October 1010th October 2020 by Sam Whiting
Welcome to all our readers, and we hope you are getting along in the outside world with all those new rules and old worries? This is not a place for either, so go make a cup of coffee (or tea, etc), break open the biscuits, and let’s have a chat about cards.
It may seem amazing that cards like our featured image, W. Duke & Sons Ltd. “Gymnastic Exercises” from 1887, still exist; just think of what they have lived through and endured, yet they are but pieces of multi-layered pasteboard, that would split at the merest immersion in water, that can easily burn, or become forever soiled by dust and earth. But here they are, still with us, surviving.
In recent years on the second Saturday in October, mainly in the USA, it has been National Hallowe’en Clothes Swap Day. This is a really great idea, and there is no reason why we should not start it here. So here’s how it works. If your children, grand children or great grand children have outgrown, or, being children, just don’t want to wear the same old “last year’s” costume, (why, just the thought of it sends shivers up the spine of some), don’t just put it in the waste bin, think of the planet, and swap it. You used to be able to do this at their school or club, but in these times that is a bit more difficult, so instead why not donate the outfit(s) to a charity shop so that it can either be resold, or used as part of a window display. In fact, I passed our local shop this morning and they were just starting to work on theirs.
Charities have had a really tough time this year, unable to run those events that used to bring them in so much money, and whilst it is not always possible for us to give money out of our dwindling paypackets, it costs absolutely nothing for us to donate a sack of any clothing that you no longer like, or have outgrown, and it is way better than just putting it in the bin and sending it off to landfill.
It is also National Chess Day. You might not think chess is found on cards, but it is! Murray & Sons issued a whole series of “Chess and Draughts Problems”, and Nicolas Sarony issued a set entitled “Origin of Games” in 1923 that starts with card 1, Chess. They credit third century Hindus for originating the game. Take a look at this website, run by a real “master” http://www.fredwilsonchess.com/cards.html
Cohen Weenan had a tobacco brand called “Bishops Move” – you can see a tin at https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f0/3d/0f/f03d0fd1c4a1c76f55d8ce9f8ae24269.jpg
And time for a ‘Quick Quiz’, what is the connection between chess and our early Annual General Meetings? The answer is …. at the bottom of this newsletter.
This was actually the second Boer War, This was not the first war to be covered on cigarette cards, but it was the first to be covered by photographic ones. Ogdens brought out all kinds of cards, over 200 “Boer War and General Interest”, over 300 “Boer War and Miscellaneous” Guinea Gold brand issues, and another 200 “Leading Generals at the War” with the Tabs brand.
Winston Churchill was there, as a war correspondent, and later a volunteer in the South African Light Horse Regiment, and we have to mention a super website : https://winstonchurchill.hillsdale.edu/churchill-war-cigarette-cards/ which sets out to tell his story in cards.
The second Monday in October used to be Columbus Day, and celebrate his discovery of America. Now we live in a more questioning World, while there is no doubting the sailing prowess of Columbus and his men, we are starting to realise that for every “victory”, there is another tale to tell. In recent years, descendants of the original inhabitants, especially in South Dakota, have stood up and led a movement to change this, and to re-name the day “Native Americans` Day”. California also now recognises this. And several other states now not only include more relevant celebrations, but a change is being considered. Stereotyping maybe, but earlier generations would have recognised a tobacconist`s store from its sign, of a three dimensional Native American. And there is some fact behind this, as Native Americans grew tobacco very successfully, especially in what is now called Virginia.
October 13 is the birthday of the U.S. Navy. It all started in 1775, during the American Revolutionary War, when Congress were concerned that munitions and other valuable goods were being transported by sea to the British Army, so they voted for a pair of armed vessels to be created and sent on a mission of interception.
The American Navy remains the largest, and the largest by quite a lot. It is estimated that it has a capability of almost 500,000 head, including reserves and cadets.
Curiously, almost every nation in the World maintains a Navy, including Switzerland and Hungary which have no coast, and Paraguay which relies on being allowed to sail through Argentina.
Many landlocked African Nations also have a Navy, which operates on lakes alone.
As a land totally surrounded by sea on all sides, The British Isles needs their Navy most, and cigarette cards showing the Navy are plentiful. This is one of the earliest cards, showing Vice Admiral Sir John Fisher, born in 1841, in Ceylon, who would later become Admiral of the Fleet. He died in 1920. You can read his fascinating biography at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Fisher,_1st_Baron_Fisher
The Wednesday of the second full week in October is designated as National Fossil Day. And this year is its tenth anniversary. I’m not sure why dinosaurs and fossils fascinate children so much. Perhaps it is simply that everything is new and wonderful to them. Sadly, as some of us age our childhood wonder gets forgotten, or more likely we don’t have time for it. Whoever said put away childhood things was not right. The power of nostalgia is strong, and useful, it keeps our brain active, and it shows us that we still have the ability to learn new things. The fact that fossils remain at all is a miracle, even more so because if nobody had ever discovered them we would have no proof that this previous life had ever existed. Dinosaurs do exist on cigarette cards, look at Cavanders “Peeps into Prehistoric Times” issued in 1928- https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2555/4196403514_2bdbc43b95.jpg – this is a stereoscopic set that by using a special machine, makes them appear in 3D, it was .
Coming nearer to the present, the Canadian Brooke Bond set of “Dinosaurs” issued in 1963, with their trademark rounded corners, is most attractive https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61zxyhN%2BjUL._SX342_QL70_.jpg; this set seems less well known than the other Brooke Bond sets “Prehistoric Animals”
or The Dinosaur Trail” https://www.brookebondcollectables.co.uk/sets/cards/bbthedinosaurtrailbb11pg.jpg .
Of course, to modern collectors, the name Fossil is associated with Pokemon – have a look athttps://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Fossil_(TCG)
By the way, if anyone knows what our Dimetrodon card is, do tell us so we can title it!
On October 15, 2011, LegoLand Florida was opened. You can still watch it open on YouTube – the link is https://youtu.be/DKvAYnErfhw This is just one of the theme parks devoted to a toy whose name means “play well”. In fact it was the eighth park to be opened, the first being in their native Denmark. Apparently plans are still ongoing to open a park within New York City, with an opening date of early next year. However I am certain that when the original bricks were invented (in wood, in 1932) their creator did not even imagine that they would be produced in plastic, or that they would develop into making moving engineering projects, or accurately shaped representations of Star Wars vehicles.
In 1997, a shipping incident resulted in a huge quantity of lego pieces going overboard, and it still continues to wash up on beaches, read the story at https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28582621 and if you ever found any let us know! In recent years Lego and Sainsburys have joined forces to produce a range of cards that are issued in their supermarkets. The latest series is out now.
We close our diary for this week with October 16, which is National Sports Day, and that`s a day to celebrate whatever sport you most enjoy. So let’s take the opportunity to talk about some of the lesser known ones that feature on cards. This set of “Racing Pigeons”, always seems rather odd to me, just the fact that a whole set was given over to the sport, though I am not averse to pigeons – one lived in half of our kitchen for a whole summer until it was well enough to fly away with its friends again. At the risk of sounding like Sheila Canning from Neighbours, he returned to say thanks the following year, landed, walked straight into the kitchen, walked out again then flew off..
One set was issued by Liebig in 1929, its called “Humorous Sports” and you can see it at https://creamofcards.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/1920s-strange-sports-trading-cards-by-liebig-extract-of-meat-co-includes-clowns-sailors-motor-cars-etc/
In 1969, a series presumably based on the television cartoon “Wacky Races” was issued by Donruss, entitled “Odd Rods” it shows a curious collection of cars and their drivers. You can see a card at https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OxtBjY5Es-E/TX0Bs5z-Y6I/AAAAAAAABNA/-UnhM75ocdE/s1600/odd+rods+2.jpg “Wacky Races” premiered in 1968, and was itself based on a film, “The Great Race” with Tony Curtis, who is shown on this European card https://i.pinimg.com/originals/88/d6/69/88d669bd69e15043180b311c409658a9.jpg One of the heartthrobs of the time, Tony Curtis also played Houdini. He married his co-star in that film, Janet Leigh, and their daughter Jamie Lee Curtis also appears in many films, and on cards – including https://s3.amazonaws.com/cpmn/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/jamie-lee-curtis.jpg
CARD(s) OF THE DAY … or the week!
Salmon & Gluckstein were founded in 1845 in Soho London to make and sell cigars. They were one of the first firms to produce cigarettes in London by mechanical means, which they began in 1896. The following year they issued this advertisement card for their “Snake Charmer” brand. There are ten different versions of this very striking image, which was also used to great effect on their tins. Some of their other brands were “Life Boat”, “Raspberry Buds”, and “Plantagenets”. Also in 1897 they issued six pictures of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria. I do not know which came first. In 1898 they issued a very unusual set which you may not know of. Actually when the LCCC British Cigarette Card Handbook was published in 1950 only three of these cards were known – the fireman, the navy, and the police – today there are twenty five! Though there is no title they are referred to in catalogues as ‘Occupations’. it is a really humorous and charming set, though it is very expensive, even back in 2009 it was valued at £500 a card. I am therefore delighted that a few appear in our media gallery, so that I can share them with you.
For some reason I did not realise, until I started researching this, that the painter Gluck was part of this family. Nor that they had their business fingers in so many pies. Look at https://www.salmonandgluckstein.com/
…and prepare to be amazed.
B252-300 [tobacco : UK] J. & F. Bell Ltd. ‘Footballers’ (A) (1902) This set of thirty cards contains football and rugby players. This one is Welsh Rugby Union International Selwyn Hanam Biggs. His story is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selwyn_Biggs And look, the illustration is another cigarette card, from “Footballers” by Percy Cadle of Cardiff!
To see the other twenty-nine Bell cards, check out
Bell was founded in Glasgow in 1842 and operated from 39 Brunswick Square; it was taken over by Imperial Tobacco (the Stephen Mitchell branch) in 1904. Their brands include ‘Three Nuns’, ‘Three Bells’, ‘Scotia’ and ‘Wee MacGregor”‘. In the 1920s the ‘Three Bells’ brand was associated with two Danish language issues both issued in 1925 “Rigsvaabner” and ‘Women of Nations’ (Flag Girls), an intriguing set first prepared in 1916 but though briefly issued during the war it was not until 1922 that it was fully available. Bell was not one of the issuers of that, instead they issued a similar set of 60 (very similar but with ten new cards) with “Three Castles Brand”, including several new countries created by the Treaty of Versailles, and areas that had adopted new flags .
C560-300 [tobacco : UK] Wm. Clarke & Son ‘tobacco leaf girls’ (1898). This is one of the few times that I have not thought a black background does a card true justice, because these cards are actually cut to the shape of the tobacco leaf. If you did not know that you would imagine it to be a leaf printed on a black background rather than marvelling at the intricacy of the design. They are about 72mm long and twenty are currently known. But there could be others unknown in your collection. If you own any please tell us.
Wm. Clarke & Son was founded in 1830 in Cork and set up a large network of retail shops. It then moved to Liverpool (Hare Place, Scotland Road). It also had premises in London. Anyone have an address? Perhaps it moved to Liverpool when it joined Imperial Tobacco in 1901. In 1923 it moved to Dublin to avoid the problem with customs barriers being imposed in Eire. By the late 1940s they had the lovely address of Dolphin’s Barn. Brands included Champagne, Life Guard, Masterpiece, Musk Rose, and the ‘Patent Cork Belted’ range of cigarettes. They also had a ‘Patent Cork Mouthpiece”.
Whilst with Imperial Tobacco the Clarke name appeared on
“Butterflies and Moths” (1912) which had originally been issued by John Player in 1904 and would later appear in packets from Adkin, in 1924
“Royal Mail” (1914) which had already been issued by Ogden in 1909
and “Army Life” (1915) which started out as an anonymous version issued by British American Tobacco in 1908, but was then issued by John Player in 1910, in India with Wills “Scissors” brand in 1914, and by Davies of Chester in 1915)
D255-480 [tobacco : UK] W. T. Davies & Sons “Flags & Funnels of Leading Steamship Lines” (1913) Davies was founded in 1832. They moved to premises in Canal Street, Chester in about 1870 and joined Imperial Tobacco in 1901. Some of their brands were “Ghoorka” and “Chester Cup”.
This set was also issued by Churchman and Ogden in 1906, and in the Ogden printing, card no.33 has the flag on two masts. So does this appear on the other printings? Over to you…
E265-640 [tobacco : UK] Edwards Ringer and Bigg “Musical instruments”. A very attractive set, issued in January 1924, and by Churchman in July 1924. Edwards, Ringer & Bigg were a curious firm. They were founded in Bristol in 1813. Records show that the ‘Bigg’ was W.O. Bigg, who used the “Klondyke” brand, and were also founded in Bristol in 1805. Bigg amalgamated with Ringer & Co. in 1893, but I can’t find anything about them, except that their brand was simply “Ringer’s”. They seem not to have issued cards. Where the Edwards came from, who knows! In 1901 E.R.B. was a founder member of the Imperial Tobacco Co.
Sadly his playing career was ended by injury, but he still remained involved with football, and at the time of writing is still alive.
We wonder if he reads this, or if anyone knows him who does?
To read more about copies of the past, please click HERE.
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