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tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #1 
So, let's pull some of this together and reveal some key additional material, to put an estimated issue date against the first cards of Thomas H Hall.

Here is 'draft 1.0' of the first 25 or so cards, with Notes 1-13. I'll expand on the notes in the following posts. No doubt some of this will be slightly wrong at the detailed level, but there is no doubt (at least to me) that all these cards were published prior to 29 September 1878.

If substantive changes are required, I'll update with 'draft 2.0' etc.

I'd welcome any contributions /research that other members may have on these earliest of insert cigarette cards!

The aim is to put this in a CSGB Card World article, shortly.

table.jpg    


tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #2 
Note 1: The first 14 cards are referenced as N342-1BB in CRB151.

These have "Hall's Between the Acts" on the front and "Between the Acts" on the back. They are only known to have one back, the straight back without Bravo.

We also know that the Bravo brand was only introduced in March 1878. Which places these 14 cards between the introduction of the Between the Acts brand (actually April 1877, trademark followed in May) and c.March 1878.

Here's the introduction of the Between the Acts brand on 11 April 1877 in Tobacco Leaf:

TL0.jpg  TL1.jpg 









tim_uk

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Note 2:  Henrietta Chanfrau (nee Henrietta Baker) was born 28 April 1838 and married to Francis S Chanfrau c. 23 July 1858.

Francis' older brother, Peter Chanfrau married and had a large family. His eldest child was Marie Louise Chanfrau, who later married Thomas H. Hall (the son of Joseph Hall), in 1863.

Henrietta and Francis Chanfrau were, therefore, the aunt and uncle of Marie Louise Hall, Thomas Hall's wife.

By the time the Between the Acts brand was launched, Henrietta had already been a headlining star for many years. 

But she was the first in line for a portrait in Thomas H Hall's cards. I can only guess that both her younger and older portraits were in the first batch of cards in April/May 1877.

Note 3: Mr & Mrs Florence were also a seasoned couple who had played "The Mighty Dollar" in many cities over many years. Below are a couple of cuttings, illustrating the long-standing relationship with Henrietta Chanfrau (first appearing together in 1863). It is reasonable to assume that Mrs Florence was therefore next in line for a portrait on the cards. Her early appearance could have something to do with the experimental front design of The Mrs Florence card, that was not repeated on further cards.

Florence2.jpg Florence1.jpg

tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #4 
Note 4: Now we head into guess work a bit. The next set of four actresses Maud Branscombe (from England), Mary Anderson, Aimee and Clara Morris, were favoured photographic subjects from precisely the launch of the Between the Acts brand.

And Rose Eytinge, like Henrietta Chanfrau and Mrs Florence had led a distinguished career by 1877. So these all seem possible portraits for the initial launch of the cards / cigarettes. See the clipping below, for an insight into the work of Mora and Sarony, the famous photographers of the day (c/f cabinet cards), covering the most famous actress beauties of the day.

I've underlined in red the first four actresses. The others in blue appear in later portraits in this initial batch of c.26 cards (by my reckoning). Sara Jewett is also named here and appears in a later card (after these c.26 initial ones).

photographed actresses.jpg 

tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #5 
Note 5: It is noticeable that the next few cards are actresses who were performing in something. Its therefore possible to pin down when they performed quite precisely, as shown in the table. This is a noticeable trend, which is broken by Mare Roze. It is quite likely these next 6 cards (Davenport, Neilson, Moore, Thompson, Mitchell, Roze) were published one or two at a time. I've shown them grouped into 3 batches of 2, aligned with the dates they were in Broadway.

Note 6: Note that the Maggie Mitchell and Marie Roze cards could only be from around April 1878, given their appearances in March 1878. This is too late for the El Fantastico brand which was launched with its 7 actress branding in April 1878. See my separate post on the Trademarks, but I repeat this picture below.

The El Fantastico brand notably included Mrs Chanfrau and Florence, plus the most noted photographic beauties / actresses of the day.


tim_uk

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Note 6 continued:  Sorry El Dramatico, not El Fantastico! This brand was in use from March 1878, 2 months prior to the Trademark being granted in May 1878.

Note 7:  Marie Roze appeared on the scene in March 1878, per the clipping below.

marie roze.jpg 

Dramatico tm2.jpg 
Dramatico tm3.jpg

tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #7 
Note 8:   With the launch of the Bravo brand in April 1878, a change in design was required. The fronts of the cards were updated to show "Between the Acts and Bravo" and the backs, similarly updated, but retaining the straight, not curved back. All 14 cards were re-printed from time to time with this updated front and back. Its not clear when the reprints happened, but, presumably the lithographic stones would lose some sharpness and contribute to increasingly dull portraits in the further reprints. This could be studied in an advanced collection, anther time, to see if this holds true.

Here's the original and the re-print versions, to illustrate:


reprint.jpg 

tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #8 
Note 9:  The Emily Rigl card

If you've been following the Marquis of Lorne thread, you'll be aware of the fantastic detective work to deduce that the Emily Rigl card (assumed to be a one-off) was a proof by a different firm than Heppenheimer & Maurer, the main lithographers. It was signed by the firm Edwin J Kerr, of 4 Park Place, New York. And we can deduce that the picture comes from The Exiles, which ran in March 1878, based on the Mora cabinet photos of the time. It seems that Kerr was unsuccessful at winning the pitch and Heppenheimer continued producing future portraits using the new design (per note 8 above).

Or at least that's the version of events I've assumed!

Some of the (many) Emily Rigl posts repeated from the MoL thread:

rigl3.jpg  rigl4.jpg

tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #9 
Note 10:  This must be a record length post - hope you're keeping up!

Series 2 - 51 cards and first 11 cards from these 51. 

We will come on to the first 11 in Note 12. In CRB151, the 51 cards are noted that have a straight back with Bravo, in addition to the 14 from the first series above. Making 65 in total with the straight back with Bravo.

This also checks off against a famous advertising card that is in the Gallery and also shown in CRB151, shown below, courtesy of David Epps.

The card also includes the 4 actresses that have the same style as the Presidential candidates. But these 4 are at the cusp of the change from straight backs to curved backs, so do not pre-date anything here.

The advert is shown below with he 14+51+4 = 69 first cards (excluding the 12 athletes and 4 presidential candidates, which overlap these dates, probably).

advert.jpg 






tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #10 
Note 11: Nellie Brigham / Nellie Bingham error card

In the Gallery you can see the one error card known in the Hall cards.  I've reproduced it below. In the Rigl investigation, moviecard pointed out that the Bingham card was a misidentification, not a mis-spelling.

It was later pointed out that many mis-spellings are present in the Hall cards (such as Mrs Langtree (sic) / Mrs Langtry), but these have not been corrected.

Great stuff!

From 'moviecard':

The Brigham/Bingham error was corrected because it was a misidentification, not a spelling error. Nellie Brigham was a well known inspirational speaker during the same time frame that Nellie Bingham was acting. Brigham spoke often at religious gatherings around New York for many years, from at least 1870 into the 1890s. She seems to have been just as well known or better known than Nellie Bingham, the actress. This probably led to the error card of Bingham identified as Brigham.

bigham.jpg

tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #11 
Note 12: OK, the final key piece of evidence, for those who have followed so far.

It comes in two parts.

This newspaper cutting comes from The Boston Sunday Globe, 29 September 1878. And it nails down the cards as inserts in the Between The Acts packets on one page, and then provides an advert with 26/27 cards listed on another page.

Part 1: First the commentary on Between The Acts cards - its pure gold!

globe1.jpg 
Its difficult to read, so here's the wording written out:

Cigarette Novelties

Among the novelties connected with the cigarette business is the manufacture of cigarettes from tobacco only, the use of paper being entirely dispensed with. It has been held by many physicians that the smoking of paper was injurious to the throat and bronchial tubes and the advent of all-tobacco cigarettes has, therefore, been hailed with delight by a large number of smokers. One of the most successful brands of the all-tobacco cigarette is that “Between the Acts,” manufactured by Thomas H. Hall, 222 Greenwich street, New York. These are made of the finest Havana tobacco, and noted for their purity and cleanliness of manufacture. The title of the cigarettes being somewhat theatrical, the manufacturer places in each box of ten cigarettes a handsome lithograph of one of the leading actresses, executed by Messrs Heppenheimer and Mourer (sic) of New York, and many a household has its theatrical gallery composed entirely of these works of art. The “Between the Acts” cigarettes are to be found in all parts of the country, from Maine to California, and the demand for them is steadily increasing.


Part 2: The Thomas H Hall advert in the same newspaper list some 26/27cards, but the writing is very feint:

globe2.jpg 
There are 25 cards listed. These correspond to the 13 cards from the first series (plus 1 for Mrs F. S. Chanfrau x 2) plus 12 cards.

Unfortunately I can only identify 11 of the 12 cards from the second series, one is just too feint to identify. These 11 identified are:

First column: Miss Nellie Bingham
Second column: Countess Modjeska, Miss Maud Grainger, Miss Kate Claxton, Miss Lizzie Webster
Third column: Miss Bessie Darling, Miss Scott Siddons, Miss Clayton
Fourth column: Messrs Chester & Branscombe, Miss Emma Celia Thursby, [unidentified], Miss Venie Clancy



tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #12 
Note 13: So, to sum up, by the end of September 1878, there are 14 cards from the first series and 12 cards (11 identified) from the second series listed in the Boston Globe advert. And a nice commentary that confirms that these are indeed cigarette card inserts. And we can deduce some of the ordering of the initial cards from Thomas Hall's family tree, from the El Dramatico 7 portrait trademark and by the dates some of the actresses performed. And we know that the Bravo brand was introduced in the midst of all this, leading to the two designs illustrated in Note 8.

Along the way, we've found some other useful points, some known, some new:
a) Mrs F.S. Chanfrau was related to Thomas H Hall's wife (her aunt)
b) The Florence design variation may have been one of the first cards and an experiment
c) The Rigl card has uncovered some of its mystery, thanks to a fantastic group-wide effort from the forum - perhaps there are more twists to this story - are there more of these 'proofs' out there, by Edwin J Kerr?
d) The El Dramatico trademark pinpoints 7 portraits as being amongst the earliest issues
e) The Nellie Brigham error card is not a mis-spelling, its a misidentification

Look forward to anyone finding out more / pointing out my (very likely many) errors!

egbeachley

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Reply with quote  #13 
Oh my. Great stuff. Need time to digest so don’t consider lack of response as lack of interest.
wheatiesfanatic

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Reply with quote  #14 
Tim, fantastic research you have done on the Between The Acts cards. The newspaper ads, etc., definitely help pinpoint the years these were actually issued. Of the several "N" series I collect, this has always been my favorite. I love that the set has 8 diff. styles/card designs and so many scarcities. It is also the largest colored "N" card series ever issued at 675 cards, without including the "Hall's at Top" subset, and the back variations. The El Dramatico ad was also a treat to see. Thank you for sharing that and everything else. Do you know if the El Dramatico ad is on card stock or paper? Also, do you happen to know where it was found? I really look forward to seeing any of your future posts.

Monty
1880nonsports

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Great work!!! Like Eric said a lot to digest before I respond and quite a few people are following all this even if they don't answer or comment. Additionally I LOVE the el dramatico piece you showed and Monty's trade card (?). Just wow all the way around.
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Reply with quote  #16 
Nice research, Tim. Here are some additional notes.

In that ad, the last column is:
Misses Chester and Branscomb
Miss Emma Celia Thursby
Miss Maude Branscomb
Miss Fanny Davenport
Aimee - Cuckoo Song
Miss Venie Clancy

Marie Roze made her American debut on Jan 8, 1878 in Philadelphia. She didn’t get to New York City until later than that. She was famous in Europe before coming to America and there was great fanfare greeting her arrival. Her fame was as a singer, not an actress.

I agree with you that Roze is an outlier if you are trying to date the first cards to 1877. I think it is unlikely that card was issued in 1877, though it is possible. The first Between the Acts card of Mrs. Langtry was issued before she ever set foot in America, so they didn't always wait for their American arrival before issuing cards.

Maud Branscomb was the Kate Upton of her time. It was said that she never took a bad photograph. She was in plays, but not too much and didn't get very good reviews.
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Reply with quote  #17 
WOW.  Also digesting.  Fantastic stuff Tim.

tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheatiesfanatic
…... Do you know if the El Dramatico ad is on card stock or paper? Also, do you happen to know where it was found? 
Monty

Hi Monty,
The El Dramatico trademark was from the Warshaw Collection - I'll put something up on the Trademark/Patent thread. It is a trademark, so just a colour copy I guess - I only received the electronic scan by email - so hard to tell! The library may be able to tell what card stock it is on.
tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moviecard
Nice research, Tim. Here are some additional notes.

In that ad, the last column is:
Misses Chester and Branscomb
Miss Emma Celia Thursby
Miss Maude Branscomb
Miss Fanny Davenport
Aimee - Cuckoo Song
Miss Venie Clancy

Marie Roze made her American debut on Jan 8, 1878 in Philadelphia. She didn’t get to New York City until later than that. She was famous in Europe before coming to America and there was great fanfare greeting her arrival. Her fame was as a singer, not an actress.

I agree with you that Roze is an outlier if you are trying to date the first cards to 1877. I think it is unlikely that card was issued in 1877, though it is possible. The first Between the Acts card of Mrs. Langtry was issued before she ever set foot in America, so they didn't always wait for their American arrival before issuing cards.

Maud Branscomb was the Kate Upton of her time. It was said that she never took a bad photograph. She was in plays, but not too much and didn't get very good reviews.


Fantastic additional information Troy.

Very interesting that "Aimee - Cuckoo Song" was in there, obviously a reference to the "Aimee - La Marjolaine" card, per below. Note the cuckoo clock held in her hand.

My guess is this was the June 1878 performance, hence this card can be pinpointed to around June/July/August 1878.

Could you provide your (much better) scan of this advert? I did ask my provider (newspapers.com) but they flatly refused to do anything about the poor quality!

Also agree that my references to dates of the first 14 cards are a bit of a leap of faith / best guess. But I do think there is some logic in there and they're a reasonable starting to point to tweak in subsequent iterations. It does seem quite possible the first year was spent focused on the key Broadway productions and New York popular culture. Broader coverage of overseas stars (Adelina Patti is my favourite - for another day) and non-NY USA productions could have followed in later portraits.

  aimee3.jpg 
aimee.jpg  aimee2.jpg

tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #20 
Just in case anyone hadn't noticed, that means Aimee La Marjolaine (straight back, not curved) pre-dates the Marquis of Lorne card by at least 12 months.
Joe_G.

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Reply with quote  #21 
Appreciate your recent posts Tim even though I do not collect this series of cards.  This may not add much to your research but provides even more info on Hall using boxes which made it easier to distribute cards and provides another citation on the "paper wrapped" Bravo cigarette as unpopular and short lived.

Tobacco – An Illustrated Weekly Journal for Wholesale and Retail Dealers in Cigars, Manufactured Tobacco, and Smokers’ Articles.

February 21, 1890, page 1 – Evolution of the Cigarette Box

The article begins with the Bedrossian brothers who used a slide and shell box containing 50 cigarettes for about one year starting in the mid-winter of 1867  after which they, and everyone else, used paper packs.  Bedrossian brothers would give it a second try in 1869 on a pack of 25.  Not sure how long they offered the 25 cigarette slide and shell cigarette box but they went out of business in 1874.

It was in 1876 that Thomas Hall reintroduced the slide and shell cigarette box . . .

“Thomas H. Hall packed his all tobacco cigarettes, Between the Acts, in sliding paper boxes.  The lithographed cover of this box was about the same as now in use, and the slide was what is known as the “truck slide,” and was, and still is the cheapest cigarette box that can be made.  Mr. Hall also issued a sliding cigarette box for his paper wrapped Bravos in 1877-78, and was the first of our manufacturers now in business to do so.  This was also a lithographed box with the same simple slide, the box held twenty pieces, packed in two rows of seven and one of six.  This brand was not a success, and but a limited number were issued.  The box was a bulky one and failed to impress the cigarette manufacturers favorably, and so for a time the question of boxes for paper cigarettes was a dead letter.”


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Collecter of several 19th century SF Hess and Consolidated Cigarette sets . . .
& Pre-ATC Merger (1890 & earlier) cigarette packs and redemption coupons from all manufacturers
tim_uk

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Reply with quote  #22 
Hi Joe - brilliant work, it definitely moves things forward in a number of directions!

This reference picks up some other great info on cigarette boxes and the way the boxes paved the way for Duke, A&G, Kinney, Kimball, Goodwin to introduce picture cards from c.1886 in a mass market way.

I'll post a separate thread on the cigarette boxes in due course, where Thomas Hall seems to be paving the way some 9 or so years before Duke made the mass market breakthrough in 1886 with his order for 50,000 boxes.

And reproduce your links on the Bravo / rare backs thread, regarding the Bravo brand.
moviecard

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Reply with quote  #23 
Lots going on this week, I haven't been able to reply till now, but have been reading these threads with great interest.

I've been collecting these cards and researching this set myself for about five years now and can add quite a bit of information about this set. Monty and David Epps have been collecting it much longer than me and I'm sure can add a lot that I don't know.

The most interesting item to me that has been posted so far was the Bravo introduction article from March 1878 which showed the actress cards were being included then. That's the earliest certain date I've seen so far for these cards. Since it was for Bravo, that indicates to me that the early 14 Hall's at top cards were issued before that date.

The big question to me is can we get a certain date of 1877 for these cards. The New York stage appearance dates for most of the stars shown date to 1877, with the exception of Marie Roze, who didn't show up in America until January 1878 and didn't appear on the New York stage until a few months later.

One possible explanation Tim proposed is that the first 14 cards were not all introduced at once, that they came out individually or in small groups. Though that is possible, the stumbling point to me on that is the blank back and printed back cards. According to Monty, all 14 cards can be found with blank or printed backs.

I've always kind of thought the blank back cards came first, then they switched to printed backs. That may or may not be true, I don't know, but my thought was they didn't think of putting printing on the backs at first, then decided to do it later. That explanation would make more sense if some of the cards were found with blank backs, then all 14 were found with printed backs, which is apparently not the case. Since all 14 cards are found with both back types, it kind of indicates to me that they were all issued together. Again, that may or may not be true.

If all 14 cards were issued together, that kind of points to an early 1878 date for the introduction of the cards. But even that doesn't quite work with Bravo coming out in March 1878 and Marie Roze first appearing on the New York stage in March 1878.

The 1877 answer hopefully can be found on an ad or article from 1877 about these cards, but I haven't seen one yet from that year that mentions cards.

Here are some ads I have seen from newspapers from 1877, and none mention cards:

[betweenacts-ad-june5-1877] 
June 5, 1877 ad above


[betweenacts-ad-sep13-1877] 
Sep 13, 1877 ad above


[betweenacts-ad-sep22-1877] 
Sep 22, 1877 ad above


Here is an August 1878 ad Tim asked me to show which shows a better image of the Aimee - Cuckoo Song card from the checklist:

[betweenacts-1878ad] 

Finally, Miss Neilson with printed back and blank back:

[neilson_miss_betweenacts_HALLS] 
[neilson_miss_betweenacts_HALLS2] 
wheatiesfanatic

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Reply with quote  #24 
Troy, great input, as usual. I can only confirm 5 of the "blank backs". I have pictured the 4 I have below and David has a Davenport. I have handled more than 1,500 N342's and the only blank backs I have seen are all from the "Hall's at top" series. Chanfrau (No Hat), Davenport, Florence, Neilson & Thompson are the only "blank Backs" I can confirm. Can anyone else add to this list? Is it possible they only issued a few from this series with the blank backs?

Monty

IMG_1314.jpg  IMG_1315.jpg 

specc

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Reply with quote  #25 
Monty,
      I, too, have 4 blank back Hall's on front N342s: Davenport, Florence, Moore and Thompson.

Tim,
      Again, thanks for your thorough research. That Boston Globe article you found may be remembered as the Rosetta stone as far as determining the debut date of tobacco insert cards. Congratulations! If I still had access to back issues of the Clipper and/or Spirit of the Times, I suspect I might find an even earlier mention of the cards in their extensive theatre coverage. Can't imagine these pictures appeared without at least a ripple in theatrical circles.
B.0b R.ich@rd.s0n

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