The Health and Strength Postcards set featured wrestlers and boxers of the pre-war era. While the set is popular among boxing fans, wrestling card fans also flock to it as it includes some early stars, including George Hackenschmidt and Frank Gotch.
Boxing representatives include the legendary Jack Johnson. Those two sports are often the ones you see associated with this set but other athletes were included as well with other sports included, such as swimming, track and field, and cricket. Several subjects are featured more than once. However, the legendary Hackenschmidt is seen the most as he appears on nine different postcards.
The Johnson card is particularly intriguing as it is viewed by some collectors as a rookie card.
The postcards are grouped as part of the same series but have a few different designs. Some are color and some are black and white. Measuring 3 1/4″ x 5 7/16″, these are slightly smaller than traditional postcards.
The numbering system for these postcards is sort of all over the place. In addition, while some are numbered, others are not. The postcards are also pretty rare. PSA has graded only a handful of any given one at most and, in many cases, have graded only a single copy.
This is one of the pre-war issues that sort of combined boxing and wrestling. While the sports are different entirely, these two things were sometimes grouped together, as they were with the 1908-09 Ogden’s Pugilists and Wrestlers set.
Finally, while the site is mostly commonly called a 1908 set, some believe it was issued in 1909 or later. I have seen a Johnson example with a 1909 postmark on the reverse so that is the latest it could have been issued, assuming all postcards were printed at the same time.
1908 Health and Strength Postcards Checklist
PSA has graded a total of 26 different postcards. However, it is unknown if that is the full list. Given that they have only graded one for most of the cards in the set, there are quite possibly others not listed there.