Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Remember when you could get a trading card as a premium in a pack of cigarettes?  Of course you don't.  You're not that old.  But there was a time...

There was also a time when there was a wireless in every home to provide the night's entertainment for a family.

The two combined some time in the 30s in Great Britain and Ireland when Will's cigarettes began issuing cards of radio celebrities, one in each pack of cigarettes, urging people to collect them all (thus driving up the sale of coffin nails).  These aren't just any radio  celebrities, they're BBC radio celebrities!  Fifty cards in all, each featuring a popular radio act or celebrity you've never heard of. (Exception:  Paul Robeson, the only non-white face in the set and with no mention of the reasons why Robeson was living in England.)

The back of each card contained some biographical information* and was covered with a light adhesive so the card could be placed in its proper spot in a booklet Wills issued in conjunction with the cards.

You've heard of people who have a face for radio?  Some of the photographs in this set point out the truth of that old saw.  More than a few creepy looking people here, folks.

The link will take you to a completed booklet.


* Who knew that E. R. Appleton, popular presenter of dramatized bible stories, was an honorary Druid?  I didn't.  Who knew who E. R. Appleton was?  Not me.

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