1922 Cowan’s Learn to Swim (V16) Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Cowan’s Learn to Swim (V16)
Year 1922
Size 1 1/8″ x 3 1/4″
Images Color
Type Canadian / Candy
Number in Set

1922 Cowan’s Learn to Swim (V16) Set Overview

This rare set is one of the few that focuses on the sport of swimming and diving.

The cards were issued by Cowan’s, a food/candy company, out of Canada. The dating on the set is a bit fuzzy with some sources citing it as a c1920 issue and others dating it to 1922.

The cards have a somewhat odd shape, like some other Canadian issues. They are narrow and more closely resemble a small bookmark as opposed to a traditional trading card. Some cards are printed with pictures horizontally while others have a vertical layout.

Fronts include a color depiction of a swimming or diving motion with a title and white borders. Backs include a short description of the action on the front, presenting that text in both English and French. Backs also have a card number and repeat the title at the top while the bottom has the print, “The Cowan Co., Ltd. Advertising Dept., Sterling Rd., Toronto.”

Subjects pictured simply depict generic swimmers. However, one card (No. 16) has the legendary Captain Matthew Webb (referred to only as Captain Webb) in the water. He was the first man to swim the British Channel but perished while attempting to swim the Niagara Whirlpool. The Webb card is one that sells for more as it depicts a real person.

Cards in the set are quite rare, similar to other Canadian issues. However, they are generally not too expensive, with commons starting around $10 in low-grade condition.

1922 Cowan’s Learn to Swim (V16) Set Checklist

  1. Front Dive
  2. Swan Dive
  3. Back Dive
  4. Carrying Drowning Person
  5. Breast Stroke
  6. The Australian Crawl
  7. Side Stroke
  8. Trudgeon Stroke
  9. Swimming on the Back
  10. Floating
  11. Swimming Under Water
  12. The Plunge for Distance
  13. World’s Fastest Swimmer
  14. Treading Water
  15. TBD
  16. Captain Webb
  17. Standing Dive
  18. Racing Dive
  19. Jump for a Fancy Dive
  20. Running Front Somersault
  21. How to Teach a Beginner
  22. Resuscitation
  23. Breaking Wrist Hold
  24. Tired Swimmer Carry

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