CORRECTION & UPDATE -- The Encyclopedia Of Baseball Cards
Reference -- The Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards, Volume 3 (1986)
Update and Correction by T206museum (February, 2001)
The following is "The Marketing of T206" subsection of
"The White Bordered Series of 1909-1911 -- T206" of the book "The Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards,
Volume 3 - 20th Century Tobacco Cards by Lew Lipset".
The corrections are in RED. Hope these corrections can help collectors who
are doing researches on T206s.
The Marketing of T206
"One of the first announcements of the American Tobacco Company baseball issue appeared in the June
19th 1909 (July 3rd 1909) issue of the Sporting Life. The ad showed ten drawings
of cards (all 150 Series subjects)
and the bottom of the ad indicated that it was a series of 150 subjects. The ad further indicated
that the cards could be found in packages of Piedmont, Sweet Caporal and Sovereign cigarettes.
Nothing was mentioned about the other brands that are associated with the 150 Series. While Sporting
Life carried the half page ad almost weekly, inspection of the Sporting News revealed no similar ads.
Instead, on July 15th, Sporting News announced that they were starting a series of supplements in the
next issue (known to collectors now as M101-2).
By September 4th of 1909 (August 21st of 1909), the American Tobacco Co. ad in
Sporting Life had changed. The arrangement
of the 10 cards was different; the cards were still 150 Series although there
was no mention of there being 150 Subjects and interestingly enough, one of the ten players portrayed
was Honus Wagner. If one wanted to speculate wildly, it's possible that this ad tipped Wagner he was
in the series. In August of 1909 (August 6th 1909), a New Orleans daily ran an
ad for "Hindu Cigarettes". The ad
showed a drawing of a package of Hindu cigarettes with the top of two cards visible in the top of the
package. Both cards, Dooin and Waddell, were major leaguers from the 150 Series. The observation here
was that it tied Hindu closely to the 150 series.
Less than a month later (August 25 1909), the same New Orleans newspaper ran
another ad for "Hindu". This time the ad
said there were "2 PICTURES of Southern League Players in Every Box". The ad showed illustrations of
Southern Leaguers, Carey and Bernhard, and if these cards were ready in September of 1909 it certainly
removes 1910 as the date for the 350 Series. It's possible that only the Southern Series was available
at this time, and only with the difficult Hindu Brand. It seemed that the tobacco card set had much
early acceptance and the American Tobacco Company sought to expand into non-major league areas by
including cards of minor league players. The disappearance of the minor leagues in the 460 Series would
indicate that this approach did not meet the same approval.
The American Tobacco Company continued advertising the cards in 1910 in Sporting Life. However the ads
stopped abruptly in May (The last ad appeared on September 18th 1909). The
reason appeared obvious when Sporting Life advertised their own baseball
card series in the June 11, 1910 (April 23rd 1910) issue
(known to collectors now as M116). The American Tobacco ads
for the T206 were never seen again in the Sporting Life."