Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #64 (August 2009)

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Welcome to Old Cardboard, the most complete reference resource for information about collecting vintage baseball cards and related memorabilia.  More information about this eNewsletter and its companion website and magazine are found at the bottom of this page.

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. Book Review: "Sweet Recollections" by Eric Varon
5. News Briefs (A Digest of Recent Hobby Happenings)

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar

The following is a summary of vintage card events coming up in the next 30-45 days. For the most current listings on additional vintage card shows and auctions, see the Show and Auction Calendar on the Old Cardboard website.

OC eNewsletter Sponsor

August 2009

25Phone/Internet Collectible Classics Auction (see website for details).
27Phone/Internet Auction (see website for details).
26-27Phone/Internet Legendary Auctions Sports and Americana Auction (see website).

September 2009

17Phone/Internet Goodwin & Co. Auction (see website for details).
23-24Phone/Internet Legendary Auctions "Sports and Historic Photos" (details on website).
25-27King of Prussia, PA Philadelphia Sports Card & Memorabilia Show (see website for details).
30Phone/Internet Mile High Auction (see website for details).
9/30-10/1Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Fall Masterpiece Auction (see website for details).


T128 Front

T128 Back

In eNewsletter #50 (June 2008), we profiled the two subsets ("First Series" and "Photo Series") that are designated together in the American Card Catalog (ACC) as T209 Contentnea Cigarettes (see "Vintage Set Profile: 1910 T209 Contentnea Cigarettes").

There seems to be some confusion about the correct pronunciation of the cigarette brand that sponsored the T209 cards. The correct pronunciation is clarified, however, in another (non-baseball) set produced to promote the same brand. This sister set is designated in the ACC as T128 and is believed to have also been produced in 1910. It is sometimes referred to as the "Indian by Waterfall" set.

The text on the back of all cards in this set explains the origin (and provides the correct pronunciation) of the "Contentnea" name. It reads as follows:

"Tradition tells us that the Indian was the first user of tobacco, hence, his picture has since been the sign of a cigar when the Red Man was monarch of the forest. He gave the name Contentnea (pronounced CON-TENT-NA) to a small stream of water, situate in what is now known as Wilson County, NC. The waters of this rivulet were calm and pellucid; fish and game abounded, and that section adjacent to Contentnea, was considered good hunting grounds. This bit of history prompted us in selecting the name of Contentnea Cigarettes."

So there we have it...straight from the company that named themselves after the "rivulet" in North Carolina.

The map at left identifies the approximate area of the Contentnea watershed, which encompasses the present day town of Wilson, as well as Wilson County and surrounding areas in North Carolina.

The T128 cards are from an obscure tobacco set and are somewhat unique in that all cards in the set display essentially the same front and back. The fronts of all cards feature a native American Indian on the bank with a waterfall in the background.

For reasons unknown to today's collectors, each card contains a number printed in small type in the top right corner ("103" in the above example). The numbers range up to about 140. However, to date, cards with only about 30-40 different numbers have been noted.

The two 1910 T210 Contentnea baseball card series are profiled on the Old Cardboard website, including a Checklist and Gallery of the T209-1 "First Series." Thanks to Steve Mace of Moore, South Carolina for supplying the T128 example card pictured above.

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3. Latest Updates to the Website

We are continually expanding the Old Cardboard website with more set profiles, checklists and card galleries. Recent (past 30-40 days) additions include:

Set Profiles have been added for:
1910   Tuxedo Tobacco Ad Panels
1949   Ansco Film (Cuban Issue)

Set Checklists have been added for:
1888   M117   Sporting Times
1910   Tuxedo Tobacco Ad Panels
1927   Rinkeydink Stamps
1949-50   Ansco Film (Cuban)

Set Galleries have been added for:
1910   Tuxedo Tobacco Ad Panels
1927   Rinkeydink Stamps
1949-50   Ansco Film (Cuban)

Updating the website with checklists and full set galleries for additional vintage sets is an ongoing project, so check back often to check out the latest additions. There are now many thousands of card images on the Old Cardboard website and the list continues to grow. We welcome and encourage feedback with checklist additions, card images, error corrections and suggestions. Please send all input to

4. Book Review: "Sweet Recollections" by Eric Varon

The two baseball card sets produced by the Philadelphia Caramel Company in the early nineteenth century are just two of the thirteen known sets produced by the company. The baseball cards are designated as sets E95 and E96 in the "American Card Catalog" (see examples below). Other sets produced by the company feature diverse subjects including boxers, military uniforms and accessories, domestic dogs, Native American Indian leaders, "airships" and a variety of "Zoo" birds, animals and fish.

All of these card sets, as well as painstakingly researched details about the company's owners and their competitors in the confectionery markets of the region are discussed in vintage collector Eric Varon's recently released book, "Sweet Recollections: The Story of the Philadelphia Caramel Company of Camden, New Jersey."

Following a foreword by well known hobbyist and auctioneer Robert Lifson, Varon's book is divided into three parts. The first part tells the story of the region's confectionery trade and the two pioneers that founded Philadelphia Caramel Company. Here, Varon uses actual newspaper accounts and a variety of public records to document his narrative.

The next several chapters of Varon's book are devoted to a discussion of the premiums offered by Philadelphia Caramel. Part III includes an appendix of detailed checklists for each of the thirteen card sets produced by the company from about 1907 through 1915.

The book's illustrations include several images of the company's founders, early factories, and front and back examples from each of the thirteen card sets that the company produced.

In his conclusions, Varon devotes several pages to his observations about a children's writing tablet (see example at left). The notebook is thought to have been produced shortly after the distribution of the baseball card sets. Several such notebooks have become known to the hobby--all in the past decade--and they help to explain the occasional discovery of blank-backed versions of the Philadelphia Caramel baseball cards, which were cut from the notebooks.

There are no markings on the notebooks to tie them directly to the Philadelphia Caramel company and Varon makes the case that they were likely produced by another company. Card images of five players are found on each notebook cover, and all player images are found in either the E95 or E96 Philadelphia Caramel card sets.

A Checklist and full Set Gallery is provided on the Old Cardboard website for both of the baseball card sets produced by the Philadelphia Caramel.

"Sweet Recollections: The Story of the Philadelphia Caramel Company of Camden, New Jersey" can be ordered using PayPal directly from the author's website at Price is $15.40 including first class shipping.

5. News Briefs (A Digest of Recent Hobby Happenings)

Article Index Expanded. Old Cardboard's Vintage Baseball Card Article Index has been expanded to include all vintage baseball card articles published in SGC Collector magazine. The index has also been updated with articles from the most recent issues of Old Cardboard magazine and mini-articles from the Old Cardboard eNewsletter. The index now contains more than 800 articles--all focused on the vintage baseball cards and memorabilia hobby. The index can be quickly accessed via a direct link from the home page of the Old Cardboard website.

Legendary Plans All-Photo Auctions. Legendary Auctions is planning its first all-photograph auction scheduled to close the end of September. The lots will include photographs from the archives of the Detroit News and Sport Magazine. Although the images cover a wide variety of subjects, it will include baseball images by photographer Charles Conlon and others. The September auction will be the first of several events that will include millions of images of Sports and Americana. Updates about future auctions will be posted on the Legendary Auctions website.

Lyman and Brett Hardeman
Old Cardboard, LLC.

Old Cardboard, LLC. was established in December 2003, to help bring information on vintage baseball card collecting to the hobbyist.  Produced by collectors for collectors, this comprehensive resource consists of three components: (1) Old Cardboard Magazine, (2) a companion website at and (3) this eNewsletter. The Old Cardboard website contains more than 500 pages of descriptive reference information for baseball card sets produced fifty years ago or longer.  Each of these set summaries has a direct set-specific link to auctions and a similar link to 's powerful search engine for further research.  The website also includes a Show and Auction Calendar, an eBay Top 50 Vintage Sellers List, and much more.  As a result, the Old Cardboard website makes a great "Alt-tab" companion for vintage card shoppers and researchers.  Old Cardboard eNews provides current hobby news, upcoming shows and auctions, and updates to the website and the magazine.  It is published around the middle of each month.  For a FREE subscription to the eNewsletter, or for subscription information on Old Cardboard Magazine, please visit the website at  If you find this information resource helpful, please tell your friends.  We need your support and your feedback. Thank you.