Picture story albums: boys and girls of all nations
Shredded Wheat box inserts up to this point, with the exception of the Alphabet cards which ended in 1929, had been largely targeted at adults. The cards which followed advertised other products, or suggested reasons for using Shredded Wheat. In 1936 or 1937, however, the company began a new strategy aimed at children with the introduction of Picture Story Albums. There are three of these: Nursery Rhymes, Boys and Girls of All Nations, and Tony Sarg’s Animal Circus. These were each sets of 36 cards, a cover and 35 cards to color, with instructions for assembling into an “album.”
The second Picture Story Album was called “Boys and Girls of All Nations” and like the first, was planned as a set of 36 cards, with a cover and 35 nations. It is interesting to note that Alaska & Hawaii, while territories of the U.S., are treated here as “nations.” The United States is represented by one card, which pictures Native Americans [Indians] Great Britain has two – one for England and one for Scotland. [A complete list follows the illustrations.]
There are several anomalies however in this set. China is represented by three cards, and Scotland by two – making a complete collection of this set 38 cards. Two cards for China seem to have been intended, one of children kite-flying and another of children eating with chopsticks. This latter card shows two hairless children seated on mats, and was perhaps offensive to the large Chinese population in California, where Shredded Wheat now had a plant. This card was replaced by a card of two children with hair seated on chairs at a table.
With Scotland, the original card of a boy playing the bagpipes and a girl dancing in kilts with no plaid was replaced by a card of a boy and girl dancing, with kilts that are now plaid. The bagpipes have disappeared.
China (bald children eating)
China (children with hair eating)
Scotland (with bagpipes)
Scotland (without bagpipes)
United States (Indians)
[total of 38 cards]