The home of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain

September 25

Welcome to another week in the Card-World. This week we have a lot to occupy you, and that might just be a good thing as we head into lockdown again. As far as I know, there will not be any indoor fairs or markets until after Christmas, but I hope I am wrong. No word yet on auctions, but as long as they stay online we will have something to look at, at least, however the viewing arrangements might well change. Also no news on outdoor fairs. 

Well lets cheer ourselves up!

A while ago these were sent in, we settled on them being Teofani. Anyone know any different?

September 26 is “Save Your Photos Day”. Yes it used to be a bit annoying to send your films off and get back blank or unusual photos you didn’t really want, the inside of a carrier bag etc, but it was fun. And so was our first sight of our ancestors, which had been preserved for posterity almost until the image had faded. Sadly, these days, most of us do not have any physical photographs; instead we keep our photos in digital form, and though this is recommended as a safe method, (actually the purpose of this day is to remind us to back up our photos on digital media), what happens if your disc is lost, or becomes corrupted, or the cloud is knocked out by alien invaders? Would that mean your descendants never get to see a photo of you? So don’t let yourself be forgotten. There are print shops in every town, plus larger supermarkets with machines in the foyer, where you can insert a USB drive and print out a picture.

Real Photographic cigarette cards date back to 1899 when Ogdens Ltd started issuing them with their Guinea Gold brand. They covered pantomime, theatre and music hall stars, military personalities and scenes, sports like cricket, cycling, football and golf, and views of London and the World, plus a series of “General Interest”, 1148 numbered cards, and 320 similar un-numbered, between 1900 to 1901, followed by 1100 “New Series”,  cards, in 1902. They also issued similar with their “Tabs” brand in the UK and Australia.

September 26 is also the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Stearns Eliot, poet; read “The Wasteland”, written for fellow poet and friend Ezra Pound in 1922, its available free online at – or if you prefer the spoken word, watch it read by Alec Guinness at It is the sort of poem that makes you think. Evelyn Waugh was very fond of it, in fact he named one of his books after a line in the text – “A Handful of Dust”. Sadly T.S. Eliot is chiefly now remembered for writing “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”, which was turned into a musical and a film, using just the final word of the title. “Cats” do appear on cards, but far fewer than dogs, perhaps it is simply that most smokers were male, and dogs were “man’s” best friend, as well as often working partners, whilst cats were seen as more aloof and feminine; you do find cats as type cards in “pet” and “animal” sets but we can only find one set of cigarette cards devoted to them, and that’s John Player 24 “Cats” large cards, first issued in March 1936 as a Home Issue, but never overseas. It has been reprinted for collectors in more recent years, so be careful to check. You can see one at–vintage-cat-vintage-images.jpg

Shreddies (1987) ‘Thundercats Stick ‘n’ Lift Stickers’

Trade card sets solely of cats are still less than the number of dog ones, but look out for Red Heart pet food`s set of six “Cats” in 1954, and commercial issuers Crystal Cat Cards produced seven sets each of six cards using vintage images drawn by Louis Wain in 2004/5, they are kind of a warped version of the Player`s set! And Imperial Publishing reproduced that Players set as well as produced an original set of six cards called “Breeds of Cats”. (A commercial issuer is one who just sells the cards, not includes them as giveaways with a product). Again quite a few cats appear within general “pet” sets, and there are also lots of cartoon or TV felines, Pascall`s “Felix the Film Cat” (1928), Barratt`s Willum (1961) Bassett/Barratt Division`s “Ali Cat Magicards” (1978) who is remembered at plus “Tom and Jerry” by Barratt (1971) and Bassett (1974). If you are prepared to accept a spot of artistic licence, how about Catweazle (Weetabix “Catweazle Magic Cards” 1971)  our featured card from “Thundercats”, or even Catwoman
who takes the story back full circle to cats having female characteristics. Or you could simply expand your search to include wild cats, like cheetahs, leopards, and tigers, even “Lone Leo the Cougar” who was immortalised in 1955 on a set of medium sized cards by Granose Foods Ltd; in fact the front man for Kelloggs Frosties is Tony the Tiger.

While in the natural history album, it seems odd that over in America and Canada at this time of year they really celebrate the changing colour of their trees, so much so that the whole week starting on the 27th of September is called “National Fall Foliage Week”, yet we don’t seem to give much if any attention to ours, though its glorious to see the grasslands and green leaves turning to brown, and slowly fluttering to make a living carpet. Do spend some time just looking out of your window at any tree you can see. Or on your walk to the paper shop, if that is not banned yet. Lots of card sets feature trees in all their beauty, though not many show the autumnal foliage. But here is the Beech, on Gallaher`s Woodland Series (1912) card no.31 And here, another Gallaher card, “How to preserve Autumn Leaves”

Not only the trees mark the fact that now we have had the autumn equinox our climate will start to cool and we will start to head to winter. But before that, on September 27 it is National Scarf Day. When was the last time you wore one? Scarves are a great way to add colour to an outfit, or that fun touch of quirkiness to brighten up your day, and that of passers by. Think of Tom Baker when he was Doctor Who! Here he is to jog your memory!–first-doctor-doctor-who.jpg In earlier decades most ladies and gentlemen retreated into scarves and gloves in the winter time, car driving was only for the few, and even then most were almost entirely open to the elements, with no such thing as a car heater. I might only have a canvas tilt on my car, but it does have a heater, unfortunately the smell of burning that it emits is such that I feel I have to drive along with one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the door handle,much as the way those Ice Road Truckers used to drive across a frozen lake! All in all its better to freeze. By the way, our picture here is a back issue of our Society magazine, with a Lambert and Butler “Winter Scene” card in pride of place in the middle.

Goddards “Ports of the World”

Its also World Tourism Day on September 27th. You may be thinking such a thing is impossible, but think again, because every continent in the World issued cards, and for subjects, seek out national costumes, wonders of the ancient world, holiday resorts, sights of Britain and cities of the world, to name but a few. So have a good look in your collections, and online, and while away the hours remembering of where you have been – or dreaming of where you would most like to go in the future. It costs nothing to while away the hours in pleasant pursuits!


September 28 is the birthday of Brigitte Bardot. She appeared on several European sets, including this one, from Spain, and a modern set issued in 2011 by Red Sky. You can see, and buy those at Not just beautiful on the outside, we also admire her for her love of animals, and her tireless campaigning on welfare issues.

September 29 is “Mutation Day”. This celebrates four turtles named after Renaissance painters. Have you guessed it yet? If not, it’s those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Many trade sets depicted these “heroes in a half shell”, including Topps, who issued cards and stickers with scenes from both the big screen motion picture and the small screen television version. The film version is the same for both countries but we only had 77 cards in our TV version, whilst the Americans had 99 in theirs. The wrappers these cards came in are also keenly collected  Indeed some fans go so far as to buy complete boxes and never open them. In 1990 Brooke Bond Tea also issued a set of cards in the usual single and the curious double card format, designed to combat the fact that their new machinery could not cope with packing single cards, but in the UK all our turtles were named Teenage Mutant HERO ones, the word ninja being thought too violent. Unfortunately, when the American cartoons hit our television, they played as originally titled….


Gum Inc. (1942) ‘War Gum’ (USA/R164)

Wednesday September 30 is Wrigley Chewing Gum Day. And yes, they issued cards. In a quick look online we found an intriguing advert card showing an onyx topped table, given to retailers free with a purchase plus a pack of advertising playing cards (1974)and a lovely little booklet showing the “Spearman” in an adaptation of Mother Goose. There’s a bid on that already. If you click on you will see all kinds of items. Most of these were issued in America, where chewing gum has traditionally been more popular; indeed we may never have heard of chewing gum if not for the American servicemen who brought it over to this country in the second world war. Gum cards also began in America with sets such as Topps, though it did not take long for them to be bought for the cards, not the gum inside the packet; and these days you only get the cards, the gum has completely disappeared.

A. & B. C. Gum (1966) ‘Battle Cards’

The main issuer of gum cards in this country was A & B.C. Gum, the initials standing for American & British Chewing. It was actually a subsidiary of Topps. They issued many interesting sets, though some were understandably rather American in content, like their “Battle”, “Civil War” and “Mars Attacks”; they also covered popular film and television shows, using actual screen footage rather than cartoons or drawings. The best thing about Gum cards was their larger size, which made the pictures more visible, and their thickness, which made them sought after for playground games. The downside was that they were usually printed on a kind of greyish strawboard, rather than on white card, and that can make the greyer text and some colours hard to read.

On to Thursday, the first day of October, and lets take a virtual trip to Lincolnshire for their County Day and say hello to the people who run our Lincolnshire Branch, plus all their members and visitors. If you have never been, you can read of their story at their home page – Lincolnshire Branch  And if you were a regular, have a look and tell us if you know something we did not mention.

Merlin (1997) ‘Star Wars Trilogy’

The first Friday in October is National Diversity Day. Today we celebrate the way that we may all be created differently, but we all need to join together equally, and never more so than now. Having a range of friends and co-workers expands your knowledge, brings you into touch with new ideas, other music, and other ways of life. So why can’t we all just get along , and forget about ability, gender, shape, religion, or race etc? The statement “divide and conquer” is actually untrue; we would conquer a lot better if we would just all join together and each bring our particular skill to fight our foes. 

Edward Wharton-Tigar

Now to the week’s changes! Keen readers may have already noticed there has been some rebuilding going on around these parts. Our “archives” page is now entirely different, it has been transformed into a landing strip from where you can fly off to all the different archives we are working on – except for the Convention ones which will only be revealed in a couple of weeks time as part of our un-convention-al weekend. Getting excited yet? Remember all our archives are there for you to build on, so if you have anything to add just tell us at

Another change is a new “research” page; this is so new its still under construction, but it will eventually contain places for you, and us, to add any sightings of brand new cards that are spotted on physical or virtual travels, and to find out any new or updated information about vintage trade and tobacco cards. There are already links to our bookshop, library, and our card gallery.

Now over to our “Cards of the Week” – our regular round up of all the stories behind those Card(s) of the Day. Thanks to all of you who take part, and who keep tuning in.

Saturday – this unknown vessel will have to remain unknown for now as we cannot track her down, neither her identity, nor the manufacturer of the card. We do know this is not a standard sized card because if you look all of the edges are a similar size, as opposed to a standard card where you have two short and two long ones. This is a useful tip if buying cards online. We also know its not Players XIO “Wooden Walls”, but its always worth having a guess, so thank you for your suggestion.

And our search continues…

E265-770 [tobacco : UK] Edwards, Ringer & Bigg “British Trees & Their Uses (1933)

Sunday – Edwards Ringer Bigg “British Trees and Their Uses”. Strangely the details of this set appear in our Reference Book RB21 about the Tobacco War, where its listed under 209-34. The text says there were four different printings apart from this Edwards, Ringer and Bigg one – an anonymous issue with letterpress on the back – an issue by Ogdens with “Ogdens Guinea gold cigarettes” at the base of the backs in grey wording, this being an export issue sent to New Zealand at about 1930; in fact a special album was issued out there too, which would be interesting to see if any of you have one to scan for us – and last but not least, a UK issue by Lambert and Butler, whose reference book number 9 state that the cards had “fronts printed by letterpress, four colour halftone process, backs in dark green with descriptions. [issued] August 1937.”

W.D. & H.O. Wills Ltd “Dogs” (1914)

Monday – Wills “Dogs” large size (1914) this being a very handsome borzoi. Whilst looking into this card we found a really wonderful site for canine card collectors at – and it has pages for almost every dog breed, including your favourite, so do take a look. It also has a very easy to use alphabetical finding system, and though it is primarily a selling site, they are definitely to be congratulated for turning it into a very useful reference work as well. But how come we have never heard of it before ?

~ USA/182 [tobacco : OS] Wm. S. Kimball & Co. (USA) “Ballet Queens” (1889)

Tuesday – in honour of “National Legwear Day” we selected K401-090 ~ USA/182 [tobacco : OS] Wm. S. Kimball & Co. (USA) “Ballet Queens” (1889) This is Olga, who we have not been able to trace; but while we were looking we found all the cards in the set are on show online. Check them for yourself at This set also lets us introduce a new Cartophilic term to your knowledge; look at the backs, they are not numbered, but there is a list of the name of each girl in the series. We call this a “backlisted” card. It was useful, but did not leave much space for advertising. The solution, of course, was to add a number to each card and the wording “A series of….” so collectors could still know how many they had left to find. Although “backlisted” does not appear in it, this seems a good time to remind you that we sell a small paperback reference booklet (no.8) called “A Glossary of Cartophilic Terms”. The original edition was printed in 1948 when it was becoming clear that, just like stamp collectors, card collectors were developing a language all their own. Long out of print, the booklet was reprinted for collectors in the 1980s. We offer no better recommendation than saying if you have a good look on the shelves behind the counter in most auction rooms, you will find a copy. And if you are a Society member, you can buy yourself one of the reprinted versions in our bookshop for just £4.50. If you are not a member, then it just costs a little extra. See all the wonders of our reference department at

W.D. & H.O. Wills “Golfing” (1926)

WEDNESDAY – this is W.D. & H.O. Wills “Golfing” (1926), and its Troon, card no.23 from a set of 25 large size cards. If you look in a dealer’s catalogue or auction list you might easily believe this set shows golfing stars, but they are actually images of courses, and they have the current prices of play on the backs. For instance The Old Troon Course was 5/- per day, 20/- per week and £3 per month; the Municipal Course charged 1/6 per round, 2/6 per day, 8/6 per week, 12/6 per fortnight, 17/6 per month and £1 7s 6d per annum. Do we have any current Troon players out there? We bet the prices are a bit different…

Trade Card

Primrose Confectionery Co. Ltd. (1976) ‘Action Man’

THURSDAY – Primrose “Action Man”. Primrose Confectionery of Slough produced sweets, especially what used to be called sweet cigarettes. These were not thought suitable for children so they were renamed candy sticks, but without changing the shape so they were still “smoked”. While looking into this we were rather amazed that early sweet cigarettes had red tips and some could be made to produce smoke by way of soft powder hidden inside that tip. Does anyone out there remember any of these!

Primrose actually produced some interesting sets of cards, many of them to do with television programmes, like “Laramie”, “The Flintstones” and Dad`s Army”. This particular set shows a range of military men through the ages, but how did they get away with calling it Action Man unless it was somehow connected with the “doll”.

While you are thinking, an original packet for this set can be viewed at


FRIDAY – This card is as yet unknown. We did have a suggestion that it might be Imperial Tobacco.

but sadly midnight fast approaches, so we must bring our newsletter to an end. May we hope and wish that you and yours find a bolt hole, and manage to weather yet another gathering storm. We will stay at our post and bring you all the shards of collecting news that come our way as the outside world once again shatters. So watch our home page, and now you can catch up with news you may have missed at – that’s another brand new page for news and events, though events listed there may be few and far between – only this week we heard that all indoor fairs had been cancelled until after Christmas. Just as a few of our branches had started to slowly reopen too….

By the way, next week’s will be our last newsletter



before our covid-compliant, computerised, Cartophilic Convention hits your screen

Over and Out. 
And thanks for dropping by and see you next week, same spot on the dial, as they used to say.

We do hope you enjoy our newsletters. If so, don`t keep them to yourself, tell all your friends to just come in and read them. They are free for all to read, whether you are a society member or not. And if you missed last week’s you can still read it at september 19
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, but that is only available to Society Members; you can’t buy it at fairs or in shops. 

For a brief taster of our current edition go to our special Magazine page by clicking HERE

And if you would like more details on how to become a member of our Society, please click HERE.

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