1958 “Missiles and Satellites” (V339-7)
Parkhurst Products (Overview) [1,2]
Series Title: Missiles and Satellites
Parkhurst Products of Toronto, Canada was a confectionery company that produced “Parkies” and “Zip” picture cards in the 1950s and 1960s. The company, led by a Mr. George Kennedy, primarily produced hand-size picture cards for ice hockey, but also produced them for baseball, Canadian football, wrestling and other subjects such as this “Missiles and Satellites / Fusées Nucléaire” series of 50-cards.
Over a 13-year period from 1951-52 to 1963-64, Parkhurst Products made 12 popular hockey sets, primarily targeted towards kids. A typical pack of “Parkies” or “Zip” hockey cards cost just five cents and included both a stick of gum and a stack of cards (usually four or five cards to a pack).
Bubble gum cards were popular in Canada and the United States in the 1930s, but they were all but forgotten in the 1940s because of war-time rations. Thanks to the 10-year gap between the 1940-41 “O-Pee-Chee” series and 1951-52 “Parkies” series, the new 1951-52 “Parkies” series featured the first popular cards for many of the game's heroes. The two biggest rookies (or rookie cards as they are known today) were legends Maurice Richard and Gordie Howe (both of whom had actually made their debuts in the 1940s).
For its first four seasons, the “Parkies” hockey series featured players from all six National Hockey League teams. The 1951-52 series was small (44.5 × 63.5 mm) and the 1952-53 series only slightly bigger (49.2 × 74.6 mm). Starting in 1953-54, the “Parkies” series was a comfortable size of 63.5 × 92.1 mm (originally marketed as “Giant” in comparison to the previous seasons).
In those early years, Parkhurst Products also made a small-size series of minor-league baseball cards in 1952, a small-size series of Canadian football cards in 1952, and two hand-size series of wrestling cards in 1954-55 and 1955-56. It also produced a small-size “Photo-Magic” series of Canadian football cards in 1956.
In 1955-56, the “Parkies” hockey series featured only the two Canadian teams: the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs. The 1955-56 series included both modern players are retired Oldtime Greats from both teams. In 1956-57, no ‘proper’ “Parkies” hockey series was produced (although “Photo Magic” cards have surfaced in recent years).
Starting in 1957-58, “Parkies” went head to head with “O-Pee-Chee” hockey cards (produced in conjunction with Topps Chewing Gum). The “Parkies” hockey series still featured just the two Canadian teams, while the O-Pee-Chee/Topps series featured the NHL's four American teams. “Parkies” established a new, slightly trimmer card size of 61.9 × 92.1 mm; O-Pee-Chee used the newly established Topps standard size of 63.5 × 88.9 mm (2.5 × 3.5 inches).
Starting in 1960-61, Parkies added the Detroit Red Wings to its hockey series, most notably adding reigning MVP Gordie Howe to its hockey series for the first time in six years. The O-Pee-Chee/Topps series was now left with just three American teams (although for two years it included either cards or stamps of retired All-Time Greats).
In 1963-64, Parkhurst Products made its last hockey series. While it is said Mr. Kennedy loved making hockey cards for the kids, it is believed that his success in other enterprises urged him to drop his bubble gum and picture card business. After “Parkies” left the hockey card market, the ensuing 1964-65 O-Pee-Chee/Topps series featured players from all six NHL teams.
According to the “ Non-Sports Bible” by Dr. Chris Watson, in addition to the Parkhurst series of sports cards, Parkhurst Products also produced the following 23 series of non-sports cards.
1958 “Missiles and Satellites” (V339-7) Overview
During 1958, Parkhurst Products, Ltd. issued a 50-card set of “Missiles and Satellites” Gum Card trading cards that were issued with Zip Gum “Missiles and Satellites / Fusées Nucléaire”. The cards measure 3.63 × 2.43 inches (92.29 × 61.81 mm), and are assigned the American Cards Catalog reference number V339-7.Parkhurst's “Missiles and Satellites” is in all actuality two sets of 25 cards sequential numbered from 1 to 50 on the back of the cards. The first set of 25 cards depicts artist drawings of a 1958 narrative of a futuristic look at space travel. The story line for the first 25 cards goes this way (tongue-in-cheek):
The second subset of cards (26-50) is rather straightforward. This 25-card subset features color photographs of 22 USAF and USN missiles and rockets, plus 3 experimental aircraft.
The fronts of the 1958 “Missiles and Satellites” cards feature color artwork and photographs of 1958 futuristic space travel, plus color photographs of rockets, missiles, and experimental aircraft in the United States inventory. The card images are centered within a thin margin, and do not contain any captions.
Since these cards are Canadian origin, the descriptive text on the backs of the cards are presented in both English and in French. The descriptive text is divided into the following vertical segments:
It should be noted that the cards themselves are anonymous without any manufacturer or copyright date information. The only way to identify these cards was the wrapper which noted the origin of the cards.
The following reference card shows the fronts and backs of a typical 1958 “Missiles and Satellites” (V339-7) card. Click on the card images to reveal full-size computer enhanced 600-dpi images of the card.
1958 Parkhurst Products, Ltd. “Missiles and Satellites” (V339-7) Image-Guide [3,4]
The following 1958 “Missiles and Satellites” (V339-7) 50-card set by Parkhurst Products, Ltd., Canada, Image-Guide shows computer enhanced images of the fronts and backs of the 50 cards in the V339-7 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.
The wrapper for Parkurst's (V339-7) “Missiles and Satellites” shows a futuristic spacecraft streaking past Earth over Canada and the upper United States towards deep space. The title of the wrapper is ZIP “Missiles and Satellites / Fusées Nucléaire” and does not contain any pricing information. It does however clearly show that the set was issued by Parkhurst Products Limited, Toronto, Canada, and also notes the ingredients included in the gum. It also includes a “PRINTED IN CANADA” caption. As noted in the Overview, Parkhurst's sets usually contained 4 to 5 cards along with a stick of gum. We're not sure exactly how many cards were contained in this wrapper.
1958 “Missiles and Satellites” (V339-7) Checklist
We have provided two versions of the 1958 “Missiles and Satellites” (V339-7) 50-card set issued by Parkhurst Products, Ltd., Canada. An 8½ × 11 inch PDF version, and the web version shown below. Click on the PDF graphic below to access the PDF version.
On 10/31/2014 we received an email from Fred Cousineau asking for help to identify a particular card set. After identifying the V339-7 “Missiles and Satellites” set for Fred, we realized that we (Skytamer Images) only had seven original cards in our collection. Fred had received a set of cards from his brother-in-law, Roger Geiger. Roger lives in Wylie, Texas and had collected a set of cards while living in Agincourt, Ontario when he was younger. Roger gave Fred the cards in September 2014 on a family visit. They had been stored in his attic for at least 25 years. We contacted Fred, and Fred sent us 600 dpi scans of the fronts and backs of all 50 cards in the set. So again, a very special thanks to Fred and Roger for helping us to complete this collection.
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