Second No Number W512 Strip Variation Spotted with Jackie Coogan’s Card
A second W512 strip card is found with a numberless variation
Back in April 2019, I mentioned finding a W512 strip card set without a number on it. The multi-sport W512 set was printed from 1925-27 and was really the first part of a two-part set with W513 coming in 1928. The sets, if you’re unfamiliar with them, contained a total of 100 cards (50 in each one) and consisted of mostly athletes with some actors/actresses mixed into W512 — W513 has no actors/actresses.
Each card has a card number printed in the lower left corner. Card numbers are very important to this issue. Frankly, they are the reason we know the W512 and W513 sets were intended to be seen as one large set — because W513 picks up with No. 51 where W512 left off (Card No. 50).
The W512 card I found without a card number printed on it was that of boxing champion Abe Goldstein. I discovered the error by chance and, while it was rare, I did see a couple examples of them.
Recently, a collector named David Strong who’s helped me with many checklists on the site, sent me an email. He documented a second card that can be found without a number — the card of actor Jackie Coogan.
Coogan was a child actor who later became famous for playing Uncle Fester on The Addams Family. He was really the driver behind the California Child Actor’s Bill (known as the Coogan Act) to help ensure that money earned by child actors would remain the property of the child. Coogan is said to have lost most of the money he had earned as a child actor to his mother and stepfather, who reportedly spent it.
David verified the card for me then did one better by giving me one of the two that he had in his collection. Here are both versions of my Coogan cards in my set.
Like most of the actor and actress cards in the set, Coogan’s card isn’t really in high demand. In low-grade shape, it starts around $5.
The no number variation of Coogan’s card seems to be a little more plentiful than that of Goldstein. In addition to the two David had, there are a couple more on eBay right now. But the no number variation is still considerably rarer than the numbered version.
As I wrote in that Goldstein article, determining cards that are without card numbers is not entirely easy. That is because, as strip cards, some of the W512 cards appear as if they are missing card numbers if enough of the left border is gone. But to be certain a card is truly missing a card number, the full left border (or at least most of it) must be present. The full left borders of the cards is a shade under 1/8″ (more accurately, it’s about 3/32 of an inch).
So could there be others in the set without numbers? Of course there could. After learning of the Coogan card, I searched all of the other W512 listings on eBay and did not find any other cards with missing numbers there. But that is hardly an exhaustive search. After all, no Goldstein cards without numbers were there and we already know those exist.
For now, though, we are up to two W512 strip cards that can be found without card numbers.