The home of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain

January 9

Welcome to another “Notes and News” 

Well here we are in yet another lockdown, but don’t be downhearted, we plan several diversions over the next few weeks to occupy you and your minds. Recently we have been asking a few people what they miss most about not going to fairs and markets. The top answer was of course, meeting their friends, as though you can write letters, phone, or chat to each other, even in picture, over the internet, it will never be quite the same, and sadly there is not much we can do to supply that for you.

However, the second most missed thing was seeing actual cards, and more than that, seeing cards in full view on a dealers table that were not from categories you collected or ever thought you had an interest in, but liked immediately, and often bought on sight.

Now this we can all help with, and proudly announce two lockdown projects starting today. Our new section, “Discoveries” will be filled by our readers sending in scans of any and all cartophilic and collectable items they buy. This will prove that there is still a chance to buy great items online, or off other collectors, and that the hobby still flourishes. And it will also show our readers that vast variety of themes they so miss. 

Imperial Tob. Co. Canada “Poultry Alphabet”

Our “Card of the Day” is currently featuring calendars, and you might be surprised, and a bit excited to hear that I have not yet used a card from our gallery; all these wonderful items have entirely been supplied by our readers, and it was much inspired by the success of our recent Santa Special, which will disappear today at midnight to allow him to travel back home and have some R&R.
Now remember in December that “I” promised “I” would return? Well as of today we are recommencing our trip through the alphabet of issuers with “I”, but this section will also now be thrown open to receive readers scans. Now there will not be space for all the cards to feature as our “Card of the Day” especially as we would ideally like to show the fronts and backs, but they will all appear somewhere, and to make this as seamless as possible, we are currently looking for cards by issuers beginning with not only “I” but “J”, “K”, “L”, and “M”, so that we may have a head start. We will let you know the when the next round starts.
And you can email your scans direct to


So lets have a chat about what is going on this week: 


On the 9th of January 1799, Britain`s youngest ever Prime Minister William Pitt introduced a new scheme called income tax. The rate was 10% of all income, and it was stated to only be “a temporary measure” due to the current war with France, which was depleting resources. He appears on several cards, notably Carreras “British Prime Ministers” (1928) 23/27 – the same image as Sarony “Celebrities and Their Autographs” standard and large size (1923) 8/25. Ours is a more colourful card Godfrey Phillips “Famous Minors” (1936) 33/50 where it tells that he was known as “The Boy Prime Minister” (though he was hardly a boy, he was not an M.P. until he was 21) and look at his ambition “to speak in the House of Commons like his father, William Pitt the 1st Earl of Chatham, who appears on cards too including John Player “Leaders of Men” (1925) 39/50. And you can read the full story of income tax at
PictureOn the 10th January 1863, the world’s first underground railway was opened in London. This was the “Metropolitan Railway” and it ran between Bishop’s Road (which would later be renamed Paddington) and Farringdon Street. Our slightly later “Metropolitan Railway Engine” is W.D. & H.O. Wills  “Locomotives & Rolling Stock” (1901) 21/50. Churchman “Landmarks in Railway Progress” (1931) 45/50 tells of when the line was first electrified in 1905, and later engines appear at W.D. & H.O. Wills “Railway Locomotives” (1930)” 17/50  – and “Railway Engines” (1924) 20/50. Two more unusual cards are No.19 of that set which shows a train at a station; and also there is an Ardath Photocard which shows the “Metropolitan Railway Athletic FC” and tells of the Railway A.A. Challenge Cup, just one of the trophies they won. But to whisk you back to the start of this section though,you must check out
PictureMonday 11th – The first televised weather broadcast featuring a presenter on the screen was transmitted from the BBC’s Lime Grove Studios in 1954. By the way, Lime Grove was formerly the Gainsborough Film Studios. We have not been able to find a weather forecaster on cards, unless you know of one, so our card is one of four fine “Double Meanings” in the set of that name by W.D. & H.O. Wills issued in 1898, and the set was also available with playing card insets. Be aware this set was reprinted for collectors, under authorisation from Imperial Tobacco, by the Card Collectors Society in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s – along with other sets from 1898 through to 1940 – though the cards are clearly marked and it would be awkward to remove the inscription without drastic trimming.  You can read more about TV weather at

AAB-040.1a.b. [trade : UK] A & B.C. Gum “Batman” (1966) 40/55

On January 12th 1966 “Batman”, starring Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin, and  Cesar Romero as The Joker, debuted in America on The American Broadcasting Channel (ABC). This was a live action feature, using actors, whereas the original Batman was from an animated comic strip. Batman had first been drawn in 1939 as just a character as a small part of another story, but he really “took off” and his own Batman Comic was first issued not long after, in Spring 1940. Though his adventures did not concern the War currently raging, he did amuse, distract, and perhaps suggest that giving up was not the only option to his readers. He is still as popular today, with several motion pictures in recent years. And his latest is scheduled for release in 2022.
A great site on Batman trade cards can be found at :
PictureThe 13th of January is St Hilary’s Feast Day, and it has a reputation for being one of the coldest days of the year. The earliest noted year of this was 1086, but it was particularly bad in 1205, when the Thames froze over and according to legend “ale and wine were sold by weight”. In that year it lasted until almost the end of March and led to high food prices the following year, plus to the re-minting of most coinage, which had been grossly affected by the illegal practise of “clipping”, cutting small pieces off the edge to either melt down and form into new coins, or to transform one coin into another. Between 1550 and 1750 most years suffered severe freezes, and modern researchers call this period “The Little Ice Age”, feeling it is almost equal to the “Great Ice Age” of prehistory. Our card is Churchman “The Story of London” (1934) 28/50 and it shows a fair from 1683, but the first recorded Thames Frost Fair was in 1608, though the river had frozen several times before that, and in 1536 Henry VIII was reputed to have gone by sled from Westminster to Greenwich; almost thirty years later his daughter Elizabeth I much enjoyed walking on the frozen surface. The last Frost Fair was in 1814, but only lasted four days due to a sudden thaw. However, there was still time for an elephant to be led across the river below Blackfriars Bridge. 
The thirteenth of January will also be the first Monday after Epiphany, traditionally, especially in the rural areas, was the day on which work started up for the next year after having a twelve day break. The male workers referred to the date as “Plough Monday”, because all the labourers and ploughmen had to return to their fields; whereas women workers called it “Saint Distaff`s Day” because they had to return to housework and sewing, and a distaff is the stick shaped part of a spinning wheel on which go the unspun fibres, or just a stick on which fibres are spun by hand. Later on, by the time of Shakespeare, the term “distaff” had come to mean simply any work done by, or in many cases anything to do with a woman, and, in fact, if you are into genealogy, you will often come across reference to “the distaff side” of a family, which has come to mean the maternal line. However the really strange thing was that there never was a Saint Distaff. You can read more about the day at  
PictureThursday 14th  marks the issue of Royal Mail`s first special stamps of this year and they celebrate landscapes. These are Dartmoor, the New Forest, the Lake District, Loch Lomond, Snowdonia, the North York Moors, the South Downs, the Peak District, the Pembrokeshire Coast and the Norfolk Broads.
These are from photographs, but I am sure I am not alone in also liking the charm of art drawn sets like this lovely view from John Players “Gems of Beauty”. And may we also direct you to Churchman “Holidays in Britain” (1938) a set of 48 cards, and to Godfrey Phillips “Beauty Spots of the Homeland”, large sized, which have proper postcard backs.
PictureOn the 15th of January 1927 – The BBC’s first running sports commentary was broadcast on this day when Captain H.B.T. Wakelam occupied a wooden box at the top of the South Terrace at Twickenham and told radio listeners what was happening in the England v Wales Rugby International match. Now Captain Wakelam was an ex soldier, who had served in France, Belgium, Egypt, and Palestine; and he had also been another kind of captain, of the Harlequins, one of the founding members of the Rugby Football Association – and in fact he wrote the club history, which was published in 1954. Our card is Wills “Radio Celebrities” (1934) 9/50 and his card has a cartophilic claim to fame, which is that it is an error card – you can find this card showing him with a moustache, or clean shaven! The story of his commentary, and of a phrase much in use today, can be explored at:
Now this week our CARDS OF THE WEEK have all been calendars! 
Friday – CAR-170.4 [trade : UK] Carr & Co. Carlisle “Advertisement Cards” (A) (1896) In 1986 three of these four fold calendars were known, this one, the earliest which had yet been seen, dating from 1896 and showing the four Continents, plus the 1897 Venice Views and the 1898 “Egypt”. By the time of our updated 2006 British Trade Index we had found nine – a new “earliest” dating from 1889 about which it only says “Seen incomplete” without a subject mentioned – 1890 pictures of a vase, a bird, a woman, and fruit – 1895 views of Carlisle and environs – the three previously listed – and new later ones, 1901 Poets, 1905 four girls heads, and 1909 an odd mixture of Romans landing in Britain, King John and the Magna Carta, Cromwells dissolution of the Long Parliament and King Edward VIIs inaugural Parliament. We list these in the hope our readers may be able to fill the gaps – and we only seek information, you will not have to part with your cards.
This seems an apt time to chat about unrecorded cards. Some people don’t like to reveal that they have such, thinking when they come to auction they will be worth more. Strangely we find the opposite is true; submitting their details to us and letting us add them to our reference books means that collectors and future buyers can add them to their wants lists now and start searching the internet and auctions, so when you do sell the card it will almost certainly be spotted. On the other hand, if the card just appears at auction without anyone knowing of it, your chance of having many interested bidders is much diminished as you are restricted to those who either subscribe to or stumble on that catalogue. 
PictureSATURDAY : Lefèvre-Utile was founded in 1846 in the town of Nantes, France, and before they started producing their own range they imported biscuits from Huntley & Palmers of Reading. The name is from the surnames of the husband and wife owners Jean-Romain Lefèvre and Pauline-Isabelle Utile. They are also known for the fact that they commissioned many famous artists to design their posters and tins including  Alfonse Mucha, and you can see those at  as well as ​

PictureSUNDAY JAC-200 [trade : UK] Jacobs  listed in Trade Index 3 1986 as Calendar Folders (A) six were known these being 1892 Woodland Scenes, 1916 Scottish Maid, 1925 “The Helmsman”, 1935 Trumpeter, 1937 Snowman and 1940 Girl with teddy bear. These measured 89-96 cm x 77-87 cm. However by the time of our latest edition, the British Trade Index of 2006 (Ref Bk.125), these had been renamed Advertisement Cards (A) Calendar Folders, and the thought is one may have been issued each year. No earlier has been found than 1892, but more have been discovered, namely 1893 with daffodils and blue tits – 1894 sea scene – 1898 lake scene – 1899 windmill and Weir Bridge Killarney – 1901 girls (head and shoulders) – 1924 child in white dress picking flowers. So are there any more out there in YOUR collection, if please so let us know?
And here is another thought, this one we feature is dated 1930, but is this the same trumpeter as on the 1935 card ?


MONDAY – this unusual advent calendar was issued with “Friskies” and “Go Cat” cat food we believe in the 1970s. It has never been opened, so we do not know if they were cat treats underneath or not. It seems to definitely be aimed at cats, look at all those birds on it! Though surely the tray food shows a terrier? And is this the only year they issued a calendar? Let us know…


TUESDAY – W575-105.1 [tobacco : UK] W.D. & H.O. Wills “Calendar 1911”. This single card issue appeared in packets during December 1910. The following year another calendar was issued for 1912, and then no more, so we can only wonder why only these two years were chosen. They are the size of a standard cigarette card. 


WEDNESDAY – P644-240 [tobacco : UK] John Player “A Nature Calendar” large 1/24. This set was issued in April 1930. Each month has two cards devoted to it, and it is a lovely set full of countryside animals. I am particularly taken with the sand lizard featured on the card for July (no.14). In fact the first cigarette cards I ever owned was a framed part set of John Players “Animals of the Countryside” (1939); it featured all the animals I knew so well, frogs, newts, toads and snakes (though I could have done without the card of the stoat). It was almost certainly made just a few days before I bought it, in the late  1970s, but it has hung on the wall of everywhere I have since lived, and I have it at my shoulder now.  

PictureTHURSDAY – Eastman Dyers calendar for 1916. No mention of this calendar in our reference books but they do tell us that Eastmans issued an advertisement card about the 1920s with the wording “Dont let them go West – But to Eastmans”. (Go West being a pseudonym for wear out). They were based in Acton and their advertising materials also used artwork from the top designers, particularly E McKnight Kauffer, whose 1927 poster can be seen at


FRIDAY – this calendar was issued by Collier Brothers of the Essex Brewery in Walthamstow, which actually had an artesian well at the premises. In 1920 they were taken over by Tollemache, though they retained the name of The Essex Brewery until it closed in the early 1970s.
But you can look back in time at a really super pictures of their horse drawn vehicles, the original brewery, and also some of their advertising at 
And there is a transcript of a recording a former worker made at

Well time, as they say, marches on, and regretfully that must be all from me for another week –
Stay safe out there, and we will see you all here again next week; same time, same location 

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