Significant 1938 Horrors Of War Proof Find — The Only 1938 HOW Proofs PSA Has Ever Graded

Just Collect is pleased to announce it has unearthed an exciting find: (16) Progressive Proofs from the landmark 1938 Horrors of War set. All (16) cards from the find have been graded Authentic by PSA and are at auction now. These are the only proofs from this set that PSA has ever authenticated. These cards are extremely rare, and Just Collect is already receiving significant interest from advanced non sports card collectors. Highlights include:

1938 Horrors of War Proof Find! 

(16) Newly-Discovered Horrors of War Progressive Proofs At Auction Now!

After PSA has graded over 10,000 Horrors of War singles to date,

For more information, contact Scott Greenwald at Just Collect at or call (732) 828-2261.
All (16) Proofs Are At Auction Ending Sunday, May 22.


Just Collect is pleased to offer (16) 1938 Horrors of War Progressive Proof cards (the ONLY 1938 R69 “Horrors of War” Progressive Proofs EVER graded by PSA). Each card features a full or “normal issue” print reverse. The obverse, however, is a Progressive Proof printed in only key (black) and yellow. As part of the CYMK printing process, cyan and magenta would normally have been added to produce the full color version. However, it was a standard practice during the preliminary printing for progressive proof sheets to be run with each of the individual colors and/or partial combinations of colors (cyan, yellow, magenta and key or black) as a way to monitor and inspect the production and application of color to the sheets prior to full CYMK printing.

“Horrors of War” is arguably the most famous set of war-related trading cards ever issued and was produced in 1938 by Philadelphia based Gum, Inc. The illustrations are colorful, detailed and amazingly gruesome and depicted so much death and violence some parents forbade their children to buy them.. Originally conceived as a 240 card set about The Chinese-Japanese War, The Ethiopian War and The Spanish Civil War with the reverse text, though historically factual, is filled with “politically incorrect” propaganda of the times. The set proved so popular that an additional 48 cards were added about Germany and the beginning of World War II. The addition of these 48 cards to the set did not prove as successful as Gum Inc. anticipated and hence the last 24 cards and in particular the last 12 cards have proved very elusive to collectors.

The idea for these cards was introduced by George Moll, a Sunday-school teacher and Gum, Inc.’s advertising counsel. Warren Bowman, owner of Gum, Inc., claimed that he wanted to “teach peace by exposing the horrors of war.” Historically significant and noteworthy, the “Horrors of War” set created an unprecedented stir when issued to children in the late 1930s and was even utilized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a way to explain the terrors of war to the American public which even provoked Senate condemnation for so-called “bubblegum diplomacy.” A search in academic research databases reveals several papers and conference presentations regarding these cards across a range of topics including the use of these cards as war propaganda and social education tools.