Six Hobby Haunting Graves

Looking for a good scare?  Or perhaps just some good old fashion cardboard history?  Then you’ve come to the right place.

This hobby has a long history.  It wouldn’t be around today if it weren’t for certain individuals.  The idea of pack-inserted cards had to come from somewhere.

Here are my top six hobby haunting grave sites.  I wonder if their tombs hold some undiscovered cardboard treasures?  Que evil laugh!

Jefferson Burdick – Hillside Memorial Cemetery and Park, Central Square, Oswego County, New York. – Created the American Card Catalog.  Assigned letters and numbers to the different card styles and became the default method for organizing pre-1951 sets.  His collection of over 306,000 cards is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

John Allen – Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia. – The first half of the Allen & Ginter name brand.  Allen & Ginter was a tobacco manufacturer and created some of the first tobacco cards designed to be collected.  Very colorful and eye appealing.  Subjects include sports figures, inventors, entertainers, and animals.

Lewis Ginter – Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia. – You can’t have John Allen without Lewis Ginter.  He is the second half of the Allen & Ginter brand.  Eventually Allen & Ginter would merge with four other tobacco manufacturers and be called the American Tobacco Company.

Sy Berger – Beth Moses Cemetery, West Babylon, Suffolk County, New York. – Longtime Topps employee for over 50 years.  Co-designer of the 1952 Topps Baseball set.  Father of the modern baseball card.

The Dukes – Duke University Chapel, Durham, Durham County, North Carolina. – Washington, James, and Benjamin Duke were tobacco titans atop the American Tobacco Company.  They are credited with the idea of inserting cardboard advertisements into product packaging featuring entertainers, politicians, and sports figures.

John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll – Kilmun Parish Church and Cemetery,
Kilmun, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. – In 1879 this man became the first individual to be featured on a pack-inserted tobacco card.  Only four copies of this card are known to exist.  The brand of tobacco it came in was called Marquis of Lorne named after a title he held.  Unfortunately the brand did not sell well.

I Had No Idea

I had no idea that everyday when I go to school I am driving past the resting place of a Baseball Hall of Famer.  Not just any HOF player either, but Christy Mathewson.  I knew that Mathewson went to college at Bucknell University, but I didn’t know he was buried at the Lewisburg Cemetery which is very close to the school.  There are a few other baseball players buried there too: Walter Allen “Heavy” Blair, and Harry Elwood “Moose” McCormick.  

Goudey – The first sneaky card company

The Goudey Gum Company produced some of the best, and most valuable cards that the world has seen.  Back in the 1930’s the Goudey Gum Company was mostly known for their gum and not their sports cards that were included in each pack of gum.  During the early 30’s, America was in a depression and companies were losing a lot of money.  The Goudey Gum Company had a great idea on how to make some more money and stay in business.  They created a set of cards for their packs of gum.  This set included 240 cards of some of baseball’s best players.  In my opinion, the Goudey Gum Company was the first sneaky card manufacturer.  This is because in 1933 they purposely left out card number 106 in the set.  They did this so more and more people would buy their packs of gum.  Since more people bought the gum, trying to find card number 106 to complete their set, Goudey made more money.  About a year later, they came out and said they left out card number 106 on purpose.  In 1934 Goudey made card number 106 so people could complete their set.  Card number 106 was of Nap Lajoie who played many years before this set was even made.  This is a great example of how American history can be connected with the card industry. 

Sy Berger – The Father of Modern Day Baseball Cards

Sy Berger is the father of modern day baseball cards.  He is the designer of many of the hobby’s most popular sets including 1952 Topps.  Berger is one of the most influencial people in the hobby.