Classic Thanksgiving ephemera – Indian Gum Cards

In days of yore companies issued trading/bubble gum cards depicting not just baseball players, but even actors, U.S. Presidents, and license plates. One such manufacturer, the Goudey Gum Company of Boston, began issuing cards picturing Indian tribes and well-known Indians in 1933. This series ended in 1940, but Goudey began printing a new series depicting “Indian and Pioneer romantic days” in 1947. Shown here are two cards from that series, owned by a family member.

Huichol gum card

Luqaiot gum card

Up top is a card showing a member of the Huichol, native to Western Central Mexico (yes I know that a native Mexican has nothing to do with American Thanksgiving). Most curiously about this card is that it speaks of the Huichol as if they were extinct, but according to their Wikipedia article they are very much alive. Now if I had to choose between a Wikipedia article and a 60-year-old gum card for accurate historical information it would be a tossup I grant you, but I’ll have to chalk the gum card gaffe up as a careless error.

On the bottom is Luqaiot of the Kittitas Tribe, native to what is now Washington state (there’s your Thanksgiving connection, tenuous as it is). Most of what I found on Luqaiot (in my six whole minutes of research) backed up what his card said, so Goudey’s batting .500 so far.

Goudey Gum Company, for those still reading, ceased operations in 1962. But for all I know they could still be going strong in a remote Central American village. Happy Thanksgiving!

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4 Comments

  • Non-sports trading cards are surprisingly a hot area of collecting, but Indian cards are new to me. I’ve interviewed a non-sports card collector (of movie star trading cards) on my ephemera blog. You might be interested in reading his thoughts on the subject–you’d be surprised what other trading cards have been made–from politicians to movie stars.

  • Non-sports trading cards are surprisingly a hot area of collecting, but Indian cards are new to me. I’ve interviewed a non-sports card collector (of movie star trading cards) on my ephemera blog. You might be interested in reading his thoughts on the subject–you’d be surprised what other trading cards have been made–from politicians to movie stars.

  • It’s amazing how many tribes are called “extinct” but aren’t. There are seven tribes in Virginia, most of whom never left, but in the early 1900s the state declared them all “extinct” by classifying the Indians as black people instead.

  • It’s amazing how many tribes are called “extinct” but aren’t. There are seven tribes in Virginia, most of whom never left, but in the early 1900s the state declared them all “extinct” by classifying the Indians as black people instead.

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