Vintage cigarette cards highly collectible
Vintage Cigarette cards are trade cards issued by tobacco manufacturers to stiffen cigarette packaging and advertise cigarette brands. Many varieties were produced around the turn of the 19th century during the late1800s and throughout the 1900s. Topics varied from garden issues, popular in the spring to living and historic topics. Many DIY issues like the 1938 household hints sets were also available.
In the United Kingdom, W.D. & H.O. Wills in 1887 were one of the first companies to add advertising cards with their cigarette packaging.
Each vintage set of cards typically consisted of 25 or 50 related subjects, but a series of over 100 cards per issue was not unusual. Widespread themes were ‘beauties’ (famous actors and actresses, film stars and models), living sports athletes (in the US mostly baseball, in other parts of the world largely football and cricket), DIY projects, spring and nature, living and historic military heroes and uniforms, heraldry] and city views.
DIY Garden Hints set was popular at the time
One of the most popular of these vintage sets of cards were the Garden Hints sets of 50 cards. Since DIY garden work and living was plentiful and popular in the spring, people were anxious to get the next card in the series to collect new garden hints to use as one of their next DIY projects.
This article, along with its slide show, features the Wills vintage garden hints, 1938 series cigarette cards, Garden Hints, (Nos.1-5). These cards all have a garden or spring theme or a living garden topic that in almost all cases uses a DIY approach to educate the reader on a good spring activity for healthy living.
Each card had text instructions on the back to help with the front illustration
Here’s the original text as printed on the back of the cards, England spelling (see the slides for the card illustrations that go with the text and numbers below):
Vintage Garden Hints, 1938 Cigarette Cards, (Nos.1-5)
Concrete Crazy Paving (No 1)
Always wanted a “flagstone” walk, here’s an inexpensive way to DIY….
Making. Mix thoroughly Portland cement (1 part) with sand (3 parts) with a minimum water. Work with spade to uniform consistency and spread evenly on level surface to a depth of 1-1/2 inches. After about 3 hours, with a trowel, cut into irregular shapes (left). Protect from sun and wind, and keep damp during hardening; pieces may then be lifted with spade. Laying. Relay in required position, bedding them firmly in cement mortar (cement 1 part, sand 6 parts; sufficient water to make workable mixture). Straight-sided pieces are laid first (right-hand illustration). If preferred, joints may be filled with coloured cement.
A Paved Surround For The Garden Seat (No 2)
Avoid those wet shoes from the morning dew….
If a garden seat is placed on the lawn, not only will the grass become worn where the feet rest on the ground, but in the evening, when the grass becomes saturated with dew, it is unwise to sit there for long. These disadvantages are obviated by taking up an area of turf and replacing it with stone, or crazy-paving made of concrete blocks pre-cast in wooden moulds (see also Card No. 1). The ground must be made level and hard to enable the paving to be laid firmly. It is better to lay the paving on cement mortar to prevent the growth of weeds.
A Concrete Edge To The Flower Border (No 3)
Here’s how to stop that ragged flower bed edge…
When a flower border runs alongside a lawn, some of the low-growing spreading plants which are commonly used to furnish the front of the border, are certain to trespass on the grass. As a result the lawn cannot be mown right up to the edge and, if the plants are of dense growth, the grass perishes. The solution to this problem is to lay a paved edge along the border, taking up the grass to a width of 12 or 15 inches and replacing this with concrete as shown in the illustration. The plants may then over-run the border without damaging the grass.
Making A Water-Lily Pool (A) (No 4)
Put that back yard pool in yourself…
First excavate to required depth the area to be paved around the pool; then excavate to a lower level the area of the pool itself. Our picture shows the assembling of the framework of 1-inch timber which fits within the excavation and gives a wall-thickness of 6 inches. The framework is so constructed so that it may be readily dismantled, and is treated with oil or whitewash to prevent the concrete from adhering to it. Concrete the floor to a thickness of 6 inches, then place framework in position and fill in space with concrete to form foundation for walls, taking care to secure a good bond with the concrete flooring. (See also Card No. 5).
Making A Water-Lily Pool (B) (No 5)
And add some plants and fishies….
A garden pool containing water-lilies, aquatic plants and fish, gives great pleasure. The formal pool illustrated, with raised edge, paved surround and low wall, is very attractive; the low pillars are hollow, allowing the plants to be grown in them. The paving and walls are made of concrete blocks, cast in wooden moulds. The pools must be in a sunny position or water-lilies will not flourish. The water will not remain clear unless oxygenating plants (e.g. Canadian water weed) are set in the pool, together with water snails and clams. Fish must not be placed in a new pool until the water has been emptied and refilled at least three times. For method of construction see Card No. 4.
Be sure and watch for our next Vintage Garden Hints article for Cards Nos. 6-10 in the series.
- Bob Vila