Pre-War Football Card Sets

Shipwreck Kelly National Chicle Header

The game of football was still growing in the pre-war era. However, there were still a decent number of football cards floating around before 1940, including the groundbreaking 1935 National Chicle set and the 1894 Mayo Plug cards.

The first recognized American Football card is that of Yale’s Harry Beecher. His card can be found in the popular N162 Goodwin Champions set.

While some later pre-war issues included professional football players, many pre-war football cards feature collegiate players. Several of those are generic in nature not depicting any particular players.

HereĀ are sets from the pre-war era that featured American football cards. Multi-sport sets that contained other sports in addition to football cards are denoted below. In addition to these sets, numerous collegiate postcard sets were issued in the 1900s, which have been omitted.

Cards are classified by type below.

Bakery

1937 D146 Donut Company of American Thrilling Moments (Multi-Sport)
1929 Peoples Baking

Blankets/Felts

B33 College Pennants / Felt Blankets (Multi-Sport)
1936-38 BF3 Felt Pennants (Multi-Sport)

Candy/Gum

1926 Amatller Chocolate
1933 C.A. Briggs (Multi-Sport)
1933 Goudey Sport Kings (Multi-Sport)
1935 National Chicle
1930s R79 Leader Discs (Multi-Sport)
1930s R161 Walt Disney Comics (Multi-Sport)
R311 National Chicle Premiums (Multi-Sport)
1926 Shotwell Candy Red Grange Set (with Ad Backs)
1926 Shotwell Candy Red Grange Set (Movie Series/Blank Backs)
1928 Star Player Candy
1925 V31 Dominion Chocolate Athletic Stars (Multi-sport/International)

Food

1938 Dixie Lids (Multi-Sport)
1938 Dixie Lids Premiums (Multi-Sport)
1937 Kellogg’s Pep Stamps (Multi-Sport)
Wheaties Panels (Multi-Sport)

Gaming

1934 Goudey Sport Kings Varsity Game Cards
1925 Ya-Lo Football Game Cards
1934 Ya-Lo Football Game Cards

Postcards (Sets Only)

A.H. Rah Rah Series Postcards
Archie Gunn / National Art Company Fan/Mascot Postcards
Book Mark Company College Series Postcards (Multi-Sport)
College Girl Series Foldout Pennant Postcards
1910 Colonial Art Romantic Comedy Postcards
Decorative Poster Company Series HC 1-12 Football Girl Postcards
Douglass Fan/Pennant Postcards
1907 Earl Christy Embossed College Series Postcards
1906 Earl Christy / Illustrated Postcard and Novelty Company of New York (Girls in Buggies) Postcards
Earl Christy Platinachrome Postcards
Earl Christy / Raphael Tuck and Sons College Kings and Queens Postcards (International)
Earl Christy / Raphael Tuck and Sons University Girls Sitting on Seals Postcards
Earl Christy / Valentine Artotype Postcards
1907 Emanuel College Boy Postcards (Multi-Sport)
Franz Huld College Girls Postcards (Multi-Sport/International)
1905 J. Bergman College Girls/Pennants Postcards
J.I. Austen College Girl Athletes Postcards (Multi-Sport)
1907 Julius Bien / Earl Christy College Series Number 95 Postcards
M. Greiner Basketball and Football Women Fans Postcards (Multi-Sport)
Manhattan Post Card Company Rah Rah Postcards
Oilette / Raphael Tuck and Sons Postcards
Oilette / Raphael Tuck and Sons New England College Series Postcards
1907 P. Gordon 5100 Football Series Postcards
1906 R. Hill Rah Rah University Series Postcards
1907 The Rose Company Poem Postcards
1907 Rotograph Company Fan/Pennant Postcards
1905 Souvenir College Girl Series Postcards
Ullman College Baseball and Football Postcards (Multi-Sport)
1909 Ullman College Baby Postcards (Multi-Sport)

*Note that numerous other collegiate fan sets exist that could be considered football issues. For the purposes of this site, I have listed only issues that include football equipment, mascots, or cheers/yells, which clearly identify them as a sports issue. In addition, other postcards that are clearly not sports issues but include cheers/yells have been excluded.

Silks

S21 Murad College Series (Multi-Sport)
S22 Murad College Series (Multi-Sport)
S23 College Yell Silks (Multi-Sport)

Stamps

1915 Hinds Cream Stamps (Multi-Sport)
1936 Newspaper Sport Stamps (Multi-Sport)
1917 Youth’s Companion Stamps (Multi-Sport)

Strip Cards

1926 W511 Strip Cards (Multi-Sport)
1927 W560 Strip Cards (Multi-Sport)
1925-31 W590 Strip (Multi-Sport)

Tobacco

Aguilitas Cuba Deportiva (Multi-Sport/International)
1934 Carreras Believe it or Not (Multi-Sport/International)
1929 Imperial/Churchman Sports & Games in Many Lands (Multi-Sport/International)
1894 Mayo Cut Plug
1935-36 Muratti Cigarettes Olympic Sports (Multi-Sport/International)
1888 N162 Goodwin Champions (Multi-Sport)
1889 N165 Goodwin Games and Sports (Multi-Sport)
T6 Murad College Series – Cabinet Cards (Multi-Sport)
T49 Schulte College Series (Multi-Sport)
1910-11 T51 Murad College Series (Multi-Sport)

Trade Cards/Paper Dolls/Blotters

1890s Blue/Striped Uniform Trade Cards
1933 Brown and Bigelow Gandolfi Wines Blotters
College Schedule Blotters (Various)
Coontown Football Game Trade Card (C-931)
1939 Gridiron Greats Blotters
1896 H818 Spalding Die-Cuts (Multi-Sport)
Hallet and Davis Pianos Bookmark Trade Cards
1899 Home Insurance Company of New York Trade Card
Mentholatum Football and Hockey Blotters (Multi-Sport)
1930 Rogers Peet Clothing (Multi-Sport)
Royal Portable Typewriter Blotter
1926 Spalding Champions (Multi-Sport)
Sun Life Home Insurance Company Trade Card
Z12 Enameline College Colors Paper Dolls (Multi-Sport)

Other

1933 U5 Diamond Matchbooks Silver
1934 Diamond Matchbooks
1934 U8 Diamond Matchbooks College Rivals
1935 Diamond Matchbooks
1935 U8 Diamond Matchbooks College Rivals
1936 Diamond Matchbooks
1937 Diamond Matchbooks
1938 Diamond Matchbooks
1935 Indiana Sport Avion (Multi-Sport/International)
1939 Ross Jewelry Washington Redskins Matchbooks
1931/1932 Walker’s Cleaners and Tailors Packers Photos

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