Petroleum-related cigarette cards

Cigarette cards originated in the late 1800s and by the early 1900s over 300 tobacco companies were including the popular collectibles in cigarette packs. Themes for sets included military, history, sports, transportation, and industry.  Commonly there were 25-50 different cards per set.  Three early notable British cigarette card advertisers were W.D. & H.O. Wills, John Player & Sons, and Godfrey Phillips, Limited.

Petroleum-related cigarette cards included scenes from Baku, the over-water drilling at Summerland, California, a Texas oil field fire, and other generic drilling and oil gusher scenes. Often the same scene was used by multiple advertisers.  The Wills cards were part of a 1932 set of 50 “Products of the World” series.  The similar Player’s cards were part of an earlier 1928 set by the same name.

SPENCER, Jeff A., 2009, The petroleum history in trade cards, trading cards, and comic books, Oil-Industry History, v. 10, p. 115-119.drillingdoublefront-03

Godfrey Phillips, Ltd.  No. 17 of 25 – Empire Industries series


Summerland, CA  No. 34 of 50 in the 1916 Mining series  



Baku Piedmont cigs
Piedmont Cigarettes


Baku Wills 33
Baku   33 of 50 in 1916 Mining series


West Texas Wills 35
Texas oil field fire  35 of 50 in 1916 Mining series

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