] Topical Times “Footballers” (A) Coloured White Borders Un/16.

Topical Times issued many sets of football cards, fitting because it was the first weekly newspaper almost entirely featuring football and footballers. It was a D.C. Thomson publication, and was first printed just after the first world war, ceasing production in mid 1940.

These cards are often called Panel Portraits, and their large size makes them both collectable and important research material. However if you got to and work down the page you will see that a wide variety of cards, booklets, and albums were issued.

U450-520 [tobacco : UK] United Kingdom Tobacco Co. Ltd. “British Orders of Chivalry & Valour” (November 1936) 11 /25

In fact although this set is listed under “U” the cards only say “The Greys Cigarettes”. And this same set was also issued by Godfrey Phillips with two different backs, the first is “Godfrey Phillips Ltd and Associated Companies” whilst the second simply has the brand name of “De Reszke”
The first ever O.B.E. was presented by His Majesty The King (George V) in 1917. They were entirely designed to reward war service, and the original intention was once the war was over no more would be issued.
One of our original patrons was awarded the O.B.E. for service to the Red Cross. You will soon be able to read about her in our printed magazine.

ZB07-770A [tobacco : OS] United Tobacco Companies (South) Ltd (South Africa) “South African Cricket Touring Team. British Isles 1929” (autographed version) (1929) Un/17

this card shows Mr L. Osche, though the autograph seems hard to translate into that name. The reason why there are 17 cards is because they also include the Manager and other personnel. You can find these cards with and without printed autographs, though we are not sure quite why. Any ideas?

And in case you are wondering why the reference code is ZB, it is because these cards do not carry a makers name and when they were discovered they could not be tied to any issuer.


[trade : UK] Universal Cigarette Card Co. Ltd “Car Registration Numbers” third series (1987) Un/13

Lamberts Tea of Norwich were the original issuers of series one and two in 1959/1960, , but these thirteen cards were not issued by them, only by Universal Cigarette Card Co Ltd.

There is a tale behind this, but I dont know it, do you? Or is there anyone reading this from Universal Cigarette Card Co who would like to tell us the story? By the way we are reliably informed that this month marks 75 years of that company, so may we be the first to wish them a Happy Birthday. They also issued other sets, including ones on English Cricketers, and Warriors through the Ages, . And in case you were wondering, the reason why there is no code in front of this caption is because our trade reference books currently only cover up to the year 1970.


U480-100 [tobacco : UK] United Services Manufacturing Co. Ltd “Ancient Warriors” (1938) 31/50

All that I can find out about United Services is that they were based in London and they made “Services” Gold Flake and Navy Cut cigarettes.

This set is very attractive, with striking artwork, and their text is well researched, though it does have a habit of growing larger and smaller according to what it has to squeeze in which is a slightly jarring note. However it definitely deserves to be better known and better collected. It also covers a lot of ground and tells the story of all kinds of fighting men from the ancients, through Romans, Knights, Crusaders, and even shows warriors from other lands, the last card being a Maori Warrior.

They also issued a set of 100 “Interesting Personalities” which includes footballers and cricketers. Another one to look out for.


[trade : UK] Unusually Funny Factory Ltd. “PrehistoriGum Dinosaur Cards” (1980s/1990s) 15/40.

The Unusually Funny Factory was in Leeds. Billed as “the gum that time forgot” you got three cards in a packet and a piece of bubble gum, almost certainly a strip or piece rather than a shape or ball owing to the confines of the wax paper packet. The cards show prehistoric animals engaging in a variety of modern day sports and activities; this “football” themed one is almost certainly missing from many type collections on that subject

This company issued other sets, all of a rather ghoulish nature, including “Team Spirit” “Chamber of Horrors” and “Monsters”.

Again they are all currently too recent for inclusion in our reference books.


Our first Cartophilic Convention Card of the Day – for Salisbury, our venue (hopefully) in October this year – was

C792-530 [tobacco : UK] Co-operative Wholesale Co. (“C.W.S”) “Famous Buildings” (1935) 34/48.

When we featured this issuer a while ago several of you were surprised that it was listed as tobacco not trade. The truth is that CWS sold many things, including cigarettes and tobacco, it all depends on the advertising on the reverse. This card has a top box that says “C.W.S Specialities RAYDEX :- 9D PER OZ FLAKE MIXTURE HONEY DEW CIGARETTE TOBACCO”. It also has the most amazing text – it starts “Due to the upright air of aspiration in all its parts, and to an eclectic beauty of conception….” Obviously they were aiming at a very educated market! We are aiming to add this card to our Salisbury Gallery, currently in production – so you will soon be able to read the full text for yourself.

and thats all we have time for tonight!
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