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Cigarette and Trade Cards

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  • “Aviation” by W.D. & H.O. Wills – Complete set of Cigarette Cards – 1910

    “Aviation” by W.D. & H.O. Wills – Complete set of Cigarette Cards – 1910

    Maybe our favourite set of cigarette cards. A complete set of 50 cards of the first “Aviation” set issued by W.D. & H.O. Wills of Bristol and London in January 1910.

    Very good condition, now protected in standard card wallets.

    The timing of the cards makes them a remarkable historical piece. The first 25 cards are described as “Airships – Lighter than Air” and cards 26-50 “Aeroplanes – Heavier than Air).

    In balloons and dirigibles we start with the middle ages concept of Francesco de Lana and then the first serious balloon ascent by Mongolfier in 1783. A year later the first English balloon took off designed by an Italian. The English Channel was crossed the following year (1785) by Blanchard and Jeffries. Then after the first parachutes the era of the dirigibles from 1852 … rounding the Eiffel Tower, the adaption for war purposes through many amazing designs to the enormous German Zeppelin.

    In aeroplanes from early concepts through to Henson’s ideas, the Lillenthal Glider, concepts by Maxim (of machine gun fame) and eventually “off the ground” with Wilbur and Orville Wright … from rails not wheels. The fascinating designs took off at pace with numerous mono and biplane designs and the unique Helicopter by Rickman.

    The last card honours the first lady aviator … Madame the Baronesse Delaroche.

    Complete set of Wills first Aviation cards – 1910



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