Friday, October 21, 2011

Vintage Weirdness from the Card Show: What the Hell Are They Doing to that Baby?

Of all the cards I picked up at the last show, there were two very oddball vintage ones that were quite interesting. Both are non-baseball, non-sports, but they both came out of mid-range priced boxes, so I couldn't suppress the novelty of owning at least one of each of these.

Please excuse the terrible scanning. I know I cut off a chunk of the card, but I'm too lazy to rescan. What we have here is a Helmar card from their State Seals and Coats of Arms set. I guess there were 150 cards in this set, featuring US states and other countries of the world. So why did I pick Delaware? Well, there wasn't a Michigan or Ohio or anywhere Midwest. And this one was cheaper due to some creasing. Oh yeah, and there's a farmer hanging out with a conquistador or pilgrim or something.

Here's the back:

So we find out these were tobacco cards. No year on the back, but I wouldn't expect it on these. I found out more about this set here, if you're interested. Apparently, these were issued in 1910, so that makes this the oldest scrap of cardboard I own. I notice from the site I link above that my card has an extra stamp: "Packer no. 270" at the top. Not sure what to make of this. I'm wondering if this was stamped by the manufacturer or maybe a local distributor or just a bit of character. The dealer who sold this had a bunch more of these, and now I wish I would've picked up a few more.

Here's the even weirder bit of vintage:

The dealer also had a bunch of these, and I'm regretting even more that I didn't pick up more of these. They're just so weird. But I think I snagged the creepiest one. The dude's mustache, both of their smirks, the tight clutches on elbow and baby neck, and those staring green eyes--creepy. Creepy is good. That baby, though, what the hell are they doing to that baby? It's completely wrapped up, making it all the scarier. Are these serial baby killers? Nope, it's just a shot from 1935 cinema.

I blew this up so you can read the back, if interested. I almost like the front better completely without context. Anyway, this is part of a Gallaher set from 1935. The cards are standard tobacco size, or close to it--the size of a Ginter mini. There were 48 cards in the set, and I think the dealer had about a dozen more, all around a dollar or fifty cents. What do you think? Should I have picked up more?


  1. The Helmar state cards are the ones I have my eye on for if/when I complete my Murad T51 set. Tobacco cards are the best! Nice pickup!

  2. Oh, and you definitely should have picked up more! (says the guys whose money wasn't being spent, hahaha)

  3. I think those are really cool cards. I would have picked up more, depending on the price. Conversation pieces are really what drives my interest in this now a days...