Cigarette card depicting Sir Henry Irving as Mephistopheles in Faust
Donated to the Garrick club by Mr Jeremy Nicholas in July 2017
In 1916 Players cigarettes released a set of 25 cigarette cards called, 'Players past and present'. These paid homage to stage actors, depicting them in their most famous roles.
Cigarette cards began life as a simple card used as a "stiffener" to help keep the cigarettes from damage. Tobacco companies soon realised that these could be used for advertising and promoting brand loyalty and so began printing collectable pictures onto the "Stiffeners". Cigarette cards were produced in series of 25, 50, or 100 and the themes ranged from sport, entertainment, geography to personalities of the day.