Display your Wills Cigarette Cards and Tobacco Baseball Cards in our beautiful albums
Beginning in 1875, cards depicting actresses, baseball players, Indian chiefs, and boxers were issued by the US-based Allen and Ginter tobacco company. These are considered to be some of the first cigarette cards. Other tobacco companies such as Goodwin & Co. soon followed suit. They first emerged in the US, then the UK, then, eventually, in many other countries.
In the UK, W.D. & H.O. Wills in 1887 were one of the first companies to include advertising cards with their cigarettes, but it was John Player & Sons in 1893 that produced one of the first general interest sets ‘Castles and Abbeys’. Thomas Ogden soon followed in 1894 and in 1895, Wills produced their first set ‘Ships and Sailors’, followed by ‘Cricketers’ in 1896. In 1906, Ogden’s produced a set of football cards depicting footballers in their club colours, in one of the first full-colour sets.
Each set of cards typically consisted of 25 or 50 related subjects, but series of over 100 cards per issue are known. Popular themes were ‘beauties’ (famous actresses, film stars and models), sporters (in the US mainly baseball, in the rest of the world mainly football and cricket), nature, military heroes and uniforms, heraldry and city views.
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