Breaking into Pre-War Collecting: Tobacco Cards

Pre-War Card Magazine

Been a little while since I wrote one of my ‘Breaking into Pre-War Collecting’ articles. If you missed the first two, I first covered game cards and then strip cards.

Today, I wanted to tackle arguably the most popular of all pre-war cards: tobacco cards.

What Are Tobacco Cards?

t227-miners-extra-and-honest-long-cutTobacco cards, quite simply, are what they sound like. These are cards that were distributed by tobacco companies. These issues were mostly packaged with tobacco products and were typically placed inside boxes of cigarettes. Cards inside of cigarette packages served three primary purposes.

First, and most practically, they were a stiffener for boxes of cigarettes. Second, they were a collectible of sorts as companies encouraged buyers to collect entire sets of the subjects. Finally, they were an advertisement as they typically included the name of the tobacco brand somewhere on the card.

While cards were often produced for cigarettes, they…

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