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REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 25 2008 at 9:11 PM

J Hull  (Login jimonym)

Jon Canfield had an excellent, thoughtful post in the REA Is Up thread which raised some questions about this lot. I thought rather than follow up in a thread that’s hopelessly offtrack, I’d start a new one.

I agree that this Piedmont pack probably isn’t all it is purported to be. I’ve been researching tobacco/cigarette taxes and regulation, starting from 1879 (the year of an enormous tax and tariff act). I’ve currently researched to 1915. Over all those years, Congress dictated, through their revenue acts, the number of cigarettes that could be sold in a package.

The 1879 act limits packages to either 10, 20, 50, or 100 cigarettes. According to my notes, this was the case until August of 1909, when a revenue law was passed that authorized packages to have 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 50, or 100 cigarettes. This was the law through at least 1915. Basically, the point is no package containing 12 cigarettes could have been manufactured or sold over the production years of T206s. So far as my research has shown. Tax stamps for 12-packs weren’t authorized or printed over those years.

As Jon said, I'd like to see someone offer an opposing argument, but something doesn't seem right here.

Jamie


http://bid.robertedwardauctions.com/bidplace.aspx?itemid=10075

 
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Jon Canfield
(Login canjond)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 25 2008, 9:50 PM 

Jamie,

Glad to see someone else picked up on what I said and I think your references to the Revenue Acts brings even more credence to the belief this pack most likely is a "fantasy" piece used to drum up the value of what would be an ordinary common T-206.

I've decided to repost my initial thoughts which I posted in the previous thread here. Hopefully Rob will see this post or have his attention drawn to it as I think we have strong evidence this pack isn't quite what it seems.

My previous post:

. . . I don't quite think Lot 319 (Piedmont Pack w/ card) is all it is purported to be. I may be wrong and would love to be convinced I am wrong, however the pack is purported to be recently opened with Herman Armbruster of St. Paul inside. When looking at the pack, however, I noted that the pack was a 12 count with L&M printing on the bottom and no "successor" language at all.

My problems with the pack are as follows:

1.) ATC was split up in 1911. Piedmont packs could not possibly have been printed with L&M on the bottom until after the split.

2.) The first Piedmont packs to be printed stated L&M, successor to ATC - this pack does not have the successor language.

3.) It is a 12 count pack - I have only heard / seen cards being packaged in 10 count cig packs.

4.) I believe Armbruster is a 350 only series (but please correct me if I'm wrong). If this is the case, wouldn't the release of the card be more in tune with summer of 1909, winter 1910 - a full year before ATC was split into L&M?

5.) It's hard to see the tax stamp but it does not appear to be the correct series/year for the T206 issue.

All of these facts, while not conclusive, lead me to believe that this pack couldn't have contained a card. With a minimum bid of $500, I can't help but wonder whether a card worth maybe $150-$200 has been placed in a pack to make it a more valuable piece.

I would welcome any evidence proving me incorrect but as a collector of these packs, something is fishy here . . .

Here is the description:

“This is an original pack of Piedmont cigarettes (Factory 25, Dist. VA.) dating from the era of T206 tobacco cards! This was originally purchased by our consignor as an unopened pack. He wanted the thrill of opening an original T206 pack and actually was successful in doing this. We would not recommend anyone purchasing packs to try this! Not only could this be very expensive, but so many of the tobacco packs that are represented as being from the T206 era are, in fact, not T206 packs, are often not even from the correct era, and do not even include a card. Even if one found a pack that was believed to have a T206 card, so many different sets were issued in the 1910 era, one could easily be disappointed and wind up with a flag or a fish card, or a card from some other nonsport tobacco-card set. This is a real T206 pack, one that has been confirmed with 100% certainty. The pack has been opened and inside was discovered the T206 baseball tobacco card, as hoped and expected. Over the years we have seen many empty boxes, but do not recall seeing an unopened 1910-era Piedmont cigarette pack. The good news is that it was a baseball player inside the pack, and this pack shows us precisely how cards were packaged in Piedmont cigarette boxes, with the card well protected from the tobacco by a protective interior lining. The bad news is the pack did not contain a Cobb, Mathewson, Johnson, or Wagner, but a minor league player by the name of Herman Armbruster of St. Paul. Aside from the consignor peeking at the card, and our pulling it partially out to properly identify the player, this card has never been touched by human hands! It is miraculous to actually see a Nr/Mt card inside the pack exactly as issued in 1910. Even though the pack was already opened, it was still very exciting for us to reopen the pack and see the card inside. Occasionally empty boxes that once held T206s surface, but this is in a whole different league. The pack was originally purchased encapsulated and graded by GAI as an unopened pack in NM 7 condition, and the GAI holder (seal broken) accompanies. This would be a fascinating and exciting item for both a T206 or unopened-pack collector. Reserve $500. Estimate (open).”

 
 

1880nonsports
(Login 1880nonsports)

way too easy....

March 26 2008, 3:09 AM 

post atc breakup - doesn't say american tobacco company. Just of interest Liggett and Myers also had their own brands prior to the merger and I believe some brands remained independent even thru that period. They first issued a card in their Sweet Moments brand in the 1800's and that may be a brand they retained. They also were among a few tobacco companies that continued to insert cards into their packs after the break-up. Coupon cigarettes contained a NS card as late as 1917 and brands like Lucky Strike inserted cards into their tins in the 1930's.......

Wax wrap - I have 5/6 packs with this type of paper wrap including a great "dummy" pack from Piedmont. I haven't seen one with a definitive "stamped for sale" date as I like to call it before 1916 or 1917.

12 pack - as mentioned earlier it was an unusual configuration for which they needed to add a tax stamp series - as the number of smokes determined the tax paid by the manufacturer for their cigars and cigarettes.

*********the final and best reason is that someone authenticated it ***********

 
 

fkw
(Login fkw)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 4:33 AM 

I cant comment on this Piedmont pack because I am far from an expert on packs, but a few years ago I owned a 1909 Obak pack (of 10 cigarettes) and it had a card inside (see photo). The card actually shows light stains that matchup with the packs flap and inside slider.

Maybe if we can somehow see the actual T206 card inside the Piedmont pack we can look for evidence the card was in the pack for 98 years.


1909 Obak pack with stained card


 
 
Jon Canfield
(Login canjond)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 10:11 AM 

Frank - not sure if you recall but I purchased the card/pack from you. It was an upgrade from the Obak in my ollection and I still have it today.

 
 
Jon Canfield
(Login canjond)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 12:46 PM 

Henry - can you email me please. Thanks!

 
 
Addie_Joss
(Login Addie_Joss)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 1:01 PM 

I don't get why anyone would pay 500 for a pack that they know already contains a non-star card.

 
 
Bernie
(Login jeter62375)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 1:13 PM 

why wouldn't they show the card ?

 
 

Richard Dwyer
(Login Richard_Dwyer)

REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 1:33 PM 

Only boxes with 10 cigarettes were possible T206 boxes. Also the tax stamp doesn't have a date at all on it, if I remember right. Dewitt/Clinton stamps went all the way to 1956.

Here's a tax stamp that would prove without doubt there was a T206 card inside. The overprinting shows Factory 30, 2nd District, NY and has date of 1911. Factory, district, state, and year are all correct.


 
 
DD
(Login david_davis)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 1:54 PM 

Richard,
Would a tax stamp like that prove there was a T206 inside, or a card from any set produced? If they did not produce any other cards at that time, I would agree. IF they did produce other cards at the time, is there any way to know from a sealed pack what is inside?

 
 
Jon Canfield
(Login canjond)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 1:58 PM 

No - unfortunately dating cigarette packs is not an exact science. If you can get to the right factory, state and district codes, with a proper revenue stamp with the proper overprint - you can get close. However, at the end of the day, you may open up your sweet caporal pack and find a NM-MT tuna from the fish series; not that Wagner you were banking on.


    
This message has been edited by canjond on Mar 26, 2008 2:15 PM


 
 
Dave Kelley
(Login kno1canno)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 1:59 PM 

I have no idea if these pictures will come through....but here goes...I purchased this pack in 2004 and opened it shortly thereafter...I always wondered why this forum seemed to think it was impossible for a pack like this to contain a card...BECAUSE upon opening it, THERE WAS A CARD!!!!! Maybe it is time to re-think what all the "experts" deem as the gospel truth. Most of you guy's have forgotten more than I will ever know about the history of unopened packs...I have purchased 8 unopened packs of various types, and opened them all (I know that makes some of you cringe). This was the ONLY time I ever opened a pack with a card...in fact I have thrown the cigarettes and tobacco away from all the packs that did not contain a card, so that the packs could never be re-sold under suspicious circumstances. I do not collect nor have I EVER purchased a T206 card from any source. There will be some people here who know that I have traditionally collected T210 cards (having sold 2 Stengels and more than 300 as a lot)...as well as various high end Shoeless JJ memorabilia. I love the thrill of opening "unopened" packs and as a collector that has well over $100,000 in various items...I would, in no way , EVER introduce material into the collecting world that I did not KNOW was 100% authentic!!!!!!


Photobucket



resized scans


    
This message has been edited by kno1canno on Mar 27, 2008 1:45 PM


 
 
Jon Canfield
(Login canjond)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 2:11 PM 

Dave,

Thanks for posting those pictures. I spoke with Rob this morning and I was going to give you a call later this evening. Unfortunately, I have been busy at work and unable to call now and I also contacted some of my contacts in the cigarette world (who do not collect baseball related memorabilia) to get everything in order before speaking with you. Rob informed me that you are a very upstanding individual and very trustworthy.

That all being said, here is some information of use:

According to Springer's Handbook of North American Cinderella Stamps (4th edition):

Series of 1910, tax rate $1.25 per M
TA84 through TA90
issued stamps for 5; 8; 10; 15; 20; 50; 100 cigarettes

The author added the following: "The editor will appreciate hearing of any cigarette varieties not listed in this catalogue."

A stamp for 12 cigarettes first listed as Series of 1917.

As you may or may not be aware, Springer's is a bible for revenue stamp collectors. There were 10+ editions published over many decades.

So, your experience brings up an interesting question. I am almost 100% positive a 12 count cigarette pack was not manufactured before 1917. If that is the case, it begs the question as to how a T-206 got into yours. I am, in no way, questioning your integrity. As I stated above, Rob had nothing but praise for you. However, finding a card in that pack goes against what is currently known information for that time period and those revenue stamps. As a collector who likes to focus on cigarette packs and memorabilia, I find this situation of great interest.

It seems to me there are a couple of possibilities:

1.) It may be that Springers is incorrect and the Series of 1910 also had 12 cigarette configurations (however this information has not yet been known).

2.) It may be that Piedmont had a huge stock of of cards left over and continued inserting them into packs beyond the 1909-11 date.

3.) It could be that someone tampered with your pack before it was purchased (as there were rumors of this being done).

4.) There could be other scenarios I have not yet thought of.

Regardless, if there has been any misconception of me questioning your trustworthiness, etc - I can assure you I am not.

Lastly, here is a scan from Springers:

Photobucket


    
This message has been edited by canjond on Mar 26, 2008 2:28 PM


 
 
Matt
(Login MSW1)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 2:18 PM 

Is there any possibility that even though the T206s where made in 1909-11, they were distributed in packs in years after that?

 
 
Dave Kelley
(Login kno1canno)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 5:13 PM 

Jon...Thank you for the kind words and sharing more information as to the background regarding your knowledge (belief). I can not argue with what has been cited in the publication shown, but I also can not know for certain that this is ALL of the facts. I KNOW FOR A FACT that this pack which was graded as unopened WAS in every way UNOPENED at the time of my removing it from the GAI enclosure (keep in mind that the paper encompassing the pack was (is) extremely fragile to the touch). Could someone have removed all packaging and inserted a card....NO WAY. Have there been people to do this with other NON graded items...ABSOLUTELY. In fact I have shared with this board on several occasions who to stay away from. Jon, your assistance in further research regarding this is welcome...and I will tell you what I told Rob....money was NOT my initial motive in offering this thru REA, but instead, I wanted someone else to share in the experience of finding a card as they did 90+ years ago. I told Rob he is welcome to give whatever money it brings to the charity of his choice...I was attempting to share a wonderful moment with other collectors, instead I seem to have opened a can of worms (no pun intended).

 
 

1880nonsports
(Login 1880nonsports)

I hope we can continue this.....

March 26 2008, 5:25 PM 

please. I'm heading out to torture myself with Yoga and then a few hours of "spades" with the boys. I REALLY think this line of exploration is IMPORTANT. I don't think anyone is suggesting that YOU didn't actually pull a card from the pack.
Jon - when I get home from cards I'll try an email...

 
 

Richard Dwyer
(Login Richard_Dwyer)

REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 7:04 PM 

I was wrong to suggest that the tax stamp had a strong possibility of having a T206 card in the box. According to Robert Forbes book, Sweet Caporal, Piedmont, & Sovereign all came from the same factory, district, & state in 1910. So that tax stamp could have either had a T206 or Fish Series, or maybe something else.

I do have an Old Mill box with overprinting of Factory 25, 2nd. District VA with a date of June 12th. 1911. The only other cards issued by Old Mill were T16, T42, & T80 according to Robert Forbes book on American Tobacco Cards. T16 had NONE for factory. T42's were issued late 1910 and early 1911. T80's were only issued with Factory 30. With the June date, I would assume only a T206 could have been in this box. (Wish it was unopened!) And more specifically, a Portrait or Southern League card, since they distributed these only in 1911 with Old Mill. Let me know if you know something else I don't.


    
This message has been edited by Richard_Dwyer on Mar 26, 2008 7:16 PM


 
 

J Hull
(Login jimonym)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 26 2008, 8:02 PM 

Well, I started all this, so I feel like I should add that my motivation in starting was to raise the issue that if this pack did indeed have a T206 in it, and I believe Dave (Hi Dave) when he says it did, then it raises some, I think, important and interesting questions about how and when T206s were distributed. Because everyone, everyone, has always thought T206s were printed and distributed from 1909 to 1911. This package of cigarettes could not have been manufactured and released from the warehouse and given a tax stamp until at least 1917. Whatever the explanation is for that, it seems a significant piece of new knowledge about this very well-studied set of tobacco cards.

Jamie

 
 
Jerry Spillman
(Login jsw600)

REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 27 2008, 10:16 AM 


I was skeptical about this GAI 12 Piedmont cigarette pack having an insert card when it was purchased in 2004. I wrote to the buyer to verify that there was infact a card in the pack he purchased. He kindly obliged me by sending me the series of scans shown below on June 7, 2004.

These scans that show a step by step sequence of opening the GAI slab then opening the pack. There was a 1909-1911 T206 card! A T206 in the wrong pack and with the wrong (non-dated) stamp for that period. Even the condition of the tax stamp alone was too perfect. Stamps that wrap around the ends of the cigarette packs always rip when they are opened. Strange - but there is was.

How can this be possible? Could GAI have slabbed a carefully reworked pack?







 
 
Jon Canfield
(Login canjond)

Re: REA Lot 319 (Piedmont Cigarette Pack)

March 27 2008, 10:31 AM 

Jerry - thanks for posting the scans. I assume you are the original seller of the pack and this pack you posted is one in the same?

Also, Dave, if you would be willing to speak with me over the phone, I'd like to call you. Again, I want your permission first before doing so. Thanks!

 
 
 
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