Little Will-Burr / Wilbur Cocoa Card (E268)
‘It’s In The Details’
|Title||E268 Little Will-Burr / Wilbur Cocoa Card
|Size||2 1/2″ x 5 1/4″
|Number in Set
Little Will-Burr / Wilbur Cocoa Card Overview
This unique card goes under the radar for most collectors. But if one looks in the American Card Catalog, it can be found under E268.
In that book, author Jefferson Burdick called the card ‘Little Wil-Bur.’ However, that is slightly incorrect as the character on the card is actually called ‘Little Will-Burr.’ The name certainly is a play on the distributor of this issue, H.O. Wilbur & Sons, Inc., which was based in Philadelphia, PA and produced the Wilbur’s Cocoa products.
The card looks sort of like a bookmark. It features a cartoon of a young boy with weights wearing only an undergarment and slippers. That was intentional as collectors were supposed to dress him in appropriate outfits. Backs of the cards explained a redemption program for collectors to receive the outfits with proof of purchase labels of Wilbur’s Cocoa products.
The reason for the relevance of the card to this site is because one of the outfits was a baseball uniform.
Without knowing of it’s E-Card designation, some collectors would probably be inclined to classify this as any number of things, including a food issue (F-Card), trade card (H-Card), or Z-Card (Paper Doll).
The exact date of the card is not known. I have seen it advertised as potentially being from the 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, or 1930s. Which decade, let alone, year, is actually correct is not entirely known.
Outfit Redemption Program
The paper doll classification would actually fit quite well as six cutout outfits were available for Will-Burr. If collectors sent in any one of the following items, they could receive the six outfits free of charge:
- (1) Label from a one-pound can of Wilbur’s Cocoa or Wilbur’s Dutch Cocoa
- (2) Labels from 1/2-pound cans of Wilbur’s Cocoa or Wilbur’s Dutch Cocoa
- (4) Labels from small size cans of Wilbur’s Cocoa of Wilbur’s Dutch Cocoa
While the Will-Burr card is somewhat difficult to find, the outfits are even tougher, likely speaking to the low-volume that were sent for.
Little Will-Burr / Wilbur Cocoa Card Checklist
While there is only one card of Will-Burr in the set, six outfits were available for him. The outfits available are:
- Play Dress
- Night Dress