Being a geek

Being a geek

There are many collectors of many things and so perhaps my passion and interest for printed ephemera is not as strange as some obsessions. I constantly search flea markets, church bazaars and boot sales for the odd thing in print that might fascinate me and which I can add to my collection.

cigarette cards

Most of what interests me dates back to the last century and the naïve style of illustration, plus often basic print techniques add to the quality. When No More Human approached me to create ranges of greetings cards from my collection I jumped at the chance. Most of what is collected is packed away in boxes and I welcomed the opportunity to share images and apply them to a more modern print idiom.

vintage books

Another two ranges will soon be on the No More Human website, this time taken from that rich – if strange – historical source of reference, cigarette cards. These can date as far back as 1875, when the first were issued by the Allen & Ginter Tobacco Company in the USA. An original idea which was soon taken up across the world, including by W.D. & H.O. Wills in 1887. Their first two ranges were ‘Ships and Sailors,’ followed by ‘Cricketers.’ Typically 25 to 50 illustrations were included in packs of cigarettes and an album sold to collect them in. With their wide range of subject matter, cards are often studied by historians today as an accurate representation of costume, artefacts and life style of their time.

In addition to those print images already on the No More Human website I will be creating a range featuring cigarette cards of ‘Garden Hints’ and more bizarre, fascinating and quirky ‘Air Raid Precautions.’ Each range of 12 cards will be strictly limited to 100 packs and will have a signed and numbered certificate of provenance from me. 

I wonder what today’s subjects would be?

Harry Yates