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Allen Mc
Reply with quote  #1 
"Well, here's another clue for you all, the Walrus was Paul".- from the band formally known as Johnny and the Moondogs" -

Another Mystery of the Heinz Airplane and Aviator cards are the blank-backed versions floating around. These cards seem to defy explanation, as they look identical to the regular versions, and appear to have been produced by Heinz. The explanation of the blank-backed cards seems to be just as complex and perplexing as Johnny's lyrics in the above mentioned song from the mid-sixties.

In my opinion, the shiny blank backed Heinz Aviation cards are cut directly from the (infamously rare) Heinz Aviation Map ("Famous Flights and Air Routes of the World Map, Compliments of the H.J. Heinz Company 1937 & 1938"). I've had considerable discussion with the Iconic Mark Finn on this matter, and I still wonder what progress I've made. Mark was kind enough to provide me with several Heinz blank backed cards a few weeks ago, after one of our discussions. As one of only about 6 people on the planet fortunate enough to pull out a Heinz Map, I was able to make some less than scientific comparisons. First, I located a couple of Heinz cards (from Mark) that showed a noticeable blue stripe on them.

Test One: - It appears the sliver of a blue stripe on the blank-backed card matches the blue ocean water depicted on the Map. (Scans Attached).

Test Two: - Taking a flash photo that depicts the texture of the blank-backed card with the Map texture. The shiny surface texture of the Map and the blank backed card appears identical. (Scans Attached).

Test Three: - I turned over two of three cards to see if the color of the back of the blank-backed cards matches the color of the back of the Map. It matches. (Scans Attached).

Test Four: - I purposely damaged a corner of a blank-backed card and compared the fiber damage pattern to a damaged corner of my Map. Under a powerful loop, the fiber pattern damage appears to match. A definitive microscopic analysis is warranted for conclusive proof (for test number Four).

Test Five: - I conducted a comparison of the unique "printing plate marks" on one of the Map images, with a blank backed card image. If the blank-back card is from the Map, then the unique marks should match (if my Theory is correct). Also, I opined the unique "printer plate marks" from a regular (normal) card would not match up to the Map image (or a blank-backed card image). If the blank backed cards were cut from the Map, then unique printer plate marks would line up. Upon close inspection, the unique Map marks lined up with the unique marks on the blank backed cards. (Scans Attached).

Test Six: - The Kojak taste test. I passed on this test. Obvious reasons. Mainly because I had been thinking the taste of 70year old Heinz Rice Flakes would taste kind of stale. Not to mention the hundreds of people that had handled the cards.

If I am correct, then no blank backed (shiny card) image of Lindbergh will ever appear. The Lindbergh card is not depicted on the Map. The reason I mention "shiny card" in that description is another fascinating issue. Perhaps Mark Finn will elaborate on that in another post. Basically, Finn has found Heinz blank-backed cards that are non-shiny (flat). The flat exterior cards are not from the Map.

Based on those five less than scientific tests, I conclude with almost near certainty, that the Heinz shiny blank-backed cards were cut from the Map. Now, that brings up another Mystery. Mark Finn informed me that there is a good number of blank-backed cards in circulation. There may be a few good reasons for the blank-backed cards, and many appear to in good condition.

My good friend Barry Martin out of Dallas opined a fascinating idea as to the origin of the blank backed Heinz cards. Barry opined that perhaps Heinz had originally made a Map with the five rare aviators (Hughes, Earhart, Musick, Ingalls, Hawks). Once Heinz decided to pull the rare aviator cards (late 1936 or very early 1937), they had to pull the Maps that included their image. Not wanting to waste a complete Map, the remaining cards were cut from the Map to be used in a future Marketing campaign.

I believe Barry Martin's explanation bears merit. The Map was undoubtedly produced no later than '37 and ready for distribution prior to January 1938. We know that to be true based on a previous post by Ralph Perry. Perry had posted/written about a full page Heinz Map Teacher's kit advertisement that appeared on the back cover of the 1938 issue of The Instructor (trade magazine for schoolteachers). Full page Map advertisements also appeared in the 1938 February issue of The Instructor and well as the February and October issues of The Grade Teacher. The Teacher's Guide which accompanies the Map kit (for teachers) was completed in mid-1937. The Heinz Teacher's Guide mentions the Amelia Earhart disappearance (mid -1937) as well as Howard Hughes's January 1937 Transcontinental Air Record. Could the Map have been originally produced in 1936? The 32 page Teacher's Guide could have been edited at any time.

The Heinz Map and Teacher's Map Guide was clearly targeted and distributed to schoolchildren (yes, I have a photo copy. While working with Barry Martin, he was able to locate one). I learned one last lesson while researching this. Whenever taking close up photos of fingers and hands, always clean the fingernails first. I'm a working government employee. Allen

This is a blank backed card sitting directly on the Map. Note the blue water matches up perfectly from the balnk backed card to the Map. I used a white 8by10 piece of typing paper to cover part of the Map.

A flash photo shows the surface of a blank backed card while sitting directly upon the Map

I turned over two of three blank backed cards so you could comapare the back of a card with the color of the Map

This is a close up photo of one card on the Map with unique printer's marks circled

The top card is a blank backed card, which matches the Map card. The bottom card is a regular airplane card, which does not display the unique printing plate marks.
Dan C
Reply with quote  #2 
Hopefully, you have saved collectors their hard earned money by not

bidding on these "blank-backed map" Heinz cards.

I'm sure many collectors are silently thanking you.



Chuck Ross
Reply with quote  #3 
This is great detective work!
Eric B
Reply with quote  #4 
Nice stuff. Most people here realize I collect the N and T cards. But I really enjoy these kinds of posts as well. Just thought I'd chime in once in awhile.
Reply with quote  #5 
Superb Allen , and many thnaks to Mr Finn for providing you with the drum sticks so Ringo could bash his drums .

I've got blisters on my fingers .

Top class effort and worthy of a 5 .


Reply with quote  #6 
Mark, thank you for the kind comments - and I'm not disappointed you knew exactly who Johnny and the Moondogs were. And what would have been with the James Dean look-a-like and artistically talented Stu Sutcliffe. As you know, Stu is the fellow who helped come up with the name "Beetles" (later changed to the Beatles). Stu and John were huge fans of Buddy Holly and the Crickets. He died too early. And Ringo was the best - always my fave.

Dan/Chuck/Eric/Mark...thank you for the comments, my research was possible only with the help of the board and their grey-matter, and the assistance of Barry Martin and Mark Finn. I've got one more posting later - and I'll make mention of Heinz buried treasure - that most likely will never be found. I should be able to tell you where it is....with some luck.

Allen Mc
Dan C
Reply with quote  #7 
Ok, Allen, I've digested all your previous information.

I'm ready for the final chapter.
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