W511 Strip Cards

Issuing Company: Unknown
Country of Issue: USA
Year of Issue: 1926-1928
Color/B&W: Blue Tone, B&W, Purple Tone, Orange Tone, or Red Tone
Number of Cards in Set:
Card Size: 1 1/4" x 2 1/4"
Issued as insert with what product: Issued in strips by themselves with no other product. Cards are usually found cut apart.

Notes: Checklist Incomplete. Blank-backed. This set contains cards of movie stars, aviators, and western stars. There are also some athletes including Babe Ruth.

The W511 card set is a complicated set of strip cards issued from about 1926 to 1928. The set doesn't have a true title, but was assigned the name of "Aviators Movies Western Photos" by Jefferson Burdick in the American Card Catalog (ACC). The ACC number for the set is W511.

The majority of cards in the W511 set show movie stars. Within the movie stars group, there are subsets of cowboy movie stars and comedy movie stars, along with dramatic movie stars. These often seem to be within 5-card groups within this set, such as card numbers 41-45 and 51-55 all featuring comedy stars and 31-35 showing cowboy movie stars.

In addition to aviators, movie stars, and western stars, the set also features additional subjects, such as athletes (baseball's Babe Ruth, football's Bill Edwards, boxing's Jack Dempsey and L. A. Firpo, and auto racing's Barney Oldfield), US battleships, and the White House.

There are five aviator cards in the set, including Clarence Chamberlin, Ruth Elder, Com. R. E. Byrd, and two cards of Charles Lindbergh. All five of these cards have captions that mention their transatlantic flying feats from 1927. The flight mentioned on Ruth Elder's card took place on October 11, 1927, dating the aviator cards to late 1927 at the earliest. The aviator cards are numbered from 11-15 in the set, though there are also five cowboy movie stars that occupy the same numbers. For the #11 Lindbergh card, that card can be found with two different poses for Lindbergh.

This set was obviously issued and reissued a number of times over a two or three-year period. The most common version of these cards are very ugly blue-toned cards. Some even look like they are a negative image of the subject. Probably because they are ugly, they are also fairly rare (i.e. very few people bought them when they were issued). There are also black and white-toned and purple-toned numbered versions of these. The purple-toned cards followed the same numbering as the blue-toned cards, but the black and white-toned cards have a different numbering scheme. There are also red-toned, orange-toned and black and white unnumbered versions of these cards.

In the ACC, Burdick lists the highest number in this set seen as #55. I have seen three different groups of these that have some curious differences. The first group stopped at #55 and contained all of the movie stars in the set. This group made me think the set did indeed stop at card #55. The second group contained cards that had numbers that went up to #95. Some of the cards in this group were the same as the first group, while some with the same number showed different subjects. For example, #55 showed Fatty Joe Cobb in both groups. #53 however, showed Ralph Raves in the first group and Baby Peggy in the second group. The third group contained cards from the low numbers and high numbers, including some miscut cards that showed parts of cards from the low numbers and high numbers on the same card, proving that the low and high numbered cards were issued together at some point.

It is likely that these cards were issued as one group ending at #55, then reissued with numbers going up to #95. They were reissued more than once with different colors and with some variations. Many of the cards can be found with multiple numbers. For example, cards #1-5 contain the same pictures as cards #71-75. The same cowboy stars on cards 11-14 can also be found on cards 31-34.

As to the numbering, the checklist that I have pieced together for the most common blue versions of these cards and the purple-toned versions shows numbers in groups of five, such as 11-15, 21-25, 31-35, etc. all the way up to 95. I don't know if cards with these missing numbers exist or not, but it doesn't seem likely.

The black and white version of these cards have the same fronts as the blue-toned cards, but the numbering for those is completely different, and the numbering for those does include numbers ending in 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0. For the black and white cards, there seem to be at least two different printings with the text a bit different between the two printings. There are also different blue versions of these cards that follow the same number pattern as the black and white cards.

There are also red-toned, orange-toned and black and white versions of these with no numbers. These versions are difficult to checklist as there are subtle color differences in some of these versions, such as white versions that have kind of a very light greenish hue and white versions that have a very light pinkish hue and white versions that have a very light yellowish hue. There are differences in where the text is placed even between different color versions of the same card.

As mentioned earlier, these cards were issued as strip cards. Strip cards were issued in long strips to be cut apart later at a general rate of 10 cards for a penny. An uncut black and white horizontal strip of cards 11-20 has been seen containing the cowboy cards. Many of the blue cards have been seen with various miscuts showing partial cards above and below, indicating that those were likely issued in vertical strips.

Getting back to the aviator cards, it is likely that the cowboy cards with the same numbers were issued first, with the aviator cards being issued as replacements. The Lindbergh flight was huge news in 1927 and the issuers of this set probably wanted to take advantage of that by adding in the aviator cards. When viewing miscuts of these cards, the aviator cards were issued in at least two different strips. One version has the aviator cards above the cards numbered in the 20s in the vertical strip. For example, card #14 Byrd above card #24 O'Day. Another version has the aviator cards above the cards numbered in the 60s in the vertical strip. For example, card #14 Byrd above card #64 Fairbanks.

Date Notes: I have done some research on the date of this set and conclude that it started as a 1926 issue. There is a lot of evidence suggesting 1926, including the following:

However, the aviator cards were obviously issued in late 1927 at the earliest:

Thanks to Chris Bartell and Ron Strader for help with this checklist.


Checklist of all cards seen so far:

1. Babe Ruth
2. Tom Mix (Barney Oldfield also in picture)
3. Jack Dempsey
4. US Battleships
5. Mexican Cowboy
6. The White House
7. L. A. Firpo
8. Douglas Fairbanks - Mary Pickford
9. Charlie Chaplin
10. Jackie Coogan and Bill Edwards (Football Star)
11. Col. Lindbergh - New York to Paris 3650 Miles, 33 Hrs 20 M. (no S behind head)
11. Col. Lindbergh - New York to Paris 3650 Miles, 33 Hrs 20 M. (S behind head)
11. Jack Hoxie
12. Clarence Chamberlin (aviator) - N.Y. to Germany 3800 Miles, 43 Hrs
12. Dustin Farnum
13. Ruth Elder (aviator) - Arriving at the ...(cut off)
13. Wm. Duncan
14. Com. R. E. Byrd (aviator) - N.Y. to France 3900 Miles, 43 Hrs, 21 M.
14. Hoot Gibson
15. Col. Lindbergh (aviator) - New York to Paris 3650 Miles, 33 Hrs, 20 M.
15. Joe Bonomo
16. Cow Girl
17. Cowboy Champ
18. Charlie Chaplin
19. D. Fairbanks
20. Baby Peggy
21. Betty Bronson (purple)
21. Jackie Coogan
22. Evelyn Pierce
22. Johnny Walker
23. F. Bushman, Jr. (purple)
23. Wesley Berry
24. Dawn O'Day
24. J. Beery
25. Rud. Valentino in the Son of the Sheik
25. Tom Mix
26. Betty Bronson
27. Evelyn Pierce
28. F. Bushman
29. Dawn O'Day
30. Tom Mix - Movie Star
31. Jack Hoxie (blue) (purple)
31. Mickey Daniels
32. Dustin Farnum
32. Charley Chase
33. Wm. Duncan
33. Ralph Raves
34. Hoot Gibson
34. Harry Langdon
35. Tom Mix
35. Rud. Valentino in The Son of the Sheik
35. Fatty Joe Cobb
36. Harold Lloyd
37. Mary Korman
38. Clyde Cook
39. Our Gang
40. Farina
41. Harold Lloyd (purple)
42. Mary Korman
43. Clyde Cook (purple)
44. Our Gang
45. Farina
51. Mickey Daniels
52. Charley Chase (purple)
52. Babe Ruth
53. Ralph Raves (purple)
53. Baby Peggy
54. Harry Langdon (purple)
55. Fatty Joe Cobb
61. Cow Girl
62. Cowboy Camp
63. Charlie Chaplin (purple)
64. D. Fairbanks
65. Baby Peggy
71. Babe Ruth (purple)
72. Tom Mix (Barney Oldfield also in picture) (purple)
73. Jack Dempsey
74. U.S. Battleships (U.S.S. Battleship New Jersey, U.S.S. Battleship Kentucky)
75. Mexican Cowboy
81. Jackie Coogan
82a. Jimmie Walker (same pic as 82b)
82b. Johnny Walker (same pic as 82a)
83. Wesley Barry
84. J. Beery (Wallace Beery)
85. Antonio Moreno
91. The White House (Boy Scouts bicycling in front of White House)
92. L. A. Firpo
93. D. Fairbanks and Mary Pickford
93. Wm. Duncan
94. Charlie Chaplin
94. Hoot Gibson
95. Jackie Coogan and Bill Edwards (Football Star)
95. Tom Mix


Cards seen in First Group of these:

21. Betty Bronson
22. Evelyn Pierce
23. F. Bushman, Jr.
24. Dawn O'Day
25. Rud. Valentino in the Son of the Sheik
31. Jack Hoxie
32. Dustin Farnum
33. Wm. Duncan
34. Hoot Gibson
35. Tom Mix
41. Harold Lloyd
42. Mary Korman
43. Clyde Cook
44. Our Gang
45. Farina
51. Mickey Daniels
52. Charley Chase
53. Ralph Raves
54. Harry Langdon
55. Fatty Joe Cobb

Cards seen in a Second Group of these:

21. Betty Bronson
22. Evelyn Pierce
35. Rud. Valentino in The Son of the Sheik
39. Our Gang
42. Mary Korman
51. Mickey Daniels
53. Baby Peggy
54. Harry Langdon
55. Fatty Joe Cobb
63. Charlie Chaplin
64. D. Fairbanks
81. Jackie Coogan
82a. Jimmie Walker (same pic as 82b)
82b. Johnny Walker (same pic as 82a)
83. Wesley Barry
84. J. Beery (Wallace Beery)
85. Antonio Moreno
93. D. Fairbanks and Mary Pickford
94. Charlie Chaplin
95. Jackie Coogan and Bill Edwards (Football Star)

Cards seen in a Third Group of these:

12. Clarence Chamberlin (aviator) - N.Y. to Germany 3800 Miles, 43 Hrs
13. Ruth Elder (aviator) - Arriving at the ...(cut off)
14. Com. R. E. Byrd (aviator) - N.Y. to France 3900 Miles, 43 Hrs, 21 M.
15. Col. Lindbergh (aviator) - New York to Paris 3650 Miles, 33 Hrs, 20 M.
21. Betty Bronson
23. F. Bushman, Jr.
24. Dawn O'Day
31. Jack Hoxie
32. Dustin Farnum
43. Clyde Cook
44. Our Gang
51. Mickey Daniels
52. Charley Chase
53. Ralph Raves
54. Harry Langdon
61. Cow Girl
62. Cowboy Camp
64. D. Fairbanks
65. Baby Peggy
72. Tom Mix
74. U.S. Battleships (U.S.S. Battleship New Jersey, U.S.S. Battleship Kentucky)
75. Mexican Cowboy
81. Jackie Coogan
82. Jimmie Walker
83. Wesley Barry
84. J. Beery
85. Antonio Moreno
91. The White House (Boy Scouts bicycling in front of White House)
93. D. Fairbanks and Mary Pickford

Black and white numbered versions of these (numbers all different from blue versions):

1. Babe Ruth
2. Tom Mix
3. Jack Dempsey
4. US Battleships
5. Mexican Cowboy
6. The White House
7. L. A. Firpo
8. Douglas Fairbanks - Mary Pickford
9. Charlie Chaplin
10. Jackie Coogan and Bill Edwards
11. Jack Hoxie
12. Dustin Farnum
13. Wm. Duncan - Movie Star
14. Hoot Gibson
15. Joe Bonomo
16. Cow Girl
17. Cowboy Champ
18. Charlie Chaplin
19. D. Fairbanks
20. Baby Peggy
21. Jackie Coogan
22. Johnny Walker
23. Wesley Berry
24. J. Beery
25. Antonio Moreno
26. Betty Bronson
27. Evelyn Pierce (different text)
28. F. Bushman
29. Dawn O'Day
30. Tom Mix - Movie Star
31. Mickey Daniels - Pathe Comedies (different text)
32. Charley Chase
33. Ralph Raves
34. Harry Langdon
35. Fatty Joe Cobb
36. Harold Lloyd
37. Mary Korman
38. Clyde Cook
39. Our Gang
40. Farina

Orange-toned unnumbered versions of these:

Betty Bronson
F. X. Bushman, Jr.
Bill Edwards
Dawn O'Day
Evelyn Pierce
Johnnie Walker

Red-toned unnumbered versions of these:

Betty Bronson
Brooklyn Navy Yard
F. X. Bushman, Jr.
Charlie Chase
Joe Cobb
Clyde Cook
Jack Dempsey
Dustin Farnum
Hoot Gibson
Ralph Graves
Jack Hoxie
Harry Langdon
Chas. Lindbergh
Mexican Roping Contest
Tom Mix
Dawn O'Day
Barnie Oldfield
Evelyn Pierce
Babe Ruth

Black and White unnumbered versions of these:

Betty Bronson
Fairbanks and Pickford (first half or more of "Fairbanks" is cut off in caption at bottom, depending on how the card is cut)
Dustin Farnum
Jack Hoxie
Mexican Roping Contest
Tom Mix
Dawn O'Day
Evelyn Pierce
Babe Ruth


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