May 10, 2016

Subtle Differences In Presidential Cards

Take a look at these two political cards featuring James Monroe and Harry S. Truman. Both of these President had "doctrines" named after them with the Monroe Doctrine being the idea that the time of European colonization of North or South America was over and further attempts at colonization would be seen as an act of aggression. The Truman Doctrine was the idea that the United States would support countries that were threatened by a Soviet or Communist takeover, the first two countries receiving support being Greece and Turkey in the 1940's.

Another similarity is that the two cards look to be from the same set. Both feature the same style of art and the same United States seal (with the eagle's head facing the opposite direction than the real United States seal) on both cards.






The reverse side, whoever, reveals that they are from very different sets and even different card makers! Truman's card was made by Bowman in 1952 while the Monroe card was issued by Topps in 1956. 

Topps purchased Bowman between the two releases and they reissued the Bowman set with different backs four years later. Topps also reissued the cards again in 1972 and 1976 meaning there are quite a few similar looking cards floating around out there issued over two decades. The key to telling the difference between the reissued sets is the placement of the copyright mark on the back of the card as it is different in each set. 





Topps paid tribute to these two sets in their Topps 75th Anniversary set from 2013 giving collectors a chance to find holographic foil Presidents. The President featured below is a part of one of the great Presidential trivia questions: which President spoke English as a second language? The answer is Martin Van Buren who grew up speaking Dutch before learning English. 


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