‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||Ogden Tab Cigarettes General Interest|
|Size||1 7/16″ x 2 3/8″
|Images||Black and White
|Number in Set
||1,560 (General Interest)|
1901-02 Ogden Tab Cigarettes General Interest Overview
The Ogden Tab Cigarettes General Interest issue was a massive set, believed to contain 1,290 cards spread out over six series (A, B, C, D, E, and F). Dating for the set is from 1901 through 1902 but reports conflict on which series’ were produced in which years.
The cards aren’t as sturdy as other tobacco issues. They aren’t paper thin but a little thinner than other tobacco cards and have a light semi-gloss.
Backs of the cards indicate the total number included in the set. Each series states how many cards are in each one:
- Series A: 150 cards
- Series B: 200 cards
- Series C: 470 cards
- Series D: 200 cards
- Series E: 120 cards
- Series F: 420 cards
Cards have distinctive black borders, which helps them to stand out from other tobacco cards of the era, which often used white borders. The Ogden’s Cigarettes name is printed at the bottom (or, in the case of horizontal cards, the side)
The set is popular among boxing fans as numerous boxers are included. But it also contains other sports, including golf, soccer, and hockey, as well as a slew of minor sports, including things like cricket, horse racing, wrestling, cycling, and water polo. The sports are spread out across the series, so it isn’t a matter of limiting one’s focus to any given series to collect only the sports cards. Several rookie cards of athletes are found here, including one of boxing legend James Jeffries.
It is important to note that Ogden’s created a separate set with the same design at the same time featuring only boxers. That set is called Heroes of the Ring and, also printed in 1901, is much rarer than the boxing cards from the General Interest issue. Boxers appearing in both sets share most (if not all) of the same images, making them difficult to distinguish from only the fronts.
Like other tobacco cards, you can often find these trimmed. Many collectors, apparently wanting to distance the cards from the tobacco company, removed the Ogden’s Cigarettes name from them.
The set was a multi-sport issue and also contained non-sports subjects, including some animals, actors/actresses, comedians, and other famous subjects.
The hockey card is of interest to many as it is one of the earliest cards from that sport. I have never seen a complete checklist for this set so it is possible additional hockey cards could exist.
The known hockey card has a black and white image features several unnamed players on the ice. It is card No. 72 in Series E.
Another General Interest Set
Finally, collectors should know that a second Ogden Tab General Interest set also exists. The cards have an almost identical look to the 1901-02 set and are often confused with those cards. They are generally cited as having been printed in either 1900 or 1902. But while the cards look similar they were not broken out into series and do not indicate a specific series on the back.
Some backs include an advertisement mentioning the set while others are simply blank. That set also has some sports cards but is not believed to contain any major sports.
1901-02 Ogden Tab Cigarettes General Interest Checklist
A complete checklist is unknown.