1941-42 “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” (FC13)
The Canada Starch Co. Limited, Canada

  • Series Title: Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy
  • Cartophilic Reference number: FC13
  • Issued by: The Canada Starch Co. Limited
  • Issued via: Redemption of Canada Starch Company Product Labels
  • Country: Montréal - Toronto, Canada
  • Number of Cards: 30
  • Card Numbering: 213 to 241 plus one unnumbered card
  • Type of Card: Mail Order
  • Overall Card Dimensions: 10.00 × 8.48 inches (254 × 215.48 mm)
  • Photo Card Dimensions: 7.38 × 5.77 inches (187.54 × 146.47 mm)
  • Circa: 1941-1942
  • Checklist: Checklist

Overview — A Little History About The Canada Starch Company [1]

Canada’s first corn starch manufacturing industry, the Canada Starch Works, was founded in 1858 at Edwardsburg, Ontario, which was renamed Cardinal in 1880. In 1865, the firm was incorporated as the Edwardsburg Starch Company. Then in January, 1906, the Edwardsburg Starch Company was reorganized and renamed, the Canada Starch Company, Limited.

Beginning in the mid-1930’s, the Canada Starch Company and its chief rival, the St. Lawrence Starch Company of Port Credit, Ontario had established full-fledged Advertising Departments to promote the sale of their respective corn starch and corn syrup products. In addition to newspaper and magazine advertisements, both companies featured their products through samples, recipe booklets, store display materials, cooking schools, exhibitions and network radio programs. Both companies were very aware of the advertising methods being employed by their rival and the advertising campaigns were blatantly similar.

In 1934, the St. Lawrence Starch Company introduced its hockey player pictures promotion and the following hockey season (1935-36), the Canada Starch Company countered with its own set of “Crown Brand” hockey pictures. In typical “one-upmanship” fashion, in addition to pictures of individual players, the Crown Brand pictures offered exclusive team photos as part of their collection. (St. Lawrence Starch was, however, clearly the victor in this hockey picture battle as its “Bee Hive” hockey picture promotion ran for more than three decades until 1967, while the Canada Starch promotion lasted a mere five years and concluded with the 1939-40 hockey season.)

The National Hockey League (NHL) defiantly carried on throughout World War II, but the war did cause an interruption in the Bee Hive hockey picture promotion. As a substitute for up-dated hockey player pictures, the St. Lawrence Starch Company issued its series of V156 “Warplanes” pictures for three years, beginning in 1941.

Not surprisingly, the Canada Starch Company “followed suit” and in March 1941 introduced its Crown Brand pictures of “Britain’s Fighting Planes”. The collection began with six pictures: Spitfire, Hurricane, Defiant, Sunderland Flying Boat, Wellington Bomber and Blenheim Bomber. Once again, in typical “one-upmanship” fashion, the Canada Starch Company pictures were “in color” as opposed to the black and white pictures of the St. Lawrence Starch Company.

In May 1941, the “one-upmanship” continued as the Canada Starch Company collection of British Fighting Planes was dramatically augmented with the addition of eight pictures of British Warships: H.M.S. Rodney, H.M.S. Repulse, H.M.S. Hood, H.M.S. Warspite, H.M.S. Ark Royal, H.M. Destroyer, H.M. Submarine and Motor Torpedo Boat.

By 1942, the Canada Starch Company set of “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” had more than doubled in size to twenty-nine pictures.

The inclusion of a picture of a “Bren Gun Carrier” (#241) suggests that perhaps more pictures of military land vehicles would be forthcoming, but as it turned out, none were issued and the set concluded with twenty-nine pictures. There was, however, one final surprise addition to the set. An unadvertised and unnumbered B/W picture of Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain was added to the set, increasing the total number of cards to thirty! As late as 2007 [2], the Winston Spencer Churchill card had yet to be documented as part of the set.

With regards to the battle between the two Canadian starch companies, the FC13 “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” and the V156 “Warplanes” picture promotions, there was no obvious winner. By sheer numbers, the 30-card set from The Canada Starch Co. Limited pales in comparison to the 223 picture-cards issued by the St. Lawrence Starch Company via their “Bee Hive” picture-cards issued in four series. However, the beauty, colors and variety of the Crown Brand picture-cards makes the FC13 set very special.

The following reference card shows the front and back of a typical 1941-42 “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” (FC13) card. Click on the card images to reveal full-size computer enhanced 600-dpi images [3] of the card. However, please keep in mind that the size of these images are in the 22 to 25 MB plus category and will take some time to download.

1941-1942 The Canada Starch Co. Limited “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” (FC13) Picture-Cards

As noted above, The Canada Starch Co. Limited FC13 “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” 30 picture-card set was issued during the 1941-42 time frame. These colorful picture-cards were composed of two basic elements: (1) a large pre-printed cream colored matte paper stock sheet for mounting of the smaller picture cards; and (2) a smaller matte-finished colored artwork page which was glued to the larger pre-printed cream colored matte stock. The larger pre-printed cream colored matte stock formed the foundation for the card. The pre-printed information included: (1) A rectangular box in which to center and glue the picture card; (2) Advertising information within the rectangular box on how to obtain the cards. (Note, these data were not visible when the picture card was mounted); (3) The card title appeared centered and directly beneath the rectangular frame; (4) Directly beneath the card title were several lines of descriptive/specifications text; (5) Directly beneath the descriptive text was a centering bullet; and (6) The card number appeared in the lower right-hand corner. All of the pre-printed text was in the medium dark gray color. The backside of the cream-colored mounting stock was blank. For the unnumbered “Winston Spencer Churchill” picture-card, the information contained within the rectangle box also included a brief biography of the famous Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The overall dimensions of the mounting stock are 10.00 × 8.48 inches (254 × 215.48 mm).

The smaller color photo-cards (7.38 × 5.77 inches (187.54 × 146.47 mm)) contained 28 landscape (horizontal) and 2 portrait (vertical) images. The only image that was not in color was a black and white photo of Winston Spencer Churchill. All of the other pictures were actually nicely done colorful artwork rather than actual photos. The set includes 18 aircraft images, 10 ship images, one tracked vehicle image, and one black-and-white portrait of Winston Spencer Churchill. The backs of the image cards are blank white. The American Card Catalog reference number for the set is FC13.

1941-1942 The Canada Starch Co. Limited “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” (FC13) Image-Guide [1,3]

The following 1941-1942 “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” (FC13) 30-card set by The Canada Starch Co. Limited, Canada, Image-Guide shows computer enhanced images of the fronts and backs of the 30 cards in the FC13 set. 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 this series. However, please keep in mind that the size of these images are in the 24 to 26 MB plus category and will take some time to download.

1940s “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy”
Canada Starch Company Ltd.
W.S.C. 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221
222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231
232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241

FC13 Photos [1,3]

The crowning feature of this FC13 set is undeniably its artwork. There are actually 29 artworks and one B/W photo (Winston Spencer Churchill) in the FC13 set instead of the 29 as previously reported in the NSB [2]. The Winston Spencer Churchill B/W photo was the undocumented image that increased the set total from 29 to 30. The FC13 set contains two portrait (vertical) and 28 landscape (horizontal) images. The backs of the artwork, are blank white. The artwork contained in the FC13 set is superior to and is true “eye candy” when compared to its contemporary St. Lawrence Starch Company V156 “Warplanes” series. We have, therefore, broken out the FC13 artwork into this separate section, so you may properly appreciate the artwork images. Behind each one of the set’s thumbnail images is a 600-dpi computer enhanced image that you may access. Simply click on the thumbnail images to expand the image to its full-size. Please note that these images are quite large, and average around 16+ mb per image. Therefore, your downloads will take extra time.

Canada Starch Company’s FC13 Advertising and Instructions on How to Obtain Cards [1,3]

As noted above, in the “Overview” section the Canada Starch Company’s 1940s “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” (FC13) set of 30 cards were obtained only by mail-order. We’re very fortunate to present some of the early advertisements that the Canadian Starch Company used to promote this set. We have provided the following advertisements in sequential order so that one can see how the FC13 set expanded over time. The earliest advertisement (March 1941) shows that the set was comprised of only six aircraft cards. It’s also interesting to note that the unnumbered Winston Spencer Churchill card was never mentioned in any of the advertisements or checklists. This of course led to the perception that the FC13 set only contained 29 cards. All of the following advertisements were provided by Don Pillar. As with the previous images, each thumbnail image has a full size 600-dpi image behind it. Once again, these are rather large images and may take extra time to download. Enjoy a little bit of 1941-42 history!

1940s “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” (FC13) Shipping Envelope [1]

Now that we’ve outlined the cards themselves, the artwork, and the advertising, let’s take a look at how the cards arrived at your home.

It was a simple process. Upon receiving a request for pictures along with the required redemption pieces (i.e. a label from an Edwardsburg Corn Syrup tin or two box-tops from any of the Canada Starch Corn Starch products for each picture) the Canada Starch Co. Limited mailed the selected cards directly to the home of the person submitting the request.

As can be seen in the upper right hand corner of the envelope pictured below, a typewritten figure indicated the number of pictures that were contained in an envelope. In this particular case, the envelope held 18 pictures. Postage was paid by the Canada Starch Company and was determined by the weight and number of pictures in an envelope.

1940s “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” (FC13) Checklist [1,3]

We have provided two versions of the 1940s “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” (FC13) 30-card set issued by The Canada Starch Company, Canada. An 8½ × 11 inch PDF version, and the web version shown below. Click on the PDF graphic below to access the PDF version.

1940s “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” (FC13)
The Canada Starch Company, 30-Cards, Canada
xCard Title
213Famous “Spitfire”
214Hawker Hurricane
215Boulton Paul Defiant
216Vickers Wellington III
217Bristol Blenheim
219H.M.S. Ark Royal (Aircraft Carrier)
220H.M. Submarine (“Shark” Class)
221H.M.S. Repulse (Battle Cruiser)
222H.M.S. Hood (Battle Cruiser)
223H.M. Destroyer (“Tribal” Class)
224H.M.S. Warspite (Battleship)
225British Motor Torpedo Boat
226H.M.S. Rodney (Battleship)
227“Harvard” Trainer
228Blackburn “Skua”
229H.M.C.S. Saguenay (“Skeena” Class)
230Consolidated “Liberator”
231Westland “Lysander”
232Boeing “Flying Fortress”
233Bristol “Beaufighter”
234Bell “Airacobra” (Caribou)
235Lockheed “Hudson”
236Lockheed “Lightning”
237Curtis “Tomahawk” (sic. Curtiss)
238Bristol “Beaufort” Bomber
239Consolidated “Catalina”
240H.M.S. King George V
241Bren Gun Carrier
n/aShipping Envelope

A Special Thanks

We would like to extend a very special thank you to Don Pillar of Port McNicoll, Ontario, Canada. This is the second set in which Don has been the primary contributor. (Don’s first contribution was to the V156 “Warplanes” sets of 223 photo-cards by the St. Lawrence Starch Company.) For this 1941-1942 FC13 “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy” 30-card set, Don contributed all of the original artwork for the photo-cards, the advertisements, and even the shipping envelope. Without Don’s contributions, this FC13 set could never have been properly documented.


Don Pillar is a retired elementary school teacher who resides in Ontario, Canada. One of Don’s many hobbies is collecting “Bee Hive” hockey photos and literally “anything and everything” related to the St. Lawrence Starch Company. Hence, his interest in the Bee Hive “Aeroplane” photos. Don takes great pleasure in researching the background of the St. Lawrence Starch Company “Bee Hive” photos and is currently co-authoring a book that will chronicle the history of this venerable promotion. Don would welcome the opportunity of “talking Bee Hives” with anyone who shares his interest. He can be contacted at:

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

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 canceled 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 website in 1998. The 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 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 website, basically if it is a trading card collection that features things that fly, but doesn’t have feathers, it is eligible for consideration on the website. John always welcomes 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.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 


  1. Pillar, Don. “Re: 1941-42 Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy, FC13.” Message to Skytamer Images. 27 August to 4 September 2015. E-mail.
  2. Watson, James C., M.D. “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy.” Non-Sports Bible (NSB). Vol. I. Chelsea, MI: Sheridan, 2007. 139. Print.
  3. Shupek, John A. “Britain’s Fighting Planes and Warships of the British Navy (FC13) The Canada Starch Company.” The Skytamer Archive (600-dpi Image Scans). Skytamer Images, Whittier, CA, 2015. Digital Image Database.

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