Thursday, November 12, 2009

Miskatonic Expedition Cigarette Card

One of the most troublesome aspects of exploration is the incessant need for funding. While the vast majority of the Miskatonic University expedition to the Antarctic was payed for by the Nathaniel Derby Pickman Foundation, there were still opportunities to stretch the available funds further with sponsorships. This wasn't a practice unique to the Miskatonic effort. Almost every Arctic and Antarctic expedition of the early 20th century received money and supplies from commercial sponsors eager to take part in the adventure of exploration while promoting their products.

One of the expedition's lesser known sponsors was DeVost Tobacco, which not only supplied a cash payment and supplies of cigarettes and pipe tobacco to the party, but also featured it in the "Exploring Our World" collection of cigarette cards. This was card number 14 in the series of 50. The front is a painted color photograph of a Dornier Wal amphibious plane undergoing flight tests on the open ocean, while the back featured the title "Wings Over Antarctica" and a description of the aircraft's role in penetrating the icy continent's interior. The card was available in random packs of DeVost brand cigarettes from July of 1930 to January of 1931, when news of the expedition's tragic end resulted in it being pulled from circulation by DeVost. As a result, both the card and complete sets of the full collection are incredibly rare.

Click through for the full-sized graphic. It's sized to fit on a standard 3.5" by 2" business card.


Mik said...

Pretty cool card.

josefk said...

This is fun. Now I want the rest of the set!

Anonymous said...

Would love to see it sized to the standard size of cigarette cards of the 30's - 1 3/8" x 2 5/8"