Your Information Resource for Vintage Baseball Cards
eMagazine Issue #171 (September 2019)

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

1. Updated Auction and Show Calendar
2. Featured Set: 1887 N284 Buchner Gold Coin
3. Set Profile: 1934 R310 Butterfinger
4. Set Profile: 1892 N360 "Base Ball Scenes"
5. 1913 Philadelphia Evening Times Supplements
6. Latest Additions to the Website
7. 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 60-90 days. For the most current listings of additional vintage card shows and auctions, see the Key Events Calendar, accessible directly from the home page of the Old Cardboard website.

Have an event that needs to be on the OC Calendar?
September 2019
19Dallas, TX Heritage Sports Auction (see website for details).
26Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).
October 2019
2Phone/Internet Clean Sweep Auctions (see website for details).
5Internet Brockelman Auctions (see website for details).
11-13Chantilly, VA CSA Chantilly Show (see website for details).
17-18Dallas, TX Heritage Fall Sports Auction (see website for details).
20Internet BST Auctions (see website for details).
29Phone/Internet Goldin Auctions (see website for details).
November 2019
1-3Wilmington, MA Greater Boston Sports Collectors Show (GBSCC website).
2Phone/Internet Small Traditions Auctions (see website for details).
14Phone/Internet Huggins & Scott Auctions (see website for details).
14Phone/Internet Sterling Sports Auctions (see website for details).
14-15Dallas, TX Heritage Sports Auction (see website for details).
21Phone/Internet RR Auctions (see website for details).
22-24Chicago Chicago Sports Spectacular (see website for details).
30Internet Love of the Game Auction (see website for details).

(more calendar events)

2. Featured Set: 1887 N284 Buchner Gold Coin

Buchner Gold Coin


This series, designated as Set N284 in the vintage card hobby, was produced in 1887 by D. Buchner & Company of New York and distributed with the company's "Gold Coin" brand of chewing tobacco.

With 143 cards for baseball players in the set, it is one of the largest baseball series produced in the nineteenth century. The series also includes cards for non-baseball subjects.

While an interesting set, it is not particularly popular among some collectors. That is because, with one exception as noted below, the images on the cards are generic drawings rather than actual photos of the players named.

The cards feature full body images of the players in uniform in an outdoor setting. The player's name, position and team are printed near the bottom. The color images are framed inside a thin black frame line and white border.

Three distinct subsets have been identified within the N284 set, as follows:

Image Sharing: For Subset A, all baseball positions except pitcher and catcher use the same base graphic for all players at that position. For example, all eight of the Left Fielders identified in Subset A use the same base graphic. Only their uniform coloring is different. The eight Left Fielders in Subset A are: Beecher, Carroll (above left), Gillespie, Hornung, Richardson, Seery, Sullivan (above right) and Wood.

  • Subset A consists of 76 players. However, they are represented in only 17 different designs. These include seven different designs for the position of pitcher, three for catcher, and one for each of the other positions.
  • Subset B consists of 14 cards, all members of the St. Louis Browns. One card in this subset is a photo of Brown's owner, Chris Von Der Ahe, and is the only card in the entire N284 set that is not a generic drawing of its subject. The Subset B cards are also unique in that all fourteen cards feature players with blue trousers and red jerseys (the Browns' uniform at the time).
  • Subset C consists of 53 cards. Unlike those in subset A, each card is generally unique in design (does not repeat). Of the 53 players in Subset C, 26 are also found (with a different pose) in one of the other subsets.

Because some players are featured in multiple poses, only 115 different players are represented in the N284 set. A number of spelling errors, as well as misidentification of player positions, can be found in the series.

In addition to the variations described above for the N284 fronts, there are three differently worded messages on the card backs (see examples below).

Back Variation #1

Back Variation #2

Back Variation #3
The messages all begin, "We will pack in the celebrated Gold Coin Chewing Tobacco the portraits of all The Leading Base-Ball Players...". However, the three message variations continue differently as follows:

  1. "... in the country in full uniform."
  2. "..., Police Inspectors and Captains, Jockeys and Actors in the country in full uniform and costume."
  3. "..., Police Inspectors and Captains, Jockeys, Actors & Chiefs of Fire Department in the country in full uniform and costume."
At the bottom of all card backs, the purchaser is advised to "Continue to Save the Wrappers; They Are Valuable."

And just to make the discussion of the N284 Gold Coin Tobacco set more complete, examples from its other subsets of non-baseball subjects are shown below--"in full uniform and costume."

Police Inspector

Police Captain



* * * * * * * * *

Pocket Knife Premium
D. Buchner & Co., sponsor of the N284 Gold Coin set, also produced about ten other non-sports sets of the period. Together, these sets were part of a redemption program with prizes that ranged from a pocket knife (example at left; 100 wrappers) to a silk umbrella (400 wrappers) to a bronze mantle clock (600 wrappers).

Note: A Set Profile, Player Checklist and Set Gallery for the N284 Gold Coin Tobacco baseball subset is provided on the Old Cardboard website.

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3. Set Profile: 1934 R310 Butterfinger

R310 Butterfinger Ruth
Distributed as premiums with Butterfinger candy bars, these supersized black and white cards are listed in the American Card Catalog as
Set R310.

The white-bordered card fronts all display full body action poses. Labeling is limited to a simulated autograph of the player, written in the lower portion of the card. All Butterfinger cards are blank-backed.

R310 Butterfinger Variation
(Red Ad Overprint)
The cards are found in one of two primary variations. The most common format is illustrated in the example card at left for "Babe" Ruth. These are printed on thin stock not much higher in quality than that of a typical newspaper. All 65 players in the R310 Player Checklist are found in this format.

A less common variation is printed on heavier card stock. These are easy to identify from the bright red advertizing overprint at the top of the card. The ad offers a "Free Baseball Picture" (from the R310 set) with the purchase of a 5-cent Butterfinger candy bar. Only seventeen of the players in the R310 checklist have been reported with this overprint, which was apparently used by the storekeeper for display advertizing. The seventeen players are identified in the R310 Checklist on the Old Cardboard website.

Other color-tinted variations of the Butterfinger cards are sometimes encountered on eBay or at card shows (see James Collins example at left).

These were most likely not colorized by the Curtis Candy Company (makers of the Butterfinger candy bars), but by would-be artists applying their skills after the cards were distributed.

"Fox" Error Card

"Foxx" Corrected Card
One card in the R310 Butterfinger set (that of Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx) can be found with his simulated autograph spelled both incorrectly as "Fox" and correctly as "Foxx."

The examples at right illustrate both of these variations. The single "x" version no doubt was produced first and the error was subsequently corrected. The first (single x) version is a little more difficult to find and brings a modest premium.

Vintage collectors will also note that the most frequent spelling of Foxx's first name is "Jimmie" (not Jimmy as printed on both versions of his Butterfinger cards).

R310 Butterfinger (Dean)

1933 Goudey
(#223 Dean)

1934 Goudey
(#6 Dean)
Several of the poses used in the Butterfinger set are based on the same photographs used for the Goudey Gum Regular issues of 1933 (R319) and 1934 (R320).

Examples of cards from all three sets for the Cardinal's Hall of Fame pitcher Jerome "Dizzy" Dean are shown here. All three cards are displayed at approximately one-third actual size for comparison.

Other poses from the 1933 Goudey set common to the R310 Butterfingers are those for Gus Mancuso (Goudey card #237) and Mel Ott (Goudey card #207).

Similarly, players from the 1934 Goudey regular issue that are based on the same photographs as the Butterfingers are James Collins (Goudey card #51) and Oscar Melillo (Goudey card #45).

A set of slightly smaller cards that use most of the same poses found in the R310 set was distributed in Canada, and carries a separate listing (V94) in the ACC. Strong documented evidence shows, however, that the Canadian V94 cards were distributed by O-Pee-Chee Gum Company of London, Ontario, Canada (not Butterfinger).

A Set Profile, Checklist and Gallery of Cards for the R310 Butterfinger cards is provided on the Old Cardboard website. The checklist identifies the Butterfinger cards that have known "red ad" variations. It also cross-references the handful of Butterfinger poses that are derived from the same photographs used in the 1933 and 1934 Goudey regular issues.

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The Butterfinger candy bar was first introduced in 1923 in Chicago, Illinois by Otto Schnering, founder of the Curtiss Candy Company.

The company (and the popular Butterfinger brand) is well known for its creative marketing promotions, including the 1930's dropping of thousands of candy bars attached to mini-parachutes from bi-planes over many American cities. Also among the numerous company promotions was the 1934 point-of-sale distribution of the oversized baseball player "cards" described above and known to collectors today as Set R310 Butterfingers.

The highly successful brand continues today. After a succession of acquisitions and mergers, the brand was recently (2018) acquired by Italian chocolatier Ferrero.

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4. Set Profile: 1892 N360 "Base Ball Scenes"

Complete 1892 N360 Set (select any image to enlarge)

This scarce set of nine cards depict drawings of buxom young women in various baseball action poses. The set is listed in the American Card Catalog as set N360 "Baseball Scenes" promoting several different cut plug tobacco brands.

The colorful lithographs are labeled with a copyright notice in the lower right corner by Donaldson Brothers, N.Y. Otherwise, the card fronts are unnumbered and, except for some found with advertising overprints, contain no additional text.

It appears that the cards in this series were lithographed as stock cards for which a number of tobacco brands printed their promotional messages, resulting in a number of back variations.

Images for some of these backs are displayed below:

Examples of several N360 backs. Schedule backs are for the August and September 1892 season.

Backs promoting other brands, including Gay Head and M.T. Coffey, have been reported.

The schedule-back cards have a "Smoke and Chew Little Rhody Cut Plug" advertising label printed in the lower right corner of the card fronts.

The National League schedules on the backs of the schedule-back cards shown are for August and September, 1892, thus confirming the 1892 date of distribution for the set. Some collectors suggest, however, that the set was distributed over a several year span.

A close look at the example backs above reveals that the sponsor name for the "Cockade" and two of the "Ideal" backs are printed on a taped add-on sticker applied after the original backs were produced. Thus, the name of the sponsor brand that was originally printed on the card was changed.

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A discussion of the N360 color lithographed women baseball cards above would not be complete without mention of two closely related sets identified in the American Card Catalog. They are the N285 "Morning Glory Maidens" and the N557 "National Sports" sets. Both are believed to also have been distributed in 1892.

N285 Morning Glory Maidens
The N285 Morning Glory Maidens set contains 51 cards that can be divided into three groups: Games, Trades, and Months of the Year. The set contains only one card related to baseball, captioned appropriately "Base Ball."

Shown at left, the card front depicts a player at bat along with the caption at lower left. The reverse includes a promotion for the Morning Glory Tobacco brand followed by a checklist for the set. The producers logo, "D. Buchner & Co., New York," is printed at the bottom. Two additional back designs (both with redemption messages) are known for the set.

The N557 National Sports set contains ten cards that represent popular sports from each of ten different countries. They are: America, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Persia, Scotland and Spain.

N557 National Sports Series

As with the N285 series, the N557 set contains only one card related to baseball. It also shows a batter in position (this one in patriotic red, white and blue attire) and is captioned "America" at the lower right.

A "copyright" notice is placed in very small print at the bottom left with the lithographer "Donaldson Brothers" along the lower right edge.

The card backs promote the Little Rhody Cut Plug brand in a fancy white-on-black design.

An N360 Set Profile, Checklist and Gallery of all ten cards is provided on the Old Cardboard website. Set Profiles for the N285 Morning Glory Maidens and the N557 National Sports set have also been added.

5. 1913 Philadelphia Evening Times Supplements

1913 Philadelphia Evening Times
Supplement (Cobb)

Enlarged Caption Block

This set of newspaper supplements was issued in 1913 by the Philadelphia Evening Times. They are very scarce among collectors today and are not listed in the American Card Catalog.

The sepia-tinted supplements measure about 7-1/2 by 9-1/2 inches and were printed on heavy paper (thin cardboard) stock that is somewhat more sturdy than most other supplements of the period. They are unnumbered and have blank backs.

While the set includes a striking image of Ty Cobb of the Detroit Americans (see example at left), it is heavily focused on players from both the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Athletics, as both teams played in the World Series that year. In fact, of the sixteen known supplements, Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson are the only players in the set that were not members of either of the World Series teams.

The player's name, position and team are printed inside a white block in the lower right corner of each card (see enlarged caption block for Cobb supplement).

Today, sixteen Philadelphia Evening Times supplements are known to the hobby although more were likely issued. Of the sixteen known supplements, all are full body poses except the Cobb waist-up pose shown here. Only one of the players (Al Demaree) is printed in a horizontal format.

A Set Profile and Player Checklist for the 1913 Philadelphia Evening Times supplements have been added to the Old Cardboard website.

6. Recent Additions 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:
1892   N285   "Morning Glory Maidens"
1892   N360   "Base Ball Scenes"
1892   N557   "National Sports"
1913   Philadelphia Evening Times Supplements

Set Checklists have been added for:
1892   N285   "Morning Glory Maidens"
1892   N360   "Base Ball Scenes"
1892   N557   "National Sports"
1913   Philadelphia Evening Times Supplements

Set Galleries have been added for:
1892   N360   "Base Ball Scenes"
1892   N557   "National Sports"

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 website and the list continues to grow every month. We welcome and encourage feedback with checklist additions, images of cards missing from our galleries, error corrections and suggestions. Please send all feedback to

Beyond the above pages recently added to the Old Cardboard website, we continue to expand and refine our eBay Custom Search Links to make finding vintage baseball cards on eBay easier than ever. The results of these searches are continuously changing, so check back often to find the most recent eBay listings. Samples of a few of these custom searches are provided below. Hundreds more are provided on the Set Profile pages throughout the Old Cardboard website.

1887 N28 Allen & Ginter
1888 N29 Allen & Ginter
N162 Goodwin Champions
N172 Old Judge
N184 Kimballs
1800s BB Trade Cards

D303/D304 General Baking
D305 Bond Bread
1946-50 D317 Remar Bread
1910 D322 Tip Top Bread
1947 D323 Tip Top Bread
1916-21 D350 Standard Biscuit

(more custom searches
by major card group)

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

R337 "Harris" Identity Change. Card #412 from the 1933 R337 Eclipse Import set has been misidentified in some hobby checklists including the R337 checklist on the Old Cardboard website, according to longtime Senators collector Val Kehl. The card depicts Senator's outfielder and pinch hitter Dave Harris, not hall-of-famer Bucky Harris who also played for the Senators a few years earlier.

Baseball Trade Cards Update. We are planning the launch this Fall of a key new section to the Old Cardboard website focused on 19th-Century Baseball Trade Cards. Full Galleries for each trade card set along with all known subsets and variations will be presented in a comprehensive format never before seen by vintage collectors. Stay Tuned!

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 (currently on hold after printing 34 Issues), (2) a companion website at and (3) this eMagazine. The Old Cardboard website contains well over 1000 pages of descriptive reference information for baseball card sets produced fifty years ago or longer.  Each of the 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.  Each Old Cardboard eMagazine provides three or four articles about vintage baseball card sets or related memorabilia, current hobby news, upcoming shows and auctions, and updates to the website.  It is published quarterly around the middle of the last month of each quarter.  For a FREE subscription to the eMagazine, 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.

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