Card of the Day - 2022-03-31

B519-500 : B84-4.1 [tobacco : UK] Alexander Boguslavsky, Ltd., London “Turf Cigarettes” branded “Sports Records” first series (1925) 23/25
Alexander Boguslavsky, Ltd [tobacco : UK] “Sports Records” - first series (1925) 23/25 - B519-500 : B84-4.1

Now it is not immediately apparent that this is the Boat Race, for the front says simply “ROWING” – it is only the back text which reveals this. That probably means it is missing from lots of Boat Race collections, especially as the front makes me think it is New York, or maybe that`s just me?.

The text tells us the Boat Race was “instituted in 1829”, and that it is rowed “about a week before Easter” (I am not sure why this is?) It also says “Including 1923, Oxford have won 40 races, Cambridge 34, and 1 dead heat (1877)” .

That is curious because this set is recorded as having been issued in 1925, so why does it not use the 1924 race? That was run on the 5th of April, and won by Cambridge, in the fastest time since 1911, so the overall tally moved on, 40 to Oxford and 35 to Cambridge. Whilst the seventy-seventh Boat Race was run on the 28th of March 1925, and also won by Cambridge, when the Oxford boat could not continue.

So maybe Boguslavsky had some connection to Oxford University and used 1923 because it was the last time their team won? This is strangely supported by the fact that Cambridge had won the last race before it was stopped by the First World War, and then won every year after it restarted in 1920, apart from 1923, which went to Oxford. In fact Cambridge then won without a break from 1924 right up until 1937, when Oxford again took the honours. 

Anyway the card says it shows the 1911 race, (held on April 1st) at the finishing line, when Oxford, the reigning champions, and winners of most previous races, won in the record time of 18 min. 29 sec, so maybe that is another reason why that year got the nod for the text. That record was beaten by Cambridge in 1998, who finished in 16 min. 19 sec. They hold the women`s record too, at ​​18 minutes 22 seconds, set in 2022.

There are more oddities about this card as well, because it does not say Sports Records anywhere on it. It gained that title only by default, when cards turned up numbered from 26-50, and itled “Sports Records – Second Series”. 

And to close I suddenly noticed a strange thing with this card, look at the address on the reverse and you will spot that it says “55 PICADDILLY”.rather than the correct spelling of Piccadilly. Now after looking at more sets than I care to count, during which it appears that most of the cards are the mis-spelt version, they are all available in both of the printings. You just have to keep looking. And you may be interested to record that card 25 was the last to discover.

Now this list was used to keep track of what I had and did not, but there are different titles to the front and back of many of the cards and so it shall remain. 

  1 - Lawn Tennis (same title front and back)
  2 - Putting the Weight (same title front and back)
  3 -  Throwing the Hammer (same title front and back)
  4 -  Skating / Ice Skating
  5 -  Sprinting / Sprint Running 
  6 -  Pole Jumping / Pole Jump
  7 -  Running / The 1 Mile Amateur Running Record
  8 -  Cricket / Highest Score in Cricket
  9 -  Walking / Race Walking
10 -  Swimming / The Fastest Swimmer 
11 -  Golf / Golf - the Longest Drive
12 -  High Jumping / High Jump 
13 -  Motor Racing (same title front and back)
14 -  Flying / High Speed Aeroplane
15 -  Motor Cycling (same title front and back)
16 -  Gliding (same title front and back)
17 -  Yachting / The Atlantic Cup
18 -  Horse Jumping / Highest Horse Jump
19 -  Trains / Fastest Train
20 -  Steamers / The Fastest Steamer 
21 -  Flat Racing / The Derby
22 -  Coursing / Waterloo Cup
23 -  Rowing / The Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race
24 -  Steeplechasing / Grand National
25 -  Sculling / Sculling Championship