History on the back of a card; Collectors' items could be worth a fortune.CAN you remember those old cigarette cards - smoking may have been bad for you, but the magic of those cigarette cards is still with us.
You could get some fantastic collections - trains, ships, aeroplanes, famous people, sportsmen, etc, it just went on and on.
Who would think that they were first thought of just to stop the cigarettes from getting bent in your pocket. Yes, the early packets, in the mid to late 1800s, were soft paper packets and somebody had the bright idea of inserting a card to stiffen the packet up.
From there it was a small step to start printing adverts on the card and then images.
Later, tea companies joined in the production of cards and you could also send away and get an album to keep your collection nice and clean.
But most of us were just lucky to get a card, we would push them in our pockets, pull them out and swap them with friends.
As a youngster, the old, dog-eared card always looked more real than the shiny one in the album.
You have to realise that cigarette cards started before the first cinemas and definitely before TV was even a glint in Baird's eye.
Newspapers didn't have much illustration and definitely no colour, and this is why the cards looked so appealing and, with the information on the back, they were a young boy's window on the world.
You had heard of the Flying Scotsman, but never got a chance to see it - the great liners like the Mauritania, built on the Tyne, you could get on a cigarette card and learn all about its engines, speed and revolutions of its turbines and, yes, how many lifeboats it had.
The golden age of cards was the 1920s and 1930s.
Competition was very fierce, with rival firms constantly looking for something different to push them ahead of the game. Some cards had push-out sections which could be made into models, whilst others came with sequences of silk embroidered em·broi·der
v. em·broi·dered, em·broi·der·ing, em·broi·ders
1. To ornament with needlework: embroider a pillow cover.
2. flowers, cards in miniature frames, bronze plaques, metal charms to hang on a bracelet - even little gramophone records which could actually be played. During the war, patriotic cards were issued and, it was rumoured, German agents started buying up Player's 1939 British Naval Craft in London to send back to UBoat crews.
Meanwhile, the authorities sponsored a series of Air Raid Precautions Air Raid Precautions (ARP) was an organisation in the United Kingdom dedicated to the protection of civilians from the danger of air-raids. It was created in 1924 as a response to the fears about the growing threat from the development of bomber aircraft. "cigarette cards of national importance", endorsed by Home Secretary Samuel Hoare Samuel John Gurney Hoare, 1st Viscount Templewood GCSI , GBE , CMG , PC (24 February 1880 – 7 May 1959), more commonly known as Sir Samuel Hoare, was a British Conservative politician who served in various capacities in the Conservative and National governments of the .
In 2007, a world record price was paid in the USA for a card - $2,350,000, or roughly equivalent to around pounds 1,200,000.
The card in question was of Honus Wagner
Threats of legal action prevented its release, but a few slipped out, and it was one of these that stunned the collecting world.
Britain's biggest maker, WD & HO Wills of Bristol prepared a series of 50 cards to celebrate Wellington's victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, but when the date for issue came up in 1915, their release was cancelled so as not to offend the French, who were our allies fighting the Germans.
And in a series of Musical Celebrities, all the German subjects were withdrawn and substituted by lesserknown individuals from other nationalities.
Every year those cards are getting rarer - if you come across the right one, at a car boot sale car boot sale
a sale of goods from car boots in a site hired for the occasion
Noun 1. car boot sale - an outdoor sale at which people sell things from the trunk of their car
boot sale for instance, grab it.
Are you a collector? Remember When would like to know about your collection. Write to Ray Marshall, Remember When, Evening Chronicle The Evening Chronicle is a daily, evening newspaper produced in Newcastle upon Tyne, covering Tyne and Wear, southern Northumberland and northern County Durham. It was founded in 1885 by Joseph Cowan. , Groat Market, Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne, city (1991 pop. 199,064) and metropolitan district, NE England, on the Tyne River. The city is an important shipping and trade center. The famous coal-shipping industry began in the 13th cent. NE1 1ED.
COLLECTABLE: Some of the colourful cigarette cards