Pre-War Football Card Sets

Blue Striped Football Trade 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.

Here 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.


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

Banners and Labels

G300 Football Cigar Box Labels
1889 G75 Goodwin Games and Sports Banner (N165)


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


1925 V31 Dominion Chocolate Athletic Stars (Multi-sport/International)


1926 Amatller Chocolate
1933 C.A. Briggs (Multi-Sport)
1930s R79 Leader Discs (Multi-Sport)
1930s R161 Walt Disney Comics (Multi-Sport)
R311 National Chicle Premiums (Multi-Sport)
1935 R331 National Chicle
1933 R338 Goudey Sport Kings (Multi-Sport)
1933-34 R339 Goudey Sport Kings Varsity Game Cards
1933 R340 Goudey Sport Kings Premiums (Multi-Sport)
1933 R341 Sport Packs (Multi-Sport)
1937 R343 Mayfair Candies Touchdown 100 Yards
1926 Shotwell Candy Red Grange Set (with Ad Backs)
1926 Shotwell Candy Red Grange Set (Movie Series/Blank Backs)
1925/1928 Star Player Candy
1931 Swedish Kanolds Kick-Mint (Multi-Sport)


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


1933-34 R339 Goudey Sport Kings Varsity Game Cards
1925 Ya-Lo Football Game Cards
1934 Ya-Lo Football Game Cards

Paper Dolls

1890s Z12 Enameline College Colors Paper Dolls (Multi-Sport)

Postcard Sets (Issues with Football Equipment)

1906 A.H. Rah Rah Series Postcards
Archie Gunn / National Art Company Fan/Mascot Postcards
1907 Beaty ‘The Coming Champs’ Postcards (Multi-Sport)
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
1907 Dietsche Michigan Wolverines Postcards
Douglass Fan/Pennant Postcards
1907 Earl Christy Embossed College Series Postcards
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 Illustrated Post Card Company of New York 5004 Poem Series (Multi-Sport)
1905 J. Bergman College Girls/Pennants Postcards
J.I. Austen College Girl Athletes Postcards (Multi-Sport)
J.I. Austen Football Boy Postcards
1906 J. Tully Postcards (Multi-Sport)
1912 Jim Thorpe of Carlisle, PA Postcard
1912 Jim Thorpe Hensel Studio Postcard
1912 Jim Thorpe, Louis Tewanima, Pop Warner Carlisle Honorees Postcard
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
1932 Notre Dame Postcards
Oilette / Raphael Tuck and Sons Postcards
Oilette / Raphael Tuck and Sons New England College Series Postcards
1912 Olympiska Spelens Postcards (with Jim Thorpe)
1916 Oregon State University (Oregon Agricultural) Postcards
1907 P. Gordon 5100 Football Series Postcards
1926 Pottsville Maroons Postcards
1906 R. Hill Poem Postcards
1906 R. Hill Rah Rah University Series Postcards
1905 R.F. Outcault / J. Ottmann Postcards (Multi-Sport)
1928 Red Grange ‘One Minute to Play’ Exhibit Postcards
1907 The Rose Company Poem Postcards (Multi-Sport)
1907 Rotograph Company Fan/Pennant Postcards
1905 Souvenir College Girl Series Postcards
1905 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.


1910 S21 Murad College Series (Multi-Sport)
1910 S22 Murad College Series (Multi-Sport)
S23 College Yell Silks (Multi-Sport)


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

Strip Cards

1931 Jim Thorpe Battling with Buffalo Bill Strip Card
1926 W511 Strip Cards (Multi-Sport)
1927 W560 Strip Cards (Multi-Sport)
1925-31 W590 Strip (Multi-Sport)


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)
1909-11 T6 Murad College Series – Cabinet Cards (Multi-Sport)
T49 Schulte College Series (Multi-Sport)
1909-11 T51 Murad College Series (Multi-Sport)

Trade Cards/Blotters

1890s Blue/Striped Uniform Trade Cards
1937 Bronko Nagurski Wrestling Champion Blotter
1933 Brown and Bigelow Gandolfi Wines Blotters
College Schedule Blotters (Various)
Coontown Football Game Trade Card (C-931)
1939 Gridiron Greats Blotters
H503 Football Boy Trade Card
1896 H818 Spalding Die-Cuts (Multi-Sport)
HD8F Hallet and Davis Pianos Bookmark Trade Cards
1899 Home Insurance Company of New York Trade Card
Mentholatum Football and Hockey Blotters (Multi-Sport)
1930s Rogers Peet Clothing (Multi-Sport)
Royal Portable Typewriter Blotter
1926 Spalding Champions (Multi-Sport)
Z12 Enameline College Colors Paper Dolls (Multi-Sport)


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
1936 Standard Oil Nebraska Cornhuskers Photos
1937 Standard Oil Nebraska Cornhuskers Photos
1931/1932 Walker’s Cleaners and Tailors Packers Photos

%d bloggers like this: