Mackenzie King, comic book hero

This comic, probably published in the United States early in 1942, introduced children to prime minister Mackenzie King and the war policies of his government.

View PDF: PDF icon King of Canada.pdf

Posters to collect

These posters, featuring graphic art by Ted Harris, were probably distributed as a product premium during the Second World War.

Fighting the war in schools

Like most children, the students of Lord Roberts School in London, Ontario, were deeply involved in supporting the war effort, through collecting scrap paper, raising money for the Canadian Red Cross Society, or donating money to buy airplanes.

Recognizing children's contributions

Certificates like these were given to schoolchildren as a way to recognize their contribution to the war effort, and to ensure that they felt included in the struggle.

Allied aircraft in action

Probably distributed as a product premium during the Second World War, these photographs show military aircraft that were in Canadian and British service: Bell Airacobra; Blackburn Skua; Boulton & Paul Defiant; Consolidated Liberator; Curtiss Kittyhawk; Douglas B19; Douglas DB7 Havoc; Hudson Bomber; Lockheed YP38; Spitfire; and Vultee Vanguard.

Fighting ships of the world

Like other sets in the Fighting Forces series (and the World in Arms series on which it was based), this one featured naval vessels from Allied as well as enemy fleets: US battleship "Mississippi"; French battleship "Dunkerque"; British torpedo boat "Hornet"; Japanese destroyer "Fubuki"; Italian cruiser "Zara"; German submarine; US heavy cruiser "Indianapolis"; Spanish cruiser "Canarias"; motor torpedo boat; Japanese aircraft carrier "Akagi"; British battleship "Rodney"; Italian M.A.S. boat.

Allied ships of the line

Distributed by the Canada Starch Company as a product premium during the Second World War, this set depicted Allied naval vessels: aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, a Tribal-class destroyer, battleship HMS King George V, battle cruiser HMS Repulse, a Shark-class submarine, battleship HMS Warspite, a motor torpedo boat, and battle cruiser HMS Hood.

Miscellaneous weapons

A separate section of the Fighting Forces gum card series (and the American World in Arms series on which it was based) was reserved for a hodge-podge of different weapons: Flame Throwers; British Death-dealing Balloon Barrage; Landing Russian "Air Infantry"; The New Garand Automatic Rifle; British Portable Steel Air Raid Shelter; Gas Raid Rescue Squad; Stream of Torpedoes; Devastating Martin-Barlow Aerial Bomb.

The "iron cavalry"

The manufacturers of the Fighting Forces gum card series, and the American World in Arms series on which it was based, applied the quaint term "iron cavalry" to the new mobile warfare.

Artillery pieces in action

Issued in 1939 using artwork from the American World in Arms series, the Fighting Forces gum card series was printed in Canada with a bilingual element added.

The fortifications of war

Issued in 1939 using artwork from the American World in Arms series, the bilingual Fighting Forces series offered young card collectors a wide range of subjects, including military fortifications.

Allied aircraft gum cards

These gum cards probably went into production very early in the Second World War - many of the airplanes featured had been removed service as obsolete by 1940, while others would eventually go through many variants: Republic Guardsman; Vickers Wellesley; Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley; Northrop 8A; Vought V-143; Supermarine Seagull V; Bell VFM-1; Curtiss Hawk III; Short Singapore III; Caudron C-670; Supermarine Stranraer; Lockheed Electra 10E; Sikorsky S-43; Boeing Stratoliner; Curtiss Y1A-18; Hanrive 510; Fairey FC; Grumann Midwing; Douglas TBD-1; North American Harvard; Northrop N-3; Saunders-Roe Lerwick; Vought-Sikorsky F4U; Cessna AT-A.

Women in uniform

During the First World War, it was quite common for women to pose for photographs while wearing a uniform that belonged to a loved one.

A patriotic card game

This postcard took the traditional card game Nap (or Napoleon), a simplified version of whist, and gave it patriotic overtones.

Collecting Allied aircraft pictures

These images of Second World War Allied aircraft were probably cut from cereal boxes, and could be saved or traded.

Airplanes with breakfast

These cards were distributed in packages of Toasted Prairie Nuts, Toasted Rice Nuts, and Bracer cereal.

Snacks, ships and airplanes

These cards were distributed during the Second World War in packages of Golden Saratoga potato chips.

Canada's flags in wartime

These images, distributed in boxes of cereal, showed some of the flags of the Commonwealth's war effort.

The Second Battle of Ypres

Silks were often included in cigarette packages as product premiums to be collected. These silks refers to villages near Ypres, where the Canadian Expeditionary Force first saw action in the spring of 1915.