“Tip-Top Space Cards” (D94-4)
By: John A. Shupek (Skytamer Images)
- Series Title: Tip-Top Space Cards
- ACC No.: D94-4
- Manufactured by: Specialty Advertising Services, Inc., N.Y.
- Packaged With: Tip-Top Bread
- Number of Cards: 24 (unnumbered)
- Card Dimensions: 66 × 93 mm
- Circa: 1954
- Checklist: Download
Released during 1954, “Tip-Top Space Cards” were one of the most highly prized of the bakery collector card sets. The fronts of these futuristic trading cards featured 24 colorful “Space” artwork images. The generic “landscape” format Backs of the cards are printed in a red, white, and blue, and feature a “Tip-Top” bread loaf. The cards measure 66 × 93 mm and are not numbered.
According to the NSB¹ “This very popular space set was presumably printed on a 42-card sheet (as seen from other Tip-Top sets of the era). This created short-printed[sp] cards that are in very high demand as they are the ones that typically prevent one from completing a set. The six “short-printed” cards command a premium commensurate with their scarcity. Not all short-printed cards have been identified.”
Issued in 1954 by Speciality Advertising of New York, these unnumbered cards are a very difficult set to collect. Most collectors are hard-pressed to collect even a few of the cards. The card stock is thin but durable. We are pleased to be able to share these D94-4 Tip-Top Space Cards images with you.
“Tip-Top Space Cards”, Tip-Top Bread (D94-4) Checklist
We have provided two versions of the Tip-Top Bread “Tip-Top Space Cards” checklist. An 8½ × 11 inch PDF version, and the web version shown below. Click on the PDF graphic below to access the PDF version.
John Shupek — John is retired Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineer that lives in Southern California. John's 36 year aerospace career/adventure started in the mid-1960s when he worked for Pratt & Whitney at their “FRDC” … Florida Research and Development Center, West Palm Beach, Florida. John was part of the P&W jet engine design team for the CIA/USAF's Lockheed A-12/SR-71A “Oxcart/Blackbird” engines (J58/JT11D-20). He also worked on the RL-10 rocket engine and the JTF-17A which was P&W's entry into the United States' SST competition between Boeing and Lockheed. Several years later, John moved Back to California and worked at the AiResearch Mfg. Company at LAX and Torrance. He originally worked on the thermal design of the HRE (Hypersonic Ramjet Engine) which was a supersonic combustion Mach 7 ramjet engine that was to be tested on the North American X-15. John did about three more years of jet engine design work before he disappeared for 13 years into the classified DOE “GCEP” (Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plant) Atomic Energy program for the enrichment of U235. After the GCEP program was cancelled by the DOE in 1985, John was hired by Northrop Aircraft to do the thermal design for Northrop's entry into the ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter) competition, the Northrop YF-23A “Black Widow II” stealth supercruise fighter. He also worked on the Northrop Grumman B-2A “Spirit” stealth bomber. After several years on a classified stealth missile program, John worked the remainder of his Aerospace career as one of Northrop Grumman's Program Directors on the United States Navy's F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet” jet fighter program.
During John's career at Northrop Grumman he served for five years as Northrop's “Vintage Aircraft Club” Commissioner and the Curator and Webmaster for the Western Museum of Flight in Hawthorne, California. Several years later, John was the volunteer webmaster (for about 3 years) for the Yanks Air Museum, Chino, California. He also served as President and webmaster for two different NPO's after his retirement. The Whittier Historical Society & Museum and Whittier Meals on Wheels.
John's love of aviation history and aviation photography lead to the establishment of this Skytamer.com website in 1998. The Skytamer.com site has continued to expand and will always grow and will never be completed. It's sort of analogous to a snowball rolling down a hill without any trees to stop it. In approximately 2002, John remembered that he had collected Topps “Wings” (ACC# R707-4) airplane trading cards while in High School. Somehow the cards had disappeared over the years. So at this point, he started to re-collect airplane trading cards via eBay and become an airplane card “Image Collector” rather than a “Card Collector” per se. After John scans an airplane card for the website, he has no further use for it and he puts it Back into circulation via eBay. John's mission statement for the Skytamer.com is basically to restore and preserve high-quality card images/artwork associated with the various airplane card sets from the early 1900s to the present. These cards are wonderful historical “snapshots” into aviation history showing which aviation events and aircraft were important at that point in time. For the Skytamer.com website, basically if it is a trading card collection that features things that fly, but doesn't have feathers, it eligible for the consideration on the Skytamer.com website. John always welcome inputs and high resolution scans (600-dpi) that can be used on this website. John can be reached via the “Contact Us” navigation button on the left.
Geoff Scott — A special thanks to Geoff Scott for helping us to complete the D94-4 checklist and for supplying us with many of the images in this set.
- Watson, James C., M.D. “Tip-Top Space Cards.” Non-Sports Bible (NSB). Vol. I. Chelsea, MI: Sheridan, 2007. 794-95. Print.
- Shupek, John A. The Skytamer Archive. Whittier, CA: Skytamer Images, 2014. Web.
- Scott, Scott. Tip-Top Space Card Image Scans (Personal email communications, date unknown)
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