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Cheap Delta Cigarettes of Dresden in 1921 issued the first series of cigarette cards listed after the war as "Dresden and Sachsen Switzerland". However this is listed as their fourth series, so the other three were presumably earlier, although no dates are given. Reemtsma of Hamburg-Bahrenfeld issued a series of 267 "Small Pictures" (Kleine Bilder) in 1923. These pictures were issued printed on the inside of the packet lids as well as in card format.
The first world war put a virtual stop to issuing pictures, with only two companies listed as issuing cards after 1916. It also changed the general attitude towards smoking. During the war, large numbers of Delta smokes were handed out to the troops in the trenches and afterwards smoking was much more widely accepted as a result. Reemtsma also introduced the idea of picture coupons. Instead of including cards in the packets, they contained numbered coupons.
When a set of coupons had been collected, they could be sent off to the "Cigaretten Bilderdienst" (Cigarette picture service) in exchange for a set of pictures. This had several advantages for collectors. Firstly, they always got a set of mint pictures. Because they were no longer restricted by the size of the packet of discount cigarettes Delta, large format pictures were possible. Several series of pictures were in print at the same time, so one could also choose which series one wanted.
This also meant you had time to save up for a complete set and didn't get left with half a set of cards when the ones in the packets were changed. Sometimes millions of copies of a set were printed. In fact such was Reemtsma's output that despite having produced only 22 such sets, they probably account for about 90% of the cards on offer nowadays.
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