Cigarette Cards


Smoking was a very popular pastime: All be it, usually for men. One way that companies could encourage brand loyalty was by the introduction of these cigarette cards. The idea was to try and get customers to want to collect the whole set - which, at one random card per pack, would mean smoking lots of packs of cigarettes. It also had the benefit of appealing to younger potential smokers. Young boys would, oftentimes, be the keenest collectors of these cards. Initially, they would ask for them from their fathers or uncles, but in time they might go out and buy their own (or so the tobacco companies hoped). However, despite the reasoning behind them, these cigarette cards were often beautiful works of art painted by teams of skilled artists and artisans about fascinating themes and aspects of contemporary life. Usually, the themes were big and powerful; technology, famous actors, patriotic scenes of soldiers and uniforms and the like. These cards are a beautiful product of their times - nostalgic for the past - yet marvelling at their present technological abilities and hopeful for the future. They are a wonderfully interesting legacy of a bygone age.


Waterloo
(1915) Part I
Waterloo
(1915) Part II
Civil Aeroplanes
(1935)
Modern Railways
(1936) Part I
Modern Railways
(1936) Part II
Motor Cars
(1934)
Territorial Army Uniforms
(1939) Part I
Territorial Army Uniforms
(1939) Part II
Old England's Defenders
(1898) Part I
Old England's Defenders
(1898) Part II
Soldiers of the King
(1909) Part I
Soldiers of the King
(1909) Part II
Decorations and Medals
Part I
Decorations and Medals
Part II


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by Stephen Luscombe