Cards of War

by cnangle - 23 cards (Last updated on Mar. 8, 2018)

1. 1887 Allen & Ginter Arms of All Nations (N3) #NNO Rifle

No list containing tobacco-era cards would be complete without at least one Allen & Ginter set. This is a great historical set with outstanding art work. The set depicts arms from varying time periods and locations with several cards depicting American subjects. There are several cards from this set that I would like to add to my collection; including the example in this list.

2. 1887 W. Duke Sons & Co. Battle Scenes (N99) #NNO Grant’s Interview With Pemberton, Vicksburg

This is a beautiful set with great art work and a detailed description of the event on the back. I really like this particular card because I've been to the Vicksburg battlefield several times and I've been to the exact location depicted on the card front. There is a small monument on the battlefield where this event occurred.

I don't know if I will ever get one of these cards, they are rather expensive...even in poor condition.

3. 1888 Allen & Ginter Great Generals (N15) #NNO Robert E. Lee

Another great Allen & Ginter set. Again the art work is fantastic. I wish the backs had a short-biography on the back though.

Although all the cards in this set are excellent, I really like the Lee card and if I ever find it for under $25, I'm buying it.

4. 1888 Kinney Tobacco Military (N244) #NNO American Light Infantry, 1782

Although its not a T-series or R-series card, I thought I would include this set in the list because it is the earliest military set currently in the database. I do like the historical representation of the different kit carried by the various countries and units represented.

Edit: It's no longer the earliest set in the database. It is also my least favorite of all the sets on this list.

5. 1895 J & P Coats Uniforms of the U.S. Army (H606) #NNO 1888-1893 Campaign Dress

This is a beautiful set. The lithography is outstanding and the description on the back is detailed. The cards are also about 4" x 4" inches; much larger than the normal tobacco cards of the period.

I am actively pursuing this set. They don't seem to come up for auction very often so I'll probably over pay for an example. I do want the complete set of 20 cards though.

6. 1910 Military Series (T79) #NNO Private of Infantry, USA

This is my least favorite of the T-series military sets. I find that the mono-colored background is not as exciting as the T80 or T81 sets. One card from this set will satisfy me.

7. 1910-11 Military Series (T80) #NNO Private Infantry U.S.

I do like this set. Not as much as the T81 set though. The artwork is comparable, but I'm not a fan of the various border designs. Somebody really liked the handle-bar mustache.

8. 1909-13 Recruit Military Series T81 #NNO Field Artillery U.S. Army

This is my favorite of the T-series military sets. I like the card design with simple white borders and great artwork. The only variation in this set is that the cards come in both a standard and die-cut version. 24 of this 50 card set depict images of U.S. military split between the Army and Navy.

2/6/18 update: I purchased 7 cards from this set in January. There are a couple more from this set I would still like to have though.

9. 1938 Goudey Action Gum (R1) #7 Parachute Invasion

This is a great set that is heavily biased towards ground combat. I love the set title and the fact that it is listed as R1 - the first of the R-series sets.

Because I am a former paratrooper this is the card that I am going to be adding to my collection. Although, I may try to acquire the entire set.

10. 1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War (R69) #1 Marco Polo Bridge Is Scene of First Fighting

This is the first non-sport set that I took an interest in. It is arguably one of the most popular of the R-series non-sport sets. The vivid artwork (often very graphic) depicting actual events in history and the detailed stories on the back provide a historical perspective that make this set unique. I don't really have a favorite card from this set and will be happy to acquire any of them at a reasonable price.



Nov. 30, 2017 - 1:10PM
Billy Kingsley

Great collection concept! For the Freedom's War set, take a look at the tail end of the set, they included some cards of various awards that includes actual photography. That's what I went after to get the set represented in my collection. 

I also collect military history cards but you've got sets listed here I've never even heard of. Hopefully someday I will be able to get them into my collection.

Dec. 1, 2017 - 9:04AM

Love these old tobacco and gum war sets.

During the 40s or 50s there was some sort of Civil War set(s)

If you want to go more modern and go some off ground there were the early 1990s Desert Shield and Desert Storm cards. 

Dec. 1, 2017 - 12:25PM

Nice list, very interesting.  My grandfather was a Paratrooper in The 82nd Airborne Division during World War II.  He was shot in mid-air after one of his jumps, landed in a tree, and ultimately taken prisoner of war by the Germans.  Fortunately he survived, rescued by U.S. ground troops near the tail end of the war.

Dec. 15, 2017 - 7:05PM

That N99 Civil War set is incredible. Released only 23 years after Appomattox.   I need one of those myself!

Mar. 7, 2018 - 9:41PM

Here's one I found, though it's not exclusively ground combat.  Maybe it would fit.

Mar. 8, 2018 - 11:43AM

David, the Philadelphia War Bulletin set is very cool! I've added that to the list. Thanks!

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This list was created by site member cnangle. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of The Trading Card Database.


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