November 30, 2016

Non-Sports Cards of the Day: 1911 T77 American Tobacco Light House Series

In my recent obsessions with posting non-sports cards, I've mainly been doing one card at a time. Today, however, I'm dropping 10 cards from the 1911 American Tobacco Lighthouse series about, you guessed it, light houses from around America. That's 20% of a 105-year-old set which is by far my most complete set from that era. 

The cards in this set are not the typical small tobacco size and instead measure 3-1/4 x 2-1/2 inches. The set has 50 cards in it with 48 lighthouses, the Statue of Liberty, and a final card about what sailors used before lighthouses. This first card below is of the Tillamook Rock Light which was situated off the coast of Oregon and was originally lit in 1887. It served until 1957 and today is privately owned. 

Here's the reverse side of the cards which includes a Hassan Cork Tip Cigarettes ad. The back side also features a historical write up on the lighthouse featured but the cards don't include a card number, although they were kind enough to tell us the card is one of 50 in the set. 

Each card features original painted art and each one is more beautiful than the last. On the left is the Minot's Ledge Light which is located south of Boston Harbor and today is privately owned. The Point Loma Light on the right is actually still in use in San Diego, California. 

Next we have Point Hueneme Light which is located in California near the Santa Barbara Channel. A lighthouse was first constructed on the site in 1874 and the lighthouse as it appears on the card is still in use today.

The Sanibel Island Light on the left is located on the west coast of South Florida and is still in use. The Eastern Point Light on the right is located on the northern coast of Massachusetts and was built on a rock structure called Mother Ann.

The ominously named Executions Rock Light on the left is located in the middle of Long Island Sound in New York. The name was given to the spot because of the dangerous nature of the water at low tide and the lighthouse is still used today. Block Island Light on the right is located off the southern coast of Rhode Island and is often considered to be the most beautiful lighthouse built in the 19th century. 

On the left we have Barnegat Light which is located on Long Beach Island, New Jersey and was deactivated in 1944. A foundation was set up to put the light back in service and in 2009 it was successfully re-lit. Cape Flattery Light is on the north Washington state coast near British Columbia and was deactivated in 2008.

November 29, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1963 Topps Monster Midgee The She-Creature

Today's non-sports card of the day is from one of the more odd Topps releases from the 1960's. This is card #13 from the 1963 Topps Monster Midgee sets which were mini cards that featured monsters from B-movies with a funny caption added to the bottom of the card. 

The set is pretty popular with sci-fi fans and fans of bad cinema. Here's an eBay auction for an empty box of the set for only $750. 

On the back, Topps gives us a ghost related joke that the kids could impress their friends with in the 60's. One of the frustrating aspects of this set is that the front and backs do not give you a definitive answer as to which film the images came from. I'm a big fan of bad sci-fi movies but sometimes it is a little tough to keep everything straight. In the fine print of the card, it gives you a hint that the creature on the front was from a film made by American International Pictures. 

With a little research into American International's huge movie output, the monster featured is from the film The She-Creature, directed by Edward Cahn. The movie's poster below gives away most of the film's story as the woman on the right is hypnotized and in a past life she was the horrible prehistoric creature on the left. She able to personify the creature into today's reality and it goes on a murderous rampage as one's personified monster often does.

The creature was designed by visual artist Paul Blaisdell who took part in many bad B-movies from the 60's including Teenagers Outer Space and Earth vs. The Spider.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 even gave the film the riff treatment during Season 8 which you can watch on YouTube.

November 27, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1953-54 Topps World on Wheels Cadillac Eldorado

A little while ago I highlighted another card from the 1953-1954 Topps World on Wheels set and here's another entry featuring the brand-new-at-the-time 1953 Cadillac El Dorado. Just look at how long this bad boy was at more than 18 feet! The 1953 edition was the first year that Cadillac made the El Dorado through 2002 with 10 generations over those 49 years. 

The name El Dorado referred to the city made of gold located somewhere in South America. Over time the myth was attributed to Columbia, Venezuela, and Guyana and many explorers including Sir Walter Raleigh tried to located the famous city. Cadillac used the name to connect their car gold-plated luxury and the back of the card highlights the Eldorado's amazing air conditioning system. 

Eagle-eyed collectors will notice the front has "El Dorado" as two words and the back side combines it at "Eldorado" at the top and separated in the write-up. For those keeping score, Cadillac went with "Eldorado" for the car name and the city of gold city is separated as "El Dorado." 

November 24, 2016

Non-Sports Cards of the Day: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Today, you can add Upper Deck and Topps to your list of things to be thankful for as they created these Thanksgiving cards! The grey bordered cards featuring the mouthwatering turkey card below were part of the 2009 A Piece of History.

Given that these sort of sets have limited licensing hurdles to cross, I don't know why Upper Deck doesn't continue to issue these political and non-sports sets as they can't get the baseball card license back.

Topps also issued a Pilgrim related card in the 2009 Topps American Heritage set. The card honored their arrival at Plymouth Rock and was done in the 19611 Topps baseball design. 

November 23, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: Illuminati Confirmed! 1911 T56 Emblem Cigarettes Master Mason

Today's non-sports card is more than a century old and it is one of the oldest cards in my collection. Emblem Cigarettes, which was a part of the larger American Tobacco Company, appropriately enough based on their company name issued a set of famous emblems for organizations and groups from America and around the world. This is card #48 and features the emblem of the Master Mason...a.k.a.. the shadowy controllers of everything, including the media, government, and the financial world. 

The reverse side explains the history of the Masons in America and its origins from 1733. The three level of Masonry are Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and the last which is featured on the front of the card, Master Mason. Searching around, there are also reverse side variations that feature the Hassan Cigarettes logo that collectors have placed a premium on.

November 22, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1938 Wills's Cigarettes Railway Equipment

Today's non-sports card is a tobacco card from England's Wills's Cigarettes that explains the all-important question "how an escalator works." We use escalators nearly everyday and, to be honest, I have really have no idea how they work...I'm guessing a large hamster wheel contraption of some sort! 

The back of the card explains the procedure of the escalator which are stairs attached to a long metal chain that runs in a loop. This card is a part of a Railway Equipment set issued in cigarette packs in 1938 and there are a total of 50 cards available. Like most Wills's products there was also albums that could be purchased to hold your cards for the incredible price of one penny.

November 21, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1952 Topps Look 'N See Stonewall Jackson

Today's non-sports card comes from the 1952 Topps Look 'N See set which featured 135 cards with original painted artwork. The set had two series of card with the second series being much harder to find. Topps also threw in one athlete with a Babe Ruth card at #15 which has proven to be more budget-friendly alternative for collectors who aren't able to buy a Ruth card from his playing days. 

Stonewall Jackson was of course the South's most successful general during the Civil War and his death following getting accidentally shot by Confederate troops demoralized the entire Southern military. Countless historians have wondered how the Civil War would have ended had he survived and continued his fight. 

The reverse side of the Look 'n See cards features a quiz question of "how did General Jackson get the nickname "Stonewall?"" Under the question it reads "place the red paper over this card and see the answer" and that refers to a red cellophane paper that came in each package to allow the pack ripper to get the answers to the questions. 

The answer to the question is that Jackson was compared to a stone wall by another Confederate General, Bernard Bee, during the First Battle of Manassas and the nickname stuck. 

November 20, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1961 Topps Crazy Cards

I must admit, I do enjoy it when my trading cards insult me. Today's non-sports card comes from the 1961 Topps Crazy Cards set. Certainly taking a cue from Mad Magazine, this set featured 66 cards that were mainly a joke set-up on the front and the punchline on the back. The art on the set was done by Wally Wood, who also did many Marvel comics [including early Daredevil issues] and Topps' famous Mars Attacks set. 

My card features an M.C. Escher like design that shift from coming towards you and moving away from you as you stare at it longer. That card asks you to stare at it for 15 minutes and turn the card over! 

Zing! I do admit that I do get a little drool when I'm looking at my cards for hours.

November 19, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1969 Brooke Bond Tea Robert Scott

Today's "tobacco" card actually comes from a box of tea rather than a pack of cigarettes. Brooke Bond Tea from the United Kingdom issued this set of 50 famous people in 1969 and today's  card is of arctic explorer Robert Scott. He and explorer Roald Amundson raced to reach the South Pole in the early 1910's. While Amundson successfully reached the South Pole [and became the first person to reach both poles], Scott died with his expedition in the cold Antarctic weather. 

As the card back highlights, the set included 50 historical figures and you could buy a collector's album that would hold all the mini cards in one place.

After searching around a little bit, here's what the collectors album looked like.

November 18, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1953-54 Topps World On Wheels Belly Tank

Initially issued in 1953, this Topps set highlights the history of automobiles over 160 cards. Topps tacked on an additional 20 cards at the end of the checklist to highlight the new cars released in 1954. Today's card is a 3-wheeled hot rod given the name the Belly Tank 3-Wheeler. This one of a kind creation was built by Richard Harp and features a aircraft engine under the hood that can get the card up to 110 mph.

As you can imagine, the final 20 cards ended up being short-printed and incredibly hard to find. Originally this set was just called "Wheels" on the original wrapper packs but has become known as "World on Wheels" over time with collectors as that is the title used on the reverse side of the card.

November 17, 2016

Non-Sports Card of the Day: 1924 S.S. Adriatic Tobacco Card

Today in the world of non-sports card we have this tobacco card that is approaching 100 years old. This is from Wills's (watch those apostrophes people!) Cigarettes Merchant Ships of the World set that was issued in the Wills's cigarette brand packs in 1924. The set had 50 ships in it and the S.S. Adriatic is card #39. 

The Adriatic was a part of the White Star Line that had ships who brought passengers from Liverpool, England to New York City. The Adriatic and her four sister ships (the Baltic, Cedric, and Celtic) were called The Big Four and the Adriatic could hold 3,000 passengers. During World War I the ship served as a troopship and was in service until 1935. 

The Wills's brand dates back as far as 1786 and they were one of the first companies to use cigarette cards. 

November 11, 2016

A Post I Meant To Do When The Cleveland Indians Were In The World Series

I should have posted these last week when the Cleveland Indians Native Americans were in the World Series and it seemed like free rein on using MLB's more embarrassing team name. Below are four  "Indian Trading Cards" I picked up from a card show in Virginia when I was living in Washington D.C. this past summer.

The show was a half comics and half cards and in the cards section was a nice non-sports table with the most organized set-up I've seen in awhile. There were some grab bags with several cards from the same set in various condition for a few bucks each and I picked up these four for a I think $3.00.

These cards were issued by Fleer in 1959 and the Indian Trading Card set has 80 cards in it. The cards are divided into several subsets  and their designation is shown on the lower left corner on the front of the card. Collectors can piece together cards from such categories as Alaskan, Plains, Southwest, and Woodland.

After checking around it looks like the most sought after card is #1 on the checklist which is a card in honor of Hunkpapa Lakota holy man Sitting Bull. I was also surprised to find that one of the most popular cards in the set was actually included in my pack, this card which features an "Eskimo On A Seal Hunt."  

Here's the reverse side of the cards which features a blue and red design. The write up providing more information on the front image is attributed to "Chief Halftown" which to the best of my research was a fictitious character made up by Fleer. 

Here are my other three cards with my favorite being the beautiful Butterfly Dancer card. I'm not sure if any of these are historically accurate and the unfortunate red eyes of the Buffalo Dancer card makes me have my doubts. Still, these cards are sort of a historical oddity that would probably never be made today and so if I come upon some again at a card show I will probably pick them up.

November 6, 2016

Show and Tell #128: "The Cards...They're Alive! They're Alive!"

I've been writing for the Cardboard Connection for more than a year now (here's a collection of my articles, if you are interested) and it has certainly put a crimp on my writing here on the web site. I've had some pretty good daily blogging streaks but there have also been many weeks in which my writing time to Heartbreaking Cards goes toward Cardboard Connection instead. 

Another aspect of running a card blog that has suffered over the past year is my trading. I haven't initiated a trade in I don't know how long and I've only done a handful over the past year and a half. Thankfully, that rut recently ended as I completed a trade with Bo from Baseball Cards Come To Life

He sent me a mixed bag of cards from teams and players that I collect, sets I'm working on, and types of cards I collect, including this group of mascot cards. As a collector of mascot cards, some teams have mascots with trademarked names that Topps includes on cards and some teams don't, like the Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks. 

With so many Topps Archives sets and players frequently put in retro card designs, at first I was confused where this Johan Santana card was from exactly. It turns out it was a part of a Walmart exclusive insert set that was from 2007 Topps (this card was available in Series 2) and featured the use of many older Topps designs.

He also sent me some vintage Twins and here's Roy Smalley's 1980 Topps card. I still feel weird calling 1980 as "vintage" but the card is 36 years old. This Roy Smalley is actually Roy Smalley III and his father, Roy Jr., played for the Cubs in the 1950's and has baseball cards in the 1952 Topps set as well as each Bowman set between 1950 and 1955. Smalley III played for the Twins from 1976-1982 and then made a second stint with the team from 1985 to 1987, picking up a World Series title in his final year of his career.  

Another personal collection favorite is Brad Radke who is the best baseball player to ever come from my hometown of Eau Claire, WI. As the Twins 2016 season was winding down a Radke-related stat started floating around to demonstrate exactly how bad the Twins farm system has been at developing pitchers. It turned out that Radke was the last pitching prospect drafted by the Twins that developed into an All-Star. Sure, the Twins have had All-Star caliber pitching but not from a prospect the Twins drafted.

I am also slowly working on my 1972 Topps set and here is an Ed Kranepool card I can cross off my needs list. Kranepool played his entire 18-year career with the Mets and he has played more games for the Metropolitans than any player. 

Here's what I sent to Bo in return which included finishing off a couple of sets he was working on. Thanks again for the trade!