Magic Tricks & Puzzles On Cigarette Cards, 1920s-1930s

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Magic Tricks & Puzzle Cigarette Cards ( Collectables )

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During a time when there was no television or computers, and even books were still quite expensive, people had to find other ways to amuse themselves. Not too long ago many people were still superstitious and labelled anything strange and unusual as magic. Tobacco companies identified a gap in the market and realised that the average, information-starved person hungered for knowledge about the strange world around them. From 1870s-1930s, tobacco companies issued cigarette cards in packets of cigarettes on numerous topics.  One of those topics was magic tricks and puzzles.

  I've listed a small selection of magic trick and puzzle cigarette cards. I've provided scans of a sample card from each set and I've tried to list as many card titles as possible.


  • Name Of Set: Tricks and Puzzles (Black Back)
  • Manufacturer: Gallaher
  • Issue Year: 1933
  • Card Number: 100
  • Card Titles: A trick with a clothes brush, The three-square puzzle, Self  luminous steam, The three dozen match puzzle, Two Square match puzzle, A coin problem, Making a pack of cards spring from one hand to another, A fancy flourish, To put ale and water in a glass without mixing them, A puzzle with a match,Making a basket, Match box trick, How to make a paper tree, Indestructible match box, Atraction and replusion, Bottle and straw, A good game for two, To change the contents of two glasses without using a third, Subtraction puzzle, How to break glass in any direction, The resin grapes, Onion juice as a sympathetic ink, The cross puzzle,Communication of thought, The nine puzzle, The marked penny, The Garrison Puzzle, The square puzzle, Balancing penny, A simple trick, Park drive match tick, The acrobatic card, Bottle and penny trick, To balance one ball on another, The moat puzzle, On line puzzle, How to make smoke rings with a box, To tie a knot in a hand-kerchief without letting either end go, The Three-coin trick, The 6-square puzzle, To separate oil from water, The four into three square puzzle, To pick up a sixpenny piece from a saucer of water without wetting your fingers, The shot rabbit, To draw a design upon a piece of paper, The match trick, Cigarette paper trick,Joke with a match, The revolving penny, Squeezing the shilling, Removing the Domine, The wine bottle puzzle, How to hear guns of an imaginary fleet firing, Fun with a threepenny bit, How to plung a piece of white paper into an inkpot filled with ink without blackening it...

  • Name Of Set: Tricks & Puzzles
  • Manufacturer: Richard Lloyd and Sons
  • Issue Year: 1935
  • Card Number: 25
  • Card Titles: -

  • Name Of Set: Amusing Tricks and How To Do Them
  • Manufacturer: Carreras
  • Issue Year: 1937
  • Card Number: 50
  • Card Titles: To Lengthen a Handkerchief, Thread Will Not Burn, Squares and Triangles, The Vanishing Coin, The Wandering Rubber Band, The Spoon Dances, Where's The Coin, Spotting The Card, The Jumping Card, The Wandering Ring, The Sugar Torch, Walk Through Postcard, Restoring Burnt Thread, Name Unseen Colours, Unbreakable Match, Bewitched Walking-Stick, The Magic Matches, The Balancing Coin, The Wandering Pen, Card Magic, Vanishing Threepenny-Bit, Telling Time By Clairvoyance, Find The Coin By Touch, Lift Three Matches With One, The Weeping Pencil, Handkerchief From Match Box, Rescuing a Submerged Coin, Rejoining Torn Paper, Matter Through Matter, A Mathematical Mystery, The Ghostly Gathering, A Flying Egg, Handerchief Holds Water, A Divided Apple, Tinfoil Will Burn, Finding The Chosen Card, Unspillable Match Box, Coin and Needle Trick, To Eat a Candle, Restoring a Broken Bootlace, The Magic Matchbox, The Magic Numbers, A Match Joke, A Writing Trick, The Rope Handcuff, Orange From a Ball of Wool, Four Kings Take a Journey, The Unwinding Trick, A Bluff Card Trick, and The Extra Cigarette.

  • Name Of Set: Magical Puzzles
  • Manufacturer: R and J Hill
  • Issue Year: 1938
  • Card Number: 50
  • Card Titles: Magic Water, How to make Smoke Rings, To put Ale and Water in a Glass Without Mixing Them, To Obtain Bell Effect With A Spoon, A Match Joke, Bottle and Straw Trick, How To Join String In Your Mouth, How To Tie a Knot In A Piece of String - Without Letting Go Of The Hands, To Turn Sixpence into One-and-Six, Is It Possible?, How To Float A Needle On Water, How To Make a Penny Stick On The Wall or Door, The Match and Coin, Match Trick, The Vanishing Spots, The Broken Match, The Burnt Thread, Rubber Ball Trick, Egg Trick, The Spirit in the Handkerchief, A Good Catch, To Pass Yourself Through A Playing Card, The Walking Coin, Fire-Resisting Paper, The Magic Match, A Draught-Board Problem, The Moving Bottle, How To Balance a Pencil on your Finger, Try Your Lung Power, The Mesmerized Match, How To Turn a Tumbler of Water Upside Down Without Spilling the Water, Mystic Production of Handkerchief, The Mysterious Ring, Ring and Wand Trick, A Wonderful Thought-Reading Trick, How Many Pins?, Magic Water,The Magic Production of a Coin, Producing Ribbon From a Tangerine, Balancing a Coin on the Hand, How To Reverse the Positions of Two Coins Without Touching Them, Disappearing Sixpence, The Magic Coin, Pulling the Handkerchief Through the Leg, Tell a Card By Magic, The Disappearing Coin, How To Spin A Penny by Friction, How To Balance Fifteen Matches On One, and Telling The Reds From The Blacks By Weight,How is it Done?

  • Name Of Set: Optical Illusions
  • Manufacturer: Ogdens
  • Issue Year: 1923
  • Card Number: 25
  • Card Titles: Circles Appearing as Hexagons, Long and Short Lines, Four Crooked Bars, Nine Cubes, Light and Dark Bricks, Cloisters, Pillars in Perspective, Spiral,Object Out of Perspective, The Deceptive Shapes, Book and Tube, Circle and Dot, Changing Arches, Balls and Glasses, Triangles and Star,Length of Lines, Length of Lines, Cog Wheels with Rotary Movement, Ball and Cup, Letters Appearing Out of Upright, Lines Appearing not Parallel,Rotary Movement, Cheese,The Wire Box, and Deceptive Lines.

  • Name Of Set: Optical illusions
  • Manufacturer: Godfrey Phillips
  • Issue Year: 1927
  • Card Number: 25
  • Card Titles: The Scotsman, The Black Toucan, The Parallel Lines, Can You Read This? The Cubes, The Birds, The Grey Smudges, The Rabbit, The Disappearing Line, Do These Wheels Revolve? The Elusive Line, Illusion of Distance, The Stairs, The Distorted Oblongs, The Diamond? Contrast, The Spiral, Which is the Longer? The Perfect Square, Hexagons or Cicles? The Two Circles, Illusion of Area, Colour Contrast, The Two Squares, and The Lines.

  • Name Of Set: Puzzle Series (normal size)
  • Manufacturer: Major Drapkin
  • Issue Year: 1926
  • Card Number: 25
  • Card Titles: Chelsea  Pensioner, The Bandit, The Mountaineer, The Falconer, The Native American, Arab, Remeo and Juliet, Poacher, Snake Charmer, The Mandarin,Dancer, Town Crier, The Trapper, The Sailor, Watchman, The Bowman, The Beefeater, Huntsman, The Highwayman, The Gladiator, Robinson Crusoe and Man Friday, The Monstrel, The Shepherd, Trader, and The Smuggler.
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