Is it possible to compress more history into such a small space as with cigarette cards? These tiny illustrated cards were given away free with packs of cigarettes back in the mid-twentieth century, so all the family could benefit from the tobacco trade: mum and dad could smoke themselves to death whilst smiling children stuck the cards in albums! I have a collection of my own – from the 1950s – put away somewhere in a box or cupboard, but the one illustrated here comes from the collection of my Uncle Frank – who managed to both smoke himself to death and collect the cards at the same time! The cards were published in series, and the task facing all collectors was to acquire the complete set. This gave rise to the usual cycle of buying, selling, swapping and stealing. This particular series dating from the 1930s is entitled “Our King and Queen”, and Card No. 49 shows the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The photograph used on the card was taken at a visit to a Durham pit (conveniently owned by the Queen’s family) in 1936, in the months just before the abdication of King Edward VIII. It’s another of those photographs that you could base a social and economic history seminar on.