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Reference Library
Card Set Classifications

Classification of early baseball card sets is based on the categories found in the American Card Catalog (ACC). Although the scope of the ACC includes a wide range of cards featuring non-baseball subjects, the following categories are limited to only those that include baseball card sets.

B"Blankets" and cloth-like cards
CCanadian tobacco (Imperial Tobacco, C46, is the only baseball set)
DBakery sets.
EEarly gum and candy cards; "E" cards fall primarily into two time periods: 1909-1915 (designated here as Group "E1") and 1920-1927 (Group "E2")
F"Food" cards. Includes cards used to promote a wide range of foods ranging from breakfast cereals to ice cream
HClothing and sporting goods manufacturers and retailers
MInserts and promotions for magazines and newspapers
NNineteenth century cards
PPins (includes PD "bakery button inserts;" PE "button inserts with early candy or gum;" PM "miscellaneous inserts" as defined in the Sports Collectors Bible; PR "button inserts with recent candy and gum;" and PX "other novelties of plastic, metal, etc.")
RCandy, gum and some other cards of the 1930's and 1940's (beginning in 1928; generally, these are a continuation of the "E2" cards)
SStamps and "silks"
T20th century tobacco cards; a one digit number, such as T3, indicates an oversized premium or cabinet card. The baseball tobacco card era spanned a seven year period--from 1909 to 1915. One set from 1919 (Coupon Cigarettes T213-3) and several 1950s Redman tobacco sets (T232-T235) are also listed in the ACC as baseball "T" cards.
VCanadian candy and gum cards. Roughly, the Canadian equivalent of some of the American "E" and "R" cards
WMiscellaneous section (mostly, whatever doesn't fit above). "W" cards include anonymous issues, cards from games, strip cards, and a long series of sets produced by the Exhibit Supply Company of Chicago.
WGGame Cards

With a few exceptions, the ACC definitions have remained intact and are widely used among today's collectors. In a few instances, they have been clarified and expanded in subsequent publications such as Bert Sugar's Sports Collector's Bible and Lew Lipset's Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards.

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