Card of the Day - 2022-07-30

Ardath Famous Footballers
Ardath Tobacco Co. Ltd [tobacco : UK] "Famous Footballers" (August 1934) 41/50 - A745-350 : A72-24

Here we have  T Graham who played for Nottingham Forest - and Nottingham has also been the home of one of the most remembered British bicycles, the Raleigh, since 1887.

Strangely there was no Mr. Raleigh, nor did it celebrate the exploring of Sir Walter; its founder was Sir Frank Bowden, who was advised when he was almost forty that his poor health might be restored with more exercise and decided that biking might be fun, and, when it turned to to indeed be so, he started making bicycles.

Or so the story goes, for the truth is that he merely bought the shop which sold him the bike and enlarged it. He also became President of the British Cycle and Motor-Cycle Manufacturers Trade Union, and was created a baronet, passing that title to his oldest son.

And what of the owners of that original shop, Mr. Woodhead, (who held a patent for gear cases, and must have been reasonably well off as he is recorded as having "one servant" in the 1901 census) and Mr. Angois, (a Frenchman, who was naturalised in 1900)? Well they do seem to have been given directorships in Raleigh, but there is little word about what happened to them after that. Anyone knowing, or researching them, do tell us!

This set was first mentioned in the original "Notes on Current Series", written by Mr. C. L. Porter for the London Cigarette Card Company`s "Cigarette Card News", Volume II, No.14, dated November 1934. This reads as follows :

Ardath Tobacco Co. Ltd., Famous Footballers. 50 small cards. No sport has a greater following in the mass than Association football, and this series is certain of great popularity. The cards are exceptionally well produced (Ardath are setting a very high standard in this respect) in full colours from photographs of the players, and brief biographies are printed on the backs. The series has adhesive backs, and an album for the set may be obtained from tobacconists, price 1d. The biographies are reproduced in the album, in order that it may form a complete record.

This set was replaced by “Champion Dogs” (A745-280) in November 1934.

In our original reference book to Ardath (RB.6), published in 1943, this set is described as : 

Aug.1934. 50. FAMOUS FILM STARS (titled series). Size 1 7/16" x 2 11/16". Numbered 1-50. Printed in two colours from half tone blocks, varnished, titled, with white margins. Backs, printed in grey, adhesive, with description. Issued with Ardath Cork and State Express 333 Cigarettes. A pocket-book album was issued, price 1d.

No.32, printing on back reversed, description of Mc.Grory, front picture of Brook
No.39, Front photo of S. Matthews, back description of J.W. Smith (No.12)

I have to mention that having "white margins" is quite a scarcity these days, because the varnishing has aged and they tend to be cream, or even yellow. However in October this year it will be ninety years since they first slid into view from a packet., so some yellowing is to be expected and really ought to be forgiven.

By the time of the original World Tobacco Issues Index, this set is less effusively catalogued as : 

FAMOUS FOOTBALLERS. Sm. Nd. (50). Special album issued. ... ... A72-24

And this text, exactly, appears in the updated version, though the code is altered to A745-350.