T-Cards represent American tobacco issues and are one of the most popular of the designations given by Jefferson Burdick in the American Card Catalog.
These were cards that were either packaged directly with tobacco products or issued separately by tobacco companies. Some golf issues are American cards. The bulk, however, are from other parts of the world. Several were part of multi-sport issues from the United Kingdom. Both men’s golf cards and women’s cards be found.
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.
From a golf standpoint, Bobby Jones is arguably the most desirable name and his cards are widely collected. Jones cards have not quite reached the heights of Babe Ruth cards have but collectors easily pay hundreds or even more than $1,000 for some of his rarer cards or for cards in exceptional condition. His cards have sometimes made pursuing rather plain sets a little more expensive than some collectors would have expected.
These issues are interesting as many high-grade examples still exist, despite their age. As stated, the majority were international issues. Those were often preserved by collectors better than their American counterparts as collecting was seen as more of an adult hobby in other parts of the world. Many cards were affixed or placed into collecting books and sat undisturbed for decades. Thus, it isn’t uncommon to see them in very good condition and without major flaws.
Looking to learn more about collecting tobacco cards? Here’s an introduction of sorts that I wrote, which covers their history
Below is a list of pre-war golf card sets and multi-sport sets where a golf card can be found. All are multi-sport issues unless otherwise identified.