Thursday, November 12, 2015

Cigarette Cards - The Ginter of the Past (and the Future?)

I recently saw a link that the New York Public Library had digitized their giant collections of cigarette cards.  The navigation panel on the side of that page has hundreds of different sets that you can look at, ranging from historical notables, "beauties", flowers, ships, animals, birds, military, etc.  If you are interested in any way at the "oddball" (non-baseball) parts of Allen and Ginter, set aside a little time and go for a browse through that archive.

While I have not looked at all of them yet, my personal favorite thus far was the "How To Do It" sets (Set 1 and Set 2) from Gallaher's Cigarettes.  

The first card I liked was "How to Draw an Ellipse" (seen above).  The front of each card features the drawing showing you what to do, and the back features the descriptive text like this:

This is the kind of knowledge we need today!!  You could put these out on a subset of Allen and Ginter and give people instructions so they wouldn't have to use that new-fangled internet.

That set also included:

How to draw a duck with the pencil still on the paper:

How to judge the freshness of a lobster:

How to bandage your foot:

How to read the gas meter:

How to tie Useful Knots:
Having done a lot of camping when I was younger, we learned a lot of knots for various uses.  This is the subject matter that I would LOVE to see replicated in an upcoming subset of  Allen and Ginter.  Please make it happen, Topps!

Comment:  After looking through that archive, what cigarette card set did you like the best, or what would you like to see on a future Ginter subset?
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