Scouting Signs and Emblems

These days (and this is something I wholly approve of) smoking is recognised as antisocial and injurious to health. Sadly it is also addictive and so we shouldn’t be too harsh on those who took up the habit in earlier times when it was regarded as the normal thing to do.

Tobacco companies have always been very smart when it comes to advertising. Many of us will remember the tobacco sponsorship of sporting events – thus associating the product with physical fitness.

And once upon a time all cigarette packets had a picture card in it. These were often in sets of fifty which hooked a user in to one brand. And it has to be said that a full set of cards was attractive and, usually, informative.

But this set was clearly produced with youngsters in mind – encouraging them, perhaps, to take up the addictive smoking habit.


This is an album of scouting and guide signs and emblems. They were in cigarette packets in 1933.

The album had originally belonged to Norman Adshead but his name has been crossed out and the name Douglas Fisher has been added. Douglas would have been my Father in Law had he lived long enough. I’m not aware that he ever smoked!

And the album is delightful. Here’s a page.


There we have three very attractive cards each with a coloured image of a creature and an emblem based on the animal. There is information related to the animal and the scouting patrol that carries the same name.

Here’s a favourite for me.


One thing I am delighted to say is that ‘seldom seen’ is no longer true, at least for me. It’s a rare day if I don’t see one, pecking for ants in the lawn. Here’s one of my recent photos.



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