1912 Aviation Cards Series 103

Curtiss June BugHere’s an interesting set of tobacco aviation cards I recently found on E-Bay.

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:

Milo ReverseOxford ReverseDuke of York Reverse

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:

Wright FlyerLathams MonoplaneBaldwin DirigibleFarmanLangleyès FlyerLa Replublique DirigibleZeppelinSantos Dumont No. 19Curtiss June BugBleriotès Monoplane

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.
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