‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||Richards-Wilcox Calendar Girl Trade Cards
|Size||3″ x 5″
|Number in Set
Richards-Wilcox Calendar Girl Trade Cards Overview
These trade cards were produced as an advertisement for the Richards-Wilcox Manufacturing Company based in a few places, including Aurora, IL and Ontario, Canada. The company produced specialty hardware solutions for doors for all kinds of storage and garages, and still exists to this day.
They were presumably printed every month, although I have not seen complete confirmation of that. Due to their rarity, producing a complete checklist would seem to be difficult. A picture of a woman is printed at the top while a calendar for the corresponding month and year was at the bottom. Backs included slogans or advertisements.
While most of the cards in the set are non-sports related, a few did feature sports, as indicated below.
Like some other trade cards, these are sometimes referred to as ‘postcards.’ That, of course, is incorrect. No postcard backings are on them as they were simply calendar cards, generally with a Richards-Wilcox advertisement on the back. They are likely referred to as postcards at times because they are sometimes sold by postcard dealers when found and are larger and postcard-sized.
At least some of the photos used in the card were taken by the Stadler Photographing Company based in Chicago and New York. That name is printed on several of the cards but it is not known if they took all of the pictures for the entire series.
At least three cards featured a baseball girl.
One woman was pictured wearing a Richards uniform and was for the Richards Manufacturing Company. Produced in October 1909, the header for this card is ‘A Pennant Winner.’ A second was printed in August 1912 and features a close up shot of a woman with a glove catching a ball. That one is titled ‘Get in the Game.’ A third came a year later in April 1913 featuring a pitcher with the title, ‘Play Ball.’
The baseball cards are generally the most desirable in the set.
Football, Hockey, and Others
Football was also introduced into the set in 1913. A woman kicking a ball with the title, “Our Captain Making a Kickoff” was presented. That card was for October in 1913.
A secondary football issue of sorts is also found in the form of a fan. This one depicts a fan waving a Richards-Wilcox pennant. It has been referred to at times as a cheerleader card but the card more likely depicts a fan, which is evident from the title on the back called ‘A Fair Rooter.’ That issue is from November 1923.
A hockey girl with a stick was utilized for March 1914. The back of the card has an advertisement and the following poem is included:
Like the smooth little Belle on her smooth little skates
With the ice and the weather fine – we manage to keep
Several laps in advance with the Richards-Wilcox Line!
In addition to these, other minor sports and activities were featured, including fishing in May 1913.
Finding cards from this set is not an easy task. eBay generally has only a few at any given time and the sports cards are also incredibly difficult to find.
Unlike other trade cards that were used by many businesses, these appear to have only been made for Richards-Wilcox. Other companies produced similar types of calendar trade cards but I have not seen any using these same images. Because of that, there were probably not large quantities of them being made.
In addition, the shelf life of the cards was short. A few collectors no doubt saved them because we still have them around today. However, since the calendar on each one was only good for a month, most were probably discarded after that. That is especially likely because the company simply produced a new one in the following month.
Richards-Wilcox Calendar Girl Trade Cards Checklist
Major sports-related cards I have seen in this series include those listed here. Others may exist.
- Baseball (October 1909)
- Baseball (August 1912)
- Baseball (May 1913)
- Cheerleader/Fan (November 1923)
- Football (October 1913)
- Hockey (March 1914)