As a youth and avid collector of sports cards when you heard the words tobacco cards it was pretty exciting. As a kid they were considered old and rarely seen as a lad in the Midwest. These trading cards were from the turn of the century and featured some of the most famous sport figures at the time like Cy Young, Ty Cobb, and Jack Johnson. However, tobacco cards or trading cards were not just strictly sport cards.
In the late 1800s, the tobacco industry started to include trading cards with their product as promotional material. Several of these card series were educational and trivia filled. Topics ranged from historic figures, actors/actresses, military leaders, biology and even lighthouses.
In our collections we have a tobacco card from 1889. This particular card was part of the series Yacht Colors of the World (series N91). Yacht Colors of the World was produced in three separate series, N91 was a set of 50 cards issued by W. Duke, Sons & Co. for Duke Brand cigarettes. The series featured several actors from the day modeling these various yacht club colors and featured the club flag as well. Continue reading