1889 Duke/Honest Long Cut Puzzles (N125)

‘It’s In The Details’

Title N125 Duke/Honest Long Cut Puzzles
Year 1889
Size 2 1/2″ x 4 1/8″
Images Color
Type 19th Century Tobacco
Number in Set

1889 Duke/Honest Long Cut Puzzles (N125) Overview

One of the rarer and more unique 19th Century issues is this one produced by Duke Sons for its Honest Long Cut tobacco brand.

The set was produced in the late 1800s with most sources calling it an 1889 issue. It was cataloged as #125 (today, known as N125) by Jefferson Burdick in his American Card Catalog but little information is supplied. Burdick merely called the set ‘Puzzles’ in the Duke category, stated there were 15 in the set, and assigned a price per card to it of $.50. While that’s obviously next to nothing today, it’s definitely one of the pricier tobacco issues as most were below that.

The card are very unique in that a puzzle had to be solved. Duke encouraged people to collect the entire set as the answers to particular puzzles were found on the backs of other cards. The card are colorful and significantly larger than many of the smaller cigarette issues of that time.


1889 Duke Honest Puzzles BaseballMost of the cards were not sports-related so this set often goes overlooked. But there is, in fact, a baseball card in it and it’s a great one.

Since this is a set of puzzles, the card doesn’t feature pictures of players or anything. However, it includes scrambled names of players written on top of one another, making it hard to read. As the back explains, the larger letter indicates the first letter in the person’s first or last name.

With the exception of the last two bats shown, all of the larger letters indicate a the first letter in the last name of a famous baseball player. The last two bats, from left to right, offer the last and first name of an administrator/officer in baseball.

Finally, collectors then had to put all of the large letters together to form the name of a particular team.

The baseball puzzle card was No. 15 in the set while the answer to it was found on card No. 10. Pictured here is the front and back of the card.

Baseball Puzzle Solved

Spoiler Alert: The baseball puzzle solved is below.

  • 1st Bat (from left to right): Jim O’Rourke
  • 2nd Bat: John Ward
  • Middle/Pitcher’s Mound: Tim Keefe
  • 3rd Bat: Young (for Nick Young – NL President)
  • 4th Bat: Nick (for Nick Young – NL President)
  • Catcher: Buck Ewing
  • Outfield: Danny Richardson
  • Unscrambled Team: New York (all members of the team were players for the New York Giants)

It should also be noted that the Giants were likely chosen as they were the league champions in 1889.

1889 Duke/Honest Long Cut Puzzles (N125) Checklist

A total of 15 cards are found in the checklist but only one is sports-related – the baseball card outlined above. Others are all non-sports puzzles.

  2. TBD
  3. TBD
  5. The Poet Problem
  6. Ribbon Puzzle
  7. TBD
  8. The Cryptogram Puzzle
  9. The Eight or Ten Puzzle
  10. Overlap Puzzle
  11. A “Public Man” Puzzle
  12. TBD
  13. The Domino Trick Puzzle
  14. TBD
  15. Base Ball Puzzle

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