1909 E95 Philadelphia Caramel Set
‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||E95 Philadelphia Caramel
|Size||1 1/2″ x 2 3/4″
|Number in Set
E95 Philadelphia Caramel Overview
The 1909 E95 set was the first of two issues produced by Philadelphia Caramel with the popular E96 issue coming in 1910.
The Philadelphia Caramel Company, as stated on the backs of the cards, was actually based out of Camden, New Jersey instead of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The company is most famous for the baseball cards they produced in 1909 and 1910. However, they also produced several other series of cards featuring a variety of subjects, including boxers, Native Americans, and dogs.
The E95 set was your standard, run-of-the-mill caramel card issue. It remains one of the more popular earlier candy issues. Fronts included a color image of a player with his name and team name at the bottom. The backs included the full checklist, stating that the card was one of a set of ’25 Ball Players.’ At the bottom of the reserve, the cards stated that they were made by the Philadelphia Caramel Company.
The keys to the set are cards of Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Christy Mathewson. But plenty of other Hall of Famers are included, such as Chief Bender, Sam Crawford, Johnny Evers, Frank Chance, Eddie Plank, Eddie Collins, and Vic Willis. The card of non-Hall of Famer Eddie Cicotte is also a popular one since he was on the Chicago White Sox team of 1919 that conspired to throw the World Series.
The cards are not exactly plentiful but not too scarce, either. Most of the cards in the set can be found without too much trouble and because of its small size, about the only thing keeping collectors from piecing a set together is the price. Low-grade commons from the set typically start around $25-$30 but cards of Cobb and Wagner generally top $1,000.
One distinguishing feature between the two sets is that there aren’t any players featured in both. That makes collecting the two sets a bit more worthwhile since they include 55 different players. And because of that, it’s mostly seen as a combined issue of sorts. The E96 was a continuation of E95.
Finally, this is my humble rating of the set, card by card.
Despite being a short set, a few spelling errors were still made.
Solly Hofman’s last name is misspelled as ‘Hoffman’ on his card. And on the card of Ed Willett, his name is spelled ‘Willetts.’
The biggest mistake, though is that of Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson.
As was the case on a few of his cards, Mathewson’s last name is misspelled as Matthewson with two ‘T’s. Matty’s spelling error really doesn’t help his card much – particularly since the depiction of him isn’t very good.
It’s astonishing that such a high-profile player could have his name spelled improperly. That’s particularly true in a debut issue for a company just breaking into the baseball card business. But that so many cards were misspelled in the pre-war era also proves how proofreading really wasn’t thoroughly done.
This wasn’t the only major goof performed by Philadelphia Caramel, either. In the 1910 E96 set, they misspelled three more names, including that of fellow Hall of Famer Fred Clarke.
Errors were plentiful, even for the stars.
Lopsided Star Power
While both sets contain many stars, there’s no doubt that the E95 set has the much bigger names.
The set is headlined by the trio of Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, and Christy Mathewson. No player in the E96 set really matches either of those three names.
That’s primarily because the set sought the biggest stars in the first set. Since they didn’t duplicate players in the E96 issue, that left much fewer names to choose from. That was particularly troublesome because the E96 set was slightly larger. Essentially, they had fewer players to select and had to fill more slots.
The E95 set has a total of ten Hall of Famers plus, as stated, potential would-be Hall of Famer Eddie Cicotte, who was banned from baseball for his role in the 1919 World Series fix. By comparison, the E96 set has only eight Hall of Famers.
Ty Cobb Advertisement Cut Outs
A slight variant of E95 cards exists in the form of some Ty Cobb issues.
A version of Cobb’s card is known with an advertisement back with text on it relating to apricot jelly and chocolates. As discussed in this thread, the advertisement found on the back of Cobb’s card was part of a larger advertising piece for Philadelphia Caramel.
To date, only cards for Cobb and boxer Jim Jefferies (who was found in Philadelphia Caramel’s E79 set) are known with backs including text from the full poster. It is unknown what, if any, other cards have text from the poster on the backs.
While the Cobb card uses the same picture, it has a slightly different layout than the true E95 cards. Cobb’s name/team do not appear in small print at the bottom. Instead, that information is included in larger font in the red background of the card.
One final quirk related to the E95 and E96 Philadelphia Caramel cards is that copies of these cards were used on the covers of notebooks entitled, ‘Base Ball Series.’
Many of these cards were cut off of the notebook cover, essentially making hand cut cards. This led to a great deal of confusion in the hobby as they were sometimes incorrectly called scraps or even proofs. The cards use the same pictures and layout as the traditional E95 and E96 cards.
However, intact notebook covers have since been found, thus ending the mystery surrounding the cards. The cards, similar to other album cut cards for 19th Century issues, do have some value and are collected. However, they do not bring crazy money now that it is known what they are.
E95 Philadelphia Caramel Checklist
Below is a full checklist for the entire set.
- Honus Wagner
- Nick Maddox
- Fred Merkle
- Cy Morgan
- Chief Bender
- Harry Krause
- Art Devlin
- Matty McIntyre
- Ty Cobb
- Ed Willett
- Sam Crawford
- Christy Mathewson
- Hooks Wiltse
- Larry Doyle
- Tommy Leach
- Harry Lord
- Eddie Cicotte
- Bill Carrigan
- Vic Willis
- Johnny Evers
- Frank Chance
- Solly Hofman
- Eddie Plank
- Eddie Collins
- Ed Reulbach
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