vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Looking at these cards won't be hazardous to your health

Back in the day, when we didn't know any better, not only were cigarettes and other tobacco products inexpensive, without any exorbitant taxes to discourage consumption, but various brands used premiums for promotion. I can recall one brand in the 1960s that included coupons with each pack; collect enough, and you could redeem them for items in a catalog such as a clock radio. After the Surgeon General's report on the dangers of smoking, such gimmicks gradually fell out of favor (and eventually were largely legally prohibited).

Even further back in time, tobacco firms issued trading cards, similar to bubblegum companies today. Baseball players were among those featured, and one of the sport's elite stars of the early 20th century, Pittsburgh shortstop Honus Wagner, didn't smoke and asked that his card be withdrawn. It's what's made Wagner's card so valuable, probably the most famous baseball card ever issued.

Film stars also were subjects of tobacco cards, in the U.S. but especially in other countries, and Carole Lombard was no exception. Sometimes the cards were black-and-white photographs, sometimes they were handpainted in color. Here are some from both the U.S. and the United Kingdom:

These cards are occasionally available at eBay and similar sites, and the good news is that you can usually find them at inexpensive prices...without any federal taxes or worries about nicotine.
Tags: baseball, cigarette cards

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