BREAKING NEWS: Newly Discovered Tobacco Cards Hidden In Duke Chapel

Lola Simmons, an exceptional architectural and engineering student at Duke University made an interesting discovery while inside Duke Chapel – three rare tobacco cards.

After weeks of red tape, she finally received the “ok” to test a new type of structural x-ray equipment.  Although the school administrators weren’t thrilled that she would be using it inside one of their most beloved structures, she persuaded them otherwise.  According to Miss Simmons, “The chapel’s age, foundation, and material used in it’s construction made it the perfect test subject.”

Miss Simmons enjoys working alone.  She finds that its the best way to concentrate.  Her work with this particular experiment needed to be done at night in order to avoid disrupting the chapel’s daily traffic.  On October 10, she settled in for a long night of testing with the school’s newly acquired multi-million dollar device.  After a few hours, things weren’t going well.  She came to the conclusion that a move to another part of the chapel needed to be done.  The Duke Memorial Chapel she believed would work far better.  Unfortunately this part is blocked off with an iron gate.  Determined to complete her work, she macgyvered her way through the lock.

Silence was quickly erased as a thunderstorm moved in.  That first clap of thunder caused her to drop the device.  It went off taking a picture of the left wall.  Luckily the device wasn’t damaged.  Before deleting that dud, she took a look at it.  The sarcophagus housing the remains of George Washington Duke seemed to display an unusual compartment.  Judging by the picture, the compartment looked to be right behind one of the ornate carvings.  Giving the decoration a touch, she could tell it wasn’t fixed.  With a small twist, the compartment opened.  Inside was a strong smell of tobacco, and one lonesome card.  The card was of Mr. Duke.

Along with George Washington Duke, his sons James and Benjamin also have sarcophagi.  Miss Simmons noticed the same carvings on those as well.  Each ended up having a compartment holding a tobacco card.  One of James, and one of Benjamin.

All three cards look to be part of the 1887 Old Judge N172 set.  They most likely are the only examples featuring these men.  George, James, and Benjamin are each pictured sitting in a chair.  A dead stare is in their eyes, while a haunting stag head hangs on the wall.  All attempts at photographing or scanning them have failed.  Not wanting to be seen seems to be their main objective.  Each card was respectfully returned to it’s rightful grave.

The Duke family made their fortune in the cigarette and tobacco business.  Once having a monopoly over the entire industry.  Duke University is one of their largest benefactors.  In the mid-1880s, it was their idea to place cardboard advertisements inside tobacco products.  They helped start this hobby of ours, and didn’t even know it.

Shortly after my meeting with Miss Simmons, she went missing.  The last person to see her was her mother.  According to her mother, “Lola didn’t look well, and just wanted to go to sleep.  She went up to bed, and wasn’t there the next morning.  I just want my baby back.”  The police are doing everything they can.

Until now, this card from 2009 TRISTAR Obak was the only card of The Dukes.

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