Saturday, July 16, 2011

1939-46 Exhibits Salutation

Set size: 83 cards, 3-3/8" x 5-3/8"

Front Design: A full-bleed black and white photo is accompanied by a personal greeting and signature by the player. The greeting can differ from card to card, such as "Yours truly," "Best wishes," "Cordially," etc.

Back Design: The backs are blank.

Parallels and Similars: There are several issues of Exhibits from 1921 through the 1960s, additional issues in the 1970s and 1980, and an unauthorized reprint set of 16 reproduced in the 1990s. It does not appear that any of the reprints are from the Salutation set. The 2004 Leaf set also contained an Exhibit insert set (of normal card size) reproducing most of the variations seen throughout the Exhibit sets.

Distribution: Exhibit cards were distributed in vending machines, usually for a penny each. Each year, the set would be reissued, adding or removing players or changing photos as the Exhibits company saw fit. While most cards were issued in the 1939-46 time period, some of the most popular players were reissued every year, possibly as far as the 1960s.

Thoughts: While I don't have many in my collection, I've always enjoyed the Exhibits sets for their simplicity and beauty. Like the Zeenuts issues, they have only a small amount of writing over the picture, allowing the collector to enjoy the image. Because of their large size, these would be great for use in a display with memorabilia or souvenirs.

Additional Links: Old Cardboard has basic information on all the Exhibits issues through the 1960s. Adam Warshaw's site looks at some of the more "Interesting Exhibit Cards" (his title not mine).

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