The home of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain

march 27

Welcome to this week`s  “Notes And News”

– our regular round up of forthcoming events with a link to cards past…..   

PictureEvery year, on the 27th of March, people come together to mark Earth Hour, which you may not realise was actually created by World Wide Fund for Nature. The basic idea used to be that turning our lights and non essential electrical items off for just one hour (8.30-9.30 pm) would give us time to sit and think about what would happen if those lights etc went out permanently, which they may one day do if we do not conserve our resources. This year its slightly different as they are releasing a video which they want everyone to share as many times as they can during that hour by way of emailing a link or by uploading it on to social media.
Read more at – and if you can, join in.
Our striking image, from AAB-510 [trade : UK] A & B C “Man-on-the-Moon” (1969) Un/74, shows the Earth in all her beauty, from a picture which was actually taken from space, on the Apollo 11 mission of July 1969, which was the first time that humans landed on the surface of the moon. Unlike many gum cards, this set is full of factual images of the mission rather than sensational freakery, and is a must for all real life space enthusiasts. 
Do note that this set is split into two sections, nineteen cards like this one which have a scene on the back with two astronauts, and “the rest” which have a sectional spaceship back. 

PictureThe 28th of March is Weed Appreciation Day. Did you know a weed is just a flower in the wrong place? Its true. Many weeds are bright and colourful, and are often just as important to insect life as “proper” flowers, as well as having many nutritional and medicinal benefits for us.

Now there is a bit of a cartophilic twist here as “weed” is also slang for tobacco (of all kinds, legal or not), and new collectors may be amused to learn that in 1916 Gallaher issued a set of fifty numbered cards called “Votaries of the Weed”, [G075-230] showing a variety of smokers enjoying the pleasures of a good smoke.

These wonderful cards were lithographed in full colours to resemble coloured pen and ink drawings, the artwork for them having been drawn by “Kyd” and you can see his monogram on each card (on our card it is bottom right) ; but his name was actually Joseph Clayton Clark, and he also illustrated the novels of Charles Dickens as well as postcards. The set was actually printed on cream card or grey-white card, but there is not a lot of difference unless you really look hard and they are not differentiated between in dealers` catalogues.

E265-540 [tobacco : UK] Edwards, Ringer & Bigg ‘Celebrated Bridges’ (1924) 50/50

On March 29th, 1848, ice blockages caused the rivers to run dry, and reduced the flow of water to such an extent that Niagara Falls’ suddenly came to a halt. Locals celebrate this fact right to this day with a celebration called “Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day” Though ice is a common problem most years, and it does affect the flow rate, the falls have never again completely stopped, though for many years they have been closed to tourists as the ice season approaches. Niagara Falls is a true wonder of the world, and the noise the falls make is quite staggering.It can be seen on several cards of all ages, including some under winter ice; Cavanders “Peeps into many Lands” 2nd series (1928) 36/72 – Churchman “World Wonders Old and New” (unissued) 35/50 – and -Pattreiouex “Winter Scenes” (1937) 4/48 – plus, in its full force on Churchman “Wings over the Empire” (July 1938) 40/50 and Beaulah Tea “Marvels of the World” (1954) 24/24. You can see fifteen different cards featuring the falls at  Now the curious thing is how when you see them all displayed here you are suddenly struck by how very similar the Players and our Edwards Ringer and Bigg cards are, though close examination of the bridge proves some re-drawing has occurred, and also look how different it is to the other two bridge cards with the rounded arch. As to why, check out
The 29th of March is also Yorkshire West Riding County Day, so please take some time out to read the story of our local Branch, which is waiting at and if you live in the area do go along to a meeting or rally, should such things ever be allowed to return. Be assured as soon as they are, you will find all the news on our front page!

PictureOn the 30th of March, 1885, Sydney Chaplin was born. He can be seen to great effect here on W675-162.1 [tobacco : UK] Wills “Cinema Stars” 1st Series (January 1928) 4/25 where he is shown in costume for a film called “The Better `Ole”, which was taken from the first world war humorous drawings of trench life by Bruce Bairnsfather. Sydney Chaplin was thought by many to be the perfect real life personification of “Old Bill”. The strange thing about the text on this card is that you could read it, and not really realise that the “… famous brother …” was actually the “Charlie” Chaplin (born in 1889, to save you looking).

And may we also direct you to

Now lets all wish a happy 91st birthday to John Astin, who is probably still best known for playing Gomez, the father in the original television version of the Addams Family; even though he only played the part for two years, between 1964 and 1966, he also appeared in the 1970s TV movie “Halloween with the New Addams Family”, did the voice over for the 1990s version of the animated series, and appeared in the part of Grandpa in the live action version which was briefly shown at the end of the decade. Check out the 1964 series of Donruss “The Addams Family” cards to see him at his wild and wacky best.

PictureThe 31st of March is Eiffel Tower Day, which marks the completion of the Eiffel Tower in 1889, after two years, two months and five days. Check out this website    all about the tower and the exhibition which it was the centre piece to, and there is a link to cards with this exhibition as well, as medals were awarded to some of the exhibitors, including a gold to Guerin-Boutron, the chocolate maker, who could be found at stands 23 and 25 along the Rue du Maroc.

The tower can be seen on many cards, especially early French advertising cards, and postcards for the exhibition; also it is Guinea Gold General Interest Numbered Series #456; whilst Carreras “Believe it or not” (October 1934) card no.11 tells us that it currently “..weighs 45 tons more than it did last year. It has just been given a new coat of paint”. Our card is W675-100 [tobacco : UK] Wills “Aviation” (1910) 8/50 – most unusual as it shows just the very tip of the tower, with the caption “Rounding the Eiffel Tower”, it almost certainly appears in few collections of tower cards, but may do now. The reverse text tells us that this aviator was Santos Dumont.

Speaking of unusual, you may not know that there was a failed attempt to build a similar tower in the United Kingdom not long after, but the clay soil made it lurch alarmingly and it never got above the first storey. After the first world war a better use was found for the land, and the tower was pulled down to use as part of the foundations of a new building, which would be called Wembley Stadium.

PictureWe ought to all be aware that the first of April is April Fools Day. However, the only card we have found is this one, which is American Tobacco “Comic Scenes” (A) (1901) ?/25.  Now in France this day is known as Poisson D`Avril, which translates, roughly, to April Fish, and a common joke through the years for that day is for children to either make a picture of a fish and stick it to the back of the clothing of an unsuspecting passer-by, or draw one in chalk on their clothing, so that anyone spotting it can have a jolly good laugh and then run past calling the poor unwitting carrier an April Fish. The strange thing is that I only know of this happening in France, unless any of our readers remember it from their youth in other countries, so I immediately thought there must be some connection between this event and the card, it is just too similar, I even looked up to see if perhaps the illustrator, Franklin Morris Howarth, might have been French, but no.

Good Friday this year falls on the second of April – and its ferret day, in fact all this month is adopt a ferret month; though technically adopting “a” ferret is not a good idea as they prefer to be kept in small groups of three or four, not as a singleton, unless they have had earlier problems with other bossier ferrets that have made them nervous, but the rescue centre will make that known to any prospective adopters. There are several ferret rescue centres around the country, and plenty of ferrets who are waiting for a friend, perhaps like you, so look online to find your closest.

And if you can’t adopt a ferret, you can still donate to your local centre, or see if they need volunteers for any reason, even helping out online with paperwork or fundraising.

Our featured card is E265-660.1 [tobacco : UK] Edwards, Ringer & Bigg ‘Our Pets A Series’ (1926) 10/25, but you can find others on John Player “Nature Series” (June 1908) 33/50,  Faulkner “Our Pets” A Series (1926), which is the same set as ours, and on Horniman’s Tea Pets (1960) also card 10,


MAY-030 [trade : UK] Maynards Confectionery “Football Club Colours” (A) (1933) UN/20 ?

Saturday – MAY-030 [trade ; UK] Maynards “Football Clubs” (A) (1933) Un/17 ? – Maynards Ltd of London were confectioners, the cards were issued between 1915-1935. In our original trade index of 1962, these cards were listed as MCR-2 and only 16 were known. The seventeenth card, Newcastle United, was only discovered after that, so was recorded in trade index volume two, issued in 1969. No more cards have been discovered since though most collectors still believe it would have been a set of twenty especially as there are notable omissions. So go check your cards against this webpage (which also shows the back of this card)
Our resident Football Fan “Bowbara” tells us that Liverpool are one of the most successful football teams. They were formed in 1892, after the owner of Anfield stadium fell out with its current leaseholders Everton FC, despite Everton having already won a league title (before the formation of Liverpool FC). So Liverpool moved into Anfield and started promisingly by beating Nantwich Town 4-0 at their first FA Cup game, which was the first round of 1892. That same year, they won the Lancashire League at their first attempt, being promoted to the second division for the 1893/4 season and winning promotion to the first division in 1896. Their first championship title came in 1901, which is mentioned on the reverse of the Maynards card, actually it states that they were top of the league in 1901, 1906, 1922, 1923. And they would go on to be top of the league eighteen times before finally winning the Premier League in 2019/20. Strangely their first cup final took a while, it was only in 1913, and they lost to Burnley 1-0, in a match played at Crystal Palace. Their second appearance took even longer, it was in 1949, against Arsenal, again losing 2-0. They finally won the first of their seven FA Cups in 1965 beating Leeds United 2-0. They have also won six European Cups.


Sunday – R500-100 : USA/299B, USA/488 and USA/C155 [tobacco : OS] D. Ritchie & Co. “Actresses and Beauties” (A) (1887-9) Un/10? –

Ritchie was based in Montreal Canada and these cards were issued just before they were taken over by The American Tobacco Company. Three cards are known with a rubber stamped advert for an album of “Views of the St. Lawrence River”, an album never found. Unless you know of it? My feeling is that this may have been an “album” in the way that American albums usually were, in other words just a printed booklet, and they may be out there but in book or ephemera collections.
In our gallery this card is viewed as a square, but it was designed to be viewed diagonally so we have done a little twisting.

Anyway as that was identified very early it gave us a chance to hopefully identify another card, which turned out to be L790-090c : USA/N264 [tobacco : OS] Lorillard “Actresses – Large” 15/?  Now this actress is the very famous Margaret Mather. She was born in Canada in 1859 but died very young, aged just thirty nine; despite that many consider her to have been the greatest Shakespearean actress of all time.  Whilst she is not named on this card, which was issued with “Sensation Cut Plug Tobacco” she is named on another Lorillard card which has the identical image. 

Apologies if this is a bit sketchy but the identification only just this minute came in. I will however research it more thoroughly tomorrow (even though it is motor racing) and add the update to the newsfeed boxes asap.
I ought to be able to add the identical image card to that update as well

Monday was thought by me to be National Tobacco Works “Beautiful Pictures” (1892) , but when I checked up in the latest World Tobacco Issues Index I found I was completely wrong, as that manufacturer only issued one set “Cabinet Pictures” (A) which had rounded corners, whereas these are plainly square. However thanks to our archivist, the mystery has been solved as he says… “the card shown is from Art Miniatures, H917 (in the American Card Catalogue). As it’s a tobacco trade card, it isn’t included in the New World Tobacco Index, which only covers insert cards. The Newsboy cabinets (N566/N567), which you refer to, are very well-known and provide an extensive series of cabinets, running to over 1000 known cabinet cards. Cheers, Tim


Tuesday – Many thanks to Chris Corner, we now know that this card is either Hignett or Richmond Cavendish “Yachts” (A)(H536-090 : 1902 – or – R427-575 : 1900) Un/20, impossible to tell without having the back, and strangely both companies issued both a black on white and a gold on black back, the latter is very striking, but there are many people, including me, who struggle with light text on a dark ground. We have also found out quite a bit about Mr. William Hardie Turner who was born in Glasgow in 1843, and was the second owner of the Darthula. She had been built in 1889 by Inglis of Glasgow and launched the same year, and her first owner was actually P.M. Inglis, a relative of the shipbuilder and Rear-Commodore of the Royal Northern Yacht Club. Mr. Turner acquired her some time before 1896, but by the time the Hignett version of this card was issued she had sailed on to a new owner in Belfast. Strangely the Royal Northern Yacht Club had originally been based in Belfast, but so many Scottish members were joining it was split into two sections and the Irish division eventually closed. It would be rather exciting if her third owner had seen her race and fallen for her, then eventually by some stroke of luck had his dreams fulfilled. But we shall probably never know this for sure.

Wednesday W675-156 [tobacco : UK] Wills “British Castles” large size (November 1925) 25/25 And thanks to John Cotton for being the first to identify this one, very early in the morning well before the sun was up, though it was also identified by several other collectors throughout the day.

I find it odd that this set was only first recorded in volume four of our original Wills soft cover reference books, where it appears as W.157 – though I am not sure that I did not write that down wrong as the current code ends with 156. I will check and confirm.

The really attractive thing about this card is that though the castle is shown, my eyes are immediately drawn to the 1920s sightseers who are bottom left, and then slowly graduate to the tower. A most attractive card, and totally opposed to some people`s belief that cards of castles and buildings can be a bit boring.

Cigarette Card

Thursday A565-154 : USA/T108 [tobacco : OS] American Tobacco Company (USA) “Theatres Old and New Series” large (1912) Un/50

This card shows the Old Madison Square Theatre in New York. The reverse tells us that it had been built on the site of the old “Daly`s Fifth Avenue Theatre”. Over two hundred plays were performed there with much excitement, and it was one of the main places to see and be seen. As the lease started to reach its end, it had been suggested that it would be transformed into a wonderful new part of the Fifth Avenue Hotel, which stood next door, but eventually, in 1908, both it, and the hotel were simply pulled down and an office building appeared in its place. 

This set is often simply called “Theatres” in catalogues, especially in America. It was issued with “Between The Acts” brand but there is no mention of American Tobacco on the cards.

Friday`s card was a bit of a slow burner, if you look at the card it is quite definitely a “cut out” where the man can be extracted from the card and the frame round him bent back. But it is not by Ogdens, who was my first thought as they seem to have cornered the market in cut out cards.

Anyway, thanks to American collector Mr. White, at last we can reveal that it is USA/T81 by American Tobacco, one of their “Military Series” issued with “Recruit” Little Cigars, which were sold as “all tobacco, no paper, not a cigarette”. This appears on the reverse of the card, but there is no mention of American Tobacco, only “Factory 606 Dist MD”. This card shows a Commander U.S. Navy. In America these are often known as die-cuts, though technically a die cut is a totally shaped card; however they are also called “stand-ups” which is a great way to describe them, and one I will definitely add to my card collecting vocabulary. The backs are descriptive, but the cards are unnumbered. 

Well regretfully that must be all from me for another week – now do stay safe out there, not long now before April 12, and we will see you all here again next week; same time, same location. 

Now if you missed last week’s newsletter, fear not – its still uploaded at

and as an added bonus, now if you click the link you will actually find yourself going there! Many thanks to everyone who told us the link was not working. 

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