ca. 1956 “Aircraft” (W452-3)
Exhibit Supply Company, 18-cards, United States

  • Series Title: Aircraft
  • American Card Catalog Number: W452-3
  • Issued by: Exhibit Supply Company
  • Issued via: vending machine
  • Country: United States
  • Number of Cards: 18K (actual set may be larger)
  • Card Numbering: 1 to 18 on card front
  • Type of Card: “Arcade” Card
  • Card Dimensions: 3.25 × 5.375 inches (128 × 211.6 mm)
  • Circa: ca. 1956
  • Checklist: Download Checklist

Overview 1,2

The leader in the field of cards retailed in vending machines without merchandise was the Exhibit Supply Company of Chicago, hence the general term “Exhibit” for these cards. The “Exhibit” cards were designed to be sold direct, without a product, which was the distinguishing feature of the cards.

Card vending machines were mostly found in arcades and amusement centers, although they were not confined to these locations. The issues started about 1920, which makes Exhibit just about the oldest continuous issuer of cards in the business. Standard Exhibits cards are 3⅜ × 5⅜ inches, post card size on thick card stock, and many have post card Backs, although the usual Back is blank. Most of the recent issues have no identification of the supplier, usually just “Printed in U.S.A.” Other sizes and thicknesses of cards are known for other firms, and also some cards may well have been machine cards. Black and white, and tan sepia, are the common colors, particularly for the photo types.

The “Exhibit” photo type airplane cards were issued in a least four separate series. The first series, “Planes, Series 1” (aka “Jet Planes”) consisting of 64 cards, was issued in 1955 with an ACC number of W452-1. It is identified by the phrase “Printed in U.S.A.” in both black and white. The second series, also issued in 1955 “Planes, Series 2” (aka “New Jet Planes”) also consists of 64 cards. This series is identified by the phrase “Made in the U.S.A.” and has an ACC number of W452-2. The third series, which is not cataloged in the NSB² is titled “Aircraft”. Though not catalogued in the NSB, the logical ACC number for this set is W452-3. This set also bears the “Printed in U.S.A.” caption. This 3rd set was most likely issued in the 1956 timeframe or later since the Convair F-106A #9 card has a 1956 tail number. The fourth set in the series is titled “Missile” and was most likely issued during the 1958 or later timeframe since the Nike Hercules shown on card #15 became operational in 1958. Again, we have assumed a sequential ACC number of W452-4. I appears that the number of cards in both the 3rd and 4th sets are 18. Sample cards from each of the four sets are shown below. You may also “click” on these images to reveal 600-dpi computer enhanced images of the card.

ca. 1956 Exhibit Supply Company “Aircraft” (W452-3) Image-Guide [3,4]

The following ca. 1956 “Aircraft” (W452-3) 18-card set by Exhibit Supply Company, United States, Image-Guide shows computer enhanced images of the fronts and Backs of the 18 cards in the W452-3 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.

ca. 1956 “Aircraft”
vending machine, 18-Airplane Cards

ca. 1956 “Aircraft” (W452-3) Checklist

We have provided two versions of the ca. 1956 “Aircraft” (W452-3) 18-card set issued by Exhibit Supply Company, United States. An 8½ × 11 inch PDF version, and the web version shown below. Click on the PDF graphic below to access the PDF version.

ca. 1956 “Aircraft” (W452-3)
Exhibit Supply Company, 18-Cards, United States
xCard Title
1Boeing KC-135 Jet Tanker-Transport Refueling a B-52 Stratofortress
2Fairchild's Flying Boxcar
3Supersonic Convair F-102A “Delta Dagger”
4Douglas Navy A4D
5Douglas Air Force C-133
6Douglas Navy F4D
7Douglas Navy A3D
8U.S. Air Force's F101-Voodoo
9Convair Air Force F106
10U.S. Air Force Globemaster C-124
11Fairchild Air Force C-123 Transport
12Douglas Destroyer Air Force B-66
13Lockheed XF-104
14Douglas Air Force C-133A
15North American F-100's in formation
16U.S. Air Force KB-50 refueling jets
17Convair's F-106 Interceptor
18Convair's F-102A “Delta Dagger”


Brett Bernath — First of all, Skytamer Images would like to thank Brett Bernath of Fargo, North Dakota for sending us 600-dpi scans of all 18 cards in this set. Brett recently asked Skytamer Images for some help to identify a couple of Exhibit Supply Company “Aircraft” and “Missile” arcade trade card sets. After viewing the initial scans of both sets, we realized that both of these sets were continuations of the Exhibit Supply Company's W452 series of “Penny Arcade” cards, and had yet to be documented. Both of the undocumented Exhibit Supply Company sets contain 18-cards each and were estimated to have been issued during the mid-1950s. Brett graciously agreed to provide Skytamer Images with 600-dpi scans of both 18-card sets. Brett's 600-scans of these two card sets completed the final documentation of these two arcade sets and prevented them from being “lost to history!”.

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 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. Burdick, J. R. “Exhibit Series.” The American Card Catalog. East Stroudsburg, PA: Kistler Printing, 1960. 184-85. Print.
  2. Watson, James C., M.D. “Planes.” Non-Sports Bible (NSB). Vol. I. Chelsea, MI: Sheridan, 2007. 642. Print.
  3. Bernath, Brett. “Re: Aircraft & Missile cards” Multiples messages to Skytamer Images. 8/14/2013 to 8/26/2015. E-mail.
  4. Shupek, John A. “Aircraft (W452-3) Exhibit Supply Company.” The Skytamer Archive (600-dpi Image Scans). Skytamer Images, Whittier, CA, 2015. Digital Image Database.

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