The First World War on Cigarette and Trade Cards: An Illustrated and Descriptive History
Published by Schiffer Publishing on March 28, 2015
This impressive volume is the product of thirty years of cartophilic collecting by the author, in the category of warfare and the Great War specifically. Some cards with WW1 subjects were published after the war, but the vast majority of the cards in the book were published during the war as inserts in packs of cigarettes or as trade cards with biscuits and other non-tobacco products. Most are British-produced cards but some German language sets are included.
Mazansky notes that the tobacco companies were motivated by both patriotism and profit, and almost all cards served a propaganda purpose. Some of the images include well-known photos and illustrations that appeared in newspapers and books, including battle scenes and incidents where a soldier earned the Victoria Cross. The front of the cards shows the image and title with descriptive text on the opposite side.
This is a well-organized book with chapters on monarchs, political and military leaders, war scenes, weapons and equipment, uniforms, army life, the home front, and war humor.
A real pleasure to examine again and again.
Reviewed by Dana Lombardy, publisher of WWOI