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Mutoscope Cards were sold from coin-operated vending machines in arcades and amusement parks during the 1940s. They are a distinctive size (5.25″ x 3.25 inches or 13.3 cm x 8.25 cm) and carry the inscription “A Mutoscope Card”. The subjects of the cards are “pin-ups” or cartoons (those by Jimmy Hatlo being the most prized). Noted pin-up artists included Zoe Mozert,Earl Moran and Gil Elvgren.
The International Mutoscope Reel Company is only one of the companies producing cards sold in vending machines. However, this firm also manufactured the Mutoscope motion picture device and the “flip-book” reels that went inside. The arcade cards are not the same as the cards used in the mutoscope reels. Mutoscope cards are a recognized category of collectible paper.