Action Gum (R1)
The 96-card “Action Gum” trading card set was most likely issued during the 1938-1939 time-frame prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States formally entering World War II. Subsequently, none of the 96 cards in the set refer to a specific wartime event. The cards all feature “action” scenes showing the United States Armed Services in wartime scenarios. It is interesting to note that there were numerous other “Wartime” card sets issued before this series. However, according to Goudey, Action Gum was “The Greatest Card Series Ever Produced,” as they claimed on the back of every card. The color artwork and text of the series is rather simplistic when compared to other similar series, such as “War Gum” or “Horrors of War.” The American Card Catalog reference number for Action Gum is R1.
To date, we've been able to identify three wrapper schemes: (1) Red, (2) Blue and (3) Green. As shown below, the action-packed center design of the wrappers is printed in red, blue or green inks. All three color schemes feature the same artwork and contain premium offers for service rings and a “Snappy the Aviator's Hat.” High resolution scans (600 dpi) of these wrappers would be appreciated.
The “Action Gum” images presented in this “Image Guide ” are greatly enhanced computer images that were derived from a series of low-grade cards. The backs of the cards were all reconstructed to match the original card backs. Behind each of the following card-images are full-size computer-enhanced 600-dpi images of the fronts and backs of each card. These 600 dpi images make ideal “filler” card images.
We have included the following two versions of the checklist: (1) the web version shown below, and (2) an Adobe® Acrobat® PDF 8½ × 11 inch format checklist.
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's 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.
J.L. Cards — A very special thanks to Joseph Lange of JL Cards for helping us with this series. When you're in the Philadelphia area be sure to visit their store at:
2606 Orthodox Street
Philadelphia, PA 19137
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