1937 Ripley’s Believe it or Not Set and Checklist (R21)

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Ripley’s Believe it or Not (R21)
Year 1937
Size 2 3/8″ x 2 7/8″
Images Color
Type Candy/Gum
Number in Set

1937 Ripley’s Believe it or Not Overview

lf.jpgThis set featured a bunch of cards with unique facts or myths. The set was distributed by Wolverine Gum and is cataloged as R21 in the American Card Catalog.

Printed in 1937, the cards featured colorful cartoon images, similar to a comic book style. An intriguing title was on the front and the back had an explanation of an interesting story or one that seemed too strange to be true. One card was packaged with Wolverine Gum for a price of one cent.

While mostly a non-sports set, this set included a pair of boxing cards. One was Card No. 24, identifying a boxer who died in a fight but still managed to win. Allegedly, he died from a blow but was not knocked out as the round ended before a ten count. He would go on to win as he dominated the rest of the rounds. The incident appears to have been true as it was reported in several newspapers.

Here’s more about that interesting story.

Card No. 34 featured the legendary John Sullivan. Sullivan is lauded for defeating the most  fighters. While both cards are desired by boxing fans, the Sullivan card is much more interesting for collectors. First, it features the legendary boxer and second, it is a high-number card. Cards numbered after No. 24 are rarer and harder to find.

Finally, wrappers for these cards, while rare, are still seen from time to time. The wrappers mention Wolverine’s Gum product as well as a special redemption offer. Collectors could send in ten wrappers for a unspecified prize.

1937 Ripley’s Believe it or Not Checklist

  1. Greatest Swordsman
  2. Cruise of the Skeletons
  3. A Life-Saving Death Sentence
  4. Trench of Bayonets
  5. City of Mud-Eaters
  6. Strangest Accident
  7. Holy Scorpion Eater
  8. Captain Manu’s Famous Swim
  9. The Marooned Man
  10. Most Amazing Airplane Accident
  11. Man of Iron
  12. The Greatest Cavalryman
  13. Ghost Ship
  14. Black Bart
  15. Largest Tree in the World
  16. Richest Man in the World
  17. Captain Kidd was not a Pirate
  18. Paul Revere did not Make the Famous Ride
  19. Record in Cannibalism
  20. Coldest Spot in the World
  21. The Ship that Shot ITself
  22. Scourge of God
  23. The Man who Stubbed His Toe on $10,000,000,000
  24. Dead Man Wins a Fight
  25. A Most Unbelievable Animal
  26. French Foreign Legion
  27. Mighty Mites
  28. Unarmed Officers of the Law
  29. TBD
  30. Strangest Fishing Accident
  31. The Hanging Hindu
  32. The Most Abject Surrender
  33. 29 Horses Shot Under Him
  34. The Great John L. (John Sullivan)
  35. TBD
  36. Academy of Poison
  37. TBD
  38. Tower of Skulls
  39. A Miraculous Escape
  40. Airplanes Pull Harder to Go Slower
  41. TBD
  42. Greater Love Hath No Man
  43. Norseman’s Jump
  44. River of Blood
  45. Royal Freak
  46. Lone Survivor
  47. Mecca See no More
  48. Faith Unto Death

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