N-Cards (19th Century Tobacco)


keefeN-Cards are tobacco cards from the 19th Century when trading cards first arrived. In addition to the N-Card designated issues, many releases were printed that were not cataloged. Those issues are listed at the end in alphabetical order. N-Cards are one of two tobacco card types. They represent 19th Century cards while T-Cards are tobacco cards from the 20th Century.

One important distinction regarding Jefferson Burdick and N-Cards is that his American Card Catalog did not classify N-Cards the way that we do today. His book actually catalogued N-Cards as Central and South American tobacco cards. Today, collectors categorize N-Cards as tobacco issues in the 19th Century. That, understandably, has led to some confusion among collectors.

Tobacco cards were popular (and at least one even led to a marriage) but they were also being blamed for causing all sorts of problems related to children collecting them. After a temporary ban on American tobacco cards in the late 1800s, they came back with a bang in the early 1900s with T-Cards.

While some N-Cards are crude in design, many also feature some excellent lithography. Issues such as N28/N29 Allen & Ginter and N162 Goodwin, for example, are considered among the finest trading card sets in terms of the artwork.

Many N-Cards feature color lithography. Some, however, look drastically different. Issues such as the N172 Old Judge set feature actual sepia-tone photographs that were printed then mounted onto cardboard backing. Many of these types of cards have faded over time, making them difficult to preserve. N-Cards that were similarly produced have a premium placed on them if the images are clear.

Early tobacco cards were incredibly popular with both children and adults. And while ones picturing sports figures were popular, many pictured actresses and unknown women, which were also incredibly popular. Men routinely even pursued women that were pictured on them and at least one relationship that begun as the result of such a pursuit actually ended in a marriage.

Note that this page contains only 19th Century tobacco cards here. Other 19th Century cards appear on other pages and grouped together as similar items. Any 19th Century card not fitting a particular classification can be found on the U-Card page, which contains all sorts of miscellaneous issues as was intended by Burdick.

19th century tobacco cards in America mostly ended in 1897 because a ban on them existed. However, that ban was lifted a few years later, leading to the reintroduction of tobacco issues by the early 1900s. Additionally, no such ban existed in the rest of the world so other international issues were continued without interruption.

Looking to learn more about collecting tobacco cards? Here’s an introduction of sorts that I wrote, which covers their history.


1888 Allen & Ginter (N28)
N29 3 Getzin.jpg
1889 Allen & Ginter (N29)
 N43 1 Ewing.jpg
1889 Allen & Ginter (N43)
N508 Catcher
Allen & Ginter /
Sub Rosa Girls (N508)
N360 Little Rhody Woman Pitcher.jpg
1892 Base Ball Scenes
Baseball Currency.jpg
1887-93 Baseball Currency
Tip O'Neill Buchner
1887 Buchner Gold Coin
1888/1889 Buchner
Morning Glory Maidens (N285)
N354 Consolidated Cigarettes Turn Card Baseball Combined
Consolidated Cigarettes
Turn Cards (N354) 
N352 Consolidated Cigarette Baseball Player.jpg
1888 Consolidated
Cigarettes / Paxi Cigarettes
N48 The Pitcher.jpg
1886 Dixie Cigarettes Girl
Players (N48)
N142 Delehanty.jpg
1893 Duke Cabinets
Sample baseball advertising trade card from Set H 804-39
Duke Cameo Studies
N104 Duke Comic Characters Off His Base.jpg
1888 Duke Comic
Characters (N104)
Duke Miniature Novelties N120 - Baseball
1891 Duke/Honest
Miniature Novelties (N120)
1888 Duke
Perilous Occupations (N86)
N154 Cleveland Fielding Fly 2.jpg
1888 Duke Presidents
N154 Catcher Facing Left Premium.jpg
1888 Duke Presidents
Cabinets (H814)
N135 A Home Run.jpg
1888 Duke
Talk of the Diamond (N135)
N88 Terrors of America - The Catcher (1888)
1888 Duke
Terrors of America (N88)
1889 Duke – Terrors of America
(Jumbo) (N136)
1889 N125 Duke Honest Puzzles Baseball Combined
1889 Duke/Honest Puzzles

4BH Daily.jpg
1887 Four Base Hits
1888 Goodwin Champions
N165 Baseball Goodwin.jpg
1889 Goodwin
Games & Sports (N165)
N175 Myers.jpg
1887 Gypsy Queen (N175)
1887-88 Gypsy Queen
California League
(Greenhood & Moran)
Y95 Caruthers.jpg
1887/1888 H.D.S. & Co. /
Scrapps Die-Cuts
Reccius Wagner.jpg
Henry Reccius Cigars
Honus Wagner
N338-2 George.jpg
1888 Hess
Big League (N338)
N338-1 Sweeney.jpg
1888 Hess California
League (N338)
N321 Buckley.jpg
1888 Hess
California League (N321)
N333 Collins.jpg
1888 Hess
Newsboy League (N333)
93JS Tebeau.jpg
1893 Just So Tobacco
N690 Corcoran.jpg
1887 Kalamazoo Bats
N690 Corcoran.jpg
1887 Kalamazoo Bats
Cabinets (N690-1)
N693 Philadelphia.jpg
1887 Kalamazoo Bats
Team Cards (N693)
N184 Darling.jpg
1887 Kimball Champions
1889 Kinney (N228)
1800 Little Rhody Female Baseball.jpg
1887 Little Rhody
Women Sports (N557)
N370 Bushong.jpg
1887 Lone Jack
St. Louis Browns (N370)
86L New York.jpg
1886 Lorillard’s
Plug Tobacco
N300 Anson.jpg
1894-95 Mayo’s Cut Plug
N301 NY Runner.jpg
1896 Mayo’s Game Cards
N566 179 Fuller.jpg
1895 Newsboy Cabinets (N567)
N526 Brouthers.jpg
1889 Number 7 Cigar
N167 Ewing.jpg
1886 Old Judge (N167)
N172 Anson 1.jpg
1886-90 Old Judge (N172)
N173 Breslin.jpg
1888-89 Old Judge
Cabinets (N173)
1887 Red Stocking Cigar Card Radbourn.jpg
1886-87 Red Stocking Cigar
1880s Risido Cigars
Women Baseball Players (N694)
1888 Sporting Extra Cigarettes All America BB Tourists.jpg
1888 Sporting Extra
1888 Sporting Times Giants.jpg
1888 Sporting Times
N48 The Pitcher.jpg
1886 Virginia Brights
Black Stockings (N48)
Virginia Brights Black Stocking Nine Cabinet.jpg
1884 & 1886 Virginia
Brights Black Stockings
Cabinets (H807-1)
Polka Dot Nine.jpeg
1884 Virginia Brights
Polka Dot Nine (H807-2)
 N403 040 Esterbrook.jpg
1888 Yum Yum Tobacco

1893 Yum Yum Tobacco

Follow Pre-War Cards on Twitter and also be sure to like our page on Facebook.