1933 Goudey Indian Gum
The 1933 Goudey Indian Gum Cards (R73) are perhaps some of the most complex non-sports cards issues of the 1930's. They were printed periodically from 1933-1940 by the Goudey Gum Co. of Boston, Massachusetts. All of the card backs contain text in green, however, there are numerous variations when it comes to referencing the number of cards in the set. The line that reads "This is one of a series of '#' cards varies from #'s 24, 48, 96, 192, 216, 264, 288, and 312. Due to differing degrees of scarcity, pricing of the cards changes depending on the amount of cards advertised as being in the set.
Goudey promised "More cards illustrating romantic America to follow" in the next line of text to attempt to keep collector's coming back for more. They also advertise that 1933 Goudey Indian Gum is "The World's Greatest Penny Value." Another tactic that Goudey used with these cards was to skip numbers during print runs, which led to collectors searching high and low for cards to complete their set that hadn't even been issued yet.
Overall, the set has a total of 216 cards measuring 2 3/8" x 2 7/8". The fronts are brightly colored, and picture scenes of Native Americans and frontier heroes. There is a possible "white background" variation known to exist for at least some of the cards. Another variation involves the advertisement panel on the bottom portion of the card reading "Indian Chewing Gum," as it is usually red but can also be rarely found in blue.
By Dean Hanley