Science: It’s In the Cards

I knew that the first baseball cards were packaged with packs of cigarettes. I hadn’t realized that there were other genres of cards as well. And I certainly hadn’t realized that there were “science cards.”

The New York Public Library has digitized a large collections of cigarette cards, including a run of science cards from Max Cigarettes in the 30s. Brain Pickings has some favorites, but here are a few of my own:

Dog’s conditioned reflex

Somewhat more pleasant than the actual Pavlov experiments.

Guns vs. Cinema

The backside warns of “cinema-suggestion,” what we’d call subliminal messages, which could “sway the will and destroy the independent mind of whole nations…” Good thing they never heard of cat videos on youtube.

Man-made lightning

Here’s one for the Tesla or Steinmetz fans: a lightning generator. Although the back suggests that these arcs are “to be used as the power required for splitting the atom.” Not sure how that’s supposed to work.