1939 “Defence Series” & “Defence Series Two”
Allen's Confectionary, Ltd. [1,2,3]
Allen's is currently an Australian brand of confectionery produced by Nestlé. Allen's was founded by Alfred Weaver Allen  (1870-1925), a Melbourne confectioner. Originally employed by MacRobertson's, he commenced confectionery production in the 1890s at his Fitzroy confectionery shop. By 1909, Allen's was the third largest confectionery business in Melbourne, after those of MacRobertson and Abel Hoadley. It was launched as a public company in 1922 and erected a vast factory to the design of prominent Melbourne architect Joseph Plottel in South Melbourne on the banks of the Yarra River, where its animated neon sign was a local landmark up to its demise in the 1980s. Allen's abandoned chocolate production after World War II, however it became Australia's largest confectionery company. Allen's was purchased by the UK-based Rothmans Holdings in 1985, and later sold to Nestlé. Allen's is the top brand in sugar confectionery in Australia. 
During the 1920s through the early 1940s, Allen's Confectionary, Ltd. was also known for their trading cards. Allen's issued trading cards as inserts packaged with their various confectionary products. Subjects included Bradman's Records (1931); Butterflies and Moths (1920), Cricketers (4 sets 1933-38); Footballers (3 sets, 1933-1939); Kings & Queens of England (1937); Medals (1938); Soldiers of the Empire (1938); Sports & Flags of Nations (1936); Wrestlers (1926); and Film Stars (1934).  They also issued at least 5 series of aviation/military related trading card sets, including:
1939 “Defence Series” and “Defence Series Two” Overview [3,4]
During 1939, Allen's Confectionary, Ltd. issued two 36-card sets of “Defence Series” package insert military trading cards. Each of the two 36-card sets was issued with four distinct Back designs (shown below) promoting the following four Allen's Confectionary Ltd. products: (1) Butter Menthol Cough Drops, (2) Irish Moss Gum Jubes,(3) Steam Rollers, and (4) Cure-’Em Quick.
At first glance, one might assume that there were four different sets, each containing 36 cards. However, that was not the case. In a very clever marketing scheme, Allen's Confectionary Ltd. issued four subsets of nine cards each for each of the two sets. For example: Card #1 had a “Butter Menthol Cough Drops” Back; Card #5 had an “Irish Moss Gum Jubes” Back; Card #10 had a “Steam Rollers” Back; and Card #28 had a “Cure-’Em Quick” card Back. The cards Backs were not issued in a sequential pattern as was the case for their 1943 “Fighting Planes Series”. Instead they issued the card Backs in a random order. This process was used for both the 1938 “Defence Series” and the “defence Series Two” 36-card sets. This particular marketing ploy forced the customer/collector to purchase all four of the above-mentioned Allen's Confectionary Ltd. products in order to complete the two “Defence Series” 36-card sets. It was the marketing equivalent of “Killing four birds with one stone.”
Unlike most of the card sets issued during the pre-World War II era, these two 36-card sets were not limited to military hardware and equipment, but they also covered civilian preparations for the upcoming conflict. Since the set was produced in Australia, there is a slight hint of favoritism towards Australian events.
The fronts of the cards are rather simplistic. Each card contains a color artwork printed and centered on thin eggshell white card stock, without any borderlines or text with a relatively large eggshell white margin.
The Backs of the cards are also rather straight forward. They are printed with black ink on thin eggshell white card stock, the card Backs (shown below) are divided into upper and lower sections, each framed by a thin black-borderline rectangle. The top section of the card Back contains the company's name (Allen's) plus advertising copy for each of the four Allen's products represented in the series. The bottom section of the card Back includes: (1) the series name, (2) the card number, (3) the card title, and (4) a brief descriptive text of the subject aircraft. Reference examples of all four card Backs are shown below. The “Defence Series Two” card Backs (37 to 72) includes the series qualifier “Series Two.” notation above the card title. Examples of the card fronts and card Back variations for both the sets are shown below. The cards are “cigarette card” size and measure 65.70 × 40.30 mm.
1939 Allen's “Defence Series” and “Defence Series Two” Image-Guide [3,4]
The following 1939 “Defence Series” and “Defence Series Two” 36-card sets by Allen's Confectionary, Ltd., Australia, Image-Guide shows computer enhanced images of the fronts and Backs of the 72 cards in the two Allen's sets. Behind each thumbnail image is a 600-dpi computer enhanced card image that you may access. In addition, directly beneath the Image Guide, in tabular form, are links to the original scans used for the two 36-card series.
Cards 1 to 36
Defence Series Two
1939 “Defence Series” & “Defence Series Two” Checklist 
We have provided two versions of the 1939 “Defence Series” & “Defence Series Two” 36-card sets issued by Allen's Confectionary, Ltd., Australia. An 8½ × 11 inch PDF version, and the web version shown below. Click on the PDF graphic below to access the PDF version.
We Need Help!
We need your help to complete the 1939 “Defence Series Two” Image Guide. As noted above in yellow, we need 600-dpi scans of the fronts and Backs of several cards to complete this webpage. We currently have 600-dpi scans of the fronts and Backs of all the cards in the initial “Defence Series”. However, we need 600-dpi scans of the fronts and Backs of cards #41, #50, #51, #53, #54, #55, #66, and #72 in the “Defence Series Two” set. If you can help, please let us know. If you are able to help us, we will also acknowledge your contribution at the end of this page. If you have a Business, Business Card or a Website that you would like us to acknowledge, we'll include it. Please email via the “Contact Us” navigation button at the left.
We would like to extend a very special thanks of appreciation to Neville Fletcher of Goolwa, South Australia, for helping us to with this collection. Without Neville's help, this documentation of Allen's two “Defence Series” 36-card sets would be a blank page. Neville was gracious enough to share this and several other Australian non-sport card sets with Skytamer Images. Neville provided us with all of the 600-dpi scans of the fronts and Backs both 32-card sets. Neville also provided documentation needed to establish the checklists for the two “Defense Series” 36-card sets. If you need any cards, be sure to check out his eBay store “Collectable Cards and Philatelic”.
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