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John B.Sage NY

Brief History on "Trade Cards"

by Walter Handelman (from Lew Lipset's "Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards" Volume One, 1983)

During the period between the Civil War and the Turn of the Century, the major form of American Advertising was a small colorful card known today as a "Trade Card". The cards were high quality chromolithographs printed on thin cardboard stock. They pictured virtually every subject imaginable both related and unrelated to the advertisement. The cards advertised a specific product or business establishment or both. Some cards were produced as pictures only, with space left for advertising to be stamped on. Some had blank backs, and others had various forms of advertising, testimonials, business locations, etc., on the back. Some of the most outstanding American lithographers, including "Currier and Ives" produced these extremely interesting, historical and artistic cards.

The cards were distributed by jobbers and salesmen to general stores and left on counters as giveaways for customers. The cards were so attractive and popular, that people began to collect them and mount them in scrapbooks. By the year 1880, collecting Trade Cards was one of the nations leading hobbies. Most Trade Cards found today are mounted in scrapbook albums.

Baseball Trade Cards make up an extremely small percentage of those found. Many albums containing hundreds of cards do not even have one card of baseball subject matter. They are, however, an interesting and important part of the Baseball Card Hobby, since they are the earliest know cards. Moreover, Baseball Trade Cards are historically significant since they provide pictorial comment on the National Game during its early development.

Trade Cards - Set Cards for Sale

SET CARDS
(ca.1870's-90's unless noted)

TITLE

ADVERTISEMENT

SIZE

CONDITION

PRICE

H804-1B
"Baby Talk Series"

(M.F. Tobin N.Y.)
1889

"Call For The Royal Shoe,
Men's, Boys' and Youth's
(front)

3.1" by 4.5"

NREX

$29.00

H804-6
"Forbes Co. Series"
1878
(color)

"Foul"
(batter hitting player with bat)

Boston Brouch
Men's & Boy's Ready Made
& Custom Clothing
73 Market St. Lynn.

3" by 4.7"

EX+

Sold

"Judgment"
(umpire on chair hit by ball)

Hurst & Co.,
Publishers & Stationers
122 Nasson St. New York

3" by 4.7"

EX

Sold

H804-7B
Merchant's Gargling Oil Series

(The Courier Lith. Co. Buffalo NY)
(full color)

"Bravo! Pet of the Nine."
(player on ground with ball)

Central Boot and Shoe Store
East Liverpool, Ohio

3.25" by 5.25"

EX+

$40.00

H804-7C
Merchant's Gargling Oil Series

(Giles & Co. Buffalo NY)

Gargling Oil
Henry C. Smith
Chester, Ill.

3.25" by 5.25"

VG/EX

Sold
 

"Struck Out"
(batter)

Dr. Addison's Compound Extract of Sarsaparilla
Lewiston, Maine

3.25" by 5.25"

VG
(print marks)

Sold

H804-11
"Circled Position Series"

1882
(Cosack & Co. Buffalo, NY)

3rd Baseman

Edward Malley & Co.
Stem Winding Watch
New Haven Conn.

3.4" by 5.5"

F/G
(corner missing)

Sold

H804-12
"Young Boy" Series"

"Gimme a dew drop?"
(boy swinging a bat)

Use "Banner" Soap.
The Old Reliable.
Jos. Biechele
Canton, Ohio
(front)

2.75" by 4.25"

NREX

Sold

 

"Gimme a dew drop?"
(boy swinging bat)

Sol Reineman dealer in Fine Clothing Gents Furnishing Goods Hats, Caps, Trunks and Valises
Johnstown, PA.
(back)

2.75" by 4.25"

F

Sold
 

"This will be a twister, Look Out!"
(boy in overalls pitching a lemon peel ball)

Use "Banner" Soap.
The Old Reliable.
Jos. Biechele
Canton, Ohio
(front)

2.75" by 4.35"

EX

Sold

H804-15A
Tobin Litho.
"Red Border Position Series"

(blank back)

2.9" by 4.5"

NREX

Sold
 

The Standard Accident Insurance Co.
Detroit Mich.
(front and back)

2.9" by 4.5"

VG+

Sold

H804-16
"Forbes Co. Injury Series"
(gray-tan)

"Foul Bound"
(fielder missing ball)

Elderidge & Fuller
Taunton, Mass.
(front)

3" by 5"

EX+/NRMT

Sold

 

"Short Stop"
(fielder hit by ball)

Elderidge & Fuller
Taunton, Mass.
(front)

3" by 5"

NRMT

Sold

H804-24
"C-679 Series"
1887

"Safe"
(runner holding base with legs in air)

Wise's Barley Coffee, Wise & Co., Butler Ohio
(front)

3" by 4.5"

VG

$70.00

H804-31
"Small Card Series"

(nonbaseball images with baseball titles)

"A Home Run"
(black guy holding watermelon running from cop)

Dyer & Co's
Grand Opera House
Admission 1 and 2 Cts.

1.75" by 3.5"

NREX

Sold

H804-37
Buford & Sons Litho.
"Roller Skating Series"

1883
(nonbaseball images with baseball titles)

"Short Stop"
(2 skaters falling)

The North Star
Lung and Throat Balsam
(front)

4.4" by 2.6"

G/VG
(sm. tear)

$27.00

H804-38
"An Accurate Barometer Series"

"Sol. Strauss
The Leading Clothier
Dayton OH"
(front)

2.75" by 4.4"

G/VG
(staple hole)

Sold
 

Mrs. Ann Bean, Druggist, Atlanta Ills. (front)
Diamond Dyes, Burlington Vt. (back)

2.75" by 4.4"

G
(back damage)

$17.00
 

"He may yet become President."
(boy with bat smoking cigarette)

Mrs. Ann Bean, Druggist, Atlanta Ills. (front)
Diamond Dyes, Burlington Vt. (back)

2.75" by 4.4"

EX

Sold

Trade Cards - Single Cards for Sale

SINGLE CARDS
(ca.1870's-90's unless noted)

TITLE

ADVERTISEMENT

SIZE

CONDITION

PRICE

1894
K69
McLaughlin Coffee
Paper Doll

"Mascot"
(catcher)

"Mc.Laughlin's XXXX Coffee
Copyright 1894"
(2 sided folder)

4-5/8" by 1-3/8"

VG+

Sold

Enameline Stove Polish
College Colors Dolls

Princeton University Baseball Player
(boy in uniform holding bat and ball)

Enameline Stove Polish
J.L. Prescott & Co.

 

VG
(missing back foldover piece)

Sold

Mehlin Pianos
Book Mark

ca1900

Mehlin Pianos
Munn Music Co.
Binghamton NY

6" by 2-1/4"

F/G

$15.00

#208
Nelson Morris & Co.

1890's

"Supreme Brand Leaf Lard"
(pigs playing baseball)

Nelson Morris & Co. Packers of Pure Leaf Lard
Chicago IL.
(w/ pricelist)
(front and back)

3.35" by 6"

G/VG
(creases)

Sold

#219

tartan clad boy carries a bat, ball on ground
(full color)

Maiden+Blush!
Self Made Apple Vinegar
North McGregor, Iowa
(front and back)

2.6" by 4.1"

VG/EX

Sold

 

David Edwards Dry Goods
Chicago
(back)

2.6" by 4.1"

VG
(pinhole)

Sold

#222

16 brownies playing baseball
with a pea and a pea pod
(full color)

A.A. Berry Seed Company, Clarinda Iowa
(back)

5" by 3"

EX
(light pencil on back)

Sold

(Tobin?)
("23")

2 cats playing baseball in grass
ball and bat with 2 red stripes, "23" in bottom left corner

Buy Superior Furnaces
Superior Furnace Co.
Little Falls, NY

4.4" by 3"

VG+
(pencil on back)

Sold

 

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Revised: Sunday, March 11, 2012

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