When a product is released today, collectors can find out everything about it pretty quickly. There aren’t too many surprises, and if there are you’ll hear about them shortly after the product is released. That certainly isn’t the case when it comes to the 1898 Cameo Pepsin Gum pin set. After being released over 100 years ago, new pins are still being discovered.
Even though this pin set has been dated to come from 1898, researchers believe that these could have been made as early as 1896. They are the first known celluloid baseball pins ever made. Collectors consider them to be one of the most important sets issued. About three years ago, Kieth Olbermann wrote a highly detailed article on this set.
A new addition to the Cameo Pepsin Gum pin set is Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Sam Thompson. The Thompson pin was found in New England by an antiques dealer while cleaning out an estate. Given that it could be the only surviving pin around, it will most likely bring in thousands of dollars when the auction ends.
Original pins are difficult to find. Don’t be fooled by all the replica ones you find on eBay. You’re not going to find an original pin for $7.95. Sets from this time period are fascinating. These were not originally intended to be collectible let alone be worth anything. Products like this are challenging and can take a lifetime to put together. This is what happens when you try to put organization and logic to something that wasn’t meant to be logical and/or organized. As of right now there are just over 100 pins in the set.
Since we’re on the topic of really old pins. I’d like to show off a new purchase I made a few weeks ago. It has nothing to do with sports, but the odds of me finding this was slim to none. The pin pictured above is of John E. Fox. He was a PA Senator from 1901 to 1912. After doing some research it turns out this man would be my step great grandfather. This pin was made as a political promo. Its not every day you find something of an old relative up for sale on eBay. How it landed in a comic book shop in Newmanstown, PA is a total mystery to me.