“Our Quarterback” Football Postcard Commemorated President Franklin D. Roosevelt

This unique postcard combined football with politics, featuring president FDR

This year, I’ve sort of broken into some new territory with the pursuit of many more non-sports cards. Among those topics that interest me are cards of presidents from the pre-war era.

Recently, I stumbled upon an interesting postcard that combined politics with football.

Shown here is a card of president Franklin D. Roosevelt. Uniquely, he is in a football uniform and standing in front of the U.S. capitol. These are black and white postcards with a gloss on the front. The bottom includes a copyright along with the caption “Our Quarterback,” clearly a reference to his leading the United States.

FDR was the 32nd president so he is naturally wearing a uniform with that jersey number. The image, of course, does not feature Roosevelt’s actual body. The unnamed stand-in is not cited but Roosevelt’s head was superimposed over the actual player’s head.

The picture is black and white and the cards bear the name “J. Hilborn” on the front. This page states that they were a creation of Hilborn Novelty, which seems to line up.

But what about the dating? Do we know when these were issued?

Interestingly, the ones I have seen have not been postally used. Used postcards with postmarks, of course, at least give us an idea of when they were mailed. But the specific postcards that I have come across have oddly enough not been used. Roosevelt was in office from 1933 until his death from 1945. That makes it easy to understand why these postcards have been labeled as both 1930s and 1940s issues. But while small, the copyrighted date in the lower left hand corner appears to read ’41, so I believe they are a 1941 creation, which would put them right in the middle of World War II and, coincidentally, Roosevelt’s presidency.

Of note is that there are at least two variations of this postcard. Both are very similar but with slight differences.

The most common version shows Roosevelt a bit more in the distance and does not have a divider line on the back. That one is shown to the right here. The card on the left is a cropped version with less of the tree showing and giving Roosevelt a ‘larger than life’ appearance as his picture takes up more of the space on the card. The A9 designation in the lower left corner is all the way over at the left hand side. The back of the cropped version also includes a divider line that includes the Graphic Post Card Co. name and their New York, NY address (220 West 19 Street). Both variations include what appears to be that ’41 copyright date and I am not sure which was produced first.

The cropped version appears to be significantly rarer but I have not viewed much difference in terms of price from sellers, who frankly, are probably not aware of such a small variance. The card is a fairly cheap collectible, too, usually in the $10-$20 range.

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