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  #1  
Old 09-05-2019, 08:52 PM
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Default 19th Century Trade Cards

I need to do some research, is there a good resource?
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:12 PM
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A good online resource is http://www.tradecards.com/, run for the last 23 years by Ben Crane. There are a lot of articles on specific types of trade cards, illustrations of cards in various categories (under "Victorian Scrapbook"), and links other resources, including books about trade cards, most of which are out of print.

One of these books, "Victorian Trade Cards" by Dave Cheadle, was published in 1996 and is probably the best overview of and introduction to trade cards. Unfortunately, it's out of print, but you can find it online for about $30. Dave Cheadle has an eBay store, "Dave's Great Cards Galore", at https://www.ebay.com/str/oldcardsatd...eatcardsgalore, where he sells trade cards and trade card resources. These don't include his 1996 book, but they do include a couple of his more specialized trade card books as well as back issues of "Advertising Trade Card Quarterly", which Dave co-edited for its entire 1994-2001 run. Dave also has a relatively new site, "Victorian Card Hub", which he launched a couple of years ago at https://victoriancardhub.com/. It has some useful articles, including some that were originally published in ATCQ.

The late Ron Schieber compiled detailed checklists of many types of trade cards, including massive lists of thread cards and meat cards that have been invaluable in my own collecting. His widow Diana still sells these checklists, including a list of the lists that she might send you for free. Her e-mail is diana.scheiber@gmail.com, and she's on eBay as madmoneyetc.

If you have any specific questions, I might be able to help. I've been collecting trade cards for the last 25+ years and have around 10,000 different ones, plus a pretty good reference library on trade cards and related paper ephemera.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:17 PM
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Wow, that's a lot of info! I actually did better than I thought on my own. Took me a while to track down one in particular because it has a baseball line score, scorecard on the back so I wasn't calling it a trade card. Turns out it is a Brownie and the tailor from Allentown, PA who used the card must've given them out at games. But I'm sure all the info you just gave me will come in handy in the future! It's what I love about the auction business, you get to learn something almost every day!
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:14 PM
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Does it show brownies playing with a giant baseball? There were three sets of stock cards like that, with four, five, and six different pictures. The latter two have captions, while the four-Card set has no captions and no lithographer identified. Ron Schieber’s checklist of baseball trade cards has all the details, and might be a good resource to get if you deal with baseball-themed trade cards often.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trdcrdkid View Post
A good online resource is http://www.tradecards.com/, run for the last 23 years by Ben Crane. There are a lot of articles on specific types of trade cards, illustrations of cards in various categories (under "Victorian Scrapbook"), and links other resources, including books about trade cards, most of which are out of print.

One of these books, "Victorian Trade Cards" by Dave Cheadle, was published in 1996 and is probably the best overview of and introduction to trade cards. Unfortunately, it's out of print, but you can find it online for about $30. Dave Cheadle has an eBay store, "Dave's Great Cards Galore", at https://www.ebay.com/str/oldcardsatd...eatcardsgalore, where he sells trade cards and trade card resources. These don't include his 1996 book, but they do include a couple of his more specialized trade card books as well as back issues of "Advertising Trade Card Quarterly", which Dave co-edited for its entire 1994-2001 run. Dave also has a relatively new site, "Victorian Card Hub", which he launched a couple of years ago at https://victoriancardhub.com/. It has some useful articles, including some that were originally published in ATCQ.

The late Ron Schieber compiled detailed checklists of many types of trade cards, including massive lists of thread cards and meat cards that have been invaluable in my own collecting. His widow Diana still sells these checklists, including a list of the lists that she might send you for free. Her e-mail is diana.scheiber@gmail.com, and she's on eBay as madmoneyetc.

If you have any specific questions, I might be able to help. I've been collecting trade cards for the last 25+ years and have around 10,000 different ones, plus a pretty good reference library on trade cards and related paper ephemera.
A favorite.
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:50 AM
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Ron (RIP) did have nearly every list of every trade card and accumulated by his account30,000++ trade cards. His last compiling of the BB cards expanded on the Keetz (sr.) seminal work on BB trade cards. I would suggest looking around some prior auction catalogs as well - they will help provide a sort of hierarchy in terms of value/scarcity - but mostly the value is in the extensive write-ups in their auction catalogs (hyperbole and all) from some early guys like Kit Barry (still around apparently), Russ Musceri (likely around), Aiglatson Johnny T. and others.
At some point the trade card market mostly ran out of gas. Perhaps it was the rapid price escalation compared with the dwindling amount of quality material that was coming to market. Also the general decline of all collectibles in 2000/2008 along with the economy. Trade cards are still a great insight into the times, they express great artistry rendered by unnamed craftsman and they have all the elements one might look for in a hobby. I have a few tougher base ball examples in my collection. David much more on top of things than I - but happy to add a different eye/perspective to something trade card related should you want it.
BTW - I can't think of any trade cards that are score cards - but there are scorecards with trade cards fronts. I also sold a BB folder from the manufacturer whose front was used as a trade card (Clef series) so sometimes there are grey areas....
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:32 AM
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Henry — Russ Mascieri is still around. I’ve bought some stuff from him on eBay recently (username lenelan).

I have Kit Barry’s “The Advertising Trade Card: Information and Prices” from 1981, and his “Reflections: Ephemera from Trades, Products, and Events”, an illustrated 1993 auction catalog. Also all four of William Frost Mobley’s sale catalogs, the last two of which were called “An American Enterprise”. These provide a broad overview of what’s out there, with representative examples, but they’re no substitute for Ron Schieber’s detailed checklists. I agree that Ron’s list of baseball trade cards is invaluable, though there are some things he missed (e.g. two variants of the Merchant’s Gargling Oil cards). By the way, John Kemler, who helped Ron compile many of those lists and who has an even bigger trade card collection, is still around and active as a paper dealer.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:17 AM
Aquarian Sports Cards Aquarian Sports Cards is offline
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Originally Posted by trdcrdkid View Post
Does it show brownies playing with a giant baseball? There were three sets of stock cards like that, with four, five, and six different pictures. The latter two have captions, while the four-Card set has no captions and no lithographer identified. Ron Schieber’s checklist of baseball trade cards has all the details, and might be a good resource to get if you deal with baseball-themed trade cards often.
Yeah it's brownies and a giant ball captioned "A Panic-er" Most of what I deal with would be sports themed, and most of that baseball. THanks again for all the info!
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1880nonsports View Post
Ron (RIP) did have nearly every list of every trade card and accumulated by his account30,000++ trade cards. His last compiling of the BB cards expanded on the Keetz (sr.) seminal work on BB trade cards. I would suggest looking around some prior auction catalogs as well - they will help provide a sort of hierarchy in terms of value/scarcity - but mostly the value is in the extensive write-ups in their auction catalogs (hyperbole and all) from some early guys like Kit Barry (still around apparently), Russ Musceri (likely around), Aiglatson Johnny T. and others.
At some point the trade card market mostly ran out of gas. Perhaps it was the rapid price escalation compared with the dwindling amount of quality material that was coming to market. Also the general decline of all collectibles in 2000/2008 along with the economy. Trade cards are still a great insight into the times, they express great artistry rendered by unnamed craftsman and they have all the elements one might look for in a hobby. I have a few tougher base ball examples in my collection. David much more on top of things than I - but happy to add a different eye/perspective to something trade card related should you want it.
BTW - I can't think of any trade cards that are score cards - but there are scorecards with trade cards fronts. I also sold a BB folder from the manufacturer whose front was used as a trade card (Clef series) so sometimes there are grey areas....
Several Robert Edwards lots were key to the identifications I needed to make.

The brownie, I am assuming, was issued with a blank back to allow the companies that used it to add whatever info they wanted. This one was a tailor in Allentown, PA and like I said I assume he gave these away at a local ballpark as advertising.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by trdcrdkid View Post
Henry — Russ Mascieri is still around. I’ve bought some stuff from him on eBay recently (username lenelan).

I have Kit Barry’s “The Advertising Trade Card: Information and Prices” from 1981, and his “Reflections: Ephemera from Trades, Products, and Events”, an illustrated 1993 auction catalog. Also all four of William Frost Mobley’s sale catalogs, the last two of which were called “An American Enterprise”. These provide a broad overview of what’s out there, with representative examples, but they’re no substitute for Ron Schieber’s detailed checklists. I agree that Ron’s list of baseball trade cards is invaluable, though there are some things he missed (e.g. two variants of the Merchant’s Gargling Oil cards). By the way, John Kemler, who helped Ron compile many of those lists and who has an even bigger trade card collection, is still around and active as a paper dealer.
I'm seeing an almost monotone Merchant's Gargling Oil and a full color version. Is that the variant you are talking about? I have several full color ones several in outstanding condition.
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:52 AM
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Default many different Brownie series

some private label some stock.

Thanks for the info on Russ!!! Looking him up the second I finish this.
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:36 PM
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Yeah it's brownies and a giant ball captioned "A Panic-er" Most of what I deal with would be sports themed, and most of that baseball. THanks again for all the info!
OK, that's from the set of 5, which are the most common. All of the baseball-themed brownie trade cards are stock cards, meaning they were used by many different advertisers, who would imprint their name on the front or back of the card. Custom cards were made for just one advertiser, and generally had the company name integrated with the image somehow.

You might want to e-mail Diana Scheiber and get Ron's list of baseball trade cards. I think it costs $30, but it's worth it, with lots of color illustrations.
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by trdcrdkid View Post
OK, that's from the set of 5, which are the most common. All of the baseball-themed brownie trade cards are stock cards, meaning they were used by many different advertisers, who would imprint their name on the front or back of the card. Custom cards were made for just one advertiser, and generally had the company name integrated with the image somehow.

You might want to e-mail Diana Scheiber and get Ron's list of baseball trade cards. I think it costs $30, but it's worth it, with lots of color illustrations.
Pretty much what I figured, just a cool bonus that it was used for something baseball related!
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:51 PM
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Trade cards can be fun to collect. I picked this up recently just because I liked it. It is approximately 2 1/2 x 4 inches with a blank back. Lots of good info above on where to learn more about them.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:04 PM
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I found this with a google search. http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/ba...rds/index.html
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:30 PM
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Wow, I didn't stumble across that. Bookmarked!
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:40 PM
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It looks like that site covers almost all of the baseball trade cards. Thought you'd like it.
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Old 09-07-2019, 08:10 PM
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Default tobins

I have three sets of Tobin baseball trade cards. Two sets are quite well known, the third is not. Each of the first two sets have ten cards, but I have only found nine for the third set. Have any of you gentlemen, with your vast experience, ever seen a tenth card for my third set.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:22 PM
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Very nice, Matty! I only have one of the color Tobin baseball set, because until recently my trade card collection didn't really focus on baseball trade cards, and now these Tobins are so much more expensive than other trade cards. I do have several other sets of baseball stock cards.

Ron Schieber's checklist lists only nine of the smaller B&W Tobin baseball set, which is H804-23 in the ACC, and I see that Frank Keetz also lists only nine of them. So I think you're safe in assuming that you have the whole set.

Last edited by trdcrdkid; 09-07-2019 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquarian Sports Cards View Post
I'm seeing an almost monotone Merchant's Gargling Oil and a full color version. Is that the variant you are talking about? I have several full color ones several in outstanding condition.
The full-color ones are one of two variants printed by the Courier Lithographic Company of Buffalo, the other variant being the "almost monochrome" three-color cards. Both sets have the same images except for the color, and they have a Merchant's Gargling Oil ad in the bottom panel and "The Courier Lith. Co., Buffalo N.Y." somewhere on the front of the card. Some also have a Merchant's Gargling Oil ad on the back as well, but most have ads for other products. The full color ones are harder to find than the three-color ones, but neither set is too difficult.

Another common variant of the set was printed by Gies & Co. lithographers, also of Buffalo. They have the same images as the three-color Courier cards, but the Merchant's ad in the bottom panel uses a slightly different font (the difference is noticeable when seen side-by-side), and they say "Gies & Co Buffalo N.Y." somewhere on the front. These are also sometimes found with a Merchant's Gargling Oil ad on the back, unlike the remaining variants listed below.

Probably the toughest variant is the cards printed by Karle & Co. of Rochester. They have the same basic images as the Courier and Gies cards, but they're noticeably different, with sharper outlines and a slightly darker background. The Merchant's Gargling Oil ad at the bottom uses a different font than the other two, with "MERCHANT'S GARGLING OIL" in a serif font that looks very different from the rest of the text. Only three of the five cards have been seen in the Karle variant ("The Hero of a Home Run. The Ladies' Favorite", "A Close Affair. Hugging the Bat", and "Something Must Be Done! Put It There!"), of which I have the first two.

The fifth variant set was printed by Clay & Richmond of Buffalo. The images are very similar to the Courier ones, but with noticeable differences when you look at them, especially in the shadows. The Merchant's ad at the bottom is in yet another different font, a smaller one which changes the lineation. Clay & Richmond was also the lithographer for the popular Capadura Cigars baseball trade card set, and the images in that set are very similar to these.

Finally, the sixth variant has no Merchant's Garging Oil ad in the panel at the bottom (which is blank), and no lithographer identification. I'm pretty sure these were also printed by Clay & Richmond, because the images are exactly the same, and one of my cards of this type has "Clay & Richmond, Buffalo N.Y." on the front. (My other copy of the same card in this variant does not have that line.) I have two sets of this variant, and both of them lack any ad on either the front or the back.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:19 AM
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Great info, David. Thanks so much for sharing...

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Originally Posted by trdcrdkid View Post
The full-color ones are one of two variants printed by the Courier Lithographic Company of Buffalo, the other variant being the "almost monochrome" three-color cards. Both sets have the same images except for the color, and they have a Merchant's Gargling Oil ad in the bottom panel and "The Courier Lith. Co., Buffalo N.Y." somewhere on the front of the card. Some also have a Merchant's Gargling Oil ad on the back as well, but most have ads for other products. The full color ones are harder to find than the three-color ones, but neither set is too difficult.

Another common variant of the set was printed by Gies & Co. lithographers, also of Buffalo. They have the same images as the three-color Courier cards, but the Merchant's ad in the bottom panel uses a slightly different font (the difference is noticeable when seen side-by-side), and they say "Gies & Co Buffalo N.Y." somewhere on the front. These are also sometimes found with a Merchant's Gargling Oil ad on the back, unlike the remaining variants listed below.

Probably the toughest variant is the cards printed by Karle & Co. of Rochester. They have the same basic images as the Courier and Gies cards, but they're noticeably different, with sharper outlines and a slightly darker background. The Merchant's Gargling Oil ad at the bottom uses a different font than the other two, with "MERCHANT'S GARGLING OIL" in a serif font that looks very different from the rest of the text. Only three of the five cards have been seen in the Karle variant ("The Hero of a Home Run. The Ladies' Favorite", "A Close Affair. Hugging the Bat", and "Something Must Be Done! Put It There!"), of which I have the first two.

The fifth variant set was printed by Clay & Richmond of Buffalo. The images are very similar to the Courier ones, but with noticeable differences when you look at them, especially in the shadows. The Merchant's ad at the bottom is in yet another different font, a smaller one which changes the lineation. Clay & Richmond was also the lithographer for the popular Capadura Cigars baseball trade card set, and the images in that set are very similar to these.

Finally, the sixth variant has no Merchant's Garging Oil ad in the panel at the bottom (which is blank), and no lithographer identification. I'm pretty sure these were also printed by Clay & Richmond, because the images are exactly the same, and one of my cards of this type has "Clay & Richmond, Buffalo N.Y." on the front. (My other copy of the same card in this variant does not have that line.) I have two sets of this variant, and both of them lack any ad on either the front or the back.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:23 AM
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As a confirmed boxing ghoul I've always been partial to this 1882 card of John L. Sullivan:

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Old 09-13-2019, 09:24 AM
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Looks like a broken nose to me. That would hurt. Cool card.

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As a confirmed boxing ghoul I've always been partial to this 1882 card of John L. Sullivan:

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