Card-O: “Aeroplanes - Series D” (R112-5)
During World War II, multiple sets of “Playing Card Types (PLC)” of collector cards sets were issued. The American Card Catalog number of “R112” is a ”catch-all” designation used to group these PLC card sets (playing card format with rounded corners) into one umbrella category. These cards are generically referred to as “Card-O” sets and include both “gum” and “non-gum” series. These sets generally have two things in common: (1) They all use the same rounded-corners, playing card format as the genuine Card-O Gum issues; and (2) All of the known playing card sets, gum or non-gum, were manufactured or licensed by the Whitman Publishing Company. The sets cover the following topics: Airplanes & Warships, Aircraft Identification & Insignia Sets, Comic Character Sets, and General Subjects. The two “ZOOM” airplane card games are not part of the official R112 category, but are commonly associated with the Card-O sets since they share the aircraft artwork. The two Whitman “Squadron Scramble” airplane card are however officially recognized with R112-8A and R112-8B ACC designations.
Card-O “Aeroplanes — Series D”
The Card-O “Aeroplanes - Series D” airplane card set is a bit confusing on how many cards are in the set. The cards themselves add to the confusion since five of the card Backs claim that the set has “25 Cards” and the remainder of the cards claim there are “27 Cards” in the set. There appears to be twenty-nine (29) aircraft/title images divided between four printings. Each individual printing contains 27 cards. However, it is impossible to determine which of the non Republic P-47 cards belong to which printing. The cards are therefore divided into two main categories; (1) “Plain” Back cards, and (2) “Gum” Back cards. The key to understanding the individual printings lies with the Republic P-47 cards. There are actually three different “Republic P-47” cards. Most of the available literature only mentions one P-47 card.
The Card-O “Aeroplanes — Series D” comes in two different varieties, both were issued by the Leaf Gum Company. The first variety has a simple text description on the reverse side of the card. The second variety contains the following advertising line “☆ Packed with Card-O Chewing Gum ☆”. Five of the cards noted the series length as “25 Cards” rather than “27 Cards”.
To make things a little more confusing, Whitman Publishing Company of Racine, Wisconsin also issued two sets of “ZOOM - The Airplane Card Game (No. 1 and No. 2)” that are often confused as being a R112-5 variety. The Whitman Airplane Card Games share much of the artwork that is used in the R112-5 series. It should be noted that the Whitman Publishing Company is the original source of the artwork used in the series. Their wartime booklets contain the original artwork used with this series and many others series such as the UO-1 Tydol series. The card dimensions are 2½ × 3½ inches with rounded corners. The American Card Catalog reference number for the set is R112-5.
Card-O “Aeroplanes — Series D” (Type 1 — “Plain” Back Cards) Image Guide
Card-O “Aeroplanes — Series D” (Type 2 — “Gum” Backs) Image Guide
Wrapper and Retail Store Display Box
All we have at this time is the information that we obtained from “The Sport Americana® PRICE GUIDE to the Non-Sports Cards 1930-1960, Vol. 2” by Christopher Benjamin. According to Benjamin, Card-O Chewing Gum stick wrapper purchasers got one stick of gum and their choice of a card for a penny. The Retail Store Display box shown below came with a lift cover. Each box also contained a stand-up insert panel with the same design as the cover lid. We are not sure which of the many Card-O series (R112-3, R112-4, R112-12, etc.) used the wrapper and the box show below. Any insight into this would be appreciated.
Albums versus Original Artwork
To the best of our knowledge, Leaf Gum did not issue any companion albums with this series. However, the Whitman Publishing Company of Racine, Wisconsin issued a series of wartime booklets that contained the original artwork used by Leaf Gum for this series. The artwork is spread over at least five of these 3⅟ × 5¾ inch booklets. The artwork was also used in the Tydol UO-1 “Aeroplane” series, the Spaulding Krullers D87 and DC-6 series, and a similar Cracker Jack series. To date, we know of the following six booklets. There might be more of them out there, but we have not seen them.
Card-O “Aeroplanes — Series D” Checklist
We have included two versions of checklist: (1) the web version shown below, and (2) an Adobe® Acrobat® PDF 8½ × 11 inch format checklist.
We would like to thank the following for their contributions to this section: (1) Albert B. Kramer of Roll-EZ Wheels, Inc. for lending us his Card-O collection to scan; (2) the late Richard Dahlquist of Holden, Massachusetts for providing valuable incite into the composition of the Card-O series; (3) Vladislav Kuchta of the Czech Republic for sending us a scan of the Card-O Store Retail Box Display; (4) Chris Sheppard for send us a scan info about Whitman's “Airplanes of the U.S.A.” companion booklet, and (5) Pete D'Luhosch for helping us to clarify the composition and scope of the R112-5 multiple printing sets. Be sure to visit their websites via the links below.
Albert “Al” B. Kramer — A very special thanks to Albert B. Kramer, President of Roll-EZ Wheels, for loaning us his entire collection of over 200 Non-Sports aviation trading card sets to scan for our Skytamer.com website. Without Al's generous help, the scope of the airplane trading cards on this website would be significantly less. Al is a retired Air Racing pilot who raced during the 1980's in his famous “Cobra #22” Biplane Air Racer (N12FE). After his Air Racing career, Al went on to become Owner and President of San-Val Aviation located at the Van Nuys Airport. Al recently “retired” and turned his hobby of large scale model trains into “Roll-EZ Wheels”. Roll-EZ Wheels specializes in the finest large scale model train wheels, and other exclusive products strictly for large scale model trains! Be sure to visit Al's Roll-EZ Wheels website.
Al's Non-Sports card collection consists of War Cards, Presidents, Indians, Cars, Boats, Ships, Planes, Rockets, Movie Stars, Dogs, Licence Plates, Flags of the World, Headlines, Cigarette, and Cereal cards. Al's collection includes the only-known example of the Carnation “Aircraft Recognition Cards” (F270-1a) Douglas D558-2 “Red Skyrocket”. Al obtained the Carnation “Red Skyrocket” card in a group of 12 different cards that he bought on eBay. He originally thought that the cards were a batch of Nabisco cards until he turned over the “Red Skyrocket” card and it instantly became Al's most prized Non-Sports card. Al believes that the “Red Skyrocket” was made as a sample for Carnation and somehow got into circulation. The Carnation “Red Skyrocket“ (Douglas D-558-2) was an artist drawing, while the Douglas D-558-2 “Skyrocket” included in both the Carnation F270-1a (single line) and the F270-1b (two-line) normal circulation sets were color photos, rather than drawings. As a sidenote, the Douglas D-558-1 “Red Skystreak” was also an artist drawing, but went into general circulation and was included in both the F270-1a and F270-1b Carnation sets. All of the other cards in both of the Carnation sets appear to be photographs.
Richard “Dick” R. Dahlquist (1 September 1939 - 11 August 2007) was a lifelong resident of Holden, Massachusetts, and a United States Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War. Dick graduated from Wachusett Regional High School and the New England School of Accounting. He was an accountant for many years and also did private accounting work from his home. He was an avid sportsman and was active in the Nimrod League of Holden.
One of Dick's favorite hobbies was collecting Non-Sports Airplane Trading Cards. Dick wrote numerous articles concerning Non-Sports Airplane Trading Cards for “The Wrapper” non-sports cards periodical, and was a contributor to the NSB (Non-Sports Bible) by Dr. Chris Watson. Dick possessed one of the best and well known Airplane Trading Cards collections. In the Non-Sports “Airplane Trading Card World”, Dick was considered to be “The” Premier Airplane Trading Card collector.
Skytamer Images' John Shupek had the pleasure of working with Dick from 2002 through his passing in 2007. Dick was an avid supporter and mentor of Skytamer Images by supplying numerous airplane trading card images and insight for the Skytamer.com website. Skytamer's first contact with Dick was in 2002 when Dick and John were constantly bidding against each other on eBay. Dick and John soon realized that Skytamer needed card images, while Dick needed the cards, so they decided to join forces to solve the eBay “bidding war” mutual problem. Whenever Dick or John were about to bid on an airplane card, they would check with each other to confirm their intentions. If Dick needed the card(s), John would “snipe” the card(s), scan them for the Skytamer.com website, and then forward them on to Dick. During this five-year timeframe, Dick and John acquired several hundred airplane trading cards/collections in this manner which benefited both Skytamer's image collection and Dick's card collections. During this period, Dick and John talked with each other several times a month and exchanged hundreds of emails before Dick passed. The passing of Richard Dahlquist, has left a void in the Non-Sports “Airplane Trading Card World”. Dick was our mentor, technical consultant, and friend. R.I.P. Dick.
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.
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