Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mae West: Cigarette Cards

MAE WEST appeared on several brands of cigarette cards during the 1930s. Hollywood stars, sports figures, musicians, pedigreed dogs, lighthouses, railways, and other categories would inspire an entire series — — a "collect them all!" mania — — issued by several companies in the USA and Europe. Then one day these eye-catching keepsakes ceased production and a handsome knot of tradition untied, invisibly, like a shoelace. If you own a few trading cards and have wondered about the origin of the species, here's a brief history.
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• • According to the experts at Creamofcards Cigarette Cards (who sell these limited edition collectibles on EBAY): The first cigarette packets were very fragile and so a thick card was inserted to stiffen them. During a period considered by many to be one of the most innovative in the history of mankind, an enterprising US businessman decided to print a colourful advert on the "stiffener" card. The tireless evolution of the cigarette card was driven by the highly competitive and creative tobacco markets. Soon cards were issued on subjects appealing to smokers, such as glamorous actresses, sport, warships, etc. Firms soon realised that they could strengthen customer loyalty by issuing sets of beautifully illustrated and informative cards, playing on man's instinctive desire to collect and for order and completeness.
• • Creamofcards explains: At a time when the average person could not afford books, and newspapers contained no photographs, the attractive and encyclopaedic cigarette cards were very popular. At the beginning of the 20th century, more cards were issued with cigarette brands than for any other product and this is probably why trading cards are often referred to as "cigarette cards" even though there is no connection with cigarettes.
• • Creamofcards concludes: The cigarette card era came to a sudden end at the beginning of WWII, due to severe paper rationing. ...
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• • How many Mae West cards are in your collection?
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • Goin' to Town card issued in 1935 • •
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Mae West.

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