These cards were originally known simply as Godfrey Philips when the first series was released in 1920, In 1922 however the brand name Pinnace was introduced to the packet and the now familiar name entered the world of football cigarette card folklore, or to be absolutely correct we should say football AND rugby cigarette card collecting as the series did include a lot of rugby players as well.
The accepted number of cards in the collection is 2462 making these probably one of the biggest series of football cigarette cards ever.
The cards continued to appear in the packets until 1925, however it is thought that the actual players featured spanned the period 1920 – 1923. This conclusion has been reached by the fact that no teams that entered the League after that date are featured (i.e, Bournemouth, Doncaster or New Brighton)
There is two sizes of player cards in the collection, the most popular one being the smaller version measuring 1 ¼” x 1 ¾” (45mm x 35mm) which was issued in a packet of 10 cigarettes.
There was also a larger version of the card measuring 6” x 4” (150mm x 100mm). These were the same “Cabinet” cards that could be exchanged for 25 of the smaller cards if sent to Pinnace. These are fairly rare and command huge prices when they do become available.
There was also a set of team pictures available (the same size as the Cabinets) if the collector was willing to send off 100 of the minature portraits, apparently there were 86 teams available but these are EXTREMELY rare, in fact it is thought that only 2 have ever been verified (Crystal Palace and Huddersfield) and we havent even been able to find a photo of either !!
Obviously the fact that these cards spanned such a long period and included so many players meant that numerous different printers were used, this is probably the explanation for the varying designs on the back across the series, the 4 examples of which are shown below.
Close examination of the “oval” design mentions there are 400 cards in the series, this indicates that cards with this design were probably from the first series issued in 1920 as the series was obviously extended somewhat to its total of 2462 !!
As mentioned above 2462 may be the accepted amount of “players” featured but there were hundreds of errors and different versions of some of the cards, to record this would have been impossible but it is thought that approx 5000 cards exist in total …… imagine how much such a comprehensive collection would be worth !!
One thing is sure though that particular collection would not feature card number 1828 which because of a printing error was never actually released, instead there were two versions of 1328 !!
So there you are, a potted history of one of the most sought after cards for football cigarette card collectors.
Ive also found an excellent site HERE with LOTS of pictures of these cards and a whole lot more detailed information than I’ve been able to show above !!