is the hobby of collecting cigarette cards and its origins
go back to the 1880's. They started off life as blank cards
which were inserted as strengtheners into paper packets of
cigarettes in the mid to late nineteenth century. They evolved
into advertising cards bearing product details, a device first
employed by Allen & Ginter in the United States in 1886. The
first British cigarette manufacturer to follow was W.D. &
H.O. Wills in 1888.
A couple of years later, some cigarette
cards were produced bearing pictures instead of purely advertising
details. The first such cards produced had blank backs, but
later the rears bore information associated with the picture.
Cards were organised in sets (usually of 50) on a common topic
and were designed to be collected as a set, a marketing gimmick
to encourage people to buy more cigarettes.
Our product pages will give you an
insight into how many sets were produced over the years and
also show you how attractive they are once they are framed
and hanging on your wall space. The sets advertised are all
modern or reproduction, however should you be interested in
a particular subject not advertised here please contact us
as we may be able to supply you with the original set. All
framed card sets are glazed both sides so as to show not only
the picture quality but also the information printed on the
The oldest known cigarette card is believed to date from 1878 and is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. However, some of the most valuable cards available are those which hail from a small tobacco firm from London, England called James Taddy & Company. These cards are particularly rare because the company ceased to exist only 30 years after starting to produce cigarette cards, when the cards were still in their hey day.
James Taddy & Company was established in 1740 as sellers of Tobacco, Snuff and Tea and during the 1890's they became well known for the excellence of their trading cards. The company was extremely prosperous and the owner, Gilliat Hatfield, who believed in rewarding his employees well, ensured that their wages and conditions were superior to those of his rivals, dispensing with the need for any union representation. However, the cigarette industry went on strike during the 1920's and although the Taddy factory workers were already being paid more than the unions were demanding for the rest of the industry, his workers joined in the strike. Upset by these actions he requested that his workers return to work or he would shut down the factory. They did not and the factory was duly closed.
The Taddy cards showing clowns, actresses and flowers have been nicknamed "the penny blacks"
of cigarette cards by collectors. There were 20"clowns" produced in the 1890's and despite being a relatively small set, there are only about 20 complete sets known to be in existence.
In 1985 an incomplete set of 19 was auctioned, by Phillips of London, for a record value(at that time) of £4,600 ($7,400). This price was expected to increase in value over the following ten years
(up to 1995) to a remarkable £10,000. Since then, these prices have far been exceeded by a complete set of 20. Another highly collectable James Taddy series is a set of 25 which were issued in 1899 with the Myrtle Grove brand of cigarettes. They depict Actresses and Flowers and although not nearly as valuable as the Taddy's Clown series, they still fetch in the region of £50.00
per card if sold as part of a complete set.
Although there were desultory attempts by several tobacco companies to revive cigarette cards in the 1950s (the most notable British examples being those produced by Allman's and the Black Cat brand), costs of card and printing restricted them severely. Carreras attempted to print pictures directly on to the cardboard insert in their packets but this never caught on with collectors. Instead, competition between the tobacco companies led to the inclusion of gift vouchers, bonus coupons or even trading stamps in their packets. In the climate of recent years, when governments have campaigned against the spread of the smoking habit among the young, it would not be politically correct for the cigarette manufacturers to target youngsters in the way they did in the inter-war period.
Cigarette cards came into use in 1879, the year in which several American tobacco manufacturers began putting small card stiffeners into the flimsy paper packs of cigarettes to protect the contents from damage. At first the tobacco companies were content merely to print their name and address and brand name on these little cards. It was a gradual change from a pictorial element in the advertisement to a full-blown picture which had no direct relevance to the product, but by 1885 the first purely pictorial cards were beginning to appear.
The largest cigarette card collection on record is that of Edward Wharton-Tigar. His collection, bequeathed to the British Museum following his death in 1995, is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest collection of its kind. His autobiography, "Burning Bright", details both his obsession with collecting cigarette cards, as well as his business life, which included becoming President of Selection Trust - at the time, one of the largest mining companies in the world - as well as his life-long passion for cricket, which culminated in his presidency of Kent Cricket Club.
Cigarette cards were issued during a significant time in the history of mankind, 1870s-1940s. These encyclopaedic cards captured the Precambrian explosion in 20th century innovation and social upheaval that propelled us into our modern age. World Wars, the first Hollywood movie stars, motorcars, the Wright Brothers' first flight, famous golfers, soccer stars, scarce wildlife and the atom bomb are all vividly portrayed on these frameable, miniature masterpieces.
Even the cigarette cards were the creation of rapid improvements in colour printing technology and competitive pressures of an expanding free market. It's possible that the powerful tobacco manufacturers who issued these humble, everyday items unwittingly accelerated information democracy itself at a time when books were still expensive to the average person.
The cigarette cards were designed from the start to be collected, perhaps becoming more addictive than the product itself. Even after a hundred years later, cigarette card collecting has surged ahead thanks to the ease of trading on the equally simple but innovative eBay website. At the start of the new millennium, a Honus Wagner card became the first cigarette card ever to exceed a million dollars, and one of the most expensive items to be sold on eBay. It is the cigarette card's uncanny ability to tap into the interests of a wide cross-section of society and inbuilt collectibility that have ensured its survival over other collectors' items.
The trading card pre-dates the cigarette card and originated from the 17th century tradesman's cards. Advances in colour printing technology in the mid 19th century led to a rapid increase in trading card production. The trading card became a popular promotional tool among European firms, especially Au Bon Marche' and Liebig.
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.
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.
Initially, there were many small independent tobacco firms who issued cigarette cards but, as in many situations, a small group of powerful tobacco firms gradually emerged, striving for mass production and cost cutting. This was bad news for the cigarette card whose quality, it is generally accepted, declined as the years went by.
The cigarette card era came to a sudden end at the beginning of WWII, due to severe paper rationing.
The vacuum left by cigarette cards was partly filled by bubble gum cards and tea cards. It is generally accepted that the design of these post WWII cards favoured mass production over quality. There is currently a collectors' card renaissance. Some modern day collectors' card manufacturers are listening to what many collectors want and producing beautifully illustrated cards on high quality card stock once again.
A Brief History of German Cards
Cigarette card collecting is almost unknown in Germany nowadays. Yet until the second world war, the Germans had a long tradition of collecting cigarette and trading cards. Even after the war, cigarette cards made a brief comeback, both in East and West Germany. However it was not on anything like the previous scale, and eventually they were banned in West Germany in 1955.
Before the first world war, cards were generally trading cards, with cigarette cards being few and far between. Actually the first pictures were not cards at all but rather were printed on the packaging. Stollwerk, a chocolate manufacturer in Cologne, was the first German company to put pictures on its products in 1840. Later, around 1860, the first "Picture and Photograph Chocolate" appeared, with pictures of portraits, buildings and landscapes printed on the wrapping. One series for example showed the building of Cologne cathedral. Various other series followed. However very few of these early pictures survive.
In1872 the Liebig company issued the first of its famous "Reklamebilder" (Advertising pictures). These were large format pictures, given away with the products. To stay ahead, Stollwerk produced high-quality pictures, often printed in a 12-colour process with competitions for original pictures which had prizes of up to 1000 Reichsmarks. In 1895 Stollwerk produced the first albums for collecting the pictures, which included explanatory text after 1897. The idea of collecting cards gradually caught on, and by the turn of the century, virtually every German product included collectable pictures. Cigarettes however were the exception. Until the first world war smoking was a luxury past time. If men smoked at all it was usually cigars or a pipe and woman generally didn’t smoke at all, at least not in public. Few cigarette cards are known from the time before 1920. Only a handful of sets are listed in Koeberich’s catalogue, as well as a patriotic booklet issued by the German branch of Waldorf-Astoria. No dates are given for the cards although the booklet was probably issued in the Winter of 1917/1918.
In 1871 the American company of Allen and Ginter began inserting pieces of card to protect the cigarettes from being damaged. It was not long before tobacco companies had the idea of printing advertisements on these cards, or "stiffeners" as they were called in the trade. In about 1876 companies began producing a series of cards that the smoker could collect. It was believed that this would encourage the smoker to continue using that particular brand.
The first British company to issue cigarette cards was W.D. & H.O. Wills. The first card appeared in 1887 and were at first used to advertise its products. Ogdens, a company based in Liverpool, introduced the first series of cigarette cards in 1894. This series of photographic cards became known as "Guinea Golds".
As Gordon Howsden points out in his book, Collecting Cigarette and Trade Cards: "At a time when the average family could not afford books, and with the technique of reproducing photographs in newspapers still some years away, these cards could inform and amuse, and bring a little bit of colour into what were all too often very drab lives."
Arnold Bennett once remarked that "some boys will grow up with cigarette cards as their sole education". Another writer, Clifford Hough, pointed out that cigarette cards were dubbed "The Working Man's Encyclopedia" because "they brought pictures of famous faces and fascinating places to the attention" of the masses. Hough adds that on "the reverse side the captions contained many interesting facts and pieces of information that often sunk into a boy's mind to a greater extent than any dull textbook from schooldays."
In 1896 the first set with a sporting theme appeared. This was a series by W.D. & H.O. Wills of 50 cricketers.
A Brief History of The Movies and Movie Star Trading Cards
Many countries around the world produced movie card sets. Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Malta, Egypt, Yugoslavia, Estonia, South Africa, Cuba, Panama, Chile, Uruguay, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. All of these countries issued movie card sets showing Hollywood movie stars. Some also included their local movie stars, when movies were issued for their countries or when their citizens became international stars.
Hollywood movie stars are found on cards from around the world, as movies made in Hollywood have been shown around the world and translated into other languages. While the text from cards issued in other countries might be in another language, the stars are usually recognizable.
The first movies were made in the late 19th Century and the movie business was very primitive in the early part of the 20th Century. In the 1910s movies began to become more prevalant, and by the 1920s they were a very popular form of entertainment.
Movies were largely silent, black and white productions in the 1920s. Some big stars began to emerge in this era including Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks. These three became so popular and wealthy that they formed their own movie production company, United Artists. Romantic star Rudolph Valentino also emerged in this era, and his sudden death in 1926 brought out over 100,000 people to his funeral.
Sound became a standard in the movies in the early 1930s, causing many silent stars to disappear from the movie scene. Color movies were made in this era, though black and white remained the standard for many more years. Many big stars emerged in this era, including Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, and Jean Harlow to name a few.
The first documented cigarette card was issued in 1879, before movies even began. The idea of inserting a card in a cigarette package quickly caught on and there were thousands of sets issued around the world from the 1880s through about 1940. These cards pictured just about every conceivable subject, from sporting figures to politicians to many non-human subjects such as animals, flags, and world scenes. Even before movies there were cigarette cards picturing stage actors and actresses.
In 1940 World War II stopped cigarette cards cold, as they were deemed a non-essential item and a waste of valuable paper. They never really started up again after the war, although there were a few sets issued here and there.
In the United States, cigarette cards ended in about 1912, though there were a few issues after that. Because of this, there are very few U.S. movie star cigarette card sets. The U.S. movie star cards that were issued came with a variety of products, mostly candy and gum items. U.S. cards were also issued through weighing machines and Exhibit machines.
Cigarette cards were very popular in England in the 1920s and 1930s, with thousands of sets issued. Movie stars were a very popular subject, and the British cigarette cards documented these movie stars from the very beginnings of motion pictures. These old cards now form a very historical record of the pioneers in the movie business.
A surprisingly large number of these old cigarette cards survive in nice condition. This is probably due to the large number of collectors who pursued these beautiful cards when they were issued. It is also due to the fact that British card collecting became an organized hobby long before card collecting gained popularity in the United States. There were British firms in the card selling business as far back as the early 1930s, and these companies helped preserve the supply and condition of many of these sets as they stocked them for their customers.
The stunning beauty of many of the cigarette card sets continues to attract collectors today. These cards were obviously a very important part of the cigarette business in the 1920s and 1930s and the quality of the cards was taken very seriously by the manufacturers. A successful card set meant increased cigarette sales, and the firms often tried to outdo each other, leaving collectors with cards featuring some very high quality artwork.
History of W.D. & H.O. Wills
W.D. & H.O. Wills was a British Tobacco importer and cigarette manufacturer formed in Bristol, England. It was one of the founding companies of Imperial Tobacco.
The company was founded as Wills, Watkins & Co. by Henry Overton Wills I and his partner Watkins, who opened a shop in Castle Street, Bristol in 1786. After the retirement of his partner in 1789 it became “Wills & Co.”. In 1826 his two sons, William Day Wills and Henry Overton Wills II took over the company and in 1830 the company took the above name.
The company pioneered canteens for the workers, free medical care, sports facilities and paid holidays. Their first brand was “Bristol”, made at the London factory from 1871 to 1974. “Three Castles” and “Gold Flake” followed in 1878 and “Woodbine” ten years later. “Embassy” was introduced in 1914 and relaunched in 1962 with coupons.
The company had factories and offices not only in Bristol, but also in Swindon, Dublin, Newcastle and Glasgow. The largest cigarette factory in Europe was opened at Hartcliffe, Bristol, in 1974 but closed in 1990. Now called Lake Shore, it is currently undergoing a transformation into residential apartments by Urban Splash. The large factory and warehouse buildings remain prominent buildings on Bristol Harbour, though they have now been converted to other uses, such as the Tobacco Factory Theatre. The Newcastle factory closed in 1986 and stood derelict for over a decade, before the front of the Art Deco building - which was preserved by being Grade II listed - reopened as a block of luxury apartments in 1998.
In 1901 Sir William Henry Wills et al formed the Imperial Tobacco company from a merger of W.D. & H.O. Wills with seven other British tobacco companies. Imperial remains one of the world's largest tobacco companies.
The last member of the Wills family to serve the company was Christopher, the great great grandson of H.O. Wills I. He retired as sales research manager in 1969.
In 1988 Imperial Tobacco withdrew the Wills brand in the United Kingdom (except for the popular Woodbine and Capstan Full Strength brands, which still carry the name).
In 1959 the company launched the short-lived Strand brand. This was accompanied by the iconic, but commercially disastrous, You're never alone with a Strand television advertisement.
In India, the Gold Flake and Wills range of cigarettes, manufactured by ITC, formerly the Imperial Tobacco Company of India Limited, still has W.D. & H.O. Wills printed on the cigarettes and their packaging. These lines of cigarettes have a dominant market share.
American Tobacco Company
James B. Duke was the sort of man only the US can produce. He was the most ruthless of tycoons, which can be created by any society, however he started with nothing and clawed his way to the top, which is more common in the US. His forte was the tobacco industry of the 1880's. In 1890 he created the American Tobacco Company by merging together the five largest tobacco companies in America at that time. These being his which had captured something over 40% of the domestic market with Allen & Ginter, Kinney, Wm S. Kimball & Co along with Goodwin & Co. This gave the ATC an initial capital of $5 million. They thought themselves pretty tough.
Having got control of the American market this remarkable man set his sights on the UK market. (It is a bit self-centred to say this, he was after the world. It just so happened the UK was a big player in this business. Landing on British soil in September of 1901 it is reputed he marched straight into the Ogdens factory and bought it. Such is the legend of this man I can say that and it was largely true. It did cost $5,348,000(US) to walk in. At the exchange rates of the day this was £818,000. This had been his second attempt to break into the lucrative British market place. His first attempts to do so had been thwarted by a law which had been in effect since 1823. This put a large levy on tobacco products that were being imported into the country in anything other than raw state. This meant his American cigarettes were uncompetitively priced.
Just to prove there is nothing new in business "Buck" decided he would get around the law by buying up a British firm. He had tried to by Players but had not succeeded. Upon meeting JD & WG Player for the first time he is reputed to have said, 'Hello Boys, I'm Duke, from New York, come to buy your business.' The reply is not recorded. Things started pretty well for Duke and ATC. With this base he began to issue huge amounts of Tabs and Guinea Gold cards. These were photographic cards of actresses, politicians etc, of the day. The popularity of these cards would have been helped by the fact photography was something relatively new to the populous. The Guinea Gold brand was a major competitor to the Wills, Wild Woodbine brand.
Finally though Britain woke up to this upstart and got their heads together.
1900-1902 is a period of tobacco history called 'The tobacco wars'. Really it was James B. Duke v The Rest of the World. The end of 1901 saw the birth of the Imperial Tobacco Company (ITC). Formed by Wills and twelve other companies they prepared to do battle. During this period many smaller tobacco companies were carried from the field of play because cigarettes were being sold at less than cost. The battle was that bitter and that important. Just imagine the tobacco running in the gutters.
Unusually the UK manufacturers saw "Buck" as something of a threat, and this is the unusual part, did something about it, very quickly. September 19 1901 saw thirteen of the largest firms meeting at the Queens Hotel, Birmingham. The result of the meeting was the creation of the ITC on December 10, 1901.
The original 13, with there capital commitments brought into the consortium,
1. WD & HO Wills £7,000,000
2. Lambert & Butler £751,000
3. John Player £601,456
4. Edwards, Ringer & Bigg £372,603
5. Hignett Bros & Co Ltd £477,038
6. Hignett's Tobacco Co Ltd £54,183
7. William Clarke & Son Ltd £403,582
8. Richmond Cavendish Co Ltd £319,805
9. Stephen Mitchell & Son £701,000
10. D & J Macdonald £131,973
11. F & J Smith £525,803
12. Adkin & Sons £146,499
13. Franklyn Davey of Bristol £473,555
Something of a who was who of the tobacco world. The capital commitments made give a rough idea of the amount of capital these manufacturers were devoted to the production of cigarette cards. Wills was obviously the dominant force in the UK market with the incredibly successful brand, Wills, Wild Woodbine. It is interesting to see Players put in somewhat less money than Lambert & Butler & Stephen Mitchell although the card output from Players was at least on a par with Wills.
Compare the sort of money the British firms could put together with that of the American counterparts.
The following year five more firms were to join,
1. WA & AC Churchman
2. WT Davies & Sons
3. W.Williams & Co
4. W&F Faulkner Ltd
5. Mardon, Son & Hall of Bristol
The fifth in the list was the printers which did a great deal of the printing for cigarette cards
The stage was set for the tobacco war. Duke fired the first salvo, offering free gifts, selling at a loss and generally attempting to grab market share. Prices for the brands under his control in the British market were slashed by the region of 50% in some cases. Newspaper advertisements almost reached saturation level in an attempt to woe the British public. ITC (who had decided to retain the individual companies identities within the group) retaliated with a bonus scheme for all its trade customers. This meant they were in for a share of the profits. This is also the period that the cigarette card became important as business strategy and a boom time for collectors of cards.
Duke hit back hard. Traders which signed the Ogdens bonus agreement would be given a share of the entire net profits for 4 years plus £200,000 annually over the same period. He was able to support this kind of 'generosity' because of his recent acquisitions of Murai Bros. & Co, Japan, The American Cigarette Co. Shanghai, The American Tobacco Co of New South Wales and the American Tobacco Co of Victoria.
Financially this was going to be hard to beat so ITC played the nationalistic card with an extensive 'Buy British' campaign. Then the master stroke, 1902, saw a deputation from the ITC going to America in an effort to buy a US tobacco firm. James B Duke had bitten off more than he could chew, facing heavy losses in the UK market he could ill afford competition in his home market. On the 26 September 1902 the ATC agreed to sell Ogdens back to the British (Duke obviously wasn't in to bad a bargaining condition, he sold Ogdens back for $15,000,000.) ITC and ATC was to cease all trading activities in the UK.
Interestingly cigarette cards were a major part of the factions weaponry. Inevitably costs rose for both camps and a truce was called. Once the smoke had settled, the ground was divided. The American Tobacco company could have America and Cuba and the British-American Tobacco Company (B.A.T) could have the rest.
B.A.T was a newly formed company which had come directly out the negotiations. It was a partnership between ATC & ITC. Both Wills & Duke were on the board, followed by three of the Ogden family, C.E Lambert and WG Player. What would you give to have been a fly on the wall at board meetings there.
This really was only the beginning of the story. Two giants of the industry had agreed to agree and in the process carved up the world between them. It was not quite a monopoly situation but it certainly could be considered a collusive business structure which leads to duopoly. In general such business structures cannot be seen as a good thing for the market.
The tobacco growers in the US might not have been very interested business structures but they knew a bad thing when they saw it. It was for this reason that the president of the Danville Tobacco Association was moved to say, '...producing a condition which was desirable and highly satisfactory to the farmer but that the two Companies had reached an agreement thereby calling off competition and causing a big decline in prices.'
The next few years were taken up with ensuring the efficient supplies of enough tobacco to feed the mills back home. There were always going to be winners and losers in this shake-up. The winners did not complain, the losers did.
The years 1905-1909 were serious for Imperial due to something which they called the 'Western Situation.'
Western tobacco was very important at the turn of the century. It was used for dark shags and pipe tobacco which accounted for four fifths of total sales at the time. The new fangled cigarette only accounting for the final fifth of the market.
Western tobacco was not sold at auction but rather acquired through personal transaction between farmer and buyer. The buyers from various companies would ride around in horse drawn buggies and make agreements with the growers on an individual basis. This was not considered satisfactory amongst growers. Potentially the final straw came when there was a decline in the demand for chewing tobacco (thank goodness) which was traditionally bought from the Kentucky area.
Kentucky and Tennessee farmers attempted to form a union amongst themselves to try and keep prices higher by collective bargaining.
Collective bargaining is only going to truly work if all suppliers agree. Obviously a producer that remained outside the process could sell his crop at a slightly lower price and make a tidy sum of money whilst those within the agreement sell that much less.
Those within the pool felt this was a bit off and took the law into their own hands. This was the era of the group known as the 'Night Riders'. Punishment was handed out to those that refused to enter the pool system of collective bargaining. Under teh cover of darkness the riders would swoop digging out the offending tobacco crop.
Escalation of the situation was inevitable and Imperials was the first to suffer when on Nov 30 1906 a factory in Princeton, Kentucky, operated by John G Orr for ITC was destroyed by fire.
ITC offered a £5000/$8000 reward for finding the culprits.
There were many more smaller incidents but the climax was the raid on Hopkinsville, Kentucky, 7-8 December 1907. A large band rode into town severing telephone/telegraph wires. Violence was commited to people and two factories were burnt to the ground.
The 'Night Riders' were never brought to book but a number of bills were passed which had the effect of reducing the crime level.
On top of all this was the collapse of the banking system in the US 1907-8 but generally speaking ITC came out stronger than it went in.
That is not the end of the story as the depression which first tore through America and then swept through the rest of the world obviously hit the tobacco industry, despite the addictive properties of the product.
ATC returned in 1927 with the purchase of Wix along with the brand Kensitas.
This move was followed by turning Kensitas into a 'coupon' brand. You know the sort of thing, coupons given away in the cigarettes which could be exchanged for gifts.
This was a popular idea, the something for nothing mentality taking over. By 1931 there were 22 coupon schemes struggling for existence.
The Brits lapped the concept up.
Wills refused to yield to this business development and introduced their own scheme. This also is the answer to those rather strange cards you have knocking about which are basically sections of famous paintings which when collected and put together make the completed picture. The idea was to collect them, send them into Wills and you would get a reproduction of that painting. These were issued between 1930 and 1932. Six series in all the final one was 'When did you last see your father.'
Eventually though Wills bowed to market pressure and introduced a coupon brand that same year, 'Four Aces' Within 12 months the mighty Wills had captured 22% of the coupon market. I bet the other manufacturers were really pleased to see them enter the market.
Eventually though the coupon war was proving to be too expensive to continue because of the extra man power it was taking to administer and the big companies got together and signed the peace treaty. The second tobacco war had ended and like the first it was followed by real global conflict.
WA & AC Churchman, Ipswich
Founded by William Churchman in 1790 at Hyde Park Corner, Ipswich. The firm takes its title from the names of his two great-grandsons, who succeeded to the business in 1888.
Ten years later the business was transferred to newly built premises in Portman Road, Ipswich, and these premises, which have been considerably rebuilt and extended, are the present headquarters of the Branch.
WT Davis & Son, Chester
Founded by William Twiston Davis in 1860. The three sons of the founder were taken into partnership in the 1880's, and the business was thereafter known as WT Davis & Sons. The business of W Williams & Company, another old Chester firm dating back to the eighteenth century, was purchased by WT Davis & Son in 1895.
For many years the separate identities of the two firms were preserved, although their businesses were carried on in the same factory. They are, however, now completely merged in the WT Davis & Sons Branch.
Edwards Ringer & Bigg, Bristol
The firm of Edwards, Ringer & Bigg, which is a combination of four old Bristol tobacco businesses, traces its origin to 1813 when William Ringer set up business in Bristol.
In 1893 Edwards, Ringer & Company, as the business was then known, was joined by the old established Bristol firm of WO Bigg & Company and the combination then took its present title of Edwards, Ringer & Bigg.
W & F Faulkner, London
This business was founded in the early nineteenth century near Blackfriars Bridge, London. The firm takes its title from William and Frederick Faulkner, sons of the founder. The business of the Adkin & Sons, Branch - another old London firm, established in the Ratcliffe Highway in 1775 - is merged with that of W & F Faulkner.
Franklyn, Davey & Co., Bristol
The actual date of the foundation of this firm is not known. The first recorded date in its history is 1779, when in a fine Jacobean house on the Welsh Back, Bristol, was taken over by a tobacconist named John Davies as a combined residence and factory. In 1781 the firm was listed as Franklyn & McVarthy and it was first known as Franklyn, Davey & Co in 1859.
Lambert & Butler, London
Founded by Charles Lambert and Charles Butler in 1834 at St. John Street, Clerkenwell. The firm moved to Drury Lane in 1836. In addition to manufacturing cigarettes and pipe tobaccos, Lambert & Butler are also cigar specialists.
Charles Lambert was considered in his day to be the finest judge of cigar tobacco in London, and the reputation he established for the firm as suppliers of high quality cigars has been maintained by Lambert & Butler both in their own Bristol-made brands and in the selection of the finest imported cigars.
Stephen Mitchell & Son, Glasgow
Founded in 1723 at Linlithgow by the fourth of a long line of Stephen Mitchells. In 1825 the Excise authorities banned the importation of tobacco into Blackness, the port of Linlithgow, and the business was transferred to Glasgow.
The businesses of DJ Macdonald and F & J Smith, two other old Glasgow firms which joined the Imperial Company on its formation, are incorporated in the Mitchell Branch. In 1904 the Branch acquired the home trade business of J & F Bell of Glasgow.
Founded by Thomas Ogden in 1860. The present factory at Boundary Lane, Liverpool, was built in 1899. In January 1924 Ogden's took over the United Kingdom trade of William Clarke & Son when that Branch was transferred to Dublin following the formation of the Irish Free State. The business of Hignett Brothers & Company, an old established Liverpool firm which had joined the Imperial Company on its formation, was merged into the Ogden Branch in 1930. In addition to its Liverpool factory the Branch has a distributing depot at Islington, London.
John Player & Sons, Nottingham
Founded by John Player in 1877 at Broad Marsh, Nottingham. In 1881 additional land was purchased at Radford, Nottingham, for the erection of three new factory blocks, two of which were leased to lace manufacturers until such time as they were required for the manufacture of tobacco. Today the old 'Lace factory' on the Radford site is dwarfed by the Branch's modern factories in Nottingham the Branch also has factories in London and Dublin, and distributing depots in Glasgow and London.
WD & HO Wills, Bristol
Founded in the late eighteenth century by Henry Overton Wills. The firm takes its title from the two sons of the founder, William Day Wills and Henry Overton Wills the second, who succeeded to the business in 1826. In the early days WD & HO Wills had premises at Mary-le-Port Street and Redcliff Street, Bristol. In 1886 the firm moved to Bedminster, Bristol, where the manufacturing and office blocks now cover a large area. In addition the Branch has factories at Ashton Gate (Bristol), Swindon, Newcastle upon Tyne and Dublin, and offices and warehouses in London, Glasgow and Belfast
Mardon, Son & Hall, Limited, Bristol
Colour printers and packaging experts.
This old Bristol form, which was founded in 1823, is the main supplier of our cartons and printed material. It first became connected with the tobacco industry about 1846, when it undertook the printing of tobacco labels for Franklyn & Co.
In 1889 Mardon's made tobacco history by printing Wills's advertisements - followed later by complete sets of pictures - on the hitherto plain cards used for stiffening paper cigarette packets. These were the fore-runners of the many famous sets of cigarette cards which Mardon's have produced for the Company Branches.
Mardon's joined the Imperial Company in January 1902.
In addition to being general lithographic and letterpress printers, specialising in a wide variety of products, Mardon, Son & Hall are today the largest manufacturers and printers of cigarette cartons in the world.
St Annes Board Mill Company, Limited, Bristol
Manufacturers of carton board,
St Anne's Board Mill supplies Mardon's with the carton board used for cigarette and tobacco packings.
Up until 1913 almost all our supplies of carton board came from abroad, and in view of our increasing demand it was considered desirable that we should have our own board mill in England which would make us independent of foreign sources of supply.
The first board machines started up in 1915. Since then the mill has been expanded to keep pace with the increasing demand and it is not the largest board mull of its type in the country.
The coating mill, where the board is provided with a special surface for high quality colour printing, now forms a large separate block of buildings.
In addition to supplying the tobacco trade, St Anne's Board Mill is one of the principal suppliers of carton and other board for packing purposes for home and export use, and is making a valuable contribution to the export drive.
Robert Fletcher & Son Limited, Stoneclough, Near Manchester
Manufacturers of cigarette paper and other fine tissues and of waxed paper.
This is a subsidiary company which supplies our Branches with cigarette paper, waxed paper for wrapping pipe tobaccos and tissues of all kinds.
The manufacture of cigarette paper is highly specialised. Before 1914 very little was produced in this country, almost all our supplies being imported from France. ITC first placed contracts with the Fletcher company for cigarette paper in 1914. Since then they have so developed and expanded their production that we know have in this country a flourishing cigarette paper business capable of supplying our entire needs.
The Fletcher company has two mills - the Kearsley Paper Works at Stoneclough, near Manchester, and the Greenfield paper Mill in Yorkshire. The latter, purchased in 1920, is used almost entirely for the manufacture of cigarette paper.
The British Nicotine Company Limited, Bootle, Liverpool
Manufacturers of nicotine and nicotine sulphate used for agricultural purposes.
This company, which was formed in 1906, differs from the subsidiaries already mentioned in that instead of producing ancillary materials for ITC it makes use of tobacco stalks and waste rejected from ITC factories. From these waste materials nicotine and nicotine sulphate are extracted. There is a home and export demand for these products for agricultural use.
"A card collection
is a magic carpet that takes you away from work-a-day cares
to havens of relaxing quietude where you can relive the pleasures
and adventures of a past day -brought to life in vivid picture
and prose. Here is a phase in our heritage without which history
has no full meaning and only history can help man to understand
the past and the present for the future. This is history from
an original source. Cards depict the devastation of nature's
fury, the crashing armies of conquering nations and the increasingly
mad whirl of modern existence. They also show the serenity
of a quiet country life, the gracious humility of those called
great, the joyous romp of children on Christmas morning and
a thousand other homely things we love to remember. Every
set of cards is a glorious picture window of the past. Pen,
brush and camera have joined forces with the graphic arts
to bring to life these groups of pictorial gems. Their important
role in our past is now receiving a just recognition. History
cannot ignore them and be complete"
Jefferson R Burdick USA.