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Turf Cigarette cards
Carreras have shown a good deal of innovation in the cigarette card world, the famous Black Cat Brand being some of the last cards issued in the UK. They also re-introduced cards to a Britain which had been hammered by the Second World War.
Neither were entirely successful.
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It is a great story and adds another dimension to the world of card collecting.

All the sets were issued as series of 50 cards and all the printing was in blue apart from Famous British Fliers which was printed black and blue on white.

This colouration is different to any other card ever produced which is in keeping with such an experimental form of the hobby.

It is most likely this colour scheme was a further attempt to reduce the cost of production.

Carreras always had an eye for a bargain.

After WW2 they had bought up vast quantities of 'Chaff' from the war effort.

This was the stuff that was dropped from aircraft to 'blind' the enemy radar systems. It was simply stiff strips of card which had a reflective surface of aluminum. Also known as windows it was dropped in huge quantities from allied planes over enemy territory to 'blind' enemy radar.

As a method of confusing radar and flak gunners it was sucessful and many allied bomber raids were pleased to be protected by a chaff drop.

The stuf was plentiful and pretty cheap after the war.

The idea had been they could make the cigarette packets out of this chaff but the idea did not really work.

Carreras considered removing the silver-backing from the chaff but found this was going to be more expensive than sticking another layer over the silvered side.

This created a silver-sandwich. Carreras incorporated it into the advertising with 'Look for the Silver inside' slogans. Certainly not the first time a virtue has been made out of failure in advertising.

If you look closely at your Turf cards end on you will see that silver layer. It is not on all of the cards by any means though.

Churchmans, World Wonders Old & New
A damaged Turf card showing the 'chaff' side

Only when the card is significantly damaged does its true nature shine out.

Please do not ever damage a card to prove this but it is a reason no card however damaged or worthless should ever be thrown away.

It is a great story and adds another dimension to the world of card collecting.

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Wednesday, 20th August 2008