The National Tobacco Works Company used the Newsboy cabinets to help sell their Newsboy Plug Tobacco. It’s believed the cabinets were a point-of-sale promotion that were received with some purchase of the product.
Pictured in the lower section are some of the Newsboy Cabinets in my collection. My first interest with the Newsboy cabinets were with the Baseball cabinets. There are fourteen subjects in the baseball player subset of the N566 Newsboy Cabinets. At one time, I had 4-5 of the baseball Newsboys. The only two subjects in the set that are Hall of Famers are the Amos Rusie and John Ward cabinets pictured below:
In addition to the uniformed players of the New York Giants, there are three players in street clothes as shown below. They are Parke Wilson, W.H. Murphy and W.H. “Dad” Clark. These players, at times, seem to be tougher than the players in the uniforms but it might be that some of the players in street clothes haven’t yet been identified as baseball players. The baseball players in the N566 Newsboy set typically bring $1000 and above for decent condition cards. The two hall of famers will bring multiples of that amount in nice shape. While there are many cards of John Ward, there are but a few of Amos Rusie, so he is always a popular subject.
My favorite baseball Newsboys were a trio of cabinets–Van Haltren, Doyle and Foutz with printing on the front advertising Baum & Bernstein, Clothiers. I bought a single one from an ebay auction and the seller told me he had two more of them. They were in nice shape other than some very light foxing on the front. I ultimately resold them on ebay a few years later. They have since been graded and have changed hands a couple of times. Here’s a recent picture of the trio:
Sometime after selling all my baseball Newsboys, I ventured upon a site dedicated wholly to the Newsboy issues. It was developed by Michael Reeve of the U.K. It can be found HERE. Michael did a fantastic job cataloging the cards and has updated the site from time to time. I began collecting the non-baseball Newsboys, first with the actresses, then found a particular interest in the cards picturing historical figures, New York City and other landmarks, bicyclists, other sports figures and finally ships.
About 2012, I sold off what, at the time, was about a 120-130 Newsboy collection to an advanced collector. I always regretted doing that and began to accumulate them again a couple years later. At this point, my current collection dwarfs that collection. I’m up to between 300 and 350 Newsboys currently.
There are basically two sizes of Newsboy Cabinets. Normal sized cabinet photos that are 4.5 by 6.5 inches comprises the bulk of all the Newsboys and an oversized, colorized set of 100 actresses measuring 6.0 by 9.5 inches. The larger, colorized actresses are individually numbered. Of these, Michael has identified 77 of the 100 subjects. While not rare, it seems that many of the oversized cards that come up for sale seem to be seen over and over with certain subjects seeming to be very easily obtained. Lillian Russell, one of the major stars of the day, seems to be one of those easily obtained large sized Newsboys.
Within the smaller sized cabinets, mounts can be found in red or green colors. The green mounts are always numbered between 300 and 399 and are generally photographs by the famous New York photographer Falk. While unattributed, it is believed that the bulk of the other Newsboys were photographs from the prolific New York photographer Alfred Campbell.
Within the red mount Newsboys, there are a number of different types. Some have numbers pre-printed on the mount along with names of the actresses while others have the number and/or the name etched into the negative and printed in the field of the albumen photograph. In addition, some cabinets have neither a number nor a subject name printed on the cabinet nor in the field of the photograph. Still yet, some variations exist in the typeset of the red mounts–generally in the cabinets numbered at or above 800.
Heavy analysis of the cabinets would show that many subjects have multiple poses with the same number within a specific type and also multiple numbered cabinets from multiple series that picture different subjects.
My Newsboy Collection
Newsboy Green Mount Cards
Colorized, Oversized Newsboy set of 100