Saturday, July 21, 2012

Garbáty Cigarette Balloon & Blimp Cards

Netzballon

Regular readers of this blog know that I collect antique ephemera and trade cards. You can read more about that on my side bar or right here. While the trade card fad ebbed at the turn of the last century, cigarette cards continued to be popular a little longer.


This posting features balloon and blimp cigarette cards that were issued in the early 1930s by the Garbáty Cigarette Company of Berlin. The cards were lovingliy pasted into the above album, but for the sake of your viewing, I've regrouped them below.

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Left to right and top to bottom: Höhenforschungsballon Bartsch v. Sigsfeld; Kugelfesseballon, 1878; Drachenfesselballon; Stromlinienförmiger Fesselballon, 1918; Andrees Polarflug; Andrees Ballon nach der Auffindung

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Left to right and top to bottom: Deautscher Freiballon Wettbewerb; Fesselballon; Aufstieg des Piccardschen Höhenforschungsballons; Piccards Höhenforschungsballon landet in den Alpen; Parseval I (erster Parseval), 1906; Parseval (späterer)

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Left to right and top to bottom: Siemen-Schuckert, 1911; Erstes Militär-Luftschiff MI, 1908; Veeh-Luftschiff; Ruthenberg-Luftschiff; Clement Bayard, 1908; Astra "Adjutant Reau"

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Left to right and top to bottom: Ville de Paris, 1908; "Pilgrim" der Good-Year Gesellschaft, 1925; La Liberté, 1909; N-I Norge, 1923; Zeppelin Z I, 1900; Afrika-Luftschiff

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Left to right and top to bottom: "Deutschland" (L Z &), 1910; d L Z 127 "Graf Zeppelin";  L Z 120 "Bodensee", 1919; L Z 121 "Nordstern", 1919/1920;  L Z 126 (R Z III "Los Angeles", 1924; Marine-Luftschiff "L 3"

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Left to right and top to bottom: Marine-Luftschiff "L71", 1918; Z 4 (Zeppelin des Unglücks bei Echterdingen); 1. Schütte-Lanz, 1915; Schütte-Lanz (späterer); Gerippe eines Zeppelin-Luftschiffes; Motorgondel eines Zeppelin-Lunftschiffes

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Left to right: Führergondel eins Zeppelin-Luftschiffes; Navigationsraum eines Zeppelin-Luftschiffes; Schlafraum und Wohnkabine ("Graf Zeppelin")
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15 comments:

  1. Dear Mark, What a fine collection of Balloons with impossible to pronounce German names! I have always loved the Montgolfiere balloon drawings showing people and animals being carried into the clouds. Only yesterday I installed a group of hand painted Montgolfiere tiles into a garden table.

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    1. Dear Gina - We must be operating on the same wave length.

      Incidentally, I took a hot air balloon ride years ago, à la Montgolfiere, and I can report that the landing was rough (essentially every landing is a crash landing!).

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  2. Interesting to see all the variations among early airships, dirigibles, blimps, etc. The 20th century tobacco cards were often educational, while the earlier ones were more celebrity oriented.

    I noticed that this German series featured the Goodyear blimp, mascot of the Goodyear tire company of Akron, Ohio. Coincidentally, I recently visited the home of Goodyear's founder, and am planning a post on it.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Hello Parnassus,

      I too was surprised by all the variations of airship designs.

      I spent one summer vacation in Akron (a schoolmate lived there) and remember touring Akron's Stan Hywet Hall. I'm wondering now if that's the subject of your upcoming post? As I recall, Stan Hywet is a great example of the Tudor style.

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  3. Dear Mark - H has promised me a balloon ride sometime!!!
    This is totally unknown territory for me. I have never even heard the word Blimp before.
    However, I do appreciate the delightful period illustrations on your cards.
    H has a collection of English cigarette cards too, some of which cover unusual topics rather like yours. He has a collection showing Air-raid Precautions, another set showing Antartic Explorations, Kings and Queens of England, Cricketers, and British birds amongst others.

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    1. Dear Rosemary,

      It does my heart good to know that there's an ephemera collector in your family! I can imagine that H's collections have a lot of charm. One of the things I'm conscious of is that collectors of those cards (and my airship cards) had to be very loyal customers in order to achieve complete sets.

      I am especially proud to have taken a balloon ride, since I have an extreme case of acrophobia!! I can tell you that you'll see the world in very different ways, and ways that will surprise you. I was amazed, for example, to discover that when one passes over a cluster of trees, there's a huge updraft of cool air. When one experiences that, one values every single tree all the more.

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    2. I would suspect that the customers loyalty would have resulted in poor health from various smoking related diseases. Something, that sadly, they would have been unaware of at that time.

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  4. Hello, Mark - You have the most interesting and unique collections! This one is just as special. Again, I am not familiar here. How many of those cards do you have? Any advice for new collectors interested in starting a collection?
    Cheers from DC,
    Loi

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    1. Hello, Toi

      I've always been a collector, and was lining things up in rows when I was still a toddler. Perhaps they'll discover one day that collecting is genetic.

      The airship cards come from an album of 228 cards, which was apparently a complete set at one time, but which is now missing one card!

      My advice is to collect something moderately obscure. For example, I have a collection of books on Jefferson's Monticello, which in many ways provides more revealing insights than if I collected Jefferson biographies.

      Next, I would collect something that is not currently popular because then your collection will be much more affordable. I've collected trade cards for almost 40 years, and when I started, I could pick up beautiful Victorian cards for 25¢ and 50¢. Now I see damaged cards for $10, and I realize that I wouldn't start that collection today.

      And finally, I would collect things I'm passionate about instead of collecting for investment. That way, you'll never be disappointed.

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    2. Nowadays, the best place to find trade cards seems to be book sellers and antiquarian book shows.

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    3. Thank you, Mark! I am very lucky to have started early, too. Thanks for sharing.....

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  5. I like your collection, Mark. I think I mentioned - a while back - that I had a nice small group of golf cigarette cards once upon a time. I don't play golf or even like the game, but the cards were so much fun anyway. I sold them.

    Speaking of blimps (or more glamorously, zeppelins)....Turns out that my post today mentions the Hindenburg in passing. Charlie Chan took the airship to cross the Atlantic to Europe in CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OLYMPICS.

    Remember the blimp ride in that Indiana Jones film? Suddenly it's vivid in my mind. Maybe time to rewatch the film. :)

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    1. Hi, Yvette,

      It is time for me to rewatch the Indiana Jones film because I don't remember the blimp ride!! Maybe I was inundated with too much action.

      I have sold several collections on eBay, including campaign buttons and Dinkey toys, and have been faced with the sobering realization that my best investments were made when I was eight and nine years old!

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  6. I just bought this same book on eBay with all the balloon, Zeppelin and Airplane cards intact. Unbelievable, since I was the only bidder and got it for $25 plus $4 shipping. Deal! Judging from the pictures of the "latest" planes and Zeps, I think this would be somewhere between 1932 and 1934. No swastikas are seen anywhere, so pre-Nazi fascist era is likely. I also found a full set of Player's 1936 aircraft cards (no book, just the 50 cards) for about $14 US. I got them from an Australian seller.
    This is a really interesting type of collectible at very low prices. Am I just luck or is the trend for cigarette cards?

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    1. I think you did get a great deal, and I think you were in luck. Older cigarette cards have always been of interest to me, in part because they predate baseball cards, and in fact baseball cards evolved from early tobacco cards. One of my great finds was an 1880s poster of tobacco/cigarette cards with all the then-current rulers of the world. But I assume you specialize in things relating to aircraft.

      Regarding your recent purchase, albums such as yours are more likely to come from Europe and other places outside the U.S. The collecting of trade cards in the U.S. pretty much died out by WWI.

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