The “World of Nature” cards were produced during the years 1929 to 1933, and there were 8 different sets of 12 cards each.
Unless you’re an avid collector of Coca-Cola memorabilia, you probably don’t know that the company once created a beautiful series of educational nature cards! The series was designed by Ernest R. Crandall, an expert in a then new method of teaching known as the “Visual Education Method.” He was determined that the cards would be of excellent quality (from a scientific as well as an artistic standpoint), and he engaged the very best nature artists and writers available at the time.
Beginning in 1904, artist Lynn Bogue Hunt produced more than 100 covers for Field & Stream magazine. He also illustrated 50 books during his prolific career. George M. Sutton, a well-known author and ornithologist, contributed text. An avian research center at the University of Oklahoma is named for him.
Many of the cards contain questions and comments to encourage students to learn more about birds, their natural history and their roles in ecosystems. The other sets of cards were: Earth and Air and Sky (I); Man’s Closest Friends and Inveterate Enemies (II); Trees and Other Plants Useful to Man (III); Native Wild Animals (VI); Life In and Around Water (VII); Insects, Helpful and Harmful (VIII); and Some Common Wild Flowers (IV).
Botanical artist Mary Emily Eaton lived in the United States from 1911 to 1932 and was employed by the New York Botanical Garden to illustrate their horticultural journal, “Addisonia”. She also produced wildflower paintings for the National Geographic Society’s magazine and plant books. Her specialty was the cactus family, and she is best known for illustrating Nathaniel Lord Britton’s 4-volume work on these plants, making 383 full-color paintings and 300 black and white line drawings.
-Elizabeth Stoakes, BAS Historian