Eric Gurd was a collector, historian, researcher, author, and editor of “Cartophilic World” magazine, in fact our first research editor.
He wrote several volumes on cigarette card collecting in the early 1940s, the first two being published in 1942, both being based on his long term interest in and research into the beginnings of cigarette makers and cards.
The first book was “Prologue to Cigarettes – The Story of Robert Peacock Gloag, England’s first Cigarette Maker”. Mr. Gurd was especially taken with Mr. Gloag, a character probably unknown to most of our readers today, but vitally important in the story of smokiana, because it was whilst Scotsman Robert Peacock Gloag was serving as paymaster to the Turkish forces in Russia during the Crimean War that he noticed local soldiers rolling up paper and filling the tube with ground up tobacco, which they then put to their mouths and produced a yellowish smoke. When he returned to this country, he brought the idea of these “roll up” cigarettes back as well, and from a factory in Walworth, London, he started to produce “Sweet Threes” cigarettes, so becoming the maker of the first branded cigarettes to be produced in Britain.
Mr. Gurd’s second book, “Cigarette Cards – An Outline” was one of the first real histories of cards and how to collect them. A copy of this volume is available for society members to borrow through our library. The reference number is C430.
After the publication of this booklet, updates and expansions to it were published for several years as articles within the “Cartophilic World” magazine, and also used to produce the first Cartophilic Society Monographs, starting with number one, the issues of Faulkner (library ref.no.F08), and moving on through R & J Hill (H28), the original W.D. & H.O. Wills booklet (W30), Gallaher (G06), Abdulla, Adkin & Anstie (A05), Ardath (A52), and the Directory of British Issuers (D15). By this time the need was felt for a volume explaining the language of cards, which led to his involvement with “Glossary of Cartophilic Terms”, first issued in 1948. This is still an excellent volume to read as you start to collect cards, and it explains so many of the unusual words you will come across in card auction catalogues. It too is available in our library, reference number C198.