Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Hobby Mystery Is Solved: W555's

The vintage card hobby is filled with cards and sets whose origins are completely foreign to collectors. Who made them? How were they distributed? How many cards are in the set? When were they made? An example of an unknown set are the tiny cards above. They are known as W555's and feature a 1-1/4 x 1-5/16 square sepia photo of early Baseball players from 1909.

Over the holiday weekend Vintage Baseball Card Forum host Leon shared the only known complete box detailing the origins of the issue. See it below. They came attached to what looks like a candy/ caramel box since it states "Under the Food and Drugs Act" and were produced by Jay S. Meyer of Philadelphia. Also, it is shaped like a "pin hole" camera. It appears that a fan would cut out the little cards in order to pretend that they were photos taken with the camera candy box. The cards could now be renamed "Baseball Snap Shots."
The best part is that you can print out a copy of the card, cut out the black spaces, trim the edges and put the box together yourself.

Hat Tip: VBCF:

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