This month’s VCoM comes from the 1930 American G-Men release, catalogued as 1930 R13-1 (White logo) and R13-2 (Red logo), not to be confused with the 1936 G-Men & American Heroes R60 release. The cards were issued in strips so some cards are trimmed to remove the perforation while others still contain the perforations on their edges. R13-1 White logo cards were numbered #100-148 and are horizontal cards with the perforations on the sides while the R13-2 Red logo cards were numbered #700-748 and are vertical cards with the perforations on the top and the bottom of the cards.
The sets were released by an anonymous manufacturer and each card featured a crime story that was supposed to have been based on a true story. The cards themselves are beautifully illustrated with bright colors, just enough to get a young boys imagination going with the tales of “true” crimes. There were messages such “Crime Does Not Pay” and “You Can’t Get Away With It” on both the fronts and backs as a warning to those who might consider a life of crime.
This card is #743 and is titled “Subway Slaughter”. The front shows two guys with a dynamite plunger in the foreground with an explosion going off in the background with a subway car. The story on the back describes a fire breaking out in a subway tunnel, while people were trying to get away and gasping for air two criminals were stealing purses and pickpocketing people. The criminals were caught three months later in Buffalo and were given life in prison.
I am unable to find anything related to a crime of this nature, I am guessing the story information is kept pretty general because the crimes may not be true or completely accurate. There is also no mention of dynamite or an explosion I figure this is part of the artistic liberties of the illustrators.
My card is in rough shape, the perforations are still visible (barely) but the edges are all pretty worn and rounded with some paper separation. There are multiple creases on the front and back as well as a large “HAN” stamped across the back but the colors and ink are still visible so it is still a winner.