cards first became popular in the late 1800's when tobacco companies used
them to stiffen small, soft cigarette packages and to promote sales. Although
the cards vary in design and format,
most are much smaller than today's sports trading cards.
Cigarette card collector Benjamin K. Edwards preserved in albums a collection of 2,100 baseball cards.They dated from 1887 to 1914, including the commemorative cards of the most memorable double-play combinations in the history of baseball. Chicago Cubs infielders Joe Tinker, John Evers, and Frank Chance, and of such legendary players as Ty Cobb, Cy Young, and Charles Bender were Included in this collection.
After he died, Edward's daughter gave the albums to noted poet and Lincoln historian Carl Sandburg, who donated them to the Library in 1954.
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