The Language of Flowers – Cigarette Cards from the 1920s, Digital Downloads 1

I love vintage cigarette cards, and have written about them here on our blog previously. I really enjoy the illustrations on the cards and their miniature size. I also love the variety!

I’ve mentioned in previous articles that cigarette cards date back to 1875 in the U.S. The cards were used as advertising and to help stiffen the package of cigarettes. The cards were usually created in sets of 25 or 50 cards, although some sets of 100 cards were also produced. The themes of the cards vary quite a bit – from celebrities to sports figures, nature, historical events, military heroes and uniforms, royalty, and so much more. 

Cigarette cards are collectible, and some are very valuable. I love finding new cigarette cards to add to my collections.

With Spring in the air and Summer approaching, here is a collection of cards with a floral theme from around the 1920s. This collection is called “Floral Beauties and the Language of Flowers”. Each card shows a particular flower along with the meaning of that flower. The cards were produced by the W. Duke & Sons Co. and were packaged inside Duke cigarettes.

Each card in this series of 50 has the same card back, as shown here.

Because these cards are now in the public domain, go ahead and save these digital images and feel free to use them in your scrapbooks, journals, and other altered art or collage work – either in digital format or print them and use the printed copies. I think these cards would make delightful plant markers for your flower gardens, too!

If you’d like more cigarette cards, make sure to visit our Free Downloads section here on our blog.

Floral Beauties and the Language of Flowers

To view each card below individually, just click on the card. From there, you can save the image for your use.

Here are the meanings of each flower shown above:

Acacia, chaste love
American Beauty Rose, timidity
Azalea, attraction
Begonia, originality
Bridal Rose, happy love
Buttercips, riches
Cactus, beware
Canterbury Bells, constancy
Carnation, pride
China Aster, versatility
Chrysanthemum, resignation
Clematis, mental beauty
Cobaea, gossip
Cornflower, modesty
Cyclamen, diffidence
Dahlia, dignity
Forget-Me-Not, forget me not
Fuchsia, taste
Geranium, recall
Gillyflower, unfading beauty
Gladiola, on the defensive
Heliotrope, devotion
Holly, foresight
Hollyhock, ambition
Honeysuckle, fidelity
Iris, sweet message
Jack Rose, bashful love
Lilacs, first love
Magnolia, magnificence
Marigold, disdain
Morning Glories, bonds of affection
Moss Rose, confession of love
Narcissus, self love
Nasturtium, patriotism
Orange Blossum, maidenly reserve
Orchid, trust
Pansy, thoughtfulness
Peony, archness
Pomegranate, come to me
Poppy, consolation
Primrose, flirtation
Rhododendron, expectancy
Snowball, thoughts of heaven
Sunflower, haughtiness
Sweetpeas, goodbye sweetheart!
Tea Rose, jealousy
Tulip, a declaration of love
Wild English Daisy, daintiness
Wild Rose, poetry
Wild Violet, candor

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One thought on “The Language of Flowers – Cigarette Cards from the 1920s, Digital Downloads

  • Pam

    Absolutely stunning! I love these cards…great collection! Cigarette silks are amazing too, but you don’t have the same advertising as you do on the paper ephemera. Thank you for sharing your finds!