Heraldic tobacco cards
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Heraldic collector's items catalogue > Heraldic tobacco cards
Cigarette (tobacco) cards were issued by tobacco companies as advertising in their packages. Originally added to provide strength to the package, but at the end of the 19th century the companies realised the advertisment value of these inserts. These cards were issued mainly until 1940, but some companies continued to isse cards in later years.
Cigarette cards were especially popular in the US and the former British Empire (UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa...), and less in other countries. In many other countries the tobacco companies issued stamps rather than cards, and they often issued special albums for the stamps or cards (see the Heraldic albums section for albums issued by tobacco manufacturers.
Although over 13000 different series of cigarette cards are known, only a small number actually deals with heraldic items.
Series by individual companies
John Player & Sons - Countries Flags and Arms
John Player & Sons - Country Seats and Arms
United Tobacco Co (South Africa) Ltd. - South African Coats of Arms
United Tobacco Co (South Africa) Ltd. - Arms and crests of universities and schools of South Africa