Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Announcing the Cardboard History History of Cardboard Collection (The closest I'll ever get to a Frankenset)

That's a long title, but I've been kicking the idea around in my head for over a year now (!) and I can't come up with anything better.

The Cardboard History History of Cardboard Collection is going to be something that generally only exists on "paper", in that the cards will not be stored together, it will just be something I track on here and on the Cardboard History Gallery...and probably a list on the Trading Card Database, too.

The concept? A virtual collection consisting of 1 card from every year, with a heavy focus on non-sports cards, since that is the only section of the hobby that can truly cover every year- from 1879 to present, and continuing on into the future as well. However, there will be some sports cards mixed in as well, since I want this to be a true history of the least as I collect it. So yes, there will be baseball in here somewhere, and football as well, and who knows what else. I want to select a good sampling of my collection and I have a wide variety of cards.

Choosing what cards to make the project will be quite the challenge...or very easy, depending on what time period we're talking about. The 1990s, my favorite decade in the hobby, is not going to be all that hard, as it was my heyday of collecting, when the best memories were formed. The 1980s and 2000s and 2010s will be tougher. When dealing in the earlier days, there will be years where I have only one card from the era, so by default it will be the card selected. There are also some years I don't have, and may never have, particularly in the 1800s. (a 21 year period, I currently have only 4 years represented in my collection)

I have not yet decided if I will revisit some years, like Shane does with his Buyback collection, or if I pick a card it'll stay there forever. Time will tell.

What I'm going to do now is create each decade's post, and work on them as I can, until I eventually figure out what I'm going to represent each year with. When I conclude each decade's post (or decades, in this case of this post and this post only) I will copy and paste them to a Page on the top, yet to be created. Just so I can remember, I'm starting the posts in the midnight hour on November 19th, 2019.

This first post is the early years of the hobby, from 1879-1899. The first non-sports card as we know them was issued in 1879. It was a 1-card set and is exceptionally rare. I do not ever expect to own one. If I knew more about trade cards, which were ancestors of trading cards, I could probably go back a few decades but I just don't know much about them at all.

1887 Allen & Ginter's Arms of All Nations
1889 Kinney Brothers Novelties

1890 Duke's Holidays

1895 Arm & Hammer Beautiful Flowers


I also have some cards that are from the 1890s, but an exact year is unknown. Interestingly enough, I actually have two different sets from 1889, but chose the one I did because it was the first 1800s card I ever had, a gift from Bob of the 5 Tool Collector. I will not be combining decades going forward, but since the 1800s are so thin in my collection, I chose to here.


  1. This is going to be awesome. I'm looking forward to it!

    1. I had a lot of fun writing it! All except for the current decade is complete in my queue...

  2. Amazing concept. I'm really gonna be looking forward to seeing this.

    1. Thank you! I am planning to post at least a couple times a week.

  3. Ah, great idea. Can't wait to see how it progresses!

    1. Thank you! I have a lot of fun things (at least to me) coming up!

  4. Replies
    1. Yes, the whole set is die-cut. I had no idea the concept existed back then until this card showed up in the mail and I began to research it. I need to pick up some more some day.

  5. Fun idea! I really dig that A&G, I keep trying to get myself an original, but the universe seems to be against me.

    1. If you know anyone in or around Toledo, and don't mind significant paper loss, the shop I got that one at had others for under $5 each when I was there in October. I passed them over because the backs were in pretty bad shape.

  6. What a great idea Billy! Looking forward to following along with this series!

    1. Thank you! I expect to have it fully posted by the end of January.

  7. These are beautiful cards, and a great way to kick off this series!