1888 Duke’s Perilous Occupations Set (N86)

‘It’s In The Details’

Title N86 Duke’s Cigarettes Perilous Occupations
Year 1888
Size 1 1/2″ x 2 3/4″
Images Color
Type 19th Century Tobacco
Number in Set

N86 Duke’s Cigarettes Perilous Occupations Overview

Duke Perilous Occupations N86 - MiningDuke Perilous Occupations N86 - CowboyThe 1888 N86 Duke’s Perilous Occupations set is a set that featured cards with pictures of difficult occupations. The issue is a mostly non-sports set but does have one baseball card in it. The cards were packaged with Duke’s Cigarettes packages.

Cards feature colorful pictures on the front with a caption of the job in question at the bottom. Backs of the cards have a longer description of what makes the particular job difficult. They have a horizontal or vertical layout and, as is the case with most 19th Century issues, is printed on a thicker card stock.

In addition to the baseball umpire, which is cited as one of the difficult jobs, all sorts of subjects are here, including standard ones, such as police officers or firemen to some that are a little more bizarre, such as snake charmers and tightrope walkers.

Aside from baseball, there isn’t much in the way of sports here so baseball card collectors often just focus on finding the umpire card. But a few other minor sports are included. Here’s a list of cards that could be considered sports of a sort:

  • Baseball
  • Bullfighting
  • Diving
  • Fishing
  • Hunting (several cards)


N86 Perilous Occupations Umpire Top

While the set doesn’t have many sports in it, it does include a baseball card. The issue of featuring the American sport is the most popular in the entire set.

The release includes a variety of perilous occupations in a tongue-in-cheek manner. The baseball card describes the umpire’s job as a difficult one. The baseball card is titled “A Bad Decision by the Umpire” with the image on the front depicting him running away from players.

The back goes on to describe his job as a difficult one. It reads as follows:

“Base ball is a game for the people, and good wholesome sport. The materials are inexpensive, and all that is wanted is a field. It takes the stoop from the shoulders, puts hard honest muscle all over the frame, and frequently gives the player hard knocks and dangerous falls. Sometimes the umpire holds a thankless position. In his anxiety to see that the provisions of the rules are observed – to judge good and bad balls, put outs and runs – he is liable to make mistakes, and sometimes, as in the picture, he is chased off the field. But the breeze soon blows over.”

These cards were included in packages of Duke’s Cigarettes as mentioned on the back. Printed in 1888, this is one of the earlier baseball-themed cards out there.

N86 Duke’s Cigarettes Perilous Occupations Checklist

  1. Arab Attacked by a Lion
  2. Arctic Explorer
  3. A Bad Decision by the Umpire (Baseball)
  4. Balloon Ascent
  5. Blasting Rock
  6. Bridge Jumping
  7. Bullfighting in Spain
  8. Chamois Hunting
  9. Circus Rider
  10. Cowboy Fleeing Fire
  11. Diver
  12. Electric Linesman
  13. Elephant Hunting
  14. Exploring in Africa
  15. Fireman
  16. Fisherman in Newfoundland
  17. Fox Hunting
  18. Hanging Over Cliffs
  19. Highwayman
  20. Horse Training
  21. Hunting the Rocky Mountain Goat
  22. Indian Netting Salmon
  23. Indian Scout
  24. Indians Spearing Porpoises
  25. Knife Throwing
  26. Life Savers
  27. Lion Tamers
  28. Lumberman in Michigan
  29. Lumberman in Norway
  30. Miners Descending a Shaft
  31. Monk and Dog
  32. On a Whaling Voyage
  33. On Board a Battleship
  34. Painters at Work
  35. Picket’s Death
  36. Picket Duty
  37. A Quiet Game of Poker
  38. Rafting Logs
  39. Safe Robber
  40. Sliding Down Rope
  41. Snake Charmer in India
  42. Stopping a Stampede
  43. Surveying in the Mountains
  44. Tight Rope Walking across Niagara
  45. Tough Beat for any Policeman
  46. Trapper Fighting with Grizzly Bears
  47. Traveling in Siberia
  48. Trick Shooting
  49. Walrus Hunting in Greenland
  50. Yardman Coupling Cars