Beginning in the late 1920s, the Peerless Weighing Machine Company began giving out a small movie star trading card when someone deposited a penny in one of their weight machines. One side of the card showed a picture of the movie star, while the weight was printed on the other side, along with a fortune.

These weight machines became very popular fixtures in corner drug stores and many other places. As the cards gained in popularity, Peerless printed the names of individual drug stores on the cards. The names of many different stores can be found on these old cards.

The popularity of weight machines and their cards were at their peak in the 1930s. In their heyday, it has been reported that there were over 750,000 weight machines in use. Peerless released several different sets of movie star cards in the 1930s, each with over 100 cards to collect to complete a set. The cards from each set were issued for several years.

Weight machine cards were issued in other countries as well as the USA. In Canada, some of the Peerless cards were reissued by the Canadian Rhodes Mfg. Co., using different coloring. Other countries issued different weight machine card sets. Some plain weight machine cards were also issued without movie star pictures.

The popularity of weight machines diminished in the 1940s, though Peerless continued to issue new sets of movie star cards through most of that decade. As more people bought scales for their homes, the weight machines were used less and less until the whole fad died out almost entirely.

Peerless Penny Scale

Closeup of Peerless Penny Scale Front Plate

American Card Sets Sales List
American Checklists | Movie Card Website Front Page