13 March 2021

The Max B. Sheffer Card Co., USA

In 1922, the Max B. Sheffer Card Company (M.B.S.C.) in Chicago produced a series of black and white postcards with remarkable frames. The pictures are also special: film stills of American films from 1921 or 1922. One of the few exceptions is the card of Pola Negri as the desert dancer in Ernst Lubitsch's German classic Sumurun (1920) which was presented in the USA as 'One Arabian Night'. The cards are also identified as being from the 'Kings & Queens Movie Series' inside an M.B.S.C. circular logo. The Immortal Ephemera blog offers the complete checklist of this very popular series, which counts 50 cards. For this post, we selected 13 M.B.S.C. postcards.

Lloyd Hughes and Theodore Roberts in Hail the Woman (1921)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.), 1922. Photo: First National. Lloyd Hughes (left) and Theodore Roberts as Oliver Beresford in Hail the Woman (Thomas Ince, 1921).

Clean-cut, sensitive Lloyd Hughes (1897-1958) was an American actor of both the silent and sound film eras. He appeared in such silent classics as Tess of the Storm Country (1921), The Sea Hawk (1924), and The Lost World (1925).

Theodore Roberts (1861-1928) was an American stage and screen actor, who is known for his many parts in films by Cecil B. DeMille and his brother William.

Pola Negri in Sumurun (1920)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.). Photo: First National. Pola Negri as the Desert Dancer in Sumurun/One Arabian Night (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920).

Polish film actress Pola Negri (1897-1987) achieved fame and notoriety as a femme fatale in German and American silent films between the 1910s and 1930s. Negri was an overnight sensation in Ernst Lubitsch's Madame du Barry/Passion (1919). She moved to Hollywood where she lived in a palace, modeled after the White House.

Art Acord in Winners of the West (1921)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.). Photo: Universal. Art Acord as Arthur Standish in Winners of the West (Edward Laemmle, 1921). Caption: Universal Historical Serial.

American silent star Art Acord (1890-1931) was known as "The Cowpuncher King". He was a rodeo champion and as a film star, he was known for such Westerns as The White Horseman (1921), The Set-Up (1926), and Set Free (1927).

Monte Blue in The Affairs of Anatol (1921)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.), 1922. Photo: First National. Monte Blue as Abner Elliott in The Affairs of Anatol (Cecil B. DeMille, 1921).

Stalwart, durable Monte Blue (1887-1963) was an American romantic leading man of the silent cinema. He entered films as an assistant director and stuntman with D.W. Griffith.

Anita Stewart in Rose o' the Sea (1922)
American postcard by M.B.S.C.Co. (Max B. Sheffer Card Ci., Chicago), 1922. Photo: First National. Anita Stewart in Rose o' the Sea (Fred Niblo, 1922).

Anita Stewart (1895-1961) was an American actress who achieved success during the silent period. From 1911 on, she worked with director Ralph Ince for Vitagraph, later she had her own film company at Metro. The advent of the sound film ended her career.

Frank Mayo in Lasca (1919)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.), 1922. Photo: Universal. Frank Mayo as Anthony Moreland in Lasca (Norman Dawn, 1919).

Frank Mayo (1889–1963) was an American actor, who appeared in 310 films between 1911 and 1949. He was one of the major stars of the American silent film in the 1910s and 1920s. He also worked as a director.

Charles Ray in R.S.V.P. (1921)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.), 1922. Photo: First National. Charles Ray as Richard Morgan in R.S.V.P. (Charles Ray, 1921).

Charles Ray (1891-1943) was an American actor, scriptwriter, and director of the silent screen, who knew a parabole from rags to riches and back again. He worked for Paramount, his own company, United Artists and MGM. In the late 1910s and early 1920s, he was a very popular actor and one of Hollywood's best-paid stars.

Louise Lorraine in With Stanley in Africa (1922)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.), 1922. Photo: Universal. Louise Lorraine as Nadia Elkins in With Stanley in Africa (William James Craft, Edward A. Kull, 1922). Caption: Universal Historical Serial.

Louise Lorraine (1904-1981) was an American film actress, who started out in two-reel comedies for independent studios, then spent time at MGM and Universal. She became very popular in action-filled silent serials and may be best remembered for being the third actress to portray Jane, in the serial The Adventures of Tarzan (1921). In 1930, she retired from the film industry.

William S. Hart in White Oak (1921)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.), 1922. Photo: Paramount. William S. Hart as Oak Miller in White Oak (Lambert Hillyer, 1921).

William Surrey Hart (1864-1946) was an American silent film actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. He entered films in 1914 where, after playing supporting roles in two short films, he achieved stardom as the lead in The Bargain (Reginald Barker, 1914), his first Western. He became the foremost Western star of the silent era who played characters with honor and integrity. Hart was particularly interested in making realistic Westerns, and his films are noted for their authentic costumes and props. Hart also had an extraordinary acting ability, honed on Shakespearean theatre stages in the United States and England.

Dorothy Dalton in Fool's Paradise (1921)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.), 1922. Photo: Paramount. Dorothy Dalton as Poll Patchouli in Fool's Paradise (Cecil B. DeMille, 1921).

Dorothy Dalton (1893-1972) was an American actress, who was highly popular in the silent era. She worked for Kay-Bee, Thomas Ince Corp., and Famous Players (Paramount). She left the film sets in 1924 when she married theatre producer Arthur Hammerstein.

Constance Talmadge in Polly of the Follies (1922)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.). Photo: First National. Constance Talmadge as Polly Peacham in Polly of the Follies (John Emerson, 1922).

Constance Talmadge (1898-1973) was an actress of the American silent screen. Talmadge had her breakthrough as the tomboyish Mountain Girl in D.W. Griffith's Intolerance (1916). Talmadge appeared in over 80 films, mostly comedies of manners. Together with her sister Norma, Constance Talmadge was billed as one of the biggest stars of the twenties.

Norma Talmadge in Smilin' Through (1922)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.). Photo: First National. Norma Talmadge as Monyeen in Smilin' Through (Sidney Franklin, 1922).

Norma Talmadge (1894-1957) was an American actress and film producer of the silent era. A major box-office draw for more than a decade, her career reached a peak in the early 1920s, when she ranked among the most popular idols of the American screen.

Conrad Nagel in What Every Woman Knows (1921)
American postcard by Max B. Sheffer Card Co., Chicago (M.B.S.C.Co.), 1922. Photo: Paramount. Conrad Nagel as John Shand in What Every Woman Knows (William De Mille, 1921).

American actor Conrad Nagel (1897-1970) was a tall, blue-eyed matinee idol of the 1920s. He successfully made the transition to sound film.

Source: Immortal Ephemera.

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