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March 19, 2023

An Album of Film Stars: John Player & Sons Cigarette Cards, 1934

John Player & Sons, most often known simply as Player’s, was a tobacco and cigarette manufacturer based in Nottingham, England. Founded in 1877, the company merged with other companies to form The Imperial Tobacco Company in 1901, while retaining the Player’s brand name.

Player’s was one of the first British tobacco companies to include sets of general interest cards in their packs of cigarettes. These cards were generally produced in sets of fifty, and could be collected and put into specially created albums. One of the first sets, from 1893, was “Castles and Abbeys.”

Among the many, many sets they produced were those related to stage and screen performers, civil aircraft, motor cars, traditional British street vendors, flora and fauna identifying cards for Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, military uniforms, a coronation series in 1937, and several related to sports, including football (soccer), rugby, and cricket. John Player & Sons eventually issued more than two hundred sets of cards.


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