The home of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain

october 17

Welcome to another week in the Card-World 

Now originally we intended this to appear after our unconventional weekend, but thanks to our “pulling (more than) a few allnighters” this week we proudly announce it is here at the usual time. So may we welcome all our readers, and if you are here for the first time “discovering cards” do note that a new newsletter is published every week free of charge and anyone is welcome to come in and read them. So bookmark this site and pop back next week. And if they encourage you to start collecting, please let us know!
And if you haven`t visited our special weekend features yet, go back to our home page! 
Well there must have have been some really good stars on the sky on October 17 as it was the birth days of Montgomery Clift (mentioned in a previous newsletter) Rita Hayworth, and Eileen Sedgwick, showing here on a postcard issued through “Pictures” magazine in the 1920s.
Now you may not have heard of Ms Sedgwick, but she was a Serial Queen back in the days when movies may have been silent but every bit as emotional and thrilling. The serial, for those too young to remember, was a part work of short films that always ended with a cliff hanger, sometimes literally, and the audience would have to go home and wait all week to find out whether their star would manage to get away. Of course they did – that rapidly approaching train would not move an inch for all that time, giving our hero or heroine lots of thinking time on how to release the chains that tied them to the track.
The best known serial actress today is Pathe’s Pearl White, but equally talented was Universal Studios’ Eileen Sedgwick; one of the Five Sedgwicks of Texas, her father and mother being vaudeville stars, her brother a director of many Buster Keaton movies, and Eileen and her sister Josie both being film actresses. Read her mini biography at :

LO73-270 : Lambert & Butler “Wireless Telegraphy (1909)

October 18 took us a while to track down a link that we liked. In 1851, it was the original publishing date of a book called “The Whale” which would eventually find fame under the title of “Moby Dick”. Ogden’s issued a whole set on the grisly business of “Whaling” in 1927 (which was also issued by B.A.T. in 1930), but still such a thing is not to my liking. Its also National Chocolate Cupcake Day but try finding a card of a cupcake, though we just have in the “Shopkins” series :  . Anyway, lets go for October 18 1922 when the British Broadcasting Company was founded, with the intention to link an array of transmitters nationwide and bring radio to the masses. This would be useful in times of national emergency, and could also provide some educational broadcasts. And that was the birth of the BBC. Though it did change its name subsequently from Company to Consortium. This card shows one of Marconi`s steam powered wireless telegraph motor cars from about twenty years earlier. However this is not just a casual link to wireless – without Marconi there would have been no BBC; he was not only instrumental in establishing it, but designed their microphones and other recording equipment, have a look at : If you are interested in Marconi, you must look at the super selection of archive film that is available at :

W.D. & H.O. Wills “University Hoods and Gowns” large size (1926) Card No.13 Oxford University Bachelor of Civil Law

October 19th is Oxfordshire Day. While we don’t currently have an Oxford Branch it was covered in the area that used to belong to our Chiltern Branch. And you can read about them at :  Chiltern Branch   If anyone has any other info on them, please let us know. Or on any of our branches, which can all be found at  Calling All Branch Users

Now Oxford itself is primarily known as a college area, and perhaps some of us even attended? For cards, Wills large sized set of “Arms of Oxford and Cambridge Colleges” (1922) immediately springs to mind, a rather old fashioned set, dare I say, with those white backgrounds though the gilding is rather nifty. They are hard to find in perfect white though! have a look at one at  

To others of us, we think first of the Morris Oxford, a nippy little runabout – though the Morris Oxford name had a very long “car”eer and many different re-in”car”nations – check out  – must be all those late nights, I appear to have a penchant for puns this week!

October 20 – well today its International Sloth Day, but this is not an excuse for sloth in the way of laziness because its also World Osteoporosis Day and one cause of that disease is inactivity. Before I continue, yes I realise this is not a sloth, but it is similar enough to me, though whether it would fool another sloth is debatable. I think its an anteater but am not totally certain. I dont know what set of cigarette cards it comes from either, so here is your first chance of the week to play detective. Send in your theories to

Prices Candles

October 21 is Trafalgar Day, the celebration of a great victory over the combined French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar, which was won by the Royal Navy, under command of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson. Nelson is the subject of many  sets, including the W.D. & H.O. Wills “Nelson Series” (1905) which even shows artefacts used by him like his gold knife and fork, watch, dirk and, showing here, telescope

The trade set “Days of Nelson” by Fry’s the chocolate manufacturer, was more about life in his Navy than the man himself. However here he is on a trade card by Prices Candles, note the inset portrait top left. 
Oct 22 – Clean up the Earth Day might sound a bit too much of a job for just one person but perhaps its a day to consider that, like most things, if we all join together we can make a really big impact. The best way to start is really simple; just make a decision not to drop your own wrappers or other waste on the pavement. The biggest culprit of waste, however, is not of our making, and if you look at what you throw away you will almost certainly find that the most rubbish is un-necessary packaging. So make a note of the worst offenders, and try to find a more ethical alternative. A good place to start is by visiting more local markets and farm shops, or smaller independent grocers? With your own shopping bag of course. Or why not make 2021 the year you grow your own produce. What you grow may be less uniform than in the shops, and you may end up feeding the slugs and snails, but you and your children will have a lot of fun in the process – and learn a valuable skill. And dont think you need more room than you have – you can also grow small crops like lettuce on a windowsill and in any kind of container so long as there are a couple of holes in the bottom for drainage and a saucer underneath to catch the watering! 
October 23 – today is the birthday of Pele, the footballer. His career was too late to be featured on cigarette cards, but you can see some amazing trade cards of him at :  Other than being a footballer, he is involved with UNICEF, UNESCO and the United Nations, and was Brazil’s Extraordinary Minister for Sport during the 1990s –
gives more details.
And its also the date of a natural phenomenon, the day the swallows fly out en masse from San Capistrano in California and head back to Goya in Argentina, a journey of some 6,000 miles.  They do not know what they will find there, or if they will survive the journey, but the need to go is deep within their nature, and generations of birds have made the trip since the 1930s, on such a regular basis that the date can be published in advance. And they will be back on March 19th. Read their story at and it also has films! 
And now to the CARDS of LAST WEEK

F & J Smith “Champions of Sport” red back

SATURDAY  – F & J Smith “Champions of Sport” red, multibacked series (1902). Now regular readers of this newsletter will know that F & J Smith was in Glasgow, Scotland.  So this is fellow Scotsman Thomas “Tom” Robertson, who played halfback (or midfield – as halfback is now more commonly associated with the game of American football) for several teams, most notably his final club The Queens Park Football Club.
After his retirement in 1892 he became a referee, then President of the whole Scottish Football League.  Strangely, Queens Park was one of the original eight teams that formed that league in 1873.
We have to wonder why he is featured here in 1902? Does any footballing fan know of an important match that he would have attended at that time to bring him to the attention of Smith, or was the set delayed for ten years?
You can find out more information at

A560-064 : USA/T400-11 [tobacco : OS] The American Tobacco Co. New York “Beauties – Star Girls” (A)(1900) 

SUNDAY  – A560-064 : USA/T400-11 [tobacco : OS] The American Tobacco Co. New York “Beauties – Star Girls” (A) (1900)
These very attractive but untitled and unnumbered cards of a night, or daytime sky scene, with a superimposed star containing a different beautiful visage against a plain background, were issued widely in the UK and overseas. There were twenty five different cards.
Overseas they were issued by A.T.C. (1900 – as we show here – found with a green net or a typeset back) and British American Tobacco (1903); all these are by far the cheapest to buy. The set was reportedly also issued by Henrique Bastos in Brazil but those are so rare they do not even appear in dealers catalogues.  
UK versions, which appear in catalogues as simply ‘Star Girls’, are very expensive. But they are early, only one of them being issued after the A.T.C set had appeared in packets. The roll call of issuers were as follows – A Baker & Co. Ltd (1898), Harris & Sons (1899 – in six versions!), H.C. Lloyd & Son (1899 – two versions – this being the rarest issuer and the most expensive), Muratti Sons & Co. (1899), Salmon & Gluckstein (1899 – in brown or red backed versions) Jas Biggs & Son (1900), Hudden & Co. (1900 – usually the cheapest but still in three figures), Pritchard & Burton (1900), and Franklyn Davey (1901).    

A. & B. C. Gum (1966) ‘Battle Cards’

MONDAY  – ABF-3 [trade : UK] A & B.C. Gum “Battle Series” (1966) – many interesting cards were issued by this company. This one, a history of warfare, fell foul of the censor and four cards were withdrawn. The card numbers were 32, 39, 42, and 44. As the last card in the series was a checklist with all cards listed, the original version of that also had to be withdrawn and replaced with an amended one with empty lines where the offending cards had been. 

The debate as to what these initials stand for rumbles on – though we can discount immediately “Already Been Chewed”. Some swear it is American & British Chewing Gum, others deny it just as strongly. But we all agree they are fine cards.  Read two versions at  and
You will note that this item marks a turning point and we have code numbering at the front of all the sets at (at last) because I’m starting to work  from my vintage British Trade Indexes. However, if there are any readers who would like to verify these numbers against our more modern and updated versions, please do. You can correct the codes via our contact form. And if you would like to treat yourself to a set of the current trade indexes they are available brand new in our bookshop…

Abdulla & Co. Ltd. (1935) ‘Feathered Friends’

TUESDAY – A065-440 [tobacco : UK] Abdulla & Co. Ltd “Feathered Friends” (1935). Abdulla was established in London around 1902 by Col. Beddington. This set is most attractive with the gold borders, and silver is also used to good effect. The set had already been issued  by Cavanders twice in 1926, one version being absolutely identical but entitled “Foreign Birds”, and by Godfrey Phillips in 1928. There was also a German Abdulla branch which was liquidated in 1934, from which some very attractive sets originated, lengthy ones too – look for “Abdulla Autobilder” (motor car pictures)×3000/images/5427/54276997.jpg  which was issued in two series each of 100 cards, and here is one of the albums

Another set “Im Auto mit Abdulla durch die Welt” which contains 160 cards depicting a World tour by automobile can be seen at :
Their “coats of arms of countries, provinces and towns” extends to 380 cards if you count all the series as one set, and some collectors believe “Wappenkarten” belongs with it, adding another 80 cards! They did issue a short military set, just 50 cards entitled “Soldatenbilder” (pictures of the soldiers of the European Armies of today) and here is the album for that  Military collectors should also look out for three cards that were sent out to troops as part of parcels. Though only three designs were produced in this small sized form, they, and others were produced as art plates and sold to raise funds. 

Amalgamated Press (1922) ‘Sportsmen’

WEDNESDAY  – [trade : UK] Amalgamated ‘Sportsmen’ (A)(1922)  these lovely cards were presented with boys’ magazines. You can read more about those at :  This card is number 1, and shows Georges Carpentier, who was a boxer, a First World War pilot, winning the Croix de Guerre and M├ędaille Militaire, and a film star.
He was on cigarette cards as a boxer Churchman “Boxing Personalities” 
and as a film star – Edwards Ringer & Bigg “Cinema Stars” (1922)  –
and he was a good friend of Charlie Chaplin, here they are outside Claridges, in non film star attire,_Charlie_Chaplin,_1921.jpg
For a boxing biography, read  – the rest is admirably covered in  He lived until the 1970s. 

African Tobacco Manufacturers (S. Africa) (1928) ‘Types of Sea Shells’ (Silk)

THURSDAY – [tobacco: OS] African Tobacco Manufacturing (South Africa) “Types of Seashells” (1928). A rather uninspiring image, but I hoped it perhaps contain a pearl, as it might be some kind of an oyster? Sadly not, its a mussel. But not so sad, as it turns out they are pretty neat as well – check out this tribute with lots of fascinating facts
This is not a card at all, it is still a branch of cartophily, but it is what is known as a silk, yes, its actual silk woven into card shape and sometimes, but not always, coming with a paper backing. And if you want to learn about silks, we sell excellent reference books;  click the link to our bookshop and have a good look around. 

Trade card

Anglo Confectionery Ltd. (1968) ‘Joe 90’

FRIDAY – ANF-4 Anglo Confectionery “Joe 90” (1968). Part of Anglo-American Chewing Gum Ltd of Halifax, Anglo Confectionery had only issued five sets when our original Trade Index was published in 1969, but they kept issuing cards from  until 1974. “The Horse” was an equine set of 66 cards was issued in 1966 with Chewing Gum and became the first set issued with the confectionery, followed by Space, and Tarzan the following year. The Beatles Yellow Submarine, Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet were issued in 1968. Look out for “World Cup 1970” and a very unusual set of “The New James Bond 007” issued the same year.
Their most valuable set is “Walt Disney Characters” from 1971. Tarzan, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and Joe 90 had sectional backs that made up a larger picture. To read about Anglo Confectionery, go to  or

More about Joe 90, is at and 

Now if you are anything like me the one question you need answered is where are the figures now. So check out   and if you want to buy one, yes seriously, speed swiftly to

And sadly, that`s all for another week. Or this will upload without me finishing! And if I tinker after hours our regular early birds miss out on the finished article. But whatever time you are reading, thanks for dropping by and see you next week, same spot on the dial, as they used to say.

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Of course you will find more knowledgeable, in-depth articles on, and research into all kinds of cards, from vintage rarities to brand new issues in our bi-monthly magazine, which is only available to Society Members; you can’t buy it at fairs or in shops. 

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