Having never really owned many vintage cards until recently it was a bit of a struggle to identify and keep straight all the Topps and Bowman sets of the 50's and 60's. So I took a page from Night Owl Define the Design and created my own sort of cheat sheet giving each set my own personal nickname so that I could easily identify them. We will highlight my Bowman list now and the Topps list in another post:
1951 Bowman -- The Black Box Set
1952 Bowman -- Only Signature Set
1953 Bowman -- The Greatest
The great color photograph make this set the best ever made. The lack of any added graphics also make the cards from this set nearly impossible to identify if the players aren't recognizable stars and you can't see the reverse of the card.
1954 Bowman -- Signature In A Box Set
These are essentially the 1953 Bowman set with a signature in a box added. All I can think about is this:
1955 Bowman -- TV Set
Who doesn't like this set? It is probably the most easily identifiable of all of these. It was also the first to have umpire cards.
I have two cards from it [Minnie Minoso and Harvey Kuehn] and of all my old vintage cards I probably take these out most often just to take a look at the awesomeness.