Wednesday, January 25, 2017

1890! But...I feel like a fool.

This one has become a bit of a rollercoaster. One of my long-standing goals has been to get into the 1800s. In the world of non-sports, in my opinion, the peak years for cards were before World War II, when there were Tobacco sets for pretty much everything and anything under the sun. (not all issued by tobacco, but called that anyway). For many years just getting a tobacco card in and of itself felt like an impossible dream. I got my first in 2010 or 2011, years before I began blogging about cards.

But the 1800s again seemed impossible. Until I found this card for sale.

Too good to be true strikes again.

As you can see, there is nothing on the back...and when I began the research on the card, after I already bought it....I discovered, there SHOULD BE A BACK. Ohhhh, crap. If I had done the research beforehand, I would have discovered there was a problem. A major problem. I thought to myself, when I saw it listed for sale on COMC. that it was listed as "poor" condition. I thought it didn't look all that bad. I mean, I saw the creasing and slight paper loss on the obverse, but I didn't think it was too bad for a card of it's age.

I'm a fool. I just figured that it was so old they hadn't invented the concept of card backs yet. My own haste, and the thrill of finding a card from the 1800s that I could afford, caused me to buy first and then do the research.

So...I have HALF a card from 1890.

The front half I do have IS from 1890. Does it count? I'm not sure that it does. When I've gotten a few really badly mutilated cards I didn't count them as part of my collection...but do I look past that considering the card IS 126 years old? I mean, consider this: the card itself is older than the sport of basketball. It's older than my Great-Grandparents would have been, had they still been alive.  It predates aircraft. It predates the automobile being practical. I think it predates electric lighting in people's homes.

But it's only half a card.

And what's worse. I spent $5.25 on this half of a card. For only about 4 dollars more, I could have gotten one with both halves from one of my favorite ebay sellers, Openbinders, who I am taking this next picture from.

I feel like such a darn fool. And I'm conflicted on weather or not I should be celebrating jumping my oldest card back 15 years when it was already 1905, and getting back into the 1800s when I only got halfway there.


  1. Billy. Don't beat yourself up over it. Still a really cool card (or 1/2 card). Stick it to n the binder and enjoy it.

  2. I agree with Mark. At some time you will get the one you really want.

  3. Just consider it like being half way to the will get to what you want soon I am sure.

  4. I agree with everyone above - even if it is only half of the card, it's still a really cool half. Also, I'd say it absolutely counts as getting you into the 1800's - no matter what, it's still a card, after all.

  5. It does happen, many of the pre-1900 non sports cards ended up in album so and the backs are destroyed or gone completely. It continued into the tobacco era baseball cards but doesn't seem as common as the non-sports cards.

  6. I'm with those guys. It's a cool card. So many of them have backs that are damaged from being stuck onto paper pages that it's not surprising some are missing backs. And hey, don't feel bad, you'll be hard pressed to find a collector who hasn't jumped the gun on some purchase. I'll be posting soon about my phony 1958 Maris rookie. ::sigh::

  7. Oh, I forgot... email me your mailing address. I'm looking for some things I have for you. commishbob at gmail dot com

  8. Thanks for the comments everyone. I forgot that people used to glue them to albums. Some of my pre-wwii cards even have adhesive preprinted on the back. I couldn't imagine doing that to a card but I guess people thought differently back then. Bob, will email soon, thanks!