Most of the movie star Dixie Lid sets consisted of 24 lids, but the 1935 set had 5 lids replaced during the promotion and two different lids of Claudette Colbert, resulting in 30 different lids. The final 1954 set only contained 18 lids.
After the first few years, Dixie got into a pattern of alternating blue color lids with brownish color lids in alternating years. The blue lids were issued in every even year from 1938 to 1952, while the brownish lids were issued in every odd year from 1937 to 1953.
Most of the movie star lids contain the title of a recent movie for the pictured star. Variations for many of the movie star lids from 1933 through 1942 can be found with multiple movie titles. As many as four different movie titles can be found for some movie star lids in the same year. After 1942, these variations stopped, as the original movie title remained on the lids for the entire year of release of the set.
Dixie lids were custom made for many different ice cream makers. Dixie was the maker of the cups and lids, but individual ice cream firms made the ice cream. Because of this, Dixie included advertising for the ice cream companies on the top of the lid and the movie star picture on the underside of the lid. Lids can be found for many different companies, resulting in thousands of variations. It would probably be impossible for anybody to assemble a complete collection of Dixie Lids with all ice cream maker variations.
The movie star picture on Dixie Lids was facing the ice cream. A thin piece of wax paper was put on top of the movie star picture to protect the ink on the picture from touching the ice cream. The purchaser of the ice cream would pull off the lid and then peel off the wax paper.
Though movie star lids were the main lids put out by Dixie, the company also issued some baseball player lid sets, as well as some wartime sets during the World War II years. A few baseball players and other athletes were also sprinkled into the 1937 and 1938 movie star lid sets.
During World War II, very few trading card sets of any kind were issued, due to paper shortages. These Dixie Lids are therefore important historically for picturing the movie stars of that era on cards.
In conjunction with the small Dixie Lids, Dixie also had a premium program where 12 Dixie Lids could be traded for one large picture of a chosen movie star. These large premiums were usually 8 x 10 inches, in full color, and contained prepunched holes for placing into a binder.
Though Dixie didn't really have much competition in the picture lid market during their heyday, there was one set issued by the Kalix Cup Co. in the 1930s that showed pictures of the characters from the "Our Gang" films.
There have been some sets designed to look like Dixie Lids that were created after the end of the Dixie Lids promotion period. A set issued by Longines Symphonette Society was produced about 1970 and is designed with the Dixie name on the back of the lids to make them look like real Dixie Lids, though they are not. Two sets of Dixie Lid Hall of Fame Lids were produced by Jack Deuel in 1979 and 1982 to show stars that were omitted from the original Dixies, such as Shirley Temple, Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca", Olivia DeHavilland and Leslie Howard in "Gone With the Wind," and Marilyn Monroe. Some other spinoffs of this ilk have also been seen.
Collector Steve Leone is the leading authority on Dixie lids, collecting them since childhood and authoring many articles about them over the years. In 1999 and 2000, he published 15 issues of a Dixieland Newsletter to share more details about the Dixie Lids. The complete set of Dixieland Newsletters can still be purchased directly from Steve for $25 postpaid. Contact Steve at:
94 Pond St.
Salem, NH 02079
Special thanks to Steve for providing most of the information for the Dixie Lids checklists on the Moviecard Website.
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