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Greg
Reply with quote  #1 
I've been building a master set of low grade T29's for several years on and off. I'm about half way there, and only have a handful of fronts left. I love the vivid artwork, but there isn't much information available about this set. I've been trying to do some research on this issue, and have not found much (though it did lead me to this forum!). I was hoping some of you fine folks may be able to enlighten me on some of the finer details of this issue.

Does anybody know the origin of the blank backs? They are fairly unique. They do not seem to be scrap or test runs, as they have the factory notations on the fronts. I don't know of any other ATC set like this. Do Blank backs only come with a factory 25 notation?

Has anyone confirmed that a Blank back exists for all of the first series? I have 5. If it does, this puts the master set at 200. 80 Factory 30's, 80 Factory 649's, and the 40 1st series Blank Backs from Factory 25.

Has anyone seen an advertisement on back for any brand but Hassan? I have never heard of one, but the blank backs note factory 25 on front. Factory 25 did not print Hassan cards. Recruit and Piedmont (off the top of my head) were produced here.

Does anybody know the year of issue? As a Hassan and ATC set, it must be from between 1909-1911 (perhaps late 1908 or early 1912), but has anybody been able to narrow down he time frame more? Earlier ATC issues tended to have large advertisements on back (like series 1) while later issues had textual descriptions (though there are exceptions, like the T218 first series). I suspect there may have been a large gap between the two series.

The set size has always struck me as unique, with 2 series of 40 cards. Most ATC sets, and indeed all other Hassan issues, were in series of 50 (though alterations and withdrawals sometimes produced 49 cards [T53] or 51 [T218]), or multiple's of 50 for the larger baseball issues.

Like most other Hassan/Mecca sets (both were printed at factories 30 and 649) the factory 30 backs seem noticeably less common, though far from rare. Perhaps a 60/40 split. Has anyone else found differently?

Alan Miley
Reply with quote  #2 
As Jack mentioned, I did collect some data on T29s. I did not manage to uncover the depth of insight that I was hoping for. With a limited number of backs and relatively subtle effects, I think it would take a much large sample to figure out the composition of all of the printing sheets, for example.


Nonetheless, I can help with some of the questions:


Do Blank backs only come with a factory 25 notation? - No other factories have been identified.


Has anyone confirmed that a Blank back exists for all of the first series? - blank backs were confirmed for all subjects except the giraffe. It seems logical to assume that the entire series is included.


Has anyone seen an advertisement on back for any brand but Hassan? - Hassan is the only U.S. tobacco issue, but the designs were reused in foreign tobacco, U.S. Weber bread, and a few Canadian issues. An intro can be found in an article I wrote for a recent Wrapper (I believe it was #285).


Does anybody know the year of issue? -- Forbes & Mitchell gives Summer of 1909 for the first series and late 1909 to 1910 for the second series.


Like most other Hassan/Mecca sets (both were printed at factories 30 and 649) the factory 30 backs seem noticeably less common, though far from rare. Perhaps a 60/40 split. That sounds about right. The sample from my survey was 59%-41%, but for technical reasons, I think the Factory 30 series was slight overrepresented.


In terms of sheet composition, it seems likely that the 10 second series cards that are not in the Weber and Canadian issues comprised a sheet. I suspect that the 10 second series cards with italic titles were also on a second sheet. The italic-titled cards showed about a 3:1 preponderance of factory 649 over Factory 30, much higher than normal and tending to support a theory that they were a separate sheet.


Finally, there was a little less than a 6:4 preponderance of first series to second series.


(edited to fix a couple of typos - the rest I'll leave as an exercise for the eagle-eyed reader.)
Todd Riley
Reply with quote  #3 
This should help to confirm the dates (from the ATC ledger)...

Jack J.
Reply with quote  #4 
A while back, Alan M. was working on a survey of the backs for this set. I don't know if he ever finished gathering his data, or what his conclusions were. Maybe he will pipe in with some insight. - Jack J.
Greg
Reply with quote  #5 
Of the five blank backs in my possession, one is the Giraffe. I will post a pic of it later tonight. So that confirms that all 40 exist, and almost certainly confirms that a master set comprises 200 cards (80 factory 30's, 80 factory 649's, and 40 blank backs).


Alan - Are you still gathering the data for this set? I would be more than happy to provide a full list of the 125 or so total cards I have.


I had not before noticed that ten of the second series cards are italicized. Sheets of 10 unique fronts make sense. From what is known of other ATC sets, a small number of different cards were printed several times over on a sheet. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on ones perspective), I have noticed that T29's seem to have better centering than most other sets of the era (t206 is particularly poorly centered). I have yet to see a single miscut that could provide any indication of other cards on that sheet.


Todd - That ledge page is particularly interesting. I did not know this data had survived for any ATC set. That seems to conclusively answer when the cards were released.


Thanks for sharing your observations with me!
Alan Miley
Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks for the offer on the T29 data. However, since I spent a bit of time sqinting at the data and did not come up with much in the way of special insights, I have pretty much given up on the task. It would take several more large samples to make my progress, I fear.
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