Chasin’ The Gloom

atomicI love the vintage
Exhibit Card
sets from the
early 1940’s….

There were good number
of different ones released,

and I’ve posted several of them
on the Muscleheaded Blog in the past.

One of the things that strikes me just a little bit strange is that, despite the popularity of the sets, you very rarely see them around today.

Especially the color inserts
like the one at top left.

(It was also produced
in black and white,vend
to match the mono-color process
used on many of the cards. )

The example above
was a poster size print

that was intended to be used
in one of Exhibit Supply Company
of Chicago’s penny card vendors.

Here’s what the
vending package
would have looked
like in the arcade.

The aesthetic quality
of the cards themselves
might somewhat explain
why more people1
didn’t tend to keep them
after their 1940’s boom —

As one would expect
for war-time,

the paper was of
lower quality
than would
normally be used
for a postcard,

the print-work
was marginal,

and the quality of
the art was not
always up to the 6
highest standards.

It can be pretty
surprising, at times,
just how amateurishly
several of them seem
to have been drawn.

War time means
lean times 3for talent
and raw materials
in every industry,
and you can see that
principle at work
quite clearly
in these cards.

Indeed, I would
guess that most
of them ended
being thrown away –

– by the majority of
mothers and wives
who found them
in a serviceman’s
souvenirs after the war.

— if I only had
a nickle, man)

Despite that,
or perhaps
because of it,

they are fun and interesting
to look at today…..

And of course,
there’s a wonderfully
racy but naive quality
to many of them
which I particularly enjoy.



Ah well…

Say what you will….

I’m not one of
those leopards
who changes
his spots, man.

This particular set,
” Atomic Laugh Bombs
– Gloom Chasers ”
was issued near the
end of the war,
and featured 32
different cards.

If you enjoyed these,
you can check the
Muscleheaded archives
for more Exhibit Cards,
or related posts about them,

Mutoscope Cards

I hope you have a
groovy week, y’all !!!!


HOY !!!!!!!