‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||M30 Seal Craft Discs / R123 Seal Craft Discs
|Type||Publications/Gum and Candy|
|Number in Set
M30 / R123 Seal Craft Discs Overview
The 1930s Seal Craft Discs make up a complex issue. In all, it is believed there are three different sets:
- Set of 241 (Various Subjects)
- Set of 90 (Various Subjects)
- Set of 12 (Safety-Related)
A fourth set is sometimes listed in the R79 Leader Discs issue – more on that in a bit.
The discs were unique in that they had small holes around the edges along with slits. They were meant to allow children to slide rubber bands into the holes using the slits and make various sorts of crafts. As depicted here, they could be attached to other discs to make all sorts of items, including belts, Indian headdresses, aprons, and even household items, such as table runners, curtain decor, and to decorate items such as waste baskets.
The discs were apparently used for just those purposes. That is evident as some are found with the holes worn or even ripped from apparent rubber band use.
M30 vs. R123
Jefferson Burdick classified these as two separate issues in the American Card Catalog – M30 and R123. They are classified twice as they were both a publications (M-Card) issue and a gum (R-Card) issue.
The discs were distributed in a few different ways and that is what determines if they are classified as an M-Card set or an R-Card set. First, the primary set of 240 was believed to be distributed on a national level in stores. The smaller set of 90 and set of 12 were regional issues, distributed by a handful of newspapers in specific cities.
The national set of 240 discs actually included 241 since two No. 5 discs were printed. That set is sometimes referred to as having been distributed with or by Dietz Gum. Those cards are considered R123 issues while the ones distributed by the newspapers are M30 issues. So to recap:
- Set of 240 (R123 issue distributed nationally)
- Set of 90 (M30 issue distributed regionally by newspapers)
- Set of 12 (M30 issue distributed regionally by newspapers)
It is easy to tell which Seal Craft discs belong to which issue. All of the discs that were part of the M30/newspaper series have the newspaper name printed on them. Similarly, that helps distinguish between the Set of 240 and the Set of 90.
Finally, note that while some of the subjects in the Set of 240 and Set of 90 are the same, some pictures and artwork are different.
R79 Leader Discs
There is some measure of debate regarding the R79 Leader Discs. That is often the name most collectors give the set but exact details surrounding it (and a complete, fully confirmed checklist, for that matter) are murky.
The discs seem to belong here as the subjects (colleges/universities, flags, Indians, and insignias) are also found in these sets. In addition, the concept of a disc is the same. There are some differences, though. The biggest is that the discs do not include the small holes and slits that were in these M30 and R123 sets. Instead, they have only four small indented cuts on the sides. In addition, the R79 issue offers sports cards since the colleges and universities have actual pictures of sports being depicted, instead of merely names and college seals.
Because Jefferson Burdick classified them as a separate set (R79), that is how I have addressed them on this site. While some may list them as an M30/R123 Seal Craft issue, I have kept them separate as was Burdick’s original intention as he indicated they were distributed by Leader Gum.
The set is almost entirely a non-sports issue if the R79 discs are not included. The lone sports-related disc is found in the safety set of 12.
Pictured above, it stresses that children should play safely on a playground and seems to suggest that playing in the street is a mistake. A baseball scene is displayed on one half of the card and a close-up of a generic baseball player is on the other half.
Note that the colleges/universities are not sports issues as they merely feature names and seals of schools.
M30 / R123 Seal Craft Discs Checklist
Below are summaries of the three sets.
Set of 240 (full checklist here)
- Indians/Native Americans
Set of 90 (partial checklist here)
- Indians/Native Americans
Set of 12 (full checklist here)
- Includes 12 safety-related discs (includes the baseball disc)