The History of the
Australian Cartophilic Society

The Australian Cartophilic Society (ACS) was formed when five interested cigarette and trade card collectors got together on 13th July 1968 at a meeting organized by Bon (“Penn”) Penhallurick.

They were Messrs Upson, Quigley, Burnell, Grant and Penhallurick, some who were already members of The Cartophilic Society of Great Britain. The five founding members had been collecting cigarette and trade cards for many years, some far back in their childhood when these small coloured or black & white cards were included in many tobacco and cigarette packets as well as with confectionary and various food lines etc. Early meetings of the ACS were held in members’ homes or at Penn’s Bookshop, Little Collins St. Melbourne, where Penn & his wife Nina sold secondhand books and prints. They also sold cigarette and trade cards as well as postcards as a small sideline, which brought collectors into the shop and ultimately the founding of The Australian Cartophilic Society. As membership grew meetings were held in a succession of larger venues that were soon outgrown. In 1979 a very suitable meeting room was found at the Balwyn Library, Whitehorse Rd. Balwyn and has been the Society’s permanent venue since; where it meets at 7.00 pm on the second Tuesday of every second month, beginning in February. Please note that during 2017, meetings will be held at the Kew Library as renovation works are carried out at Balwyn.

The ACS carries a range of reference books, available for purchase by members. These books are very comprehensive and cover cigarette and trade card issues from c1880 to the present time. The Society also has a small library of reference books on Postcards and Cigarette and Trade Cards available for loan to members.

The Society conducts five Card Fairs per year at the Moorabbin Masonic Hall, corner of Isabella Street and Rowans Road Moorabbin. The fairs have approximately 40 stalls selling a great variety of cards, ephemera and allied items from various local and interstate dealers. A visit to an ACS fair is a great introduction to card collecting and is also an enjoyable and fascinating day out.

The December meeting is a Christmas celebration and competition night when members are invited to bring along or send displays of cards, either mounted or in albums. There are five sections, which are judged by secret ballot and prizes awarded in each section.

The ACS has approximately 300 members in Australia and overseas who receive the society’s bi-monthly illustrated Newsletter containing articles on postcards, cigarette and trade cards; several pages of advertisements and a Postal Auction. Through the Postal Auction, members are able to sell or bid for postcards, cigarette and trade cards etc.

Some time after the ACS was formed in 1968 several other Cartophilic or Card Collector Societies were formed in Australia. Each of these societies produces a regular newsletter, which includes articles, postal auctions, advertisements, etc.