Beef up your knowledge of polar exploration by taking a look at these trading cards from Hassan Cork Tip Cigarettes found in the Brainard Collection of Arctic Exploration, DLB-AA. The set of 49 cards depicts portraits of explorers, scenes of Inuit life, expedition ships, and scenic landscape views. The reverse side of the cards provides biographical information, (often offensive) observations, and other information related to life in the Arctic. Included are the cards for famed explorers Robert E. Peary, Robert A. Bartlett, and Matthew Henson, the first African-American Arctic explorer.
These colorful cards were designed by the Italian-born artist, Albert Operti, and are based on watercolors, drawings, and studies made during his Arctic expeditions. A painter, illustrator, caricaturist, and scenic artist for the Metropolitan Opera House, Operti served as chief artist and New York Herald special correspondent on two expeditions with Robert E. Peary. Enjoy a sampling of images from the set below!