1938 Ardath National Fitness Exercises Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Ardath National Fitness Exercises
Year 1938
Size 1 3/8″ x 2 5/8″
Images Color
Type Tobacco
Number in Set

1938 Ardath National Fitness Exercises Set Overview

This international tobacco card set was issued by Ardath Tobacco for their State Express Cigarettes brand. Ardath issued a variety of tobacco card sets in the 1930s, including other sports releases. This particular series, like many, includes a total of 50 cards.

The set is titled National Fitness. True to the name, the fronts of these cards depict a subject performing numerous exercises. The exercises were selected by a man named Captain F.A.M. Webster, who was called a ‘Well-Known Expert’ on the back of the cards.

Who was F.A.M. Webster? Well, he actually was a specialist in exercise, as touted. Webster’s full name was Frederick Annesley Michael Webster and he was a British soldier and author known for the publishing of athletic publications. He wrote more than 30 such books.

Webster also created the Loughborough School of Athletics, Games, and Physical Education. He was later inducted into the England Athletics Hall of Fame.

The images are somewhat unique in that they depict actual motion. A color image is included but black and white images of the actual movement. Fronts are also a bit different from other sets in that they have an all black background. The only text on the fronts is a printed card number.

Backs of the cards display the National Fitness title at the top and include a small advertisement at the bottom for Ardath and the State Express Cigarettes. Most importantly, the backs provide a description of the exercise depicted on the front. Exercises were designed individually for men and women with the backs specifying which gender a particular card is for. The first 34 cards were exercises for men while the last 16 were exercises for women.

1938 Ardath National Fitness Exercises Set Checklist

  1. Abdomen and Hips
  2. Abdomen and Internal Organs
  3. TBD
  4. TBD
  5. Spine – “A”
  6. Spine – “B”
  7. Spine – “C”
  8. Spine – “D”
  9. Spine and Lungs
  10. Lower Limbs – “A”
  11. Lower Limbs – “B”
  12. Lower Limbs and Back
  13. Lungs – “A”
  14. Lungs – “B”
  15. Lungs – “C”
  16. Lungs, Back and Abdomen
  17. Liver – “A”
  18. Liver – “B”
  19. Liver – “C”
  20. Liver and Spleen – “A”
  21. Liver and Spleen – “B”
  22. Stomach – “A”
  23. Stomach – “B”
  24. Stomach – “C”
  25. TBD
  26. General Fitness – “A”
  27. General Fitness – “B”
  28. General Fitness – “C”
  29. General Fitness – “D”
  30. General Fitness – “E”
  31. General Fitness – “F”
  32. General Fitness – “G”
  33. General Fitness – “H”
  34. General Fitness – “I”
  35. Lower Limbs and Back
  36. Lower Limbs and Abdomen
  37. Legs and Internal Organs
  38. Spine and Hips
  39. Spine and Lungs
  40. Arms, Lungs and Waist
  41. Arms, Legs and Spine
  42. Stomach, Legs an Arms
  43. Lungs, Limbs and Back
  44. Arms and Shoulders – “A”
  45. Arms and Shoulders – “B”
  46. Spine an Stomach
  47. Lower Limbs
  48. Legs and Internal Organs
  49. Internal Organs and Shoulders
  50. Spine, Waist and Arms

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