1936 Carreras Famous Airmen & Airwomen

Back to pre-war Mondays and another set which hits me in the right kind of  pop-culture way. Last month I grabbed a set of Carreras Famous Airmen & Airwomen. In a similar way to the way the Kings of Speed set, this set exemplifies a specific time of human technical and physical achievement. In 1936, flight was still novel and the men and women who pushed its limits were celebrities and heroes.

The design is simple and straightforward. A small portrait of the pilot paired with a larger image of their aircraft. The result is an attractive horizontal design with lots of nice colors due to combination of warm skin tones in the portraits and nice blue skies and colorful planes.

I don’t recognize all the pilots but there are a few big names in the mix. I was most excited to grab the Amelia Earhart card but a Wright brother is a Wright brother and Lindbergh* is Lindbergh. Living in New Jersey I was also tickled to find a card of the Hindenburg.**

*Yes I know he was a racist. Also yes his name is misspelled on the card.

**I have yet to visit Lakehurst to see the location of the disaster. I’m also glad that the swastikas on the tail fins are rendered illegible by the printing.

The backs are pretty straightforward although the header graphic is very cool. I always enjoy reading the biographies on these. I don’t have much to say about either Orville Wright or Admiral Byrd except to note that Wilbur* isn’t in the set.

*The only other pilot I wish were in the set is the Red Baron. 

I do however have to comment at how Lindbergh’s card* doesn’t mention the 1932 kidnapping. Probably just as well since these are about their flying achievements, but a little bit more pop-culture intrigue would’ve been fun to see.

*His name IS spelled correctly on the back.

A neat thing about this being a 1936 set though is that it captures the moment in time right before two of the card subjects would become even more famous. 1937 of course is when the Hindenburg blew up and when Amelia Earhart went missing.

In many ways it sucks for both of them that they’re remembered more for their last flight than anything that came before. Having a contemporary biography that mentions why they were already famous is a really fun artifact to own.

Jimmy Doolitle is another pilot whose pop-culture claim to fame would come after this set was printed. His bio here is is chock full of exploits and doesn’t even mention his (probably most-important) contributions to flying via instruments. For me though I only recognize him as the leader of the Doolittle Raid in 1942.

Anyway, a fun little set that looks great in the binder and demonstrates everything wonderful about pre-war cards.

Goofing around

I don’t do this with all my sets but I couldn’t help myself here. I love Miyazaki and he loves flying so I figured it would be fun to do a bunch of customs of various characters in his movies. Will I print these? I don’t know. But I’m seriously thinking about it.

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at njwv.wordpress.com, and the web at vossbrink.net

8 thoughts on “1936 Carreras Famous Airmen & Airwomen”

  1. Very cool! I’ve never gone out of my way to track down cards from these older non-baseball sets, but I still love seeing them pop up around the cardsphere.

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