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image icon 'British War Leaders' collectors' card depicting John Curtin, 1950

'British War Leaders' collectors' card depicting John Curtin, 1950'British War Leaders' collectors' card depicting John Curtin, 1950
John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library


This is a 'British War Leaders' collectors' card, approximately 3.5 cm x 7 cm, issued by Joseph Lingford and Son Ltd in 1950 and featuring a watercolour sketch of John Curtin (1885-1945). Collectors' cards such as this one were packed in Lingford's custard powder and other products.

Educational value

This resource is useful because it:

  • This asset commemorates the contribution of John Curtin (Prime Minister of Australia 1941-45) as a wartime leader of a British Commonwealth nation - this card was number ten of a set of 36 'British War Leaders' cards, which featured a coloured portrait of the leader on the front and a brief biography on the reverse; the summation for Curtin noted that he was: 'A sound leader whose death was greatly regretted'.
  • This asset is an example of a marketing promotion encouraging people to collect a complete set of cards which were distributed singly within a range of products - these cards were packed in foodstuffs, including Lingford's custard powders, jellies, pudding mixtures and cornflour.
  • This asset indicates some of the foods produced in Britain in the 1950s - Joseph Lingford and Son Ltd was a family company started by Joseph Lingford in 1861 and based in the town of Bishop Auckland, County Durham, in north-east Yorkshire; its products included baking powder, cornflour and gelatine, as well as some items less familiar today, such as blancmange and 'Fritto' fritter-mixture.
  • This asset provides a rare colour portrait of John Curtin which clearly shows his brown pinstripe suit and waistcoat, and red tie - most images from the period of the Second World War are in black and white.