Advertising Subjects on Common Stock

I always find it interesting when there are tobacco or other cards that have been used to advertise other products in other fields.  Case in point was a recent card I was told about by current 2017 Vintage Nonsportsman of the Year Marty Krim.

The N427 American Eagle actress set is a sepia colored lithographed set likely issued in the late 1880’s to 1890’s.  A subject card is illustrated below:


Similar photography and stock was used for the Purity Cough Drop product and Purity Chewing Gum from the J. Falke company of St. Louis, Missouri.  Some quick research put J. Falke gum production in the 1890 time frame, so the cards were likely issued in a similar time frame as the N427 American Eagle Cards.  Lithographers created these base stock cards to use for multiple manufacturers of goods in many categories and sold them whenever and wherever they could.  The similar-looking J. Falke Purity Chewing Gum card is pictured below:

The one difference I can note is that the stock number “C-729” is on the front of these cards in the lower left.  In many cases, these numbers were used to Identify the stock number for this particular type of cards.  It is not, however, used on the N427 American Eagle Cards.  The checklist for the N427 set numbers some 23 cards as outlined in American Tobacco Cards by Mitchell and Forbes.  They note a dozen cards are captioned with the actress name and eleven are uncaptioned.  The captioned cards include both the Purity example above of Lily Elton and the N427 American Eagle example of Maud Stafford.  In addition to those two subjects, the set also includes Lena Campbell, Mollie Fuller, Sophie Hummel, Lillian Russell, Van Oastan, Flora Walch, Carrie Wallace, Mlle, Weber Lizzie Winner and another subject that was in too poor of condition to name the subject although it was captioned.

If you have any of these cards from either set that aren’t noted above, please let me know or if you have cards from another manufacturer, also let me know.

Stay tuned for other examples from other well-known sets that fall into this “often used” category….

Type Card Update #1

I’m going to attempt to keep up with some type card pricing when good groups come up more for reference than anything else.  It’s always good to know how much items are selling for when you go to buy or sell some of these super tough N500-up type cards.  They so rarely come up for sale, sometimes past pricing isn’t indicative of what they will bring but it’s the only reference we have.

An eBay user (member_15875) recently sold a good deal of 19th century actress cards.  Some were lots of mundane stuff like Sweet Caporal or single lots of Admiral, Virginia Brights and Old Judge.  Others were much tougher cards that are typically what I’d call BOB or Back OBook (borrowing stamp collector’s jargon) cards.  I pulled photos and pricing from a handful to post here for future reference.  Hopefully it helps you out in some capacity.  I think any/all of my posts on this blog are searchable, so if, in the future, you’re curious about what an N665 Our Knocker tobacco card sold for you can search that term on the blog and see previous posts.  I’ll try to remember to title them all “Type Card Update” and whatever number it is.

Some of these cards are super scarce and some are traded more often.  The N427 American Eagle, N611 Queen’s Cup and N657 Kalamazoo Bats cards are more common.  The Kalamazoo Bats, in particular, are also collected because there are Baseball Cards from the same manufacturer and there are a number in the set.  I know of at least a couple collectors actually working on the set of these cards.  Anyway, here are the results for those recent sales in early January of 2018.

Building a type card collection

Those that know me may know that I spent much of 2017 deconstructing what was a pretty large type collection.  Not entirely sure how it all started but by the ‘end’, I had 2-3,000 type cards in my typecard collection.  It was heavily weighted to tobacco and candy/gum issues because those were always my favorites and because I also collected many of those cards as complete sets.  As cards came into the sets and either got upgraded or large lots were bought, I would pull the card and put it in a semi-rigid and then label them with the American Card Catalog (ACC) classification with white DYMO tape labels at the top of the semi-rigid like this:

Boy….I spent a lot of money on those white DYMO label cartridges…..finally bought some on ebay in bulk.  For mainstream sets, like the ones above, just the ACC was sufficient.  For sets that were uncataloged, I did something like the card on the left below.  And for sets that had variations….like back variations….I did something like the card on the right.

Some sets were represented by a single example while others had many examples.  It was all a function of what was upgraded, what lots were bought and what was needed in my sets.  As a result, the type collection grew to a pretty large size.  I was up to nearly three full three row larger white card boxes.

I had cards from the ACC classifications of 19th century tobacco (N), 20th century tobacco(T), Early candy and gum (E), later candy and gum (R), Canadian Tobacco (C), Canadian Candy and Gum (V), US Tobacco Silks (S), US Tobacco Leathers (L), US Tobacco Blankets (B), Coffee (K), Baking soda (J), and many many more.  It got a little difficult to keep up with them all.  They were organized within each ACC classification within the boxes.

Things that were oversized went into 4×6 top loaders, 5×7 toploaders, 8×10 toploaders or other types of containers.  The same DYMO tape labels accompanied and identified those cards too.


Hello Nonsports Fans!

Welcome to Vintage Nonsports blog, site and home to some photos of my collection.  With the move of the Vintage Nonsports chat board to the Websitetoolbox platform, Bill set up this WordPress site for me on  I’m hoping to do some daily/weekly posts about things I find interesting.  Not sure I’ll be able to do daily as it becomes a job then.  But check back often.  I will update the site as regularly as I can.  Thanks for all the support on the nonsports forum.  It’s been a fun 11 years!