Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
Old Cardboard eMagazine Issue #181                      March 2022

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

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar
2. Set Profile: 1938 R329 Clopay Foto Fun
3. Set Profile: 1931 W626 Sun Pictures
4. BF3 Type 12 Mini-Pennants Checklist Expands
5. Recent Additions to the Website
6. 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 90 days. For the most current listings of additional vintage card shows and auctions, see the Key Events Calendar, accessible directly from the home page of the Old Cardboard website.

Have an event that needs to be on the OC Calendar?
March 2022
20Phone/Internet Robert Edward Auctions (see website for details).
24Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).
24Phone/Internet Auction (see website for details).
25-27Strongsville, OH Strongsville Sports Collectors Convention (website).
26Dallas, TX Heritage Sports Auction (see website for details).
April 2022
1-3Chantilly, VA CSA Chantilly Show (see website for details).
2Internet Love of the Game Auction (see website for details).
3Phone/Internet Collector Connection Auction (see website for details).
7Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auctions (see website for details).
8-10Wilmington, MA Rich Altman's Boston Show (see website for details).
9-11Phone/Internet Goldin Auctions (see website for details).
13-14Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auctions (see website for details).
14Dallas, TX Heritage Sports Auction (see website for details).
23-24Long Island, NY Long Island (Hofstra) Show (see website for details).
24Phone/Internet Robert Edward Auctions (see website for details).
26-27Dallas, TX Heritage Sports Auction (see website for details).
May 2022
5-7Dallas, TX Heritage Sports Auction (see website for details).
12Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).
19-22Dallas, TX Dallas Card Show (see website for details).
21Phone/Internet Memory Lane Auction (see website for details).
22Phone/Internet Robert Edward Auctions (see website for details).

2. Set Profile: 1938 R329 Clopay Foto Fun

R329 Gehringer

R329 Gehringer Back
(displayed at approximate actual size)
By just about any standard, the obscure Clopay Foto-Fun set of blue-toned cards is unusual.

Despite some statements to the contrary, the R329 set's hobby number is not listed in the American Card Catalog.

It remains unclear today where the R329 hobby number was first used. It is clearly mislabeled, according to ACC guidelines, where the "R" prefix indicates that the cards were distributed with candy or gum. The Clopay cards were not.

We have learned in recent years that the cards were sold as novelties and (with one exception noted below) were sold as stand-alone products and not associated with any other products or promotions.

R329 Clopay in Frame
(center panel removed)

Frame Back
(with directions for developing)
The paper-thin R329 cards were distributed inside a cardboard package that included a photo negative along with sheet of photographic paper.

When the perforated center panel on the front of the package was removed (as in the example at left), the photo paper was exposed to bright sunlight through the negative. As a result, the image of a baseball player emerged.

The opening for the perforated center panel measures 1-11/16 by 2-5/16.

Full directions for processing the image were provided on the back of the cardboard package (click on the back image at left for an enlarged and more readable view). The photo image was "set" and prevented from further exposure by washing "thoroughly in water for 1 minute."

The cardboard package was designed with an ornate printed border that served to assist in the developing process and to provide a framed display for the picture once it was developed.


Wrapper for Four Sheets of Extra Photo Paper
With additional photo paper, the negative could be re-used to produce as many images as the purchaser desired.

Additional photographic paper was also made available by the company. As illustrated in the images at right a photo pack was distributed which contained 4 sheets.

As seen, the back of the photo pack also cautioned the consumer to "store in a cool dry place to prevent spoilage."

After developing, the 2-1/4 by 2-3/4 inch photos were mounted inside the 2-3/4 by 3-5/8 inch frame. Today, the photo contrast varies based on the original developing and age, but most are a deep blue and white in appearance. The players full name, position and team are also printed as part of the photo development process. All card backs are blank.

R329 Frame Back (Type 1)

R329 Frame Back (Type 2)
The R329 frame backs are printed with two known variations. Type 1 provides the directions in a numbered 7-step process and has a one-line tag at the bottom that reads "FOTO-FUN, 1231 Dayton St., Cin. O."

The other printed back variation (labeled here as Type 2) provides directions in 6 steps with a two-line tag at the bottom reading "FOTO-FUN, Clopay Sq., Cin. O." on the first line followed by "Pat. Pend. Made and Printed in U. S. A." Examples of each back are shown here.

As illustrated in the framed R329 card above, the front of the cardboard wrapper in which the Clopay cards and photo film were distributed included a perforated window at the center that was removed as part of the developing process. The wrapper also included a perforated tab at the top that was removed by the purchaser to form the frame used to display the developed card. The complete wrappers below are both shown with the removable window and tab still intact. Both are extremely rare.

Two versions of this perforated tab are known. As seen, one (most common) is blank and the other (much more scarce) contains the printed ad for "Poll-Parrot Shoes: for Boys and Girls."

Complete Unopened Wrapper without Ad on Tab

Wrapper with Ad on Tab for Poll-Parrot Shoes

The layout of the wrapper fronts raises another question that has long puzzled collectors of the set. Was the Foto-Fun series intended to be used as a media for advertising by other sponsors or was it intended to be sold directly to consumers as an independent novelty product?

That question was answered, at least in part, by a remarkable discovery in 2012 of a box used in the distribution of the Foto-Fun packs. The box along with more than 30 unopened Foto-Fun packs was found by collector Dan Mckee at the auction of the contents of an old general store in the Pittsburgh area.

As seen from the printing on the side of the box (shown below), the set was said to include an assortment of 100 leading players of the period. More importantly, the packs were marketed under the Foto Fun brand. Thus, if the Cincinnati-based company did intend to "wholesale" its product for distribution as promotions by other sponsors, the Foto Fun cards were also marketed directly to the public by Clopay.

Counter top Box Used in the Distribution of the Foto-Fun Packs

The box also confirms that the Foto Fun packets were sold for 1 cent each. A complete unopened packet today would probably sell in the range of $250-$350.

A Set Profile and Player Checklist for the R329 cards is provided on the Old Cardboard website along with a recently added Set Gallery that includes 77 of the 95 cards currently known to exist in the series.

Unlikely Sponsor: The Clopay Company, today a manufacturer of garage doors, is among the most unlikely sponsors of a pre-WWII baseball card set.

The company's roots trace back to 1859 and the Bernard Seinsheimer Corporation, a paper wholesaler in Cincinnati, Ohio. Still in the paper business in the late 1930s, the company focused its efforts on the production of window shades. It was during this period that the company changed its name to Clopay, a contraction for "cloth" and "paper," the two main materials used in the manufacturer of its window shade product.

It was also during this time in the late 1930s that the company produced the R329 Clopay series--its first and only baseball card set.

Through acquisitions, Clopay entered the garage door business in 1964 and continues today as a nationwide producer of garage doors.

OC eMagazine Sponsor

3. Set Profile: 1931 W626 Sun Pictures

This obscure series of self-developing photos is listed in the American Card Catalog as set W626. The set falls within a "General Issues" category of "Early Album Cards" and includes both sport and non-sport subjects.

While there are several known series (outlined later in this article) that fit the W626 definition, the hobby has focused primarily on one series. The example Wes Ferrell card illustrated here is one of the twelve known baseball subjects found in the recently expanded checklist for that set.

The ACC entry somewhat loosely describes the set as:

W626--Sun Pictures (W.S.N.Y.) in envelope, various subjects ............ .03

The set's hobby name, "Sun Pictures," refers to the title printed on the envelopes used to wrap and distribute the cards, as well as the technology using sunlight to develop the pictures. The identity of "W.S.N.Y." is not known by today's collectors. The ".03" indicates that the cards were valued at 3 cents each at the time that the last edition of the ACC was published (1960).


Photo Paper


Photo Holder

The self-developing cards were packaged and distributed in small envelopes. Each envelope contained a small sheet of the light-sensitive photo paper, a film negative and a cardboard holder used to align and hold the film and photo paper in place as the photograph was developed by exposure to bright sun.

W626 Variations Abound

The envelope wrappers are printed at the top with the title "Sun Pictures," followed with directions on how to process the images along with the name of the sponsor at the bottom.

At least six different sponsors or distributors are known for the W626 Sun Pictures set. As illustrated here, they are:

Type A: "144 Subjects"
2-1/4 by 3-5/8 inches

Type B: Leader Novelty
2-1/4 by 3-5/8 inches

Type E: A. Egleston
About 2-1/2 by 4-1/4 inches

Type D: Eclipse Import
2-1/4 by 3-5/8 inches

Type C: P. F. Kahler
2-1/4 by 3-5/8 inches

Type F: Sun Pictures
About 2-1/2 by 4-1/4 inches

Two different holders have been identified for the Sun Pictures kits. Each is shown in the examples here.

Type 1 Holder
2-3/8 by 4-1/4 inches

Type 2 Holder
2-1/4 by 2-3/4 inches
Type 1 holders are a little larger (than example shown here), measuring about 2-1/2 by 4-1/4 inches. These larger holders have two die-cut tabs (one at the top and one at the bottom) to hold the negatives and photo paper in place during exposure to the sun.

The second holder type (Type 2; pink example shown) has four tabs with two tabs on each side to hold the photo and negative in place during development.

While the example Type 2 holder shown here uses pink-tinted card stock, these holders are known in different colors. Type 2 holder sizes vary slightly, but average around 2-1/4 by 2-1/2 inches.

In addition to the various sponsors printed on the envelopes and the two types of holder formats, three variations of negatives are known for the W626 series. Each is illustrated here at approximate relative size.

Type 1 (Film Negative)

Type 2 (Film Negative)

Type 3 (Tissue Negative)

The Type 1 film negative is consistent with the size most commonly associated with W626 set in general and with baseball subjects in particular. It is the cards produced from Type 1 negatives that are Checklisted and displayed in the W626 Gallery on the Old Cardboard website.

Type 2 film negatives are more common than Type 1 but smaller in size and not part of the "mainstream" set of baseball subjects. One key exception is a film negative that is known for Babe Ruth, which includes a different pose (and different size) than that found on the Type 1 film negative. Ruth is the only baseball player known in the Type 2 negative format.

The Type 3 tissue negatives are also relatively common and roughly the same size as Type 2. However, they are printed on very thin tissue paper that is transparent (except for the shades of gray printed on the tissue) and allow sunlight to pass through and develop the photo positive.

In all cases, the negatives and cut photo paper are very near the same size.

The correlation among the several types of envelopes, holders, negative types and checklists of subjects is currently not clear. It is very unclear now, for example, which of the sponsor envelope types contain baseball cards, despite the inferences often made in the sale of unopened envelopes. We can confirm only that baseball players are found in the Type F: Sun Pictures kits and that the single known Ruth variation was extracted from a Type C: P. F. Kahler envelope.

Additional research is needed for this very scarce set. We welcome feedback from our readers to help resolve the mysteries that remain for the W626 Sun Pictures sets.

Note: A Set Profile and Player Checklist for the W626 cards is provided on the Old Cardboard website along with a recently added Set Gallery that includes 9 of the 12 cards currently known to exist in the series.

4. BF3 Type 12 Mini-Pennants Checklist Expands

Based on the purchase of a large batch of 1936-38 BF3 Type 12 college mini-pennants, vintage sports collector John Patrick has expanded the BF3 checklist by nine mini-pennants. This brings the total for the BF3 Type 12 checklist to 123 colleges.

The nine 1936-38 BF3 Type 12 college mini-pennants recently added
to the hobby checklist are displayed above. The subset now includes 123 schools.

Based on the relatively large number of new colleges represented in Patrick's recent find, it is almost certain that the BF3 Type 12 checklist is not complete and that more colleges will be identified for the set in the future.

Most of the college mini-pennants are relatively simple in design, although there are a number of variations in felt and print color as well as layout and fonts used. While most of the mini-pennants are sport-generic (apply generally to all sports), a dozen or so (about 10 percent) of the known examples display football-related graphics.

A complete description of all 12 BF3 Types, including an updated Type 12 Checklist and Gallery, can be found on the Old Cardboard website.

5. Recent 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 Profiles have been added for:
1931   W626   Sun Pictures Photo Kits
1938   R329   Clopay Foto Fun

Set Checklists have been added for:
1931   W626   Sun Pictures Photo Kits
1938   R329   Clopay Foto Fun (five players added)
1920s   "Baseball Stars 1" Notebook Covers (three covers added)
ca. 1915   "Base Ball Stars 3" Notebook Covers (Grover Alexander added)
1925   W504   Universal Toy & Novelty (Walter Johnson added)

Set Galleries have been added for:
1931   W626   Sun Pictures Photo Kits
1938   R329   Clopay Foto Fun (five players added)
1920s   "Baseball Stars 1" Notebook Covers (three covers added)
ca. 1915   "Base Ball Stars 3" Notebook Covers (Grover Alexander added)
1925   W504   Universal Toy & Novelty (Walter Johnson added)

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 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.

E91 American Caramel
E92 Nadja/Croft's/Dockman
E93 Standard Caramel
E94 George Close Candy
E95 Philadelphia Caramel
E96 Philadelphia Caramel
E120 Am. Caramel
E121 Am. Caramel
E122 Am. Caramel
E136/137 Zeenuts
E145 Cracker Jack
E254/270 Colgan's Chips
(more custom searches
by major card groups)

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

Hobby Shows Show Strong Recovery. With Covid on the decline, interest in the sportscard hobby shows and conventions is showing strong signs of recovery. Attendance at all shows is up, with two mid-Western shows with considerable vintage content emerging with surprising vigor. They are the Dallas Card Show now held several times each year in Allen, Texas, and the long-running Strongsville Sports Collectors Convention held annually in Strongsville, Ohio. After cancelling last year due to Covid, the Strongsville Show returns March 25-27 as the longest running show in the country for vintage sports cards and memorabilia.

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 (currently on hold after printing 34 Issues), (2) a companion website at and (3) this eMagazine. The Old Cardboard website contains well over 1000 pages of descriptive reference information for baseball card sets produced fifty years ago or longer.  Each of the 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.  Each Old Cardboard eMagazine provides three or four articles about vintage baseball card sets or related memorabilia, current hobby news, upcoming shows and auctions, and updates to the website.  It is published quarterly around the middle of the last month of each quarter.  For a FREE subscription to the eMagazine, 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.

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