Friday, November 07, 2014

Sepia Saturday 253 : Gone Fishing With The King


Our Sepia Saturday theme this week shows a group of Canadian miners on a fishing trip. I trawled my various family photographic archives for fish and the closest I could find was a picture of Auntie Miriam outside a fish and chip shop. I decided to keep this particular treat for our annual Auntie Miriam Day in January, and therefore the best I could come up with was a cigarette card from the W.D. & H.O. Wills 1937 series "Our King and Queen".  Card No. 29 is headed "Deep Sea Fishing, New Zealand, 1927. Somehow I have acquired the full set of 50 cigarette cards, inherited probably from my father. Produced long before the days when cigarettes were hidden behind closed cupboard doors, such cards were given away in packets of cigarettes and designed to appeal to adults and children alike.

The King and Queen in question are, of course, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The King, we are told, was a keen fisherman and his "bag" on this particular fishing trip included a shark. Our Canadian miners probably didn't manage to "bag" a shark, but they were taking a few precious hours away from a life of toil hewing coal. His Majesty, by comparison, will have been carefully shepherded to the best fishing grounds and, no doubt, he didn't have to fillet the shark himself.

The little card - hardly larger than 1 inch by 2 inch - is packed with history. It tells of times when companies where "imperial", when tobacco was a harmless treat, and when happy citizens pasted pictures of their favourite kings and queens into little books.  Times have changed.


You can take a look at what others are doing for Sepia Saturday 253 by going over to the Sepia Saturday Blog and following the links. There again, you could go fishing instead.


15 comments:

  1. Cigarette cards were all the rage when I was young - I suffered because no-one in our house smoked.

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  2. Oh. I was looking for Elvis...

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  3. My parents were both smokers but there were no cigarette cards that I recall.

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  4. Good marketing, that one penny "attractive" album. The King "sang" for his supper didn't he...visiting 53 towns when we know he would have preferred going fishing.

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  5. I'm sure I remember cigarette cards in the 1970s. It's really not that long ago, is it? How attitudes change - this time for the better, no doubt.

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  6. My Dad smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day, but no trading cards in my memory. Perhaps none of the American brands offered such? I do remember baseball cards, though I never collected any nor did my brother. Now football (American) cards I would have collected had I seen any. I became interested in the sport when I was ten. The boy up the street taught me how to play, & I listened to it on the radio on Saturday afternoons when my Dad's college team (Cal, Berkeley) was playing, & I still love it!

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  7. Cigarette cards weren't popular in the United States. I collected baseball cards when I was in grade school, even though I couldn't stand the bubble gum that was packed with them.

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  8. Great card, although the person leaning out - is that the King? - looks in danger of falling in. I imagine no one dared to hold on to his legs. My sister lives in the Bay of Islands, and a distant cousin of ours runs a business operating deep sea fishing charters out of Auckland NZ.

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  9. I've been had ! I saw that heading about Gone Fishing with the King and I was all prepared to read a wonderful post about my favorite fish, King George Whiting, caught off the shores of South Australia, a fish with a beautiful , delicate texture which just melts in your mouth. Ho Hum Cigarette Cards it is. But I now know the KGW was named in 1829 at King George Sound in Western Australia so have no connection with your lovely cigarette cards. My mistake, Ain't life grand !

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  10. Life was a lot simpler then huh? Can you imagine cigarette cards now and if so, who they might feature?

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  11. I wonder when cigarette cards went out of vogue? I was so lucky to find one which had a photo of a relative on it but that's a story for another day. You reeled us all in withe the title ;)

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  12. I like the notion that Duke/King George experienced that same thrill of a fish suddenly hooking the line as those Canadian miners did. Big fish or little, it is the same wonder.

    I also noticed that one of your recent picture posts on the brass plate for the Hotel Excelsior fits neatly with my Sepia Saturday post this weekend.

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  13. I'd never heard of cigarette cards. I wonder if the attractive album to keep them in was a popular item.

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  14. hmm, my folks both smoked, gee whiz back then most every adult did, but I don't recall the cards. interesting post!

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  15. You’ve jogged my memory about cigarette cards, which I certainly remember being around when I was young. I’d forgotten what little gems of information they were.

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