1920s Thomas Murphy Blotters Set and Checklist

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Thomas Murphy Blotters
Year 1920s
Size 3 7/16″ x 5 13/16″
Images Color
Type Blotter
Number in Set
4 (?)

1920s Thomas Murphy Blotters Overview

1925 Thomas Murphy Football BlotterInk blotters were generally rectangular cards that were popular in the days of fountain pens. They would usually be kept on desks and were used to allow people to wipe off excess ink. To properly absorb the ink, blotters are generally a little thicker and have a different texture than traditional cards.

These blotters were produced by the Thomas D. Murphy Company based in Red Oak, Iowa. That company printed other sports-related blotters as well. While the set features non-sports subjects, the key to the issue is a blotter of a football player. The picture on that one (shown here) features a young football player carrying a ball with a defender in pursuit. The player is unnamed and a caption below it reads, “Now for a touch down.”

These blotters are rare and, to date, I have seen only a few of these. This rarity for this particular one shown here for a Connecticut florist makes sense as it included a calendar and after the month ended, most were likely discarded. As with many blotters, this was possibly a stock image used for other businesses as well.

This particular blotter can be dated to 1925 because of the calendar on it. However, others were created that were used at least until 1926. It is possible that others were printed earlier or later in the 1920s as well.

While not standard trading cards, blotters with sports figures are absolutely collectible. Because they were used to absorb extra ink, you will often find them with ink spots all over them. Ones that haven’t been covered in ink demand a premium.

Blotters were generally an advertisement for a specific product, service, or organization. Along with a picture of a sports figure or team, they usually sought to promote some type of product or business.

In addition, collectors should note that a second type of these cards exist. The second type of these cards are printed on glossy paper and not blotters.

1920s Thomas Murphy Blotters Checklist

Below are the known blotters from this set that I have seen. It is quite possible that more exist.

  1. Boy and Girl
  2. Boys Looking Into Mirror
  3. Football Player
  4. Santa Claus

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