1913 Pan Handle Scraps Champion Women Swimmers (T221) Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Pan Handle Scrap Champion Women Swimmers (T221)
Year 1913
Size 2 1/2″ x 3 11/16″
Images Color
Type Tobacco
Number in Set
100

1913 Pan Handle Scraps Champion Women Swimmers (T221) Set Overview

This set was the first of the two classified sets in Jefferson Burdick’s American Card Catalog. The cards, as stated by the title, featured female swimming champions. You might only expect a handful of cards to be here based on that topic but the set was actually quite large with 100 total cards.

Now, if we’re being honest, the names are not too recognizable to people today. I don’t even know that many people could identify, say, ten current swimmers. Even if they could, swimming cards are even less on the radar and given that these were issued more than 100 years ago, um, yeah. Good luck with identifying most of the ladies in this set, even if they were very good athletes.

Burdick describes these cards in his book as ‘large’ and, compared to other tobacco card sets at the time, that’s true. At about 2 1/2″ wide by 3 11/16″ tall, they were significantly larger than most other tobacco issues. In fact, that size is actually slightly larger than today’s standard trading cards.

Backs of the cards varied. The style remained the same but some included a description of specific techniques while others had biographies of the swimmers. Regardless of the make up of the text, all cards had an advertisement for Pan Handle Scrap at the bottom that read, “We believe we have produced in Pan Handle Scrap the finest chew that has ever been offered.”

While the cards were issued free with the scrap tobacco, I haven’t seen any indication of how many cards were included in each package.

Life Saving Poses T221 Pan Handle Scrap Champion Women SwimmersThe Breakdown

While there were 100 cards in the set, there were not actually 100 different swimmers featured. That’s kind of a relief.

Four women were featured on ten different cards for the first 40 in the set — Rose Pitonof, Miss Ideal, Odiva, and Annette Kellermann. That might seem a bit odd but we’ve actually seen similar patterns in other sets. Take, for example, the 1912 Gallaher Sports set. That set also had 100 cards and it was mostly broken out by tens — one sport represented on ten different cards.

The consensus is that the first 40 cards are easier to find than the last 60. That leads us to believe, obviously, the first series was printed in greater numbers.

Anyway, these 40 cards were actually considered the first series while a second series included 60 cards of various other women and poses. We know that these are really two different series’ because coupons were printed, announcing the second series of these cards. The second series included 51 more cards of swimmers (Cards No. 41 through 91 — several women were featured more than once) and five final cards (No. 96 through 100) featuring pictures of life saving poses.

Kellermann is the most recognizable name in the set and that’s probably because she was also an actress. In fact, according to her very fine Wikipedia entry, she was the first major actress to appear nude in a Hollywood film, was one of the first women to wear a one-piece bathing suit, and she had her own fashion line of swimsuits.

Her swimming ability was sort of the result of a disability. Her legs were weak as a child and she wore steel braces. She began swimming to strengthen them and she became a championship swimmer.

Variation

T221 Pan Handle Scrap Tobacco Women Champion Swimmers 7 Rose PitonofA variation exists in the set for Card No. 7.

Rose Pitonof, a marathon swimmer, is featured on the opening cards in the set, No. 1-10. There are two known variations of her No. 7 card, as shown here.

The fronts on both cards are the same. However, one back has a general description of swimming while the other discusses long distance swimming. Unfortunately, the cards in this set are so difficult to find, making a real projection on which card is rarer seems tough to do.

So, given that, which is the error and which is the correction? Neither back is known to be repeated in the first series but the general description back was also used on No. 89 in the second series, a card for a swimmer named Jessie Sutherland. And given that Pitonof was a marathon swimmer, the long distance back more appropriately belongs on hers.

I don’t know that one of the Pitonof backs should really be considered a mistake, per se. But since the general swimming writeup is found on a different card later in the set, the ‘correct’ Pitonof card, if there can be one, is probably the one featuring the long distance swimming description.

Finally, it should be noted that this set is so rare that it is possible that other variations exist.

Prices and Rarity

These cards are fairly rare. You’ll typically find a few on eBay but they are not seen all that often elsewhere, to be honest.

The pop reports aren’t all that helpful because not many collectors will take the time to get these cards graded. But it’s easy to see from listings on eBay and other outlets that the cards are somewhat difficult to come by.

Rarity, though, doesn’t always correlate to value, as we know, and that’s certainly the case here. Demand for these cards is not too high and low-grade cards typically sell in the $5-$10 range. Kellermann cards can sell for a bit more, though, because of her popularity.

1913 Pan Handle Scraps Champion Women Swimmers (T221) Set Checklist

  1. Rose Pitonof (The Trudgeon)
  2. Rose Pitonof (The Crawl)
  3. Rose Pitonof (Breast Stroke)
  4. Rose Pitonof (The Side Stroke)
  5. Rose Pitonof (Sculling in the Water)
  6. Rose Pitonof (The Starting Dive)
  7. Rose Pitonof (Long Distance Swimming)
  8. Rose Pitonof (Floating)
  9. Rose Pitonof (Swimming Records of Rose Pitonof)
  10. Rose Pitonof (Rose Pitonof)
  11. Miss Ideal (Diving)
  12. Miss Ideal (Somersaults in the Water)
  13. Miss Ideal (Swimming on Side)
  14. Miss Ideal (Swimming and Strokes)
  15. Miss Ideal (A Swimming on the Back (Using Arms Only))
  16. Miss Ideal (World’s Champion Swimmer)
  17. Miss Ideal (On Being Rescued)
  18. Miss Ideal (Miss Ideal)
  19. Miss Ideal (The Neck Dive)
  20. Miss Ideal (Champion Woman Swimmer and Diver)
  21. Odiva (How to Float)
  22. Odiva (How to Save a Drowning Person)
  23. Odiva (Dolphin Dive)
  24. Odiva (The Porpoise Dive)
  25. Odiva (Breathing and Swimming)
  26. Odiva (The Swan Dive)
  27. Odiva (Swimming on the Back (Using Legs Only))
  28. Odiva (Plunge for Distance)
  29. Odiva (Rolling Log / Dog Swimming)
  30. Odiva (Swimming on the Back (Using Legs and Arms))
  31. Annette Kellermann (How to Strengthen the Grip)
  32. Annette Kellermann (Some Arm Developing Exercises)
  33. Annette Keillermann (Vitality and Muscle Building Exercises)
  34. Annette Kellermann (Movements that Exercise Nearly all the Muscles of the Body)
  35. Annette Kellermann (For Back and Arm Muscles)
  36. Annette Kellermann (Developing Broad Shoulders)
  37. Annette Kellermann (Annette Kellermann)
  38. Annette Kellermann (For Back and Arm Muscles)
  39. Annette Kellermann (Developing the Muscles of Legs, Chest and Stomach)
  40. Annette Kellermann (Annette Kellermann)
  41. Billy Shultz (“Billy” Schultz) — spelling difference
  42. Billy Shultz (Learning to Dive)
  43. Billy Shultz (The Start of a Race)
  44. Billy Shultz (Racing)
  45. Miss Onida (Miss Onida)
  46. Miss Divo (Artificial Respiration)
  47. Lillian R. Berlo (Lillian R. Berlo)
  48. Lillian R. Berlo (Speed Strokes)
  49. Miss Divo (How to Learn to Swim)
  50. Florence Byington (Cautions for Divers)
  51. Ethel Straus (Tides and Currents)
  52. Ethel Straus (The Soldier’s Dive)
  53. Ethel Straus (The Single Under-Arm Stroke)
  54. Anna Mining (The Australian Crawl Stroke)
  55. Anna Mining (When a Person Falls Overboard)
  56. Anna Mining (Swimming as a Sport)
  57. Florence Scheublin (Treading Water)
  58. Florence Scheublin (The Lifesaver)
  59. Florence Scheublin (Deep Diving)
  60. Florence Scheublin (The Single Over-Arm Stroke)
  61. Trixie Norriss (Artificial Respiration)
  62. Trixie Norriss (Diving Feet Foremost)
  63. Trixie Norriss (Entering the Water)
  64. Trixie Norriss (The Diving Board)
  65. Margaret Wagner (Importance of Learning to Swim)
  66. Frances King (Swimming Strokes)
  67. Frances King (Artificial Respiration)
  68. Frances King (Taking off Clothes)
  69. Frances King (How to Conserve Strength in Rescues)
  70. Margaret Wagner (The Propeller)
  71. Margaret Wagner (What to do in Case of Cramp)
  72. Grace Hall (In Case of Falling off a Steamer or Other Vessel)
  73. Grace Hall (Aids in Learning to Swim)
  74. Grace Hall (Bathing in Water)
  75. Grace Hall (The Scissors Kick)
  76. Hazel Bess Laugenour (Don’ts for Swimmers)
  77. Hazel Bess Laugenour (Miss Hazel Bess Laugenour)
  78. Hazel Bess Laugenour (How to Teach Swimming)
  79. Hazel Bess Laugenour (Back Dive)
  80. Ruth Wood (Touching and Turning)
  81. Ruth Wood (What to do when the Ice Breaks)
  82. Ruth Wood (How to Land a Person)
  83. Ruth Wood (Swimming Under Water)
  84. Ruth Wood (The Pole and Noose)
  85. Olive Hite (Surf Bathing)
  86. Olive Hite (Diving While Swimming on the Surface)
  87. Olive Hite (The Standing Sitting Standing Dive)
  88. Olive Hite (Swimming as an Exercise)
  89. Jessie H. Sutherland (Swimming)
  90. Jessie H. Sutherland (Miss Jessie H. Sutherland)
  91. Ruth Vialar (Methods of Rescue)
  92. Margaret Wagner & Ruth Vialar (Methods of Rescue)
  93. Margaret Wagner (Methods of Rescue)
  94. Margaret Wagner & Ruth Vialar (How to Break a Death Grip)
  95. Ruth Vialar (First Aid Supplies)
  96. Life Saving Poses (How to Break a Death Grip)
  97. Life Saving Poses (Methods of Rescue)
  98. Life Saving Poses (How to Break a Death Grip)
  99. Life Saving Poses (How to Approach a Drowning Person)
  100. Life Saving Poses (How to Break a Death Grip)

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