The sets included here offer a good idea of the variety of trading cards in the 1950s. These are mainly sets in which I have little interest so I offer just a sampling. That is especially true of sets using photographs, which were already being used in the early 1950s - see Hopalong Cassidy or the Lone Ranger below, this last being such an ugly set of cards you just wonder why people bought these TV images painted over crudely in primary colors and with their dull backs.
The 1950s had another kind of ugly card, and that was the propaganda card. The best example of that is Bowman's Fight the Red Menace, a set of cards whose message is ghastly. Just compare the extreme treatments, quite typical of the extremes of this set, of Mao and MacArthur, Mao being literally a green Frankenstein monster and MacArthur a glowing hero. Topps joined in the action here too with its large set of Freedom's War, although it does not contain the same grotesquely childish propaganda.
Topps' Scoop was one of the cleverer sets of the 1950s and featured the same quality artwork used in Topps' best sets, but I have not collected it.
War and shoot-em-up cowboys were the subjects of many sets, including some extremely large ones, as 240 cards for Topps' Jets - a truly dull set of images - 203 cards for Topps' Freedom's War, and 288 cards for Bowman's Wild West.