The Early History Of Baseball Cards by NiceTime

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									Title:
The Early History Of Baseball Cards

Word Count:
447

Summary:
The Nineteenth Century

Baseball and photography in the Uni
ted States were both seeing an expl
osion of popularity in the mid nine
teenth century. This provoked baseb
all clubs to start taking individua
l and group pictures of their membe
rs. Some of these pictures were pri
nted on smaller cards, much like mo
dern-day, wallet sized photos. In t
he late 1860s, baseball became a pr
ofessional sport, and trading cards
 began to appear with photos of pla
yers and teams. These were mainly ...


Keywords:
baseball, baseball cards


Article Body:
The Nineteenth Century
Baseball and photography in the Uni
ted States were both seeing an expl
osion of popularity in the mid nine
teenth century. This provoked baseb
all clubs to start taking individua
l and group pictures of their membe
rs. Some of these pictures were pri
nted on smaller cards, much like mo
dern-day, wallet sized photos. In t
he late 1860s, baseball became a pr
ofessional sport, and trading cards
 began to appear with photos of pla
yers and teams. These were mainly u
sed as a means of advertisement for
 companies, who placed an ad on the
 back of the card.

A sporting goods store in New York,
 called Peck and Snyder, began prod
uction of trading cards featuring t
eams. As a sporting goods store, ba
seball cards were the perfect adver
tisement vehicle for them. The card
s produced by Peck and Snyder are o
ften times referred to as the first
 baseball cards.

A trade card during these times typ
ically featured an image on one sid
e, and a business advertisement on
the reverse side. Color printing te
chnology began to increase the attr
activeness of baseball cards. Photo
s began to be seen in black and whi
te as well as sepia. Some baseball
cards were printed as playing cards
, either for conventional card game
s or simulations of a baseball game.

By 1886 cigarette packs often inclu
ded baseball cards in them for prom
otional purposes as well as the pro
tection of the cigarettes. Baseball
 had become so popular by the end o
f the century that production of th
e baseball cards had not only sprea
d across the Americas, but also int
o the Pacific Isles.

Early Twentieth Century

The majority of cards being produce
d were by candy companies and cigar
ette companies. Breisch-Williams Co
mpany, (a Pennsylvania-based confec
tionary company), produced the firs
t major set of baseball cards of th
e century in 1903. Soon after, base
ball cards were beginning to appear
 in more and more products. In 1914
, Cracker Jack’s began using baseba
ll cards as the included prize in t
he box.

The Twenties to the Fifties

Baseball card production began to f
all off during World War I due to t
he transition to wartime production
. This lasted until the late thirti
es, when the United States began to
 see the effects of the great depre
ssion. During the years in between,
 production of baseball cards went
through the roof. The culmination o
f this production spike was the Gou
dey Gum Company’s set, produced in
1933.

Again, in 1941, wartime production
began to significantly affect the n
umber of baseball cards being produ
ced. In 1948, baseball card product
ion increased once again. The Leaf
Candy Company and Bowman Gum introd
uced the first sets when wartime pr
oduction came to a halt. During the
1950s, Japanese baseball cards asso
ciated with the popular Japanese ca
rd game, menko, began to flood the
market.

								
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