Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A 19th Century Victorian Baseball Trade Card Purchase

Since the start of this blog in 2006 I have periodically shared my collection and love of Victorian-era Baseball-themed trade cards.  See my past post focused on Victorian Era Trade Cards here.  These are little known collectibles that came out in the late 1800's, and ushered in the beginning of card collecting in America.  From something I previously written,
Trade Cards are one of the more interesting hobbies to crop up in American history. It originally started in the late 1870's and thrived throughout the rest of the century (as well as several decades into the 20th Century). It became one of America's early fads and collecting crazes. They started out as business/ advertising cards given away to customers. The name of the establishment would be printed on the front with a simple design around the edges. Soon the designs became more ornate and customers started collecting them to put into scrapbooks. This started the age of Victorian scrapbooking in America.

The design and themes of the cards became supreme. Cards where as small as a modern business cards to as large as a piece of notebook paper. They came in every color in the rainbow. Printing companies where marketing special art work and themes to storefronts across the country. Flowers, landscapes, babies, children playing are the most common themes. Less common are politicians, buildings, Black Americana and sporting activities. Sporting activities include roller skating, tennis, curling, ice skating, horse racing and baseball, among others. It really is an early example of card collecting in America.
Featured above is a Baseball trade card that I recently purchased through an auction house that specializes in trade cards.  It is the 2nd different variation of this design that I have in my collection.  The above card measures approx. 5" x 8", is on fairly thick cardboard stock, and is blanked-backed.  Furthermore, there is writing on the reverse (possibly from the original previous owner) saying:
"Warren Stover, from your teacher
Bessie Bevins"
Over the coming months I will endeavor to share more trade cards from my collection, so stay tuned.

BTW, below is a scan of the other variation of this card in my collection.  The below card is on thin stock and much smaller than  the above card.  It measures about 2.5" x 4.5" - a more traditional size for trade cards.  Also, you can see advertising printed on the front for White Sewing Machine out of Cleveland, Ohio.

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