1908-09 Rose Company Postcards Set (PC760)
‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||R760 Rose Company Postcards
|Size||3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″
|Images||Black and White
|Number in Set
PC760 Rose Company Postcards Overview
The PC760 Rose Company postcards set is one of the more famous postcard issues.
Featuring a black and white image of a player within a circle, the background included a baseball diamond with the majority of the front being green for the grass on the field. Small generic player images are also on the front and the set includes various baseball players. Backs include the area for the sender to write his/her message and the recipient address.
The pictures used on the postcards can be found on other pre-war cards as well and they were taken by noted photographer Carl Horner. There are both major league and minor league players in the set. In addition, some players are misidentified with the wrong photos being used.
In an advertisement produced at the time these were distributed, it was evident that these postcards were relatively inexpensive. Two sold for five cents or a ‘set of 12′ could be purchase for only a quarter.
A total of more than 200 are found in the known set. That is interesting because, originally, only 192 were said to be in the series. These were advertised as having a total of 16 series’ with 12 postcards in each one. In addition, new postcards have been discovered in recent years and there are believed to be a total of 18 series’ for a total of 216 postcards.
While the set is mostly a major league issue, one of the series features a minor league team from Scranton. Even in low-grade condition, those are desirable. A collection of seven such postcards sold for nearly $1,900 in a 2013 REA auction.
Finally, several variations of these postcards are known as well. That is because the company seems to have allowed for the use of the design by other businesses.
The variations used mostly the same design, keeping the playing field, generic players pictured at the bottom, etc. The lone difference was typically in the circular area. Instead of featuring a player, businesses would instead insert their name or a slogan/image, similar to how trade cards were created using stock images.
One variation, though, is a little more popular than the others when it comes to baseball card collectors.
The postcards were used by Greenfield’s Delatour Chocolates as an advertisement for their products and that company kept the pictures and names of the individual players. The fronts are no different from the standard Rose Company postcards. They are virtually the same as the regular set but have their name and logo added to the backs.
One of the Delatour Chocolates backs are shown here.
While the dating of the set has often been a point of discussion, the question of it existing prior to 1910 seems to have been confirmed. A Los Angeles Herald newspaper issue from December 7, 1908 contained an article for Walter Johnson, displaying his Rose Company postcard.
The issue seems likely to have been produced starting no later than 1908 and while it could have also been produced later than 1909 as well, its origins seem to date back to at least 1908.