W-Cards (Strip/Exhibit)


w542-stripStrip cards were generally given with purchases or sold by retailers. Hence the name, they mostly came in a long strip where merchants could cut or rip off a certain amount for customers. For this reason, strip cards often have uneven or rough edges. Also classified as W-Card issues were Exhibit postcards and those are included in this section as well.

The hand-cut nature of the cards has given grading companies fits over the years. Some graded strip cards are all deemed as ‘Authentic’ grade since they were hand-cut instead of being factory cut, regardless of what the actual card may look like. Others have been graded based on the rest of their appearance and have earned numerical grades.

Putting it politely, strip cards have a mostly poor reputation in the trading card industry. Unlike some of the artwork in the gorgeous T205 and T206 sets, the depictions in strip card sets are often poor and without any real quality. Early strip cards used colored drawings while later ones, like other cards, went to real black and white images once that became more widely used. Some, too, also had a gaggle of printing gaffes, such as the W552 Mayfair Drawings set. Strip cards, in general, just were not done all that well.

One of the pros in the strip card category, however, is that since sets were relatively scarce at the time these were printed, often they include players that may have only a few cards from their playing days. In addition, it is generally much cheaper to buy strip cards of stars than it is other issues such as tobacco and candy cards.

Also identified in the W-Card category are Exhibit cards. These are larger, post-card like cards. Some have a formal postcard backing on them which collectors could use to send greetings in the mail. Others have different backings that are blank or contain things like special offers.

Uncatalogued issues are listed at the bottom in alphabetical order.

Catalogued Issues

1921-28 W461 Exhibits
1939-46 W462 Salutations Exhibits
1929-38 W463 Exhibits
1928 W465 Pacific Coast League Exhibits
1922 W501 Strip
1928 W502 Strip – Game Backs
1922 W503 Strip
1925 W504 Universal Toy and Novelty Strip
1926 W511 Strip
1925-27 W512 Strip (Multi-sport)
1928 W513 Strip (Multi-sport)
1919-21 W514 Strip
1923 W515 Strip
1920-21 W516 IFS Strip
1931 W517 Strip
1920 W519 Strip
1920 W520 Strip
1921 W521 Strip
1920 W522 Strip
1913-15 W530 Pinkerton Score Cards
1920s W542 Sports Drawings (Multi-sport)
1921 W551 Strip (Multi-sport)
1919 W552 Mayfair Position Drawings
1929 W553 Strip
1930 W554 Strip
1909 W555 Strip
1927 W560 Strip (Multi-sport)
1928 W565 Strip (Multi-sport)
1923 W572 IFS Strip (Multi-sport)
1922 W573 Strip
1933 W574 Strip
1922 W575 Strip
1925-31 W590 Strip (Multi-Sport)
1902-11 W600 Sporting Life – Cabinet Issue
1902-11 W601 Sporting Life – Composite Issue
1931 W626 Sun Pictures Photo Kits
1931-59 W709 Chicago Cubs Pictures and Postcards
1939 W711-1 Cincinnati Reds
1931 W754 St. Louis Cardinals / Metropolitan Studios
1921 W9316 Strip

Uncatalogued Issues

1920s Big Heads Strip Cards
1922 Eastern Exhibit Supply Postcards
1931-32 Exhibit Supply Company Postcard (Babe Ruth)
1923 Fleer (W515)
1923 Little Wonder Picture Series (W515-2)
1925-31 Postcard-Backed Exhibits
1925-31 Postcard-Backed 4-on-1 Exhibits (Multi-sport)
Universal Toy and Novelty Strip Playing Cards
1929 Star Picture Stamp Exhibit (Babe Ruth)
1910 W-UNC Strip Cards
1912 W-UNC Strip Cards
1915 W-UNC Strip Cards
1921 W-UNC Self-Developing Strip Cards
1931 W-UNC Strip Cards
1920s W-UNC Shoulderless Strip Cards

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