RB.3 - W.D. & H.O. Wills

RB.3 - The Cigarette Card Issues of W.D. & H.O. Wills 

Editor – not stated
Printer – Parker Brothers, St. Albans, Herts
Date of completion – not stated
Date of Publication – 1942
Limited Edition of -  400
Original cost – 3/6 post free
Pages – 44
Illustrations – none 
Out of Print by – 1948
Superseded by - The World Tobacco Issues Index (RB.21 - issued 1956)

RB.3 Wills

"Cartophilic Reference Book - No.3 : The Cigarette Card Issues of W.D. & H.O. Wills. An Official Checklist Compiled by A Committee of the Cartophilic Society of Great Britain" appeared in 1942.

This must have been fairly late in the year, as it was first mentioned, almost in a whisper, on the cover of The Bulletin of January 1943 (Vol.4 No.42), where it says "The first of the new increased annual subscriptions is now due, and it will save a considerable amount of clerical work if members will make a point of remitting promptly. You can save postage and poundage also if you order the new Wills' Cartophilic Reference Book at the same time".

Like the previous two books, this was issued as a limited edition of 400 copies, and there are no illustrations. There is also no word as to an editor, but there was one, Eric Gurd. I am not sure why this is not shown on the book though.

It was again "Printed in Great Britain by Parker Brothers, St. Albans, Herts." and produced with a slightly thicker grey cover, shown right, however the inside had changed, and rather than a quote from Thackeray, the page was covered with an index of the sets, and comparison tables, listed within. The first text page also starts with a key to some of the terms used within, and an introduction to the early issues.

This booklet covers the very first years of Wills issues, from the advertisement cards of 1889-1894, several series of photographic actresses (1893?), Animals and Birds in Fancy Costume, Beauties (brown back, playing card), Double Meaning (1898), Coronation Series (1902), Cricketers (1896) Cricketers Series (1901), Girl Studies (?), Kings & Queens (1897-1902), Seaside Resorts (1889), Ships (1895/6), Soldiers of the World (1895-7), Soldiers and Sailors (1895), Sports of all Nations (1900), and Wild Animals of the World (1901-4)

By the time that our James Taddy Reference Book, No.12, was published, in 1948, Wills (Part 1) was listed as "Now out of print *". The asterisk is explained as "only un-covered copies available for new members of the Society." This must mean that the innards were being duplicated or reprinted, presumably from the number one in our library, but its decorative, slightly thicker covers could not be.

This book was never reprinted as a stand alone volume with a green cover. Instead it was printed as a hardback, containing the text from all five of the Wills reference books, and a real treasure, the dates of issue of many of the home and export sets, which had been extracted from the Wills` Works Magazine. This book is still available in our bookshop, and it is usually known as the Wills Combined.

Or you can buy a hardback which combines these five books with our work on British American Tobacco - usually known as the Wills/BAT, because for some reason it never had an official RB number. 

In 2011, we entirely remastered the Wills volumes and produced a brand new Wills Reference Book, giving it the code of RB.103. This is also available in our bookshop.