Huntley & Palmers 1910 Aviation Cards

Huntley & Palmers 5Still with my fascination of aviation cards, here is a reproduction of a 1910, 12-card set from the British firm: Huntley & Palmers, a company specializing in biscuit-making.

Huntley & Palmers got its start in 1822, and was originally based in Reading, Berkshire, Great Britain. It was one of the world’s first global brands, and ran the world’s largest biscuit factory by 1898 with 5,000 employees working a many facilities scattered over a 24-acre footprint.

From time to time, Huntley & Palmers would provide giveaway collector’s cards with the purchase of the goods, and in fact produced hundreds of cards of various theme.

All the cards had a colorful image on the front with details about their latest products on the reverse.

These cards were given out by retailers, and even then, these giveaway cards became much sought after by collectors.

This Aviation set, written in French (I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest it was only for French consumers) was distributed in 1910, consists of a card-size of 3.375 inches (8.57 centimeters) wide x 4.50 inches (11.43 centimeters) high.

It is apparent that the images in this set show a very early aeroplane race. While all the images are brilliant, I really like Card #9 – showing the plane involved in a bit of friendly competition against an unsuspecting steam locomotive.

Of particular note, is that even though these cards are from 1910, the design featured prominently in this set is a monoplane!

The set of cards show on this blog are mine, and are a reproduction set from 2001 costing about CDN$10. Getting your hands on an original set will set you back about $950.

Now… although the writing on the card is in French, I will present the title first in English.

Card 1: Preparations for departure

Huntley & Palmers 1

Card 2: Exit the hangar

Huntley & Palmers 2

Card 3: Last glance

Huntley & Palmers 3

Card 4: Farewell

Huntley & Palmers 4

Card 5: The departure

Huntley & Palmers 5

Card 6: In full flight

Huntley & Palmers 6

Card 7: A failure

Huntley & Palmers 7

Card 8: The competitors beyond me

Huntley & Palmers 8

Card 9: A match (A game)

Huntley & Palmers 9

Card 10: Flight supreme

Huntley & Palmers 10

Card 11: The arrival

Huntley & Palmers 11

Card 12: The triumph

Huntley & Palmers 12

And – just because it needs to be shown, here is the reverse of the Aviation series of cards:

Huntley & Palmers Reverse

As for just what sort of aeroplane we are looking at – the French have always been proud of their heritage (and why not?), so since this is a French-language aviation series, I am making a leap that the plane must be of French-origin. Or Belgian. Maybe Switzerland.

Look… I apologize for ignoring French-Canada and the African nations and Luxembourg and Monaco. I just doubt there were any monoplanes made and flown there as of 1910, as there were not that many monoplanes out there, as the bi-plane was thought to be the practical and safe design. You know… more wings… more lift.

So… I am searching for a French built monoplane from 1910 (or earlier) with an open frame.

I will not search for a design with the proper tail, because it appears as though the tail changes in more than a few cards.

As of 1910, there were not many monoplanes to be seen. And French monoplanes? Also, with an open frame body.

Of course… one also has to consider that the artist may never have actually seen an aeroplane in his or her life. Or, if they had, what they saw was not a successful flier.

Now, it might surprise you, but the French were very keen and active in the design, manufacture and flying of aeroplanes of all types, and there are quite literally dozens of planes from 1910 alone that could be the plane in the trading card.

However… it is, I am sure, a Bleriot XI monoplane, and the pilot represents Louis Bleriot.

On July 25, 1909, Bleriot was the first person to fly across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air craft. Bleriot is presented here on Card #38 of the Wills’s Aviation 50-card set of 1910 where his Bleriot XI plane is featured. He also makes an appearance in card #67 of the Wills’s Aviation 75-card set, which I believe is from Australia or New Zealand and the year 1911 or 1912. As of January 2017 (I update these things – sometimes) I am not yet up to that card.

Here’s the Bleriot XI monoplane for comparison purposes:


Thanks for coming out. We hope you enjoyed the race.

About mreman47

Andrew was born in London, UK, raised in Toronto, Canada, and cavorted in Ohtawara, Japan for three years. He is married, has a son and a cat. He has over 35,000 comic books and a plethora of pioneer aviation-related tobacco and sports cards and likes to build LEGO dioramas. He has written and been an editor for various industrial magazines, has scripted comic books, ghost-written blogs for business sectors galore, and hates writing in the 3rd person. He also hates having to write this crap that no one will ever read. He works on his Pioneers Of Aviation - a cool blog on early fliers - even though it takes him so much time to do. He also wants to do more writing - for money, though. Help him out so he can stop talking in the 3rd person.
This entry was posted in Heavier-Than-Air and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Huntley & Palmers 1910 Aviation Cards

  1. Peter West says:

    Very well written, if I may say so (in the first person – see, I did read it all!!). There are several aircraft depicted, there is a Deperdussin among them but I think a Bleriot is a good guess. We have a set of these cards in the Eastchurch Aviation Museum where these aircraft would have actually flown (at Eastchurch field, not in the museum itself you understand). Come and have a look next time your are on the Isle of Sheppey. Regards. Peter


  2. Peter West says:

    I should add that Eastchurch Museum’s set is the 2001 reproduction issue. See Aviation History At Eastchurch


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s