1938 Horrors of War – Gum Cards
1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War is one of the most famous trading card sets of all-time. Equal parts gruesome and gorgeous, the historically based set remains widely sought after decades later. 1938 Gum Inc. Horrors of War is a large set — 288 cards divided into two series. The original set has 240 cards that focus on the Spanish Civil War, Ethiopian War and the Chinese-Japanese War. The final 48 cards came later as a supplemental release. Among these cards are three that show Adolf Hitler, who was now a threat to the world.
The images on the front are full of color and detail. Many of the images are shocking, even today. Nothing is held back. Scenes of torture, bloody battlefields and children under attack are all shown in the set. The colors are vibrant, further adding to the set’s distinct visuals. Backs offer detailed descriptions of what’s happening on the card. The writing is equally lively and colorful. A little smaller than today’s’ Bubblegum cards and about the size of a normal business card, the cards measure 3 1/8″ by 2 1/2″.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt allegedly used the cards to show people some of the horrific things that were happening overseas. At the time, America was still recovering from WWI and there was little support to get involved in the increasing unstable environment overseas. And while some politicians mocked Roosevelt, the attention helped push the set’s popularity to new levels.
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