Richards-Wilcox Calendar Girl Trade Cards Set
‘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, many featured sports, as indicated below, including baseball, football, hockey, tennis, golf, and others.
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.
Baseball is one of the primary sports featured. At least six cards featured a baseball girl wearing a Richards uniform. As is the case with many multi-sport releases, the baseball cards are generally the most desirable in the set and others beyond those named here could exist.
Given the rarity of these cards, even the non-sports ones are desirable. Some of the key ones there include cards featuring women draped in the American flag, issued some years in July. Those patriotic-themed cards seem to depict America’s independence.
Football, Hockey, and Others
Football was also introduced into the set in 1912 with a woman making a forward pass. A woman kicking a ball with the title, “Our Captain Making a Kickoff” was also presented in October 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, hunting, ice skating, and more.
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
Sports-related cards I have seen in this series include those listed here. Others almost certainly exist. Several driving-related cards are also known to exist but none that I have seen seem to be geared towards actual auto racing. Thus, I have not included them here.
The list below is presented by date of issue:
- Baseball – A Pennant Winner (October 1909)
- Sledding – It Fairly Glides Just Like Richard’s Door Hangers (December 1909)
- Snowshoeing – Waiting (February 1912)
- Baseball – Get in the Game (August 1912)
- Hunting (September 1912)
- Football – A Forward Pass (November 1912)
- Baseball – Play Ball (April 1913)
- Fishing – Angling (May 1913)
- Baseball – Batter Up (June 1913)
- Tennis – Good Service (July 1913)
- Baseball – Getting Home from Third (September 1913)
- Football (October 1913)
- Football – A Clear Field (November 1913)
- Hockey (March 1914)
- Boating – Smooth Sailing (May 1915)
- Tennis – Service (September 1915)
- Golf – Fore!! (October 1916)
- Baseball – The Winning Pitcher (July 1917)
- Tennis – Tennis Player (August 1917)
- Golf – The Golfer (October 1918)
- Rifle Shooting – Out for Big Game (December 1918)
- Snowshoeing – Winter (February 1919)
- Swimming – A Tight Fit (August 1919)
- Skiing – Pleasures (January 1923)
- Ice Skating – Roses in Winter (February 1923)
- Swimming/Diving (August 1923)
- Sports Fan – A Fair Rooter (November 1923)
- Cheerleader/Fan (November 1923)