An Egg Poem

In the 1880s cigarettes began to be sold in boxes. A piece of cardboard was inserted into the package to keep it stiff. Even back then admen were looking to cover every surface with marketing, and so the cigarette card was born. The cards were printed in large sets and people avidly collected them. People still do. I own a set of poultry cards. They’re tiny things, just 1 1/2 inches by 2 3/4 inches.

As much as I enjoy the bright graphics, what I really like are the poems on the back. Most are oddly worded and sort of, kind of rhyme. Looking at this card, you’d think that “E is for Eggs” but it’s not. Read the back. “E is for Eating.” I quite agree!


  1. Terry, what a delightful piece of ephemera! Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Inquiring minds just want to know…where do you find all of these cool items?

  3. I can’t say that I have ever seen this before. Even though I have frequented many antique shops and stores that carry “collectibles’. How interesting. I learn something new everyday especially on this site. Thank you for sharing this bit of history.

  4. And I thought baseball players had the jump on trading cards.

    • What’s interesting is that cigarette cards started out with all male themes, sports and such, but as the admen got women smoking, the cards also became marketed to women and there were animals, flowers, etc.