Horrors of War Cards

Horrors of War Bubblegum Cards

These cards, produced in 1938 by Philadelphia-based Gum, Inc. (later Bowman), produced a political furor unlike any other. The idea for these cards was introduced by George Moll, a Sunday-school teacher and Gum, Inc.'s advertising counsel. Warren Bowman, owner of Gum, Inc., claimed that he wanted to "teach peace by exposing the horrors of war."

These 288 cards, each depicting graphic & terrible scenes of war, were even utilized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a way to explain the terrors of war to the American public. This use even provoked Senate condemnation for so-called "bubblegum diplomacy."

Today, this particular set has gathered a significant amount of academic debate. A search in academic research databases reveals several papers and conference presentations regarding these cards across a range of topics including the use of these cards as war propoganda and social education tools.

The racist content of many of these cards continues to provoke controversy. In a 1938 article in Life, the author wrote: "Some future historian may trace a cause for a future U.S.-Japanese war to the fact that pre-adolescents in America received severe anti-Japanese prejudices through its curious liking for blowing bubbles with...gum." Needless to say, this collection represents some of the most controversial content in Deke's Collection.

Begin the Slideshow!

<Back to Deke's Collection>