It’s 10-card set called Aeroplane Series No 103, that was issued by the Khedival Company and The Surburg Co. – both American firms, all issued from the same factory in New York – Factory no. 348, 2nd Dist. N.Y. – according to the cards’ reverse.
It was actually distributed in three different types of cigarette packs: Duke of York Cigarettes and Oxford Cigarettes – both Khedival brands; and Milo Cigarettes, a brand owned by Surburg.
Now, since the 10-card set was available in each package brand, they each have different backs!
The meaning here is that there are three variations of the same 10-card set!
I have the three variation backs below:
These cards were available in 1912, and strangely enough, there is NO numbering on the front or back of any of the cards.
Each card measures 2.54” wide x 1.75” high, with the colored drawing of the aircraft presented in landscape-style, while the reverse featuring the description is always in a vertical portrait-style.
Despite the reverse of the three cigarette card brands each having advertising for the brand on it, the EXACT same copy and PRINTING is applied to each card.
The proof can be found on the Curtiss June Bug card, where if you look closely, you will see that the word “all” has a distinctive printing plate misalignment.
I also noticed a different print ‘defect’ on the Bleriot Monoplane card, where if you were to see the word “managed” on the reverse, you would find a slight nick near the bottom of the stem on the letter ‘d’ on all three versions. Really.
It’s a nice little series – tough to find – but to have a card featuring the Curtiss June Bug aeroplane, it becomes even more special in my mind.
The card set is below: