The home of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain

11 september 2021

Welcome to another newsletter and we are now just a month away from our Card Convention. That time will go very fast, so check your wants lists and make sure they are up to date, and also consider whether you will need albums, leaves, or reference books, so as to buy in bulk and save post. We will start bringing you latest and breaking news very soon… and we look forward to seeing you all there.

however there are still a few weeks to go so here are some things with which to pass the time away next week…

PictureSaturday September 11
Its German Language Day today, so lets have a quick look at cards from Germany. Now like a lot of European issuers, their earliest cards were not cigarette cards but trade cards, and more than that, most of them were package issues. It is often said a German company, Stollwerck, was the first to print pictures on to packaging, but according to they gained inspiration from Paris store “Au bon marché”. That web link will tell you all about this in a far more educated way than I could!
We can thank the First World War for the rise of smoking in Europe, for that had been a popular way to pass the time in the trenches, and it was believed to be calming at the same time. Like England, German cards did not really resume until the early 1920s, though Europe was far more devastated by the War and its effects than us, for our home soil had not been a battle ground, entrenched, tunnelled, and blown up, nor had we been given the less than glorious job of disposing of all that had been left behind on the front line. Is it any wonder that the cards looked to the movies for their subjects in the 1920s and 30s, with bright, bejewelled, golden edges, and smiling happy stars? Now you may have wondered why these cards did not have text on the front and only very limited text on the back, and this was because they were designed to go in special albums. These were a great hit and very collectable, and the fact that lots of companies issued the same set made filling the albums easier – if you included cards from other manufacturers, and once stuck in, only you could tell. Another note about German cards is that they are often in very good condition, and that is because several of the manufacturers gave complete sets in exchange for the coupons which were inserted with the cigarettes. Although it is recorded that Hitler banned cigarette cards, for fear that small boys hanging round shops for cards could be seen by other nations as letting children beg in the streets, (especially during the Olympic Games of 1936) he soon realised that these cards could be a powerful propaganda tool, and allowed them to return so long as they featured military subjects in a positive light. He also allowed for a set on himself to be produced in 1935, which you can see at  However, as in Great Britain, the issue of cards ceased with the Second World War, as the raw materials were seen to have better use, and after the War they never really returned in the same way. Even trade cards did not return in Europe until the early 1950s.

Our cards are “Film Sterne [Stars]” (1936) Ida Lupino 114/200 – “Deutscher Sport in 96 Bildern” 56/96 showing the pommel horse – “Film Lieblinge [Favourites] (1936) Clark Gable no.131/200


September 12 1888 Maurice Auguste Chevalier was born in Paris, France. He fought and was wounded in the First World War, was briefly married to Yvonne Vallée, an actress, then divorced. The trading card database has ninety-one cards of him and these definitely reflect that he was a star in Europe before he went to Hollywood in 1928, less than a year after his marriage. In 1934 he made one of his best films “The Merry Widow”, and that is the date of issue of the first cigarette cards of him issued by British manufacturers at home and overseas, you can see those listed on that site. Some have discrepancies on his birth date, Gallaher “Champions of Stage & Screen” 19/48 gives it as 1893, whilst our card P644-328.2A John Player “Film Stars” Second Series, as 1889. The film was such a hit that it was still being used as late as December 1936, when Ardath`s “From Screen and Stage” card 10 is a scene from “The Merry Widow”.
His experiences in the Second World War were quite unbelievable, and seldom reported, but they do appear at After the war he spent a long time out of favour, but returned to make a film called Gigi. This starred Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan, and provided him with two huge songs which became his theme songs “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” and “Ah Yes I Remember it Well”. The film won nine Academy Awards; Maurice Chevalier received a Lifetime Achievement Award. After that he made few films. His last was providing soundtrack to “The Aristocats”, a feature length animation for Walt Disney. He died on New Years Day, 1972, aged eighty-three. You can read his biography at

PictureMonday September 13 is National Peanut Day . Now our card G075-430 Gallaher “Plants of Commercial Value” (1917) shows what looks like a peanut but is in fact a Ground Nut, which I am sure will bring back memories to many of our readers of a very ill fated scheme in the 1940s and 50s which was called The Groundnut Scheme. If you don’t remember, check out

There is also a bit of frivolity for you with Millhoff “Things to Make” as that set includes a pea-nut mouse (25) and a peanut monkey. It even tells you how to make them … but not why.

We have not found any cards issued with peanuts, except for by KP Crisps and Nuts, and it seems that most of these were either issued with crisps or with “skips” which were crisp style prawn flavoured snacks. We have not found one set which actually says it was issued with nuts. Most of these were action cards, or film based – “Stunt Cards”, “Police Report” and “Jurassic Park” seem to appear most online.

September 14 1901 marked the death of William McKinley, the twenty-fifth President of the United States, who had been sworn in just three years earlier in 1897. He was the third President to be killed by an assassin (Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield were the first and second), though there are strong rumours that his death was not caused by the bullet, but by part of his dirty coat being accidentally sewn inside the wound. Now McKinley appears on quite a few cigarette cards – including his ancestral habitations which you can see at – strangest is the one which quotes “Ballymaclinton” for this was a village recreated at White City exhibition grounds. And then there are a few versions of Ogden Guinea Golds and Tabs with the same picture but slightly different wording.

However President McKinley has more of a link to us than you might realise because our inaugural President, Charles Glidden Osborne, was actually a distant relative, as you can tell from the fact that his father was named William McKinley Osborne (1842–1902), and that Charles Glidden Osborne used that entire name for his own first born son (1911–1967).

A biography of Charles Glidden Osborne is currently being written, and will appear next year in our printed magazine…


Wednesday September 15 will be Make a Hat Day – and – National Felt Hat Day. Now these days wearing hats seems to gave fallen from favour but if you went back a few decades almost everyone wore one. Look at vintage clips from football matches, if you doubt this. Here is a trio from our collection. This is a pair of Godfrey Phillips “Film Favourites” (1934) 2/50 Lili Damita and 7/50 Irene Dunne, and the oval card between them is anonymous plain back but is usually attributed to Godfrey Phillips, 30 Beauties (ovals) issued for export to Malta or Gibraltar – it appears as card 26 of plate 3 (page 19) of the original Godfrey Phillips reference book of 1949.
Another one to look out for is “Why Hard Felt Hats Are Called Bowlers” from Carreras “Do You Know?” (1939) 49/50. Going back further in time, one of the most sought after sets is W.D. & H.O. Wills Scissors brand “Beauties Picture Hats” and you can see those at

September 16 is Mayflower Day, which commemorates the sailing from England of the Pilgrim Fathers. This important vessel appears in Carreras “Notable Ships Past and Present” (1929) 22/25, Richard Lloyd “Atlantic Records” (1936) 2/25, our card Godfrey Phillips “Ships that have Made History” (1938) 14/36, R & J Hill “Famous Ships” (1940) 5/50, Player Doncella brand “Golden Age of Sail” (1980) 4/24 and Wills “Celebrated Ships” (1911) 25/50  – to name but a few – but Ogdens “Yachts & Motor Boats” (1930) 24/50 is a different boat all together. You can see some of these cards at

The truth seems to have many gaps, but what is known is that in 1608, a hundred and twenty people fled England to Holland, for fear that their religion would see them persecuted or possibly killed. Most records say that as soon as they were in Holland they chartered two small sailing vessels, the Mayflower and the Speedwell; not sure about the small as the Hill card says that the Mayflower was an ex whaler and its payload 180 tons. Now it seems unlikely that these were the Dutch names of these vessels, but what is known is that these sailed out of Delftshaven in July 1620. Now, even with my maths, that is a gap of twelve years between landing and embarkation. Anyway the next curiosity is that the first thing they did was sail straight back to England, landing in Southampton, and then they set off again but sailed very closely along the English coastline pulling in at Plymouth, which was surely tempting discovery, interference, and imprisonment. Once they reached Plymouth some kind of inspection took place, and it was decided that the Speedwell was unseaworthy; which may explain why they had sailed so close to shore. Then they stayed in Plymouth for a further two months, before seventy-four males and twenty-eight females, including children, left England, in the Mayflower, on September 16, 1620. Where the other eighteen members went to after that, I don’t know, maybe in the twelve years that had passed some had either died or decided not to go, but it seems that if half their number were in each boat (sixty), and if they got all but eighteen in one, why not squeeze in the rest and give it a go? Maybe there is a historian of the Mayflower out there having a good laugh at my thought process; if so do send us a proper explanation for a future edition. Anyway, the Mayflower sailed out, across the sea, all alone, with mostly luck to guide them, and in December 1620 they first saw sight of land. They thought this was Virginia, their intended destination, but they had lost their course during the many storms they had battled through, and it was actually closer to what we call Cape Cod. They did a bit of exploring of the area and went back to a place they liked best, building a small settlement in that location. And they called it Plymouth, after the place from which they had so bravely sailed. It is still called Plymouth today, and it is known as the home of the Pilgrim Fathers. And you can read a far more learned account at


Friday September 17 is the date of the next commemorative stamps by Royal Mail, which you can see at :  These will show characters from DC Comics, people like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman etc – and I have to say the long stamp of Superman is very impressive, I remember the long stamps from some years ago, though they were not ideal for postcards.
Now if you are wondering what DC stands for, we have the answer if you just look at
Marvel Comics have already been celebrated on stamps, in 2019, with original illustrations by Alan Davis, who was a Marvel illustrator, and you can refresh your memory of those at

W675-156 [tobacco : UK] Wills “British Castles” large size (November 1925) 25/25 

Our journey back to the 1930s through the “Cigarette Card News” time machine has reached No. 6, Vol. I. MARCH, 1934. It starts with a discussion on “large cards”, and says that “Dealers tell us that for every large card five or more of the small variety are sold.” Yet, it goes on to say, these large cards “enable a better reproduction of detail to be given, and a less crowded general effect… [they had] heard it said that large cards take up too much album space : and if collecting is to be reduced to a question of housing the greatest number at the least expense, there is something in this. Even so, the finer display obtained by fewer and better cards to a page must surely outweigh [this]”. I have to say that at the time of writing, there was another reason, for the slip in style card albums of the time did not allow for mixed sized sets to be stored in one album, and few were set up to store large cards, so collectors were forced to use only the special albums for that particular set, and this did make for a lot of assorted albums needing a lot of space for storage. However, though today this problem has been solved by plastic leaves, which fit in one album, and just display less cards per page as their size increases, I still think larger cards are not so popular. Anyone out there wish to comment, please?

Now next up was the regular “Notes on Current Series” by C.L. Porter. He says “a mixed bag indeed this month ! Two really good new issues, one weak effort, and far, far too many reprints and re-issues.” He believed that this was a stop gap, and better would come along soon. Anyway the new issues were:

W.A. & A.C. Churchman (1935) ‘Well-Known Ties, Second Series’ C504-690

Churchman “Famous Ties”Series of 50 small cardswell done, and there is a good public for this type of series”. I am surprised that he uses the term “small” rather than “standard”, and also that title is wrong – the cards are titled “Well Known Ties”. There would eventually be two standard sized series of 50 cards and two large sized sets of 12 cards. And they are indeed most attractive sets.
Carreras “Gran’pop Series of 50 cards, reproducing Lawson Wood’s famous monkey cartoons – “certainly original and likely to be popular”. Issued in both large and small sizes with ” Black Cat ” Cigarettes.
Carreras ” Palmistry.” A series of 50 small cards explanatory of the lines etc., of the hand. Issued with ” Turf ” Cigarettes.
Gallaghers (sic, oddly) “Champions”Portraits (very well done in colour) of outstanding personalities in every branch of sport. A series of real topical interest, and bound to have widespread appeal. To my mind the best of any series of the type for some years past” Now this is a really odd set as our Gallaher reference book of 1944 tells us that it was issued in 1934, and then almost immediately there was a second printing where many of the people shown had been re-drawn in a larger size, plus the wording on the backs was also larger, and some of the descriptions had been altered. There is no idea as to why this was done. In 1935 a second series was issued, only printed once.

Lambert & Butler (1932) ‘A History of Aviation’

Lambert & Butler “Motor” series – he bemoans the fact that this is still not out but worse, instead they had just reprinted their “History of Aviation” in a different colour, red not green. He felt a second series bringing it up to date would have been better and promised to present this idea to Messrs Lambert & Butler. The dates of these sets were April 1932 (green) December 1933 (brown). The date given in our reference book to Lambert & Butler “Motors (1934) was February 1934, so it must have been printed but not issued until they ran low of the Aviation set, or maybe it was first issued in a different area to that of Mr. Porter.
Wills “Strange Craft” was also “being re-issued at the same time as the new ” Do You Know” 4th series, which was making the latter hard to complete”. And then there was Millhoff and Godfrey Phillips, who were again issuing miniature Playing Cards. He was very scathing about this – it was “a poor affair” and “surely playing cards have merited a merciful demise”. Another complaint was that John Player “Characters from Fiction” (October 1933) were supposed to have been replaced by a series of 25 large sized “British Butterflies” (January 1934) but he had not seen one card yet.

Now this is just a short way into this edition of that magaine but I have a quandary as there is an article next up which needs further research… so I will continue next time

Our CARDS OF THE DAY this week were all for National Blood Pressure Week and I hope by now you are all aware of yours? If not ask your doctor to check when you go next. 


Saturday 4th September
G075-385 [tobacco : UK] Gallaher “Famous Footballers” green (1925) 92/100
This was Robert Blood, whose story is told at  Gallaher issued its first set of football cards in 1910; called “Football Club Colours” it was was a set of 100 cards. These were printed by Tillotsons Ltd and it was thought that there was more than one printing; you could find the background of several cards in either grey or brown; the card used was either blue-gray, or white; and two cards, 14 and 46, could be acquired with a large or small sized head (this is described in our original Gallaher reference book of 1944 as “exists with both a large and small head” which sounds like the footballer has two at the same time) For some reason Gallaher did not publish another football set until 1925, which was “Famous Footballers” and again it was also a set of 100, which was followed by a second series of 100 in 1926.


Sunday 5th September
W675-112 [tobacco : UK] W.D. & H.O. Wills “First Aid” (April 1913 and January 1915) 35/50
The reason for the two dates is that this set was issued twice, the first time in April 1913 there was no album clause, whilst the second time in January 1915 there was an album clause. It was also reprinted by the Card Collector’s Society in 1999. One of the cards seems to have gained a bit of a following as it shows a footballer! You can see this at – where you can also see all three versions of the backs.


Monday 6th September
C151-220 [tobacco : UK] Carreras “Celebrities Of British History” (1935) 12/50
The English physician William Harvey (1578-1657) was the first to accurately describe the fact that blood was driven around inside the body by the beating of the heart. In 1607, he became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and two years later was appointed physician to St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Then in 1618 he was appointed The King’s Physician, initially to James I and then to his son Charles I. This led to better research as the two Kings acted as patrons, giving him space and providing him money.
Now what you may not know is that this set was issued twice – the second time was in 1951, when they were printed inside the packets of Turf Cigarettes as blue and white cards with the issuer and set title on the front


Tuesday 7th September
P521-326 [tobacco : UK] Godfrey Phillips “First Aid” (1923) 26/50
Now there are two Godfrey Phillips sets on the subject of First Aid but they are very easy to tell apart. I was going to discuss this now but a bit of info came to light so the other set became our Friday card.  Anyway I imagine that Phillips may have thought the subject useful, but with the arrival of the “modern” age, those old style cards were old hat; what was wanted now was clean lines, muted backgrounds and none of those old fashioned scrolls around the titles. But more about that on Friday!

PictureWednesday 8th September
M757-500 [tobacco : UK] Stephen Mitchell “First Aid” (1938) 30/50
This set is actually described as “sepia – flesh tinted” which is a bit quease-inducing if you ask me! Note where it says “A complete set of these cards kept in your medicine chest will prove invaluable in case of emergency”. It would be interesting to know the month of issue, but it does not seem to have been recorded. However this does sound like they are already preparing for the inevitable war.


Thursday 9th September
C792-470 [tobacco : UK] C.W.S. Cigarettes (Co-Operative Wholesale Society) “Boy Scout Badges” (1939) 26/50 
This is a very attractive set, showing the badge to the top. However, dont get confused because there is an earlier set, C792-100 “Boy Scout Series”, which was of twenty-five cards, and had been issued in 1912.
Hope you noticed that as of this card there was a change to our customary practise of just adding the code beneath it, as we added the back view as well ? This makes making the newsletter easier so it will continue! 


Friday 10th September
P521-255 [tobacco : UK] Godfrey Phillips “First Aid Series” (1914) 12/25
This series of 25 was issued between 1908 and 1918, though in catalogues it is usually given the year date of 1914. It is likely that the longer period of issue arose because supply was limited after the First World War broke out and shopkeepers were still selling old stock, containing these cards, throughout the War. However, look at this card – for there behind the wounded man is surely a football match, and a quick browse proves that many of the other cards in the series are of a sporting theme, hockey, polo, cycling, motoring, ice skating, etc… Have a look at

And there we must close for another week. I am off to celebrate the anniversary of the X Files by watching some early trailers etc on YouTube and might resurface Monday, or not, as its one of my favourite shows, though I am shocked at how much time has elapsed since it started. Still at least those memories remain online and, dare I say, “out there”

Have a great weekend and enjoy your week, and we will see you here next Saturday. 

And don’t forget if you missed last week`s newsletter, or you are visiting us for the first time, it is preserved for posterity at


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