May 3029th May 2021 by Sam Whiting
WELCOME TO OUR LATEST NEWSLETTER….
yes, another week of “Notes and News”. Well yet again we have been working behind the scenes of this website like little mice, and soon all our frantic endeavours will be revealed. But for now, you must wait. And in that waiting time, let us pass the hours by chatting about what will be going on next week….
29 May 1874 was the birthday of G.K. Chesterton, author. He appears on several cigarette cards, including Players “Straight Line Caricatures” drawn by Alick P.F. Ritchie (December 1926) 13/50 – Godfrey Phillips “Personalities of Today” (1932) 23/25 – Carreras “Popular Personalities” (1935) 23/72 – and our card Wills “Famous British Authors” large (1937) 6/40. The Carreras card tells us “Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in Kensington, 1874” and that he “began [his] literary career by reviewing art books [then] became contributor and reviewer to numerous publications”. In fact, his first published work was poetry, and his first novel “The Napoleon of Notting Hill” was published in 1904.
Today he is probably best known for a series of detective stories featuring a priest called Father Brown, which began in 1910 with a short story called “The Blue Cross” – this was the basis for the 1954 film starring Alec Guinness. Wills “Famous British Authors” tells us that the first Father Brown book was “The Innocence of Father Brown”; but not that it was published in 1911.
Carreras “Popular Personalities” adds that Chesterton was a “Fellow of [the] Royal Society of Literature LL.D., D. Litt.” though more for his literary studies than Father Brown – indeed Wills “Famous British Authors” says that “his study of Charles Dickens is one of the ablest expositions of Dickens and his works”.
On 30 May this year it will be the Indianapolis 500. The idea of building a permanent test track started in 1908, and you can quickly read about that at https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/indy-brickyard-is-completed – Our card is from Ogdens “Motor Races 1931” (1932) 12/50; it explains that the “500” is how many miles the race covers, and also that it is “held annually at the end of May, [being] the only one run off on the brick-surfaced track at Indianapolis U.S.A. The circuit is 2½ miles round and is paved with 3,500,000 special bricks. The course is very dangerous when wet, and this years race was marred by rain which slowed the cars.”
Not mentioned on the card was the fact that the start of that 1931 race was delayed by two hours, nor that the laying of those bricks had been the solution to what happened in the disastrous first race – for the full story drive to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indianapolis_Motor_Speedway
Something you may also not realise is that American Air Ace “Eddie” Rickenbacker left a promising motor racing career to participate in the First World War, and he had been the relief driver in that first ever Indianapolis 500 in 1911, rising to starting on the front of the grid in 1916. A Valvoline card issued in 1995 tells us he started the war as a driver, for Billy Mitchell, and talked him into a trial as a pilot. https://www.tcdb.com/ViewCard.cfm/sid/54677/cid/4858470/1995-Traks-Valvoline-24-Dodge-4-Staff-Car This led to him being the American “Ace Of Aces”, but after his war service he returned to four wheels and started to build motor cars. This was not a great success so in 1927 he found some investors and bought this Indianapolis circuit, which he only sold in 1945. During that time he made many safety improvements, and added facilities for non race fans, like a golf course. He also started to cover those bricks that had been so dangerous in the wet – and today there is just a line of them, covering about a yard as a memory of what once was, and this is why the track is referred to as “The Brickyard”. It has also become tradition in recent years for the winning driver to kneel and kiss the bricks. And you can see Eddie Rickenbacker, starting with his first appearance on National Chicle Gum “Sky Birds” (1933/34) 20/48, at https://www.tcdb.com/Person.cfm/pid/81585/col/1/yea/0/Eddie-Rickenbacker?sTeam=&sCardNum=&sNote=&sSetName=&sBrand=
Monday 31 May
The last Monday in May is Memorial Day; this tends to be an American event, and in fact it first took place in 1865, to remember those who had been killed in the Civil War.
At that time it was called Decoration Day, but in 1882 it was changed to Memorial Day.
It was also a set date of the 30th of May until 1971, when it was decided to make it the last Monday of the month. Nowadays it remembers all members of the Armed Forces.
Our card is by Churchman, its “Warriors of All Nations” (1929) and this is the standard size, but it was also issued as a set of twelve large sized cards in the same year in which this card is number 11/12. The reverse text is the same, “The Doughboy” (United States of America). He seems suitably reflective for Memorial Day.
And may we salute all ex servicemen reading, wherever in the world they are right now.
By the way, when we mentioned two sizes of card recently someone contacted us and asked why the same set was issued in more than one size. The simple answer, in case anyone else was wondering but didn’t like to ask, is that cigarettes were packed in tens, a standard sized packet, or twenties, a larger packet – and if they could use the same artwork, slightly expanded, in both, it made economic sense.
And if you have questions, please do ask, if we don’t know its always fun finding out!
Tuesday 1 June is World Reef Awareness Day – so we must ask “Do You Know – how a coral reef is formed?”
Well according to our card, Wills “Do You Know” second series (1924) 15/50, it all comes from millions of miniature sea anemones, whose remains pile up on top of each other at the bottom of the ocean until vast structures arise.
Recently coral has been suffering through damage from swimmers, tourists, and explorers, rising water temperatures due to global warming, and sewage; plastic pollution is also often quoted but new research has found that coral can consume small amounts of plastic and turn it into more coral. What you may not realise is that some chemicals in sunscreen also come off the bodies of swimmers and attack the coral. On the plus side, there are new projects which are sending scuba divers down to repair small broken parts of coral and reattach them. You can read about that at https://oceantoday.noaa.gov/restoringcoralreefs/
June 2 – today get your running shoes on, or watch a contest online, as it is Global Running Day, a celebration of speed and endurance, but also of pure enjoyment, and health benefits, like keeping fit.
People have always enjoyed running, though it almost certainly has its basis in speeding up to escape a predator in the time of the caveman, after which the excitement of, and after the run would have spread amongst the tribe. Such is how all things start, one person having fun sees everyone else wanting to join in, however young or old.
A dedicated National Running Day did not begin until 2009, and it changed its name to Global Running Day on June 1st, 2016 so that everyone around the World could join in rather than just the American Nation. Watch out for special events near you, and online.
Our card is by Primrose Confectionery Co. Ltd. and its from “Laurel & Hardy” (1968)
on the 3rd of June 1925, Bernard Schwartz was born – he acted at school, and enjoyed seeing films, in fact he enlisted in the United States Navy because he had been impressed by Cary Grant in “Destination Tokyo” and especially requested being sent on submarine duty to the Pacific Fleet, where he remained until the end of the Second World War. Changing his name to Anthony Curtis, he started working in films, and by 1951 he was billed second in a Civil War film with Audie Murphy. One story goes that there was not enough space on the early draft of the poster so they changed Anthony to Tony.
Some say his first starring role was as Harry Houdini in “Houdini” but this is incorrect; it was a film called “The Prince Who Was a Thief”, what used to be known as a swashbuckler, with lots of sword fighting and adventure. However Houdini was a striking film, and his female assistant in the movie was his real life wife Janet Leigh. (his first wife, anyway, he was married six times in total and had five children). The curious thing about Houdini is that he was born Erich Weiss (Germanic for “white”) and Tony Curtis`s real name had been Schwartz (Germanic for “black”). The success of Houdini led to many films, and also to television, where he was teamed with fellow heartthrob Roger Moore in “The Persuaders”. This series was immortalised in 1971 by Monty Bubble Gum in a series of trading cards – and more recently in 2018 by Unstoppable Cards Ltd. In several of his small screen performances he played himself, which gave him great pleasure. Another of his delights was painting, and he loved fashion, dressing in wardrobes and one off pieces from many of the top designers. The one thing he regretted was never having won an Academy Award. He died in 2010.
June 4 is National Cheese Day. So lets celebrate another hobby, that of the tyrosemiophile – whose specialist subject is collecting cheese labels. If you look at Collector & Hobbyist`s “Fascinating Hobbies” amongst the twenty-five cards there is this one for cheese label collecting. Collector and Hobbyist was a collectables shop based at Victoria Street in London in the 1950s, and they issued these cards with their regular magazine. The same set was issued by Beano Bubble Gum of London W9. Returning to cheese label collecting, apparently the most popular labels are the round ones which come on the top of camembert boxes, because they are larger, and also it is harder to fit an image in a triangle. You can read more at https://blog.delcampe.net/en/collect-camembert-labels/
Other cheese producers who issued cards include:
Alpina Cheese Co of Burgdorf produced “Chalet” or “Swiss Beauty” Cheese. These cards are mainly circular to fit the packaging, but they also issued advertisement cards of a more normal shape, including postcards.
Birkum Cheese issued a set of “Motor Cars” in 1956.
Blue Cap issued twelve numbered series, each containing twelve “Flixies”, which were coloured film transparencies with black borders. Strangely it is the cards of the fish that are the most effective, it really does appear that the fish is swimming through reed laced water. They also issued cards printed on the bottom of their cartons, designed to be cut out – three “Farm Series” a “Sports” and an “Animals”.
If you collect cheese cards, or cheese labels, do drop us a line, we would love to feature you and your collection next week!
Now this week our “Cards of the Day” have been celebrating British Tourism Week, which ran from May 22 – 31. Its shocking to think that the figures we are about to give you are from the 2019 season, which was the last time tourism was allowed in any numbers.
Our cartophilic journey started off on Saturday at the coast in Brighton, which had almost 650,000 visitors, then travelled to Edinburgh, which was the second most popular area with almost two and a quarter million tourists being recorded. The top spot for tourism, of course, is our Monday stop-over, in London, with all its pageantry and past; even so it was a huge leap from the Edinburgh figure, as almost twenty two million people came to London! Tuesday saw us in Glasgow, which attracted just over seven hundred and fifty thousand, Wednesday in Manchester with almost two million, Birmingham with almost one and a quarter million, and we closed the week on Friday with a jaunt down to Bristol, where the visitor total was almost six hundred and forty thousand….
SATURDAY : BRIGHTON
G075-125 [tobacco : UK] Gallaher Ltd. “Association Football Club Colours” (1910) 92/100
First of all many thanks to CardhawkUK, who supplied this from their stock. And do visit their webstore https://cardhawkuk.com/
And you can see a complete checklist of this set, including a note about an error card, at https://cartophilic-info-exch.blogspot.com/2014/01/gallaher-ltd-association-football-club.html?m=1
Now in our Cartophilic Reference Book No.4, published in 1944, a series of slim volumes which were the forerunner of the World Indexes, it states that “There appears to be more than one printing, and the following variations can be collected :-
1. Border (outside frame lines) printed in slate-brown.
2. Border (outside frame lines) printed in slate.
3. Border (outside frame lines) printed in blue-green.
The previous owner of my copy has ticked the space below the year date and against the blue-green printing to show that set was in their collection. Whoever this was, I wish they had signed the front and left their name for they were a keen collector with a good eye – amongst their albums were also sets of “The Allies Flags” grey white card, “Animals and Birds of Commercial Value” on white, “Birds Nests and Eggs” in glossy and matt version, three sets of “Boy Scout Series” being both variants of the 1911 set which can be found with London or Belfast first and a set of the 1933 issue, the 1925 “Footballers”, all eight series of “The Great War Victoria Cross Heroes”, the 1923 and 1925 “Interesting Views”, “Kute Kiddies”, “Royalty Series”, “Useful Hints” in dark brown, and “Woodland Trees”, plus most of the more modern 48 card series. They were finding it harder to accomplish “Actors and Actresses”, just having three cards so far, Miss Viola Allen head and shoulders, Miss Bonnie May, and Miss Julie Opp.
Returning to the three border printings appearing in our checklist, in 1955 the London Cigarette Card Company listed this set in their sales catalogues as “A. Grey border” (presumably the slate?) and “B. Brown border” (the slate-brown?). This tells us slightly more about the shades of the colours. They also offered a third version of the set, which was described as “C. A and B mixed”. They don’t mention the blue green border at all, from which we can surmise that this was probably the rarest. The versions are priced at £30 a set for the Grey, £45 for the Brown, and £25 for the mixed.
SUNDAY : EDINBURGH
C504-505 [tobacco : UK] W.A. & A.C. Churchman “Holidays in Britain” medium size (May 1937) 37/48.
Our Churchman Reference Book No.10 1948 tells us this set, printed by Mardon, Son and Hall, has five versions.
Three look exactly like this on the front; one is printed on white card, another on cream card which is plainly visible on the back, and there is an overseas version which has no Imperial Tobacco clause.
However the fourth version is very different, as it only shows the view and not the map – the reason for this was almost certainly the fact it was issued in June 1938, in this country, but more tellingly overseas, where war clouds were already gathering and maps, especially of holiday or landing beaches, would have been very useful to invading forces. Take a good look at this card, and you can immediately see that as well as the rough shape of Edinburgh, it even shows the network of roads and train tracks, which are all very visible in a landscape to reconnaissance aircraft as they fly overhead to gather information. Edinburgh was indeed a major target during that war – and was bombed as early as the 16th of October 1939 as part of a raid on the Forth Bridge, this having the rather dubious “honour” of being the first bomber raid on Britain of the hostilities. Have a look at http://www.edinphoto.org.uk/1_edin/1_edinburgh_history_-_recollections_air_raids.htm
Oddly, all the Home issues appear in my 1955 London Cigarette Card Company catalogue at the same price, whether they be the version with the views and maps, or just the views alone – all single cards were just 1d each, and complete sets cost 3/6.
MONDAY : LONDON
W675-165.4 [tobacco : UK] W.D. & H.O. Wills “Do You Know” fourth series (July 1933) 6/50.
The British Museum was the biggest clue to our week’s theme, because whilst London topped the tourist visitor chart by some way, the biggest attraction in London remains The British Museum. You may look at the outside and wonder why, for there are no roller coasters soaring from the roof or wild animals in the park. However, the inside is a vast treasure house of wonders, including, buried deep within and still only viewable by appointment, the entire card collection of our former President Edward Wharton-Tigar.
Selected cards from all the sets of Wills “Do You Know” were issued in three sets by United Tobacco Companies (South) Ltd in South Africa, and there is also an anonymous series in Spanish of just 50 cards which is thought to have been sponsored by BAT.
TUESDAY : GLASGOW
M757-460 [tobacco : UK] Stephen Mitchell & Son “Empire Exhibition Scotland, 1938” (1938) 8/25
Mitchell was based at 36 St. Andrew Square, in Glasgow, along with F & J Smith, J & F Bell, and D & J MacDonald. Mitchell were founded in 1723, one can only imagine what those founders would have made of this amazing Art Deco view which shows a section of the British Empire Exhibition which was held in Glasgow in 1936. The most noticeable thing about it is just how modern it is, especially when compared to the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley which took place just twelve years earlier.
LO73-510 [tobacco : UK] Lambert & Butler “Motor Index Marks” (December 1926) 44/50.
This set is one of those which would appeal to many collectors that possibly gloss over it in the catalogues, thinking it is solely cars. The half tone process used really suits the images. Lambert and Butler were founded in 1834 in St John’s Street Clerkenwell London but did not make cigarettes until 1876.
Apparently a detailed biography of the firm appears in No.41 of the Cartophilic World.
If anyone out there would like to share a scan of that, the e-mail address for card and other scannings is email@example.com – and also please do use this to tell us whenever you hear of any news about cards in your local area, or spot anything online or on TV.
The numbers in the blocks are, of course, the car registration number prefixes for the Manchester area, so rather in the style of the old I-Spy club, you could spot the location of the vehicle`s first registration by the number plate.
The picture shows the Manchester Ship Canal, which the reverse of the card tells us was “35½ miles long” and had been opened by Queen Victoria in 1894. It also tells us that “The wealth and importance of the city is largely derived from its cotton manufactures”
THURSDAY – BIRMINGHAM
SO87-30OB [tobacco : UK] W Sandorides & Co “Famous Racecourses” large (1926) 40/50.
There was actually a standard sized and large sized version, and The London Cigarette Card Company retailed either at 80/- a set in 1955, which seems high!
Though listed as “Sandorides” in dealers catalogues, actually there is not a trace of that name on the cards, it simply says “Issued with Lucana – the luxury cigarette at a popular price”.
The large sized version of this set was also issued by Teofani, who did not reprint the cards, they just simply stuck a big mauve sticker over the back which had “Issued with The Favourite Cigarettes” on!
I have to say I really do like cards with additional artwork on the back, like this set, which has a racing scene!
I never even knew there was a racecourse at Birmingham, but reader Mr East, who supplied the card scan, has sent us this super piece about it, which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did….
Birmingham these days is a very built up area, so it is hard to believe that there was once a thriving racecourse, which can now only be glimpsed on vintage ephemera and cigarette cards like this one.
As the reverse of this card says, it was a right-hander, just three miles (but a world) away from the chaos of New Street Station – with “a straight mile and a new, round, one and a half mile course”. It was also what is known in racing parlance as a “mixed” course, which meant it could run both flat racing and “over the sticks” i.e hurdling. Though a plan of the course also shows it had a water jump.
Strikingly, although it is called the Birmingham Racecourse on this card, that is incorrect, and it also takes no heed of the fact that horse racing had gone on in the area at several locations since the mid eighteenth century, most of them being built over as Birmingham gradually expanded. This card actually shows the Bromford Bridge Course at Castle Bromwich, which was opened in 1894, and was slightly further out from the growing urbanization, which was hoped would ensure a certain degree of longevity – indeed a special racecourse station called Bromford Bridge was built on that line from New Street Station, but this did not appear on any railway timetables, because it was only open during racedays. Imagine the logistics of having that kind of operation today!
Also mentioned on this Sandorides card were two of the regular races “The August Handicap” and “The Holiday Two-Year-Old Stakes”. The first race was on the round course, and it is now chiefly remembered for the fact that in 1899 it was won by a stallion called Merman, which was owned by Lily Langtry. However, of you look in turf guides of the time you will find the horse is registered as being owned by Mr Jersey, but this was a pseudonym used to solve the problem of women not being allowed. The Holiday Two-Year Old Stakes was almost certainly run on one of the Bank Holidays.
By the late 1950s the racecourse was already showing signs of decline, and the growth of Birmingham had started to encroach alarmingly – you can clearly see the factories on the other side of the racecourse in newsreel footage, and you could get to the track by bus, not train. The track and facilities were upgraded to include what was the longest bar in the world, plus the prize money for the races was also raised to attract the top jockeys. However the world was changing and people were less willing to travel out to watch live racing when they could sit in comfort at home and watch on television, especially as in person they could only see the stretch of track they were standing by, whilst the television coverage followed the race all the way round. Not long after, in 1965, the last race was held, after which the land was used for a housing estate, on which many of the roads are named after racecourses to celebrate its former usage, and the on site pub is called The Racecourse.
By the way, the closest racetrack today to Birmingham is Wolverhampton,and getting there is supposed to take under three quarters of an hour from the town centre by car.
FRIDAY – BRISTOL
M757-470 [tobacco : UK] Stephen Mitchell & Son “Famous Crosses” (1923) 10/25
In 1955, The London Cigarette Card Company retailed this at 2/- a set. It is a lovely set full of olde-worlde charm, and still relatively inexpensive.
It might surprise many of our readers to learn that you could produce a set of cards that only feature crosses, but at one time the cross was the sign of the market place and every village had one – including Salisbury.
Maybe soon we will get to see that in person?
The set also includes crosses raised in commemoration, like Charing Cross, one of the twelve Eleanor Crosses which King Edward I had built in memory of his much missed wife, though, as it says on the reverse of that card, the cross at the famous London Station is but a replica of the original; as is this cross, in Bristol, which was put up in 1850.
Strangely, the back of the card tells us that the original cross had not disappeared or been eroded, it was just given away by the Dean of Bristol Cathedral, in whose garden it had laid “as lumber” for some time, and was currently in a private residence at Stourton, Wiltshire.
I will try and see if it is still there!
And now, before we go, a quick note about some of our projects. Big thanks to everyone who contributed to our recent uploading of an Annual General Meeting and Convention Checklist. You filled in many gaps. Though we are now fairly certain that all the early events from 1943 to 1979 took place at Caxton Hall in London, should anyone spot one that did not please tell us. Still remaining unsolved are the location of the 1987 and 1988 Annual General Meetings – and tons of early dates, we only have fourteen locked in between 1941 and 1989 – plus we need a few later dates; for 1991 (Birmingham), 1992 (Leeds), 1994 (Manchester), 1996 (Lincoln), 1998 (Nottingham), 1999 (Winsford), 2006 (Nottingham), 2007 (Worcester – the venue would be useful here as well) 2009 (Walton-on-Thames). And we still would like to hear from anyone with Cameric Cigarette Club dates.
Our current behind the scenes project is a checklist of magazines. This is being logged into a spreadsheet and will appear soon for you to download and use to catalogue your own libraries.
But that, dear readers, is where we must halt for another week, and have our cocoa before turning in.
Remember if you know of any card related anniversaries just tell us and we will try and incorporate them.
Don’t forget if you missed last week`s newsletter you can still read it at
And stay tuned for some really amazing breaking news about your website very shortly…..
June 14 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the passing of this truly great cartophilist. We thought you might like to remember him too - and for the benefit of new members, find out who he was. Edward Wharton-Tigar M.B.E. F.C.I.S. was born in
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