Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eNews Issue #61 (May 2009)

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Welcome to Old Cardboard, the most complete reference resource for information about collecting vintage baseball cards and related memorabilia.  More information about this eNewsletter and its companion website and magazine are found at the bottom of this page.

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar
2. Vintage Set Summary: 1906 Winthrop Moving Picture Postcards
3. Latest Updates to the Website
4. 1909 Supplement Graces Front Page of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
5. Book Review: "Baseball Barnstorming and Exhibition Games"
6. News Briefs (A Digest of Recent Hobby Happenings)

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar

The following is a summary of vintage card events coming up in the next 30-45 days. For the most current listings on additional vintage card shows and auctions, see the Show and Auction Calendar on the Old Cardboard website.

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May 2009

27-28Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auctions (see website for details).

June 2009

3Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auctions (see website for details).
12Phone/Internet Leland's May Catalog Auction (see website for details).

2. Vintage Set Summary: 1906 Winthrop Moving Picture Postcards

1906 Winthrop Postcard (Mordecai Brown)
(Front Cover)

1906 Winthrop Back
(Back Cover)
A series of rare flipbooks produced by the Winthrop Moving Picture Company provide some of the earliest glimpses ever of Major League baseball players in a moving picture format. The company, located at 419 Lafayette Street in New York City, was an early but short-lived rival for a competing company formed by Thomas Edison.

The thumb movies were produced and distributed in the form of small-format postcards measuring just two and one-half by four inches. The twenty-four frame staple-bound flipbooks measure three-eights of an inch thick.

One of the few surviving examples is shown here for Chicago Cubs pitcher Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown. When fanned so that all 24 frames in the book can be viewed in rapid sequence, the resulting “movie” shows the complete wind-up and delivery of the Hall of Fame twirler’s famous pitch.

Little is known today about postcards in the series produced by Winthrop. Additional flipbooks reported for the set include examples for Christy Mathewson and other members of the New York Giants. The "No. 24" printed on the front cover of the flipbook indicates that there may be at least 23 other movies in the set. However, all of the other flipbooks, if produced, may not have followed the baseball theme.

Also indicated on the front is that the directions for use are found on the "Last Leaf." These simple instructions are contained on the inside back cover along with other notes.

The fancy postcard back is undivided (i.e., space is reserved for address only without any writing). Interestingly, the printed stamp box indicates a postage rate of one cent, which increases to four cents if the sender writes any messages on the card.

The Winthrop postcards are the earliest of a number of flipbooks with a baseball theme that reached a peak in popularity some three decades later. Best know of these to vintage baseball card collectors are the thirteen movies in the R342 "Thum-Movies" set issued by Goudey Gum Company in 1937. The R342 set was repackaged and distributed again the following year as “Big League Baseball Movies” (now designated as set R326 in the ACC). Similar flipbooks were produced by Wheaties and Quaker Oats breakfast cereal brands, Pocket Television Theatre and others.

Note: A Profile of the Winthrop postcard set is provided on the Old Cardboard website along with a Checklist and Gallery of all known examples from the set. An animated "movie" (using the frames in the above example) that show the full wind-up and delivery of Mordecai Brown’s pitch is also provided.

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3. Latest Updates to the Website

We are continually expanding the Old Cardboard website with more set profiles, checklists and card galleries. Recent (past 30-40 days) additions include:

Set Profiles have been added for:
1899  National Copper Plate Co. Premiums
1906  Winthrop Moving Picture Postcards
1929  Philadelphia Inquirer Supplements
1936   Knickerbocker Beer Yankees Premium

Set Checklists have been added for:
1889   N526   Number 7 (Diamond S) Cigar
1898  National Copper Plate Co. Premiums
1906  Winthrop Moving Picture Postcards
1929   Philadelphia Inquirer Supplements

Set Galleries have been added for:
1889   N526   Number 7 (Diamond S) Cigar
1906  Winthrop Moving Picture Postcards
1929   Philadelphia Inquirer Supplements

Updating the website with checklists and full set galleries for additional vintage sets is an ongoing project, so check back often to check out the latest additions. There are now many thousands of card images on the Old Cardboard website and the list continues to grow. We welcome and encourage feedback with checklist additions, card images, error corrections and suggestions. Please send all input to

4. 1909 Supplement Graces Front Page of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The century-old Pittsburg Post supplement that was featured across the centerfold of Old Cardboard Issue #17 (Fall 2008) has now made its way onto the front page of the city's largest newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The supplement is prominently pictured on page one of the Sunday, April 5, 2009 early edition of the newspaper (see photo at right). Today's newspaper is a lineal descendent of the paper that originally published the supplement.

The supplement image and related articles are part of a Post-Gazette series planned to celebrate the centennial of the Pirates 1909 World Series championship team. The 1909 Pirates are considered to be among the best all-time teams in baseball. The team included player-manager Fred Clarke and shortstop Honus Wagner--both now members of the baseball Hall of Fame. The portrait images of both of these players found in the supplement composite are the same as those used in the T206 tobacco card set.

With origins dating back to 1884, the Pittsburg Press was a leading daily newspaper in the three-rivers city throughout most of the twentieth century. It was one of many competing city newspapers published prior to the First World War. At one time, the Press was the second largest newspaper in Pennsylvania, behind only the Philadelphia Inquirer, also known among vintage collectors for distribution of its baseball supplements (see listing above in Section 3--Latest Updates to the Website).

Measuring 12-3/4 by 20-1/4 inches, the original 1909 supplement is one of the most colorful and stunning of all vintage baseball supplements ever produced. Old Cardboard is pleased that we were able to contribute the high-resolution image used on the recent Pittsburgh Press-Gazette cover. After an Old Cardboard reader brought the Issue #17 centerfold to the attention of the Press-Gazette sports editors, they contacted us to obtain a high-resolution copy of the image to use on the cover of their recent Sunday edition. We of course were happy to oblige--especially considering that the Post-Gazette is descended from the newspaper that originally produced the supplement.

5. Book Review: "Baseball Barnstorming and Exhibition Games"

Through the first half of the twentieth century, major league ball players were paid only from the opening day to season's end. Even during the season, a lot of their expenses came out of their own pockets. As a result, even the best paid players had trouble making ends meet.

One answer to their money woes was participating in barnstorming tours during the off-season. Cities lacking their own major league teams were happy to host big-league players for such events.

Thomas Barthel's "Baseball Barnstorming and Exhibition Games, 1901-1962: A History of Off-Season Major League Play" seeks to document these now extinct excursions.

Barthel's book traces the history of barnstorming and exhibition games from their beginnings in the nineteenth century. He then documents barnstorming events each year from 1901 (when both of the two current major leagues were formed) through 1962 (when a team led by Willie Mays was unsuccessful in its attempt at organizing a tour, signaling an end to true barnstorming). Decade by decade, the book covers the teams, the games and the players that brought big-league baseball onto the backyard ballparks of America.

Thomas Barthel, "Baseball Barnstorming and Exhibition Games" (McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC) is available at bookstores or directly from the publisher at (800-253-2187). The 283-page softcover edition (which includes 22 photos, appendices, bibliography and index) sells for $29.95.

6. News Briefs (A Digest of Recent Hobby Happenings)

Collector's Collaborate to Foil Hobby Scam. Several skeptical vintage card collectors recently compared notes in an effort to end a vintage card scam in which tens of thousands of dollars were at stake over a stretch of more than half a decade. The scam involved overprinting of the backs of T206 cards to create supposedly rare variations of the classic set. Due to the collaborative efforts of the collectors, key grading companies and a leading auction house along with a probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the scam appears to have ended almost as successfully as could be expected. We will continue to monitor the specifics of the scam and plan to document details in a future issue of Old Cardboard magazine.

New Edition of "Inside T206" Now Posted on OC Website. A new on-line edition of Scot Reader's "Inside T206: A Collector's Guide to the Classic Baseball Card Set" has now been completed and posted in the T206 Set Profile page of the Old Cardboard website. It can also be downloaded directly from this link. Thanks again to Scot for sharing his well researched and valuable resource with the hobby.

eBay Seller's List Updated. The popular eBay Seller's List of the "Top 50" sellers of vintage baseball cards has recently been updated with new eBay sales data, the seller's eBay feedback rating and related data. Linked directly from the home page of the Old Cardboard website, the list is intended as a convenient quick reference for use by buyers of vintage baseball cards and memorabilia on eBay--a sort of a Who's Who in the vintage card selling community. It is based on an internal database of several hundred eBay sellers, then filtered down to the "Top 50" based on their total sales of vintage (50-years or older) material. We hope that you find this service useful and encourage feedback from our readers--both positive and negative--about experiences you have had with seller's on the list.

Lyman and Brett Hardeman
Old Cardboard, LLC.

Old Cardboard, LLC. was established in December 2003, to help bring information on vintage baseball card collecting to the hobbyist.  Produced by collectors for collectors, this comprehensive resource consists of three components: (1) Old Cardboard Magazine, (2) a companion website at and (3) this eNewsletter. The Old Cardboard website contains more than 500 pages of descriptive reference information for baseball card sets produced fifty years ago or longer.  Each of these set summaries has a direct set-specific link to auctions and a similar link to 's powerful search engine for further research.  The website also includes a Show and Auction Calendar, an eBay Top 50 Vintage Sellers List, and much more.  As a result, the Old Cardboard website makes a great "Alt-tab" companion for vintage card shoppers and researchers.  Old Cardboard eNews provides current hobby news, upcoming shows and auctions, and updates to the website and the magazine.  It is published around the middle of each month.  For a FREE subscription to the eNewsletter, or for subscription information on Old Cardboard Magazine, please visit the website at  If you find this information resource helpful, please tell your friends.  We need your support and your feedback. Thank you.