One-shot #22: A Man and his Monkey

This oddball stereo card…

Veado Cigar Card, Series 3, No. 50: “Dous amigos.” (“Two friends”)

…was included for free with a box of Veado Brand Cigars sold in Brazil, probably about a century ago. I doubt that Veado was the first company to offer stereoscopic photography as an incentive to buy their product; they certainly weren’t the last (Weetabix bought out VistaScreen around 1960 and produced 150 or so color litho cards that were included in cereal boxes). But they might just have been the most prolific – this card comes from Series 3, and there are at least 15 series of these, the early ones real B&W photos like this one, the later ones colorized lithos. Series 14 alone contained at least 127 cards.

Now let’s do the math here – let’s lowball the number per series at an average of 100, since we know that early series went up to at least 50, and later series went above 125. That means a total of 1,500 cards. If you were lucky enough to acquire a previously un-owned card with every box of Veado Cigars (numbering 50 per box) that you purchased, you’d have to smoke 75,000 cigars in order to get a complete set. If you’d started smoking the day you turned 18, you’d have to smoke 3 cigars a day until you were just under 86-and-a-half years old (accounting for leap years) to get a complete set. I’m sure some collector somewhere has a complete set – there’s a completist for everything one can collect, I reckon – but I doubt many people collected even entire series by themselves.

I know from having tried to get an entire series of just 10 Peanuts characters from McDonald’s Happy Meals as a kid, and having failed miserably (constantly getting freaking Lucy!), that one has to take duplication into account. Add in the probability of getting an un-owned card from any given series, and one would need many lifetimes to create a cigar haze thick enough to collect every card if the distribution were random.

In any case, I just have this one card, because for a buck, who can resist the opportunity to research another stereoview manufacturer – or look at a 3D picture of a placid old man with a walrus moustache holding his monkey on the streets of Brazil?

Anaglyph

Word to your monkey.

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