Out with the old – part 2

Last week I featured some of my vintage collection – the T-, N-, and R-cards. I’m posting the rest this week.

E-cards (candy cards)

E-cards are often broken into two categories. The first and earlier category is E1. Most of these cards are from the 1910s and contemporary to T206s. The second category is E2. These are candy cards mostly from the 1920s and later.

I only have a couple of the E1 cards. They mostly look like T206s with a little more color, which maybe increased their appeal to candy-munching kids. Below are samples from 1911 E94 George Close Candy and 1910 E98 Anonymous Set of 30.

1911 E94 George Close Candy – Harry Davis
1910 E98 Anonymous Set of 30 – Frank Chance

I have more of the E2 cards, but not many.  The early 1920s cards in this group are all basically the same cards with different borders and advertisements on the back. The cards below are from two 1922 sets, E122 American Caramel and E120 American Caramel Set of 80.

1922 E122 American Caramel Set of 80 – Everett Scott
1922 E120 American Caramel – Johnny Kelleher


There is a special sub-group of E2 cards – Zeenuts. Zeenuts were issued from 1911 through 1938 and distributed in various candy products, mostly Zeenut candy bars, on the Pacific coast. Most sets were in the 100 to 200 card range, so there are 1000s of different Zeenuts. The cards feature players from the Pacific Coast League. Zeenuts have something of a cult following with many vintage collectors. In most years, Zeenuts were issued with a tab at the bottom. Tabs could be removed for prizes, and few Zeenuts have survived with the tab attached. I have a smattering of Zeenuts spread across most of the years. Just one still has a tab. Do they seem a little beat up? Zeenuts tend to be a little rough. Those West Coast candy-eating kids must have been a tough crowd.

1920 Zeenut – Thurston – Salt Lake
1919 Zeenut – Houck – Vernon
1918 Zeenut – Boles – LA (a very rare year)

1932 Zeenut – Bowman – Portland
1931 Zeenut – Johnson – Seattle
1930 Zeenut – Coyle – Sacramento (last year with the word Zeenut on card)

1927 Zeenut – Lingren – Portland (with tab)

M-cards (magazine cards)

Lots of cards were distributed as inserts or supplements in magazines and newspapers. These typically are not all that popular, maybe because they are kind of big and not very card-like. I went in for the 1909-1913 M101-2 The Sporting News set for a while. These are a bit larger than 8×10″. The set tops out at 101, and I got up to 20. Most of these are blank-backed, but I managed to pick up (by accident) an example with an ad on the reverse. These are very rare. Of all my vintage cards, this card is probably the only one that an advanced collector would even notice.

W-cards (strip cards)

W-cards were purchased from machines and often issued in strips that were then cut into individual cards. Exhibit cards were not made in strips. They were available for 1¢ each. Exhibits were seemingly offered forever (almost literally) from 1920 and into the 1960s. Styles varied wildly until the 1940s. Only Exhibit gurus are able to discern the exact year of issue of cards from the 1940s and later. The fourth card looks a bit like an Exhibit, but it is a W530 game card. These are cardstock versions of T5 Pinkerton cabinet photographs. The backs can be blank, postcards, or scorecards.

1921 W461 Exhibits – Robert Veach
1925-1931 W-UNC PC-back Exhibits – Heinie Groh (B&W)

1922 W-UNC Eastern Exhibits – Kenneth Williams
1912-1914 W530 Pinkerton Scorecards – Babe Adams


True strip cards that had to be cut apart tend to be fairly homely. Surprisingly, these typically ragged cards have enjoyed a boom in the past few years. Some random examples are shown below. Please don’t ask why I bought these because I don’t know.

1923 W572 – George Burns
1920-1921 W514 – Hal Chase
1920-1921 W516-2-2 – Clyde Milan
1928 W502 – George Sisler (one bagger back for those interested in such things)

1931 W517 – Eddie Collins (green tint)

What is next?

That sums up what I have been doing for most of my card collecting career. Collecting vintage cards has been fun. To be honest, when compared side-by-side, most vintage cards are probably a bit cooler than modern cards. However, I am thoroughly convinced that collecting modern cards is more fun than collecting vintage cards. Does that make sense? I make my arguments in mid-week posts over the month or so.




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