1910 Contentnea Set (T209)
‘It’s In The Details’
|Images||Color and Black and White
|Number in Set
T209 Contentnea Overview
The 1910 T209 Contentnea issue is actually made up of two separate sets. While the set is generally listed as a 1910 release, some believe that the color cards known as T209-1 could actually be from 1909.
T209-1 is a short, full-color issue using lithographs and the second, T209-2, is a black and white photo release. Both have Contentnea Cigarettes ads on the back, though the two reverses are different. The first color set has 16 cards while the larger black and white issue has a whopping 225.
The black and white series measures slightly wider and slightly taller than its color lithograph counterpart. The lithographic cards, however, are generally worth more.
One interesting thing of note is that a variety of fonts were used for the names and teams on the black and white cards. The fonts not only varied in size, but also in type.
Both feature players from the Virginia and Southern Leagues. The sets include only minor league players and because of that, many of the players aren’t recognizable. While the set is desired by minor league collectors and because of its rarity, it mostly lacks star power. That can make it a tough sell for many collectors even though cards start at $100 or more even in low-grade condition.
The backs of the cards also vary. Both reference they are cards for players in the Virginia, Carolina and Eastern Carolina Leagues but the black and white back has no border around the print while the color does. The color cards also have the phrase, ‘Exceptionally Good’ and other slight differences exist.
Additional cards, particularly in the black and white set, could exist and are still being discovered today. A card of a player named Taylor was just discovered in 2018 in the black and white set. Safe to say, others could certainly exist.
T209 Contentnea Sam Thompson/Uncle Sam
The most intriguing (and expensive) card in the set is that of B.E. Thompson. On the card, Thompson is dressed as ‘Uncle Sam’ and the card is generally known as the Uncle Sam card.
Thompson was not a baseball player and is believed to have been a farmer that supplied tobacco, which was used in Contentnea cigarettes. This card is only found in the black and white series and not in the color set.
That the Thompson card was meant to be a special one is also indicated by the reverse. Thompson’s card has actually been seen with four different backs that are all slightly different from the others. And his backs are different than both of the other two types of the rest of the set’s cards.
T209 Contentnea Checklist
Full Color Set
Black and White Set
- C. Derrick
- F. Derrick
- Griffin (manager)
- Griffin (player)
- King Kelly
- A. McCarthy
- J. McCarthy
- C. McGeehan
- D. McGeehan
- Presley & Pritchard
- A. Smith
- D. Smith
- B.E. Thompson (Uncle Sam)