T-Cards (Tobacco) and International Tobacco


Honus Wagner T206The T-Cards, which represent tobacco issues, are easily the most popular of the designations given by Jefferson Burdick in the American Card Catalog. Tobacco and baseball were heavily linked around the Turn of the Century and tobacco-makers capitalized on the popularity of the growing sport for a variety of marketing purposes.

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.

While T-Cards are an important designation, they are only one of two tobacco card types as identified today. T-Cards are for tobacco cards from the 20th Century while N-Cards are now identified as tobacco cards from the 19th Century. While the N-Card designation was initially used to identify cards from Central and South America, it is mostly used today to identify 19th Century cards instead.

Tobacco and baseball wasn’t just an American thing, either. As documented in numerous international issues, baseball was linked to tobacco in all sorts of countries. As a result, there are numerous baseball cards in international sets. Most of these, however, were typically part of multi-sport releases and very few were dedicated only to baseball.

T-Cards are heavily collected in part because of their availability. T206 cards, despite being more than 100 years old, are still very plentiful compared to other issues from the same era, such as E-Cards, which are much more scarce. The T206 set features the famous Honus Wagner card (pictured here), which is the most expensive baseball card of all-time. In 2017, one sold for more than three million dollars.

Tobacco cards typically included advertisements of some sort of the back for the company. These cards were generally placed inside of tobacco products, such as boxes of cigarettes or even loose-leaf tobacco. Cards in packages of loose-leaf tobacco, such as the T206 cards placed inside of Polar Bear brand tobacco, often have stains on them.

In addition to major league players, tobacco companies also distributed regional minor league sets with their products. Some of the more popular sets featuring minor leaguers include the red-bordered T210 cards and the  T212 Obak minor league cards.

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


1932 Abdulla German Tobacco Babe Ruth.jpg
1932 Abdulla Cigarettes
African World of Sport Babe Ruth.jpg
1939 African Tobacco
World of Sport
Aguila Roja.jpg
1917 Aguila Roja

1924-28 Aguilitas
23B 03 Dreke.jpg
1923-24 Billiken Cigarettes /
La Moda

1917 British American Tobacco
Sports of the World
1932 Bulgaria Sport Tobacco Babe Ruth.jpg
1932 Bulgaria Sport Photos
Cabanas Front
1909 Cabanas

1929 Churchman’s/Imperial
Sports & Games
T209 Contentnea Uncle Sam
1910 Contentnea (T209)
t215-bender1910-19 Coupon (T213) T208 Oldring.jpg
1911 Cullivan Fireside
09D McGraw.jpg
1913/1914 Derby Cigars
1931 Diana
1931 Diana Cigarettes (N561)
Waite Hoyt 1924 Diaz Cigarettes.jpg
1924 Diaz Cigarettes
Big League Pitchers (N258)
1932 Doble Aguila
1931/1932 Doble Aguila
1932 Doble Aguila
1931/1932 E. Quintana
Hal Chase Fan for a Fan.jpg
1913 A Fan for a Fan
T231 Fans Cigarettes.jpg
1922 Fans Cigarettes (T231)
T200 Fatima.jpg
1913 Fatima
Team Cards (T200)
1913 Fatima
Team Card Premiums (T200)
T222 Bush.jpg
1914 Fatima (T222)
1938 Gallaher Island Celebrities
1938 Gallaher
Island Sporting Celebrities

1912 Hassan Triple Folders (T202)
T332 Chase.jpg
1911 Helmar Stamps (T332)
T100 Honest Tobacco Silhouettes Baseball.jpg
Honest Silhouettes (T100)
1916 Industrial Cigarrera
1916 Industrial Cigarrera
1931Pattreioux Sports Trophies Baseball
1931 J.A. Pattreiouex
Sporting Trophies
Ruth Josetti.jpg
1931 Jasmatzi Ramses /
Josetti / Sulima Tobacco
Film Stars
1912 La Azora Cigars Cobb Fielding.jpg
1912 La Azora Cigars
Ty Cobb Tigers Schedule
Ty Cobb 1926 Lucky Strikes
1926 Lucky Strike
Cigarettes Ty Cobb
1928 Major Drapkin Cigarettes
T203 12 A Two Bagger.jpg
1900 Mayo
Base Ball Comics (T203)
T201 07 Wheat.jpg
1911 Mecca Double Folders (T201)
1912 Miners Extra /
Honest Champions (T227)
T217 Metzger.jpg
1910-11 Mono Cigarettes (T217)
1909-11 Murad College Series
T51 Murad Fordham
1909-11 Murad College Series
Cabinets (T6)
Babe Ruth Muratti
1935-36 Muratti Cigarettes
T88 Cubs
1900s Mutt & Jeff (T88)
Ten MIllion T212 Obak
1909-11 Obak (T212)
T4 076 Tennant.jpg
1911 Obak Cabinets (T4)
1923-24 Obsequio de los
Cigarros Nacionales
1915-16 Obsequio de Susini
Ogden ABC of Sport Wrestling
1927 Ogden

ABC of Sport
T210 Berger.jpg
1910 Old Mill (T210)
H801-7 Old Mill Cabinet
1910 Old Mill Cabinets
E98 05 Wagner Blue.jpg
1910 Old Put Cigar (E98)
T216 Bresnahan.jpg
1911-14 T216 Peoples
(Kotton, Mino, Virginia Extra)
T330-2 Piedmont Art Stamps
1914 Piedmont Art Stamps
T5 Devlin.jpg
1911 Pinkerton
Cabinet Cards (T5)
T215 Pirate Cigarettes
1910-13 Pirate Cigarettes
10PB Young.jpg
1910-12 Plow Boy Tobacco
1910 Punch Cigarros
1934 R&J Hill Tris Speaker
1934 R&J Hill Sports Series
T204 Carrigan.jpg
1909 Ramly (T204)
T215 Pirate Cigarettes
1910-13 Red Cross Cigarettes
T211 Foster.jpg
1910 Red Sun (T211)
Sarony Games - Baseball (1923)
1923 Sarony

Origin of Games
T49 Schulte's Tobacco Bowdoin College.jpg
Schulte College Series (T49)
Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb Sociedade Industrial Angola
1928 Sociedade Industrial
dos Tabacos de Angola
1930s Sociedade Industrial dos Tabacos de Angola
1930s Sociedade Industrial
dos Tabacos de Angola
1911 T205
Cobb Green
1909-11 T206
Marsans T207
1912 T207
1928 Tabacalera La Morena
1923-24 Tomas Gutierrez Cigarettes

1925 Turf/Boguslavsky
Sports Records
1910-11 Turkey Reds (T3)
Ty Cobb Back Tobacco T206
1909/1910 Ty Cobb Tobacco Card
with Ty Cobb Back
1935 Springbok Cigarettes 18 South Africa Baseball.jpg
1936 United Tobacco
Sports/Pastimes in South Africa
T214 Victory
1915 Victory Tobacco (T214)
1901 Wills Cigarettes
Sports of All Nations

1917 Wills Cigarettes
Sports of the World
1932 Worch.jpeg
1932 Worch Cigar
33WC Chapman.jpg
1933 Worch Cigar
1933-34 Worch AA.JPG1933-34 Worch Cigar
American Association

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