Typical R83 "Lone Ranger" Card Front
As a young lad I would sit in front of our Zenith radio mesmerized by the green "tuning eye" as the "William Tell Overture" announced the beginning of "The Lone Ranger" radio show. This series of trading cards captures the spirit of that bygone era when the differences between the "Good Guys" and the "Bad Guys" were well-defined. The "Lone Ranger" series was one of the most popular non-sports sets ever issued. Issued by Gum, Inc. in 1940, the set featured outstanding color artwork and detail on the fronts of the cards. The backs of the cards chronicled the exciting adventures of the "Masked Man" and his sidekick "Tonto" as they brought the bad guys to justice.
The 48 cards in this series measure 2-1/2" x 3-1/8". Gum, Inc. copyrighted both the fronts and the backs of the individual cards. The first 36 cards are the easiest to collect. The last 12 are bit more difficult to find. The last card, number 48, seems to be the key in the set and commands the highest value. The American Card Catalog reference number for the series is R83.
Typical R83 "Lone Ranger" Card Back
Wrapper & Retailer's Display Box
Currently there appears to be only one wrapper associated with the series. If you should run across any other wrapper variants, please let us know. The 1¢ "Lone Ranger" wrapper features a prairie scene with mountains in the background and a "head shot" of the Lone Ranger shouting "Hi-Yo Silver!" At one point, the wrappers were considered to be rare. However in recent years, enough wrappers have surfaced to bring the prices down to more reasonable levels. However, be advised that these wrappers are still scarce and do command premium prices. A picture of the Retailer's Display Box is presented below. At this point we do not have any information on the color schemes of the wrapper and the display box. Your help would be appreciated in this area.
( Special thanks to Vladislav Kuchta for sending us this scan. )
R83 Retailer's 1¢ Display Box
B/W Photos - The Sport Americana® PRICE GUIDE to the Non-Sports Cards 1930-1960, Volume 2, by Christopher Benjamin
Lone Ranger Premiums (5)
Gum, Inc. also issued a series of five Lone Ranger Premiums. The brilliant color and detail of these 8" x 10" pictures makes them the most desirable of all of the 1930s premiums. Each picture was available from Gum, Inc. in exchange for "Lone Ranger Bubble Gum" wrappers and coin. The backs of these premiums are marked "series A," however no more series were ever produced. According to Benjamin1, "The advertising sheet which mentions Horrors of War is evidence that these premiums were actually produced in 1938, the same year As the Republic Pictures matinée serial on which they were based. The fabulous color montage of all five premium pictures is the front side of a promotion sheet sent to candy income stores." The American Card Catalog reference number for this subset is R83A. An example of one of these premiums shown below.
Typical R83A Lone Ranger Premium
1 - The Sport Americana® PRICE GUIDE to the Non-Sports Cards 1930-1960, Volume 2, by Christopher Benjamin
The R83 "Lone Ranger" Checklist may be downloaded by clicking the "Checklist" button below.
We need your help to complete the R83 "Lone Ranger" Image Guide." If you can help us fill in any of the blanks, please let us know. Scans of the fronts and backs of the missing cards would be appreciated. Scans of 600 dpi or greater are ideal for our needs.
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A very special thanks to Vladislav Kuchta from Prague, Czech Republic for sending us a scan 1¢ wrapper. Vladislav is a long-time collector of chewing gum wrappers. He has over 100,000 items in his collection. Be sure to visit his website www.chewing-gum.biz.