1932 Reemtsma Cigarettes Olympia Set
‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||Reemtsma Cigarettes Olympia
|Size||3 1/8″ x 4 3/4″ and 4 11/16″ x 6 11/16″
|Images||Black and White / Color
|Number in Set
1932 Reemtsma Cigarettes Olympia Overview
Founded in the early 1900s, Germany-based Reemtsma is one of the Europe’s biggest manufacturers of tobacco. In 1932, the company produced a set of 200 cards for the Olympic games. As this is a German set, the technical name of the issue is Reemtsma Cigarettenfabrik (translated to cigarette factory) Olympia.
The 1932 summer games were held in the United States so many America-themed cards are included, including non-athletes such as president Herbert Hoover. Most cards were for the summer games, though a later portion of the set is dedicated to winter games.
Like other similar issues, a special album was created for these cards. Some of these blue books can still be found today with cards affixed to the pages inside.
Hockey is a focal point here for most American collectors, though track and field is the sport most heavily represented. Of the major sports, only ice hockey is covered. That sport is represented by two cards – No. 188 Germany vs. Poland and No. 191 United States vs. Canada. Both are pictured here. In track and field, key cards include several ‘rookie’ issues of multi-sport star Babe Didrikson-Zaharias.
The ‘cards’ are more like photos, actually, as they are printed on very thin stock. Some were printed in full color while others are black and white and there are two different sizes as well.
Some cards are 3 1/8″ x 4 3/4″ while others are 4 11/16″ x 6 11/16″. Those sizes are not exclusive to the color or black and white cards. So, essentially, there are four different types of cards – the smaller color cards, smaller black and white cards, larger color cards, and larger black and white cards. However, while the sizes and colors mix and match, each card has only one type. For example, a card will not have both a smaller black and white version and a larger one. Each card is only one of the four types.
And covering the Olympics, obviously, a number of sports are included. Other noteworthy sports in the set include boxing, wrestling, and track and field. Track and field, by far, has the largest presence in the set, making up almost half of it.
Amelia Earhart Rookie Card?
While hockey is the major sport, another key card exists in one featuring several personalities, including the legendary swimmer Duke Kahanamoku, famous aviator Amelia Earhart, and famous distance runner Paavo Nurmi.
Nurmi’s cards are popular and Kahanamoku is credited with the invention and development of surfing. While this is one of his later cards, still draws interest from collectors. However, the real attraction for many is the presence of Earhart.
The card may be the earliest appearance of Earhart on an actual trading card. This card featuring the trio typically sells in the $50-$100 range.
The 1932 set was also reissued in 1936. While the cards have the same pictures on the front and also have ‘Olympia 1932’ at the top of the backs, the reissued cards can easily be distinguished from the older ones.
1932 cards make no reference to 1936 dates on the back. 1936 cards have a 1936 date mentioned in the biography on the back.
Also note that a separate 1936 Reemtsma Olympia set was also printed in that year.
Finally, a parallel set of these cards also exists. Instead of the ‘Sammelwerk’ title at the top of those backs, backs of the parallel set begin with the words ‘Album Nr. 6.’ These cards are the same as the ‘Sammelwerk’ cards (including having the same card numbers) but have different backs.