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“War News Pictures” (R165)
Gum Inc., United States


  • Series Title: War News Pictures
  • ACC No.: R165
  • Manufactured by: Gum, Inc.
  • Country: United States
  • Number of Cards: 144
  • Numbering: 1 to 144
  • Card Dimensions: 2½×3⅛ inches
  • Circa: 1939-1940

Background


This World War II set from Gum, Inc. is not as confusing as it looks. The set is divided into seven distinct subsets which have their own characteristic look. The subsets are as follows:

  • Cards 1-48 — These cards feature black-and-white photos and black and gray drawings with white borders. The reverse contains a 1939 copyright with a code B- 1--14.
  • Cards 49-72 — These cards feature multi-color artwork with white borders. The reverse contains a 1939 copyright with a C-49-72 code.
  • Cards 73-84 — These cards feature artwork with green and orange tones with orange borders. The reverse side contains a 1939 copyright with a D-73-84 code.
  • Cards 85-96 — These cards feature artwork with blue and orange tones with white borders. The reverse side contains a 1939 copyright with a E-85-96 code.
  • Cards 97-108 — These cards feature artwork with black and orange tones with white borders. The reverse side contains a 1939 copyright with the code F-97-108.
  • Cards 109-120 — These cards feature artwork with blue and orange tones with white borders. The reverse side contains a 1939 copyright with the code G-109-120. This series is the key to collection and are very difficult to obtain.
  • Cards 121-144 — These cards feature artwork with blue and orange tones with white borders. Reverse side contains a 1940 copyright with no code number. F-L-A-S-H appears at the top center on the Back.

Fortunately, the words “War News” are somewhere on every card, which is the one common detail that makes cards of this series easy to identify.

Gum, Inc. began distributing “War News Pictures” in 1939 and continued into 1940. The initial wrapper was semi clear wax with the word the “WAR” SET on a red center, and the advertising copy Onto Tried to Tie the War News Pictures with the extremely successful"Horrors of War" series which preceded it:"START IMMEDIATELY TO SAVE THIS COMPLETE SERIES. Complete sets of the first 240 Horrors of War cards, published in 1938, are now very valuable. Don't miss the opportunity to get all of this new series of picture cards." If that wasn't enough, another advertising panel on the wrapper described the current set as"news pictures and illustrations of the current HORRORS OF WAR in Europe." This wrapper bears a 1939 copyright date.

The second wrapper associated with the set carries a 1940 copyright date and has a white and black newspaper design set on a yellow center. By that time, the public had already come to the conclusion that War News Pictures could not match Horrors of War in style and quality, so the attempt to link to the two sets by advertising propaganda was abandoned in favor of passing off the cards as"valuable classroom material." J. Warren Bowman, the owner of Gum, Inc., was a man always in search of the promotional gimmick: convincing teachers to allow bubble gum cards in the schoolhouse was a kind of challenge he enjoyed!

There are three additional features of the set that are fascinating to collectors. First, the subseries numbered 49 -- 72 carries the identical color artwork of 24 cards of Gum, Inc.'s"The World in Arms" set, which was also issued in 1939. This is the only run of full-color cards in War News Pictures, and only Bowman would dare to make two sets out of one. Secondly, advertising on the last run of War News Pictures cards (121-144) suggests that more cards of both number 144 were planned -- but none were ever released to the public. Finally the set contains 12 of the rarest of all 1930s cards: numbers 109 -- 120. Over the years, collectors have constructed several series to account for the scarcity of these cards, but no reliable information about them has been confirmed. Very few sets of War News Pictures are known to exist because these 12 cards are simply not available. The American card catalog reference number for the set is R165.

Image-Guide


Cards 1 to 48 Black and white photos and black and gray drawings.
White borders.
1939 copyright
B-1-14 code

Cards 49 to 72 Multi-color artwork.
White borders.
1939 copyright
C-49-72 code

Cards 73 to 84 Artwork with green and orange tones.
Orange borders.
1939 copyright
D-73-84 code

Cards 85 to 96 Artwork with blue and orange tones.
White borders.
1939 copyright
E-85-96 code

Cards 97 to 108 Artwork with black and orange tones.
White borders.
1939 copyright
F-97-108 code

Cards 109 to 120 Artwork with blue and orange tones.
White borders.
1939 copyright
G-109-120 code

Cards 121 to 144 Artwork with blue and orange tones.
White borders.
1940 copyright
no code number
F-L-A-S-H at top center on Back.

Partial Checklist


  1. British Anti-Tank Rifle
  2. Polish Cavalry (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  3. French Reservists Called to Colors (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  4. British Secret Anti-Aircraft Gun (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  5. German Air Student
  6. Gdynia Bombarded
  7. Polish ''Big Bertha''
  8. Newest British Motor Torpedo Boat
  9. Inside the Siegfried Line
  10. British Transport Plane
  11. British Tank Crew
  12. Polish Troops on the March
  13. Lowering a Depth Charge
  14. England's General Ironsides
  15. Decontamination Squad, England
  16. Back Door of the Siegfried Line
  17. Searchlights in London
  18. French Motorcycle Unit
  19. German Torpedo Boat
  20. Guns on German Cruiser in Action
  21. Exploding Depth Charge (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  22. Preview of London Evacuation
  23. Polish War Tanks
  24. Siegfried Line's Bristling Face
  25. Living Quarters on the Siegfried Line
  26. President Moscicki of Poland
  27. Signing Soviet-German Pact (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  28. Poles Attack German Radio Station
  29. Poland's Smigly-Rydz
  30. British Bombers Rain Leaflets on Reich
  31. Hitler Congratulates Von Ribbentrop
  32. Avro Anson Bomber Over Rams Gate
  33. King George VI and Neville Chamberlain
  34. Danzig Harbor
  35. German Submarine Base at Kiel
  36. War Map
  37. Controlling London's Defense Machinery (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  38. Polish Bombing Planes (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  39. France's General Gamelin
  40. Aerial View of Warsaw
  41. Admiral Raeder (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  42. The Siege of Wesferplaffe
  43. The Maginot Line
  44. Polish Massed Military Might
  45. General Viscount Gorf
  46. Franco's Daladier
  47. Germany's Von Brauchitsch
  48. Sinking of the ''Athenia''
  49. French Battleship ''Dunkerque''
  50. German Submarine
  51. British Fifteen-Ton ''Hornet''
  52. Guns of the Maginot line In Action
  53. British Balloon Barrage
  54. German-Manned Avia Fighters
  55. British Mayo Composite Plane (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  56. German Junkers Bomber (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  57. French Tank in Action
  58. British Armed Cars
  59. ''Air Infantry''
  60. Flame-Throwers
  61. German ''Schnellboote''
  62. British Battleship ''Rodney''
  63. British Destroyer ''Straddling'' Torpedoes
  64. Australian ''Wirraway''
  65. French Torpedo Planes as Air Escort
  66. Germany's Heligoland
  67. The Mereth Line of France
  68. British Portable Air Raid Shelter
  69. Gas Raid Rescue Squad
  70. Flame-Throwing Tanks
  71. French 75 mm. Howitzer
  72. Martin-Barlow Aerial Bomb
  73. British Flying Boats Rescue Crew of Steamer
  74. British bombed German ships at Wilhelmshaven
  75. Air Raid Sirens Send Parisians to Cellars
  76. Destroyers Sinks Strangely Disguised U-Boat
  77. Nazi Machine Gunners Slay Polish Cavalry
  78. British Troops Are Welcomed in France (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  79. Polish ''Franctreur'' Fires Into Germans
  80. French Use Pigs To Touch off Mines
  81. Plane Bombs U-Boat after Freighter Is Sunk
  82. Aircraft Carrier "Courageous" Torpedoed
  83. Russia's Red Army Moves into Poland
  84. Warsaw's Last Stand
  85. Nazi's Use Parachute — Jumpers as Spies
  86. French Flyers Raid Nazi Airplane Plants
  87. Poles Capture Tanks with Flaming Hand Grenades
  88. Polish Soldiers and Refugees Leave Warsaw
  89. Sub Crew Saved after Ocean-Bed Vigil
  90. Hela Peninsula Finally Surrenders
  91. U-Boat Lands Shipwrecked Crew in Ireland (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  92. Largest Submarine Captures Nazi Merchant Ship
  93. British Flyers Down Nazi in Dog Fight at Sea
  94. British Destroyer Fights of Nazi Planes
  95. Nazi U-Boat Torpedoes "Royal Oak" at Anchor (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  96. Nazi Bombers Raid Scotland
  97. Terror in the Carpathians
  98. German Cannonade Rocks Neutral Country
  99. Ghost Plane Lands "with the Goods"
  100. French "Suicide" Squads Hold Outposts
  101. Russians Dump Propaganda in Poland
  102. War on Land Is Bogged Down by Rain
  103. British Freighter Fights Submarine (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  104. Nazi Bombers Attack Merchant Convoy
  105. "City of Flint" Is Seized by Nazi Raider
  106. Sub Taxis Streamer's Crew to Rescue Ship (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  107. Peasants Quit Dynamited Bridge Area
  108. Warsaw's Sorrow (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  109. "Independence Hall" Rescues Sub-Marine Victims (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  110. Undersea Horrors (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  111. Freighter Disables U-Boat for Warship to Capture (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  112. Downed Nazi Fliers Use Rubber Boat to Escape (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  113. Nazi Robot Pamphleteer (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  114. Cruiser Lands Captured Germans in Scotland (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  115. British Divers Take Dead Nazis from U-Boat (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  116. Mortars Scatter Nazis Digging Earth Works (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  117. Nazi U-Boat Sinks English Fishermen (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  118. Germans Attack French Frontier Village (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  119. "City of Flint" Sales Under Norwegian Escort (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  120. France Mobilized Pigeons at Front (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  121. Nazis Use Pocket Subs
  122. U-Boat Shells Mercy Ship (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  123. Swimmer Captures Mine
  124. French Win Big Air Fight (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  125. Nazi River Patrol Is Hit (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  126. Dutch Flood Defense Line (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  127. Torpedo Cuts Ship in Two
  128. Bomb Rocks Hitler Hall (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  129. Mine Blasts Indian Liner (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  130. Scheer Sinks Tanker
  131. Nazi Flies to London (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  132. S.S. Pilsudski Is Sunk
  133. Reds Attack Finns by Air
  134. British Defeat Graf Spee (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  135. Finns Lick Reds at River
  136. Graf Spee Goes to Doom (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  137. Crew Scuttles Columbus
  138. Reds Make Costly Gains
  139. Reds Shot Crossing Ice (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  140. Skiers Prey on Russians (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  141. Division Trapped on Ice (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  142. Russians Freeze at Posts (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  143. Turku Castle Is Bombed (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)
  144. Ski Patrol Derails Train (need 600 dpi scans of front and Back)

We Need Your Help!


As you can see from the above checklist, we need help to complete this Card Collection. We are in need of high-resolution color scans of at least 600dpi for the fronts and Backs of the cards noted above. If you can help us, please contact us via the "Contact Skytamer Images" link at the bottom left. If your scans are used, we will give you a permanent subscription to the Skytamer Archive. We will also acknowledge your contribution at the bottom of this page, display your business card, and provide a link to your website.

Contributors


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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