1894 Mayo Cut Plug (N302) Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Mayo Cut Plug (N302)
Year 1894
Size 1 5/8″ x 2 7/8″
Images Sepia
Type 19th Century Tobacco
Number in Set
35

1894 Mayo Cut Plug Overview

N302 Riggs.jpg

The 1894 Mayo Cut Plug Set and Checklist is considered a holy grail of sorts.

While the 1888 N162 Goodwin Champions Beecher card is viewed as the first football card, this set is widely recognized as the first complete football set. It features 35 different football players from Ivy League schools Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. The iconic 1935 National Chicle football card set is often mentioned as the first such issue. However, that set is generally considered to be the first set featuring professional players. Players in this set are collegiate ones.

The cards are similar in appearance to the 1894-95 N300 Mayo Cut Plug baseball card set. That set also had cards with black borders and the Mayo Cut Plug logo and advertisement at the bottom. The most significant difference is that the baseball cards had player names inside of the box with their image while the football cards have the names and teams just below the photos. Backs of both the baseball and football cards are entirely blank and are black.

Two cards, are somewhat unknown. Poe is believed by many to be Neilson Poe, a relative of the famous Edgar Allan Poe. One card is not named, but believed to be John Dunlop.

A little known fact is that the set actually has an American Card Catalog designation. Jefferson Burdick listed this issue as #302 (making it N302 as we classify cards today). He called the set ‘College Football Stars,’ mentioning only that they were sepia portraits.

Like the baseball cards, the cards from this set are very rare. Low-grade commons from the set generally start around $200. The cards are difficult to find in any condition but since the black borders easily expose even the most minor of flaws, high-grade cards are predictably uncommon.

Here are pictures of all of the cards in the entire set.

1894 Mayo Cut Plug Checklist

  1. Acton
  2. Adee
  3. Armstrong
  4. Barnett
  5. Beale
  6. Beard
  7. Brewer
  8. Brown
  9. Burt
  10. Butterworth
  11. Crowdis
  12. Dunlop (unconfirmed – player is anonymous)
  13. Emmons
  14. Goutermann
  15. Grey
  16. Greenway
  17. Hickok
  18. Hinkey
  19. Holly
  20. Lea
  21. Mackie
  22. Manahan
  23. McCrea
  24. Morse
  25. Murphy
  26. Poe
  27. Riggs
  28. Stillman
  29. Taylor
  30. Thorne
  31. Thomas Trenchard
  32. William Ward
  33. Bert Waters
  34. Arthur Wheeler
  35. Edgar Wrightington

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