The History of Cigarette Cards - See Video
Origins of Cigarette Cards for Collectors
The hobby of collecting ‘Cigarette Cards’ or ‘Trading Cards’ is known as ‘Cartophily’ and goes back to the 1880's.
Originally Cigarette Cards were used as a practical solution for the soft packaging of cigarette packets and where used as stiffeners to protect the contents. At first the tobacco companies printed adverts on the cards but shortly afterwards changed to lithograph pictures and artwork covering an encyclopaedic variety of subjects to the extent that the cards became known as 'the working man's encyclopaedia'.
The Origins of Collecting Cigarette Cards
These cards began to be collected and traded by enthusiasts, young and old who appreciated the educative and artistic value of these wonderful cards.
However, Cigarette Cards had to be discontinued during the Second World War in order to save paper. Cigarette Cards were popular worldwide by this time but never reintroduced after the war had ended.
Cigarette Cards have truly become collectors' items evoking the nostalgia and atmosphere of times gone by and their appeal has moved far beyond their original humble beginnings as packaging. Topics for the cards were extremely varied from collections such as Victoria Cross Battle Heroes Cigarette Cards all the way to Flowers to Grow Cigarette Cards and were used as a basis for school projects about history and the natural world.
Today, many full colour collections are effectively displayed in picture frames, making an informative and attractive addition to any room, or alternatively stored and viewed in albums. Even in this modern age these traditional formats are still valid, the artwork and design are impressive, and it is easy to imagine how a framed collection of your favourite Cigarette Cards could bring a unique atmosphere and easily become a conversation piece to a den or study.
Reproductions of Famous Cigarette Cards Sets
Sets were produced and reproduced covering such subjects such as Military Cigarette Cards, Regimental Cigarette Cards, Naval Cigarettes Cards, Sport Cigarette Cards, Transport Cigarette Cards, Victoria Cross Cigarette Cards and Popular Sets Cigarette Cards. At a time when the average person could not afford books and newspapers contained no photographs, therefore colourful and informative Cigarette Cards became very popular. Early in 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 many had no connection with cigarettes.
Modern Collectors now have a wide choice of Cigarette Cards
Now you too have the chance to own modern reproductions of famous sets of cigarette cards and participate in this great hobby, joining thousands of other avid collectors.
The varied subject matter, accuracy and attention to detail gives modern collectors a wide choice and now reproductions of these truly great cards are available in all their glory.
Whether you are just starting out, are nostalgic for a time gone by or are an enthusiast tracking down a particular set, please take your time to browse through the reproduction sets that we have made available here at Cigarette Cards.