Sunday, July 12, 2009

Topp Gum!

Port Townsend today. I see by my site monitor I have been visited by Headquarters, USAAISC, Fort Huachuca Arizona. Tom Clancy fans will recognize this site featured in a "Clear and Present Danger."

Apparently this is one of the sites from which the government conducts its eaves dropping operations on the "current resident," citizens, and box holders of the United States. One has to wonder why the Army would be reading my blog?

As my perusing through boxes of prints, slides and negatives continues, I ran across these bubble gum trading cards. These cards are all I have from a set of 200 trading cards in a series entitled "Rails and Sails" published by Topp.

My mom was always “protective” of our teeth. Coke and bubble gum were on the list of banned substances that my sister and I were not allowed to purchase. Obviously, that rule was broken on more than one occasion.

While there is no doubt the trading cards were popular, I always went for the "exotic" stuff, like the Captain Midnight Decoder Ring that you placed some film in the cockpit to print out your mission, or the submarine you filled with baking soda, and it would bob up and down in the bathtub as it created an air bubble. Cost was two-bits plus two Kellogs Box tops. And yes, I did send for the frogmen, who usually surfaced feet first!

The Topps Company was founded in 1938 as Topps Chewing Gum, and in its early years produced a popular penny "Topps Gum" from a factory in Brooklyn, N.Y. After World War II, the company developed Bazooka Bubble Gum, and in 1950, added trading cards to its product line.

Baseball cards appeared in 1951 and quickly became a vital part of pop culture, a tradition that continues to this day. These cards in the "Rails and Sails" series included 130 railroad and 70 ship cards. Each card featured a piece of rolling stock, with a description on the reverse side, along with a "factoid."

I haven’t found any cards in the “Sails” part of the set yet – but then I haven’t gotten to the end of my perusing, either!

You can see the entire set here at “Chuckman’s Non Sports Trading Cards,” but be forewarned, it takes a few minutes for the pages to load. But it is worth the wait. Scroll down to the September 16, 2007 entry.

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