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Front and back of card #38, Shari Lewis

Supersisters was a set of 72 trading cards produced and distributed in the United States in 1979 by Supersisters, Inc. They featured famous women from politics, media and entertainment, culture, sports, and other areas of achievement. The cards were designed in response to the trading cards popular among children in the US at the time which mostly featured men.[1]

The cards were created by Lois Rich of Irvington, New York, and her sister Barbara Egerman, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, a teacher, librarian, and founder of the Ohio chapter of the National Organization for Women. They conceived of the cards in 1978, after Rich's young daughter asked her why there were no women on trading cards. Rich also discovered that students at a local elementary school could not name five famous women. Rich and Egerman received a small grant from the New York State Education Department and wrote to nearly 500 prominent American women in various fields.[1][2][3] They purposely did not contact a number of notable women, including Anita Bryant, Angela Davis, Phyllis Schlafly, and the cast of Charlie's Angels. Jane Fonda, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, and Ella T. Grasso were among those who did not respond or declined to participate.[4][5] Of those who did respond, they included the first 72 in the trading card set, including Jane Pauley, Margaret Mead, and Gloria Steinem.[4][5] By 1981, they reported that they had sold 15,000 trading card sets, selling many to schools and colleges.[2]

Reaction to the cards was largely positive, though some later critics called the cards "misguided" and "trivial".[6][7] Sets of the trading cards are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the University of Iowa library.[7][8]

Card #[9] Name[9] Occupation
1 Suzy Chaffee Olympic skier
2 Nancy Dickerson journalist
3 Pat Schroeder US Congresswoman
4 Margaret Chase Smith US Senator
5 Lynn D. Salvage banker
6 Sally J. Priesand rabbi
7 Letty Cottin Pogrebin author
8 Bella S. Abzug US Congresswoman
9 Helen Reddy singer
10 Lois Gould author
11 Sonia Manzano actress
12 Helen Thomas journalist
13 Virginia Hamilton author
14 Carla Anderson Hills lawyer, US cabinet level secretary
15 Mary Louise Smith chair of Republican National Committee
16 Margaret Mead anthropologist
17 Wendy Boglioli Olympic swimmer
18 Julie Harris actress
19 Rosie Casals tennis player
20 Elly Peterson politician
21 Mary Rose Oakar US Congresswoman
22 Linda Winikow New York State Senator
23 Lucinda Franks journalist
24 Bonnie Tiburzi First female pilot to fly for a major U.S. airline.
25 Leonor K. Sullivan US Congresswoman
26 Caroline Bird author
27 Rosa Parks civil rights pioneer
28 Helen Stevenson Meyner US Congresswoman
29 Doriot Anthony Dwyer flautist
30 Lindy Cochran skier
31 Maxine Kumin poet
32 Gloria Steinem author
33 Gladys Noon Spellman US Congresswoman
34 Malvina Reynolds singer-songwriter
35 Eleanor Cutri Smeal National Organization for Women president
36 Ann Carr gymnast
37 Laura Lee Ching surfer
38 Shari Lewis entertainer
39 Barbara A. Mikulski US Congresswoman
40 Meredith Monk composer and choreographer
41 Barbara Gardner Proctor advertising
42 Katharine Graham newspaper publisher
43 Ruby Dee actress
44 Marlo Thomas actress
45 Kathrine Switzer author, runner
46 Miki Gorman runner
47 Barbara Ann Cochran Olympic skier
48 Wendy Turnbull tennis player
49 Shirley M. Hufstedler federal judge, US cabinet level secretary
50 Kathy Johnson gymnast
51 Claudia Weill film director
52 Jane Pauley journalist
53 Janet Guthrie race car driver
54 Debbie Gary Callier pilot
55 Jane Alexander actress
56 Jane Trahey advertising
57 Jane Cahill Pfeiffer television executive
58 Cindy Nelson skier
59 Rhonda Schwandt gymnast
60 Jane Bryant Quinn journalist
61 Sarah Weddington lawyer
62 Robin Morgan author
63 Jackie Cassello gymnast
64 Cathy Rigby Mason Olympic gymnast
65 Melanie Smith Olympic equestrian
66 Buffy Sainte-Marie singer
67 Natalie Dunn roller skater
68 Cathy Carr Olympic swimmer
69 Leslie Uggams actress
70 Helen Hayes actress
71 Shirley Chisholm US Congresswoman
72 Ntozake Shange poet

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Ferritti, Fred (9 Mar 1980). "Success was in the Cards". New York Times. pp. WC10.
  2. ^ a b Haitch, Richard (25 October 1981). "Follow-Up on the News; 'Supersisters'". New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  3. ^ Irwin, Victoria (20 February 1980). "'I'll trade you a Pete Rose for your Jane Pauley'". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b Baranski, Lynne (7 April 1980). "Hey, I'll Swap Ya a Stargell for a Steinem! A Sister Team Creates Female Trading Cards That Flip the Kids". People. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Feminine trading cards are big rage". The Day. Associated Press. 10 November 1980. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  6. ^ Levy, Alan H. (5 December 2013). The Political Life of Bella Abzug, 1976–1998: Electoral Failures and the Vagaries of Identity Politics. Lexington Books. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-7391-8725-8.
  7. ^ a b Dorpinghaus, Sarah (8 April 2008). "IDL staff pick: Supersisters trading cards, 1979". Digital Research & Publishing, University of Iowa Libraries. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  8. ^ Zanis, Liz (3 April 2014). "Collecting Inspiration with Supersisters". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  9. ^ a b The entire Supersisters card set is viewable online at the University of Iowa Digital Libraries at http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/founders/id/4267/rec/1

External linksEdit