Collector Sammel's Online Goody Box


I am very grateful to Mr. Thomas J. Garbáty, the grandson of Josef Garbáty the founder of the company, who contacted me and provided me with the following short history of the company.

The company was founded in 1881 by Josef Garbáty. The famous trademark "Königin von Saba" (Queen of Sheba) was registered on Feb. 1st 1898. In fact the company had over 90 different brands, but Saba and Kurmark (Gold, Kork, Ohne Mundstück) (Gold tip, cork tip and untipped) were the most popular. The first factory building in Berlin, Pankow was built in 1906 followed in 1913 by the construction of the main building in Berliner Strasse/ Hadlich Strasse. Josef's son Moritz (Maurice) and his brother Eugene became co-owners of the company in 1916.

At the end of World War 1, Garbáty introduced unemployment compensation. This was nine years before such compensation became German law in 1927. Josef and Eugene retired in 1929 leaving Moritz (Tom's father) to run the company. Between 1930 and 1932, the company introduced modern assembly line work and an American air cleansing system. In the thirties, it had its own sports club and choir, a cafeteria, and was noted by Berlin journalists for its modern sanitation which included baths, showers, toilets etc. on every floor.

The factory was "arianized" in 1938 and a Dr. Jacob Koerfer became the new owner. Josef Garbáty died in Berlin in June 1939, and the rest of the family emigrated to America where Tom still lives. The company survived World War 2 and in 1949 became part of the Volkseigenebetriebe VEB (People's own industries). In 1960 VEB Garbáty and VEB Josetti were combined to form the Berliner Zigarettenfabrik.

After the German reunification, Garbáty fell victim to the infamous "Treuhand", an organisation set up to oversee the privatization of East Germany. The machines were sold to the Lübecker Cigarettenfabrik and Reynolds paid 13 million marks for the brand names whilst the workers received nothing and lost their jobs. In 1993 the whole complex was bought by Concordia Bau und Boden, and there are now (1999) plans to redevelop the site to provide a hotel, appartments, restaurants and offices. A sad end to a company which produced some of the nicest German cigarette cards.

After the war, there was also briefly a Garbáty company in Stuttgart. Quite a few of the pre-war names which found themselves in East Germany made attempts to start again in the West. The post-war company appears to have issued one set of cards - Automobile aus aller Welt in 1960.

Garbáty, list of issues
Name Year of issue No. in set Size (mm)
Auf deutscher Scholle
(On German soil (farming))
1935 270 48x62
Auto von heute, das
(The car of today)
  255 52x62
Bastelei für Jung und Alt, Die blaue Sammlung, Band 4
(Things to make for young and old. The blue collection, volume 4)
Berliner Sehenswürdigkeiten
(Sights of Berlin)
1928 21 ?
Berühmte Tänzerinnen
(Famous dancers)
1933 250 41x60 (approx.)
Bühnenstars und ihre Autogramme
(Stars of the stage and their autographs)
1933 250 48x62
Deutsche Heimat
(German homeland)
1928 144 40x60
Deutsche Kolonien
(German colonies)
1936 270 48x62
Deutsche Wehrmacht, die
(The armed forces (after 1935))
1936 270 48x62
Eroberung der Luft 1
(Conquest of the air, 1)
1932 234 41x61
Eroberung der Luft 2, (Ausland)
(Conquest of the air 2, (foreign countries))
1932 216 41x61
(Film favourites)
1937 224  
Frau, die. Die blaue sammlung, Band 1
(The woman. The blue collection, volume 1)
Galerie schöner Frauen des Films
(Gallery of beatiful film women)
1936 224 52x62
Geschichten vom alten Fritz
(Stories of "old Fritz")
1935 250  
Gute Anekdote, die. Die blaue Sammlung, Band 3
(The good anecdote, The blue collection, volume 3)
Kurmark Wappenschau
(Kurmark Coats of arms)
1929 1045¹ ?
Länderwappen und Nationalfarben
(national coats of arms and colours)
? 306  
Moderne Schönheitsgalerie 1
(Modern gallery of beauty 1)
1934 300 52x62
Moderne Schönheitsgalerie 2
(Modern gallery of beauty 2)
1934 300 52x62
(Wonders of the rails)
  300 52x62
Schiffsbilder 1 (Saba)
(Saba ship pictures)
1933 252 41x61
Schiffsbilder, mit Spezialflaggen 2 (Saba)
(Saba ship pictures with special flags, 2)
? 250 ?
Schöne Berlinerin, die
(The beautiful Berlin woman)
(Playing cards)
Sportwappen 1, Fußball
(Sporting coats of arms 1, Football)
1931 645 ?
(Tobacco pictures)
TARSO Holzbilder
(TARSO wooden pictures)
? 126 ?
Technik in Deinem Dienst, Die blaue Sammlung, Band 2
(Technology at your service. The blue collection, volume 2)
Von Friedrich dem Grossen bis Hindenburg
(From Fredric the great to Hindenburg)
Weltkrieg, der
(The world war)
1937 270 48x62

¹ This number includes changed cards

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