Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
  eNews Issue #151 (November 2016)

Please Note: If images are not loading in this email, click here.

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
2. Set Profile: 1911 T205 Gold Borders
3. Latest Additions to the Website
4. 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 Key Events Calendar on the Old Cardboard website.

Have an event that needs to be on the OC Calendar?

OC eNewsletter Sponsor

November 2016

26San Leandro, CA San Francisco Bay Area Show (see web page for details)

December 2016

1Phone/Internet Bussineau Sports Rarities Fall Auction (see website for details).
1Phone/Internet Auction (see website for details).
2-4King of Prussia, PA Philly Show (see website for details).
3Phone/Internet Small Traditions Holiday Premium Auction (see website for details).
3Phone/Internet Goldin Auctions (see website for details).
7-8Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auctions (see website for details).
10Phone/Internet Collectible Classics Auction (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).

2. Set Profile: 1911 T205 Gold Borders

The 208-card 1911 T205 Gold Borders set is well known to collectors of early cards. Produced in 1911, it is among the most attractive and informative sets of the tobacco card era. The quality of artwork and lithography used on the cards is unsurpassed.

(114 cards)
(82 cards)
(12 cards)

Common to all T205 card fronts are bright colors surrounded by a gold border. However, three distinct front designs are used within the set--one each for the American League and the National League, and still another for the twelve minor league players represented in the set. Examples of each of the three designs are shown at here.

As seen in these representative examples, portraits of American Leaguers are framed inside a symbolic baseball diamond. A panel below the player identifies him and his team. Icons of other baseball gear are also displayed.

The design of cards in the National League series is somewhat simpler, resulting in a larger display of the player's portrait image. The design also makes use of facsimile autographs for the first time in a widely distributed baseball card set.

Team logos and popular team names are printed in the top corners of the cards for both major leagues.

The twelve cards of minor league players are the most ornate in the T205 set. Frame designs vary, but always include a three-quarter length image of the player. Perhaps the most unique identifying feature in the minor league series, however, is the prominent display of the first letter of the player's team in both of the top corners of the card.

The T205 cards were distributed in packs of the cigarette brands of the American Tobacco Company. They measure approximately 1-7/16 by 2-5/8 inches.

As the set name suggests, all three designs for the T205 set are framed inside a gold border. While providing a basis for the set name and resulting in a distinctive appearance, the printed gold borders are susceptible to chipping, resulting in a higher value for cards of high grade.

There are 198 players featured in the T205 set. Of these, 10 players are printed with either multiple poses or team changes, resulting in a standard set of 208 cards. In addition, there are twelve cards with relatively minor variations, bringing the count for a T205 master set to 220 cards. A T205 Master Checklist on the Old Cardboard website identifies these cards along with a brief notation for each variation.

Of the Gold Border cards, about a dozen or so are considered to have been short printed, based mostly to the limited quantities of cigarette brands related to these cards.

The backs are printed with brief biographical data on the subject player. For most major league players, basic stats are also provided for the prior three years. No such stats are provided for the minor league players.

The cigarette brand in which the card was packed is also printed in a block across the lower portion of the card backs. As with the T206 set, back brands for the T205 cards have been the focus of analysis by many of today's collectors. All together, there are eleven brands promoted on the T205 card backs. They are (in approximate order of rarity):

  1. Piedmont (38%)
  2. Sweet Caporal (16%)
  3. Polar Bear (12%)
  4. Hassan (12%%)
  5. Honest Long Cut (9%)
  6. Sovereign (8%)
  7. Cycle (3%)
  8. American Beauty (1.4%)
  9. Broadleaf (0.3%)
  10. Hindu (0.2%)
  11. Drum (0.1%)

(click image
for gallery of
all brands)

The numbers in parentheses indicate the approximate population distribution of the back brands. As seen, the seven most common back brands make up 98% of the cards, with four brands (American Beauty, Broadleaf, Hindu and Drum) making up the balance. As indicated, the rare Drum back is found on approximately one in every thousand cards known.

A Gallery of all eleven back brands has been recently added to the Old Cardboard website. Several of the eleven T205 back brands have variations in print color or the factory number from which they were manufactured, bringing the master checklist of backs to seventeen. These variations are noted in the gallery.

OC eNewsletter Sponsor

3. Latest Additions 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 Galleries have been added for:
1911   T205 Gold Borders Backs

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

Beyond the above pages recently added to the Old Cardboard website, we continue to expand and refine our eBay Custom Search Links to make finding vintage baseball cards on eBay easier than ever. The results of these searches are continuously changing, so check back often to find the most recent eBay listings. Samples of a few of these custom searches are provided below. Hundreds more are provided on the Set Profile pages throughout the Old Cardboard website.

1887 N28 Allen & Ginter
1888 N29 Allen & Ginter
N162 Goodwin Champions
N172 Old Judge
N184 Kimballs
1800s BB Trade Cards

D303/D304 General Baking
D305 Bond Bread
1946-50 D317 Remar Bread
1910 D322 Tip Top Bread
1947 D323 Tip Top Bread
1916-21 D350 Standard Biscuit

(more custom searches
by major card group)

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

Plow Boy Tobacco Checklist Updates.   Collector-Dealer Scott Brockelman is attempting to verify the checklist for the Plow Boy Tobacco issue of 1910-12. Early checklists for the set include seven players that have not been confirmed by collectors in several decades (see Scott's Net54 Forum post for details). Please contact Scott or Old Cardboard if you have any knowledge about the seven unconfirmed cards from the set.

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.