A Look at the Pan Handle Scraps Champions Sets (Part II: T230 World’s Champion Athletes)

In 1913, Pan Handle Scrap tobacco issued two sets of champions cards with their scrap tobacco products. I’ve never seen much really written on these cards so thought it was worth a review of both.

The most distinctive part of both sets is their unique look. Each set has the same layout with black and white images of the athletes and an orange border. The orange borders are really what make these cards stand out from others in the era with most tobacco card sets at the time featuring white borders.

As I wrote here, some sets certainly did utilize different colored borders. But borders like these orange ones on cards were really uncommon.

So what are these cards? Let’s take a look. Part I reveiewed the T221 Champion Women Swimmers set and here’s Part II on the T230 World’s Champion Athletes set.

1913 Pan Handle Scrap World’s Champion Athletes (T230)

T230 Pan Handle Scrap ChampionsThis set was the second of the two classified Pan Handle Champions sets in Jefferson Burdick’s American Card Catalog. While the first set (T221) featured female swimming champions, this one took a broader approach as a world’s champions set. Despite that, it was half the size of the T221 set.

Broader may be too general of a term. While other champions issues, like the popular Allen & Ginter, Kimball, and Goodwin champions sets of the 19th century included many different sports, this ‘World’s Champions’ issue was basically just track and field/Olympic sports. There aren’t any major sports here, such as baseball, football, boxing, etc., so the set doesn’t isn’t nearly as popular as other tobacco card sets of the era. But it’s still desirable as an ACC-listed tobacco card set featuring athletes.

Like the champion women swimmers, the names of most of the athletes featured here are not too recognizable to collectors. But some names will stand out because they were featured in other sets, like the T218 Champions set that was released around the same time. If you’ve collected that set, you should recognize about ten or so of the names here.

Also like the T221 set, Burdick describes these cards in his book as ‘large’ and, compared to other tobacco card sets at the time, that’s true. At about 2 1/2″ wide by 3 11/16″ tall, they were significantly larger than most other tobacco issues. In fact, that size is actually slightly larger than today’s standard trading cards.

Backs of the cards included biographies of the athletes and the bottom had an advertisement for Pan Handle Scrap at the bottom that read, “We believe we have produced in Pan Handle Scrap the finest chew that has ever been offered.”

One significant difference between these cards and the T221 cards is that those have card numbers on the backs while these did not.

While the cards were issued free with the scrap tobacco, I haven’t seen any indication of how many cards were included in each package.

Duke Kahanamoku T230 Pan Handle Scrap ChampionsDuke Kahanamoku and Key Cards

Without a doubt, the key card in the set (in both of the Pan Handle Scrap Champions sets, to be honest) is an early card of Duke Kahanamoku.

Kahanamoku is featured as a swimmer on the card and was an Olympian gold medalist in that sport. But his bigger claim to fame is that he was known to have popularized the sport of surfing.

Kahanamoku is found on some early trading cards but many of them are rare and this one is no exception. His background as an Olympic champion and ties to the sport of surfing make his cards desirable and collectors pay quite a bit for this card on the rare occasions it is offered.

While the card of Kahanamoku is the key one in the release, a couple of other cards are somewhat popular as well.

One is for Avery Brundage, who was a track and field star before going on to become president of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Another is Lewis Tewanima. Tewanima was a distance running medalist in the Olympics and also famously a teammate of Jim Thorpe when the pair were at the Carlisle Indian School. Neither of their cards fetch what the cards of Kahanamoku do, but they are quite popular.

Checklist

Here’s the full checklist of this set. As mentioned above, these cards do not have numbers on the backs so this list is presented in alphabetical order.

  1. Benjamin Adams
  2. Platt Adams
  3. A.R. Applegarth
  4. F.V. Belote
  5. Jean Bouin
  6. Hans Braun
  7. Avery Brundage
  8. Clarence Childs
  9. Ira Courtney
  10. Ralph Craig
  11. Ira Davenport
  12. Harold Drew
  13. James Duncan
  14. John Eller
  15. Egon Erickson
  16. Ray Ewry
  17. Harry Gissing
  18. George Goulding
  19. A.L. Gutterson
  20. George Hodgson
  21. George Horine
  22. Frank Irons
  23. A.N.S. Jackson
  24. Duke Kahanamoku
  25. Hans Kolehmainen
  26. Frederick Kaiser
  27. Abel Kiviat
  28. William Kramer
  29. Eric Lemming
  30. Carl Liesche
  31. Edward Lindberg
  32. Donald Lippincott
  33. Pat McDonald
  34. Matt McGrath
  35. James Meredith
  36. Alvah Meyer
  37. Captain F.T. Nelson
  38. James Rector
  39. Charles Reidpath
  40. Ralph Rose
  41. James Rosenberger
  42. J.J. Saaristo
  43. Louis Scott
  44. Melvin Sheppard
  45. Gaston Strobino
  46. A.R. Taipale
  47. Lewis Tewanima
  48. R.B. Thomas
  49. James Wendell
  50. Marc Wright

Prices and Rarity

As is the case with the T221 Champion Women Swimmers set, these cards are rare. In fact, I think they’re actually tougher to find, though some of that may be attributed simply to the volume of the T221 set, which has 50 more cards than this one.

Prices are a bit higher for these, though still not outrageous given the rarity with commons in low-grade at around $10-$20. The Kahanamoku card is the real valuable one and even in low-grade, it’s generally starting in the $100-$200 range.

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