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R36 Cops and Robbers Photo Source

December 28 2013 at 7:31 PM

Jack J.  (Login fallbrookjack)

I was scanning Ebay for gum cards when I came upon an image very familiar. On the page of an August 28, 1926 copy of Literary Digest was an unnamed degenerate hooked on drugs. The article title was "Fighting the Dope Menace". They couldn't fool me, I recognized the ner-do-well as Dapper Dan Dugan of Cops and Robbers fame.

[linked image] [linked image]

Credit for the photo went to The Brown Bros. This company is still in business and describes itself on its web page as: "Brown Brothers is the nation's oldest stock photo agency, established in New York in 1904. We have over 12 million photographs and illustrations from prehistory to present with special emphasis on early New York, immigrants, royalty, slums, political movements, rural and urban life, wars, early technology, disasters, politicians, sports, inventors, science, American fads, and celebrities. Our images are used by publishers, producers, museums, and advertising agencies worldwide."

I wish I had access to their files to see if the entire R36 set is based on their photos. At least Frank Fleer painted out the hypodermic needle sticking in Dan's arm. -Jack J.

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(Login Marslife)

Nice Find!

December 28 2013, 9:38 PM 

Great bit of research Jack!

This message has been edited by Marslife on Dec 28, 2013 9:38 PM


mr moses
(Login 1880snonsports)

nice find!

December 29 2013, 1:20 AM 

It's actually the only modern - to me anyway - set I owned because I loved the theme and how they always looked like "real" people. I had it maybe a month before I came to my senses happy.gif Really interesting some/all may have been taken from life AND they were apparently actually associated fundamentally with the ficticious characters they represented...........


Chuck Ross
(Login ChuckRoss)

Re: R36 Cops and Robbers Photo Source

December 29 2013, 8:08 AM 

That's really cool! Looks like the start of a great research project.

Dan C
(Login DanCalandriello)

complete sets ?

December 29 2013, 9:44 AM 

Am I allowed to ask
how many complete sets Net54 guys have ?
...........not master sets..just a bare bones complete set ?

I think I remember that the last numbers seemed
a little hard to find....wish I could remember
if it was the last 12 or last 6...
..........anyone know this answer ?

This message has been edited by DanCalandriello on Dec 29, 2013 9:47 AM

Dan C
(Login DanCalandriello)

and to Jack

December 29 2013, 9:46 AM 

Jack, what an amazing bit of information you've shared.

Do you collect the set ?



Jack J.
(Login fallbrookjack)

Cops and Robbers Photos

December 29 2013, 12:11 PM 

I do collect the set. I'm close to a basic set with missing cards #27 and #33. I've got some color variations, but am a long way from a master set.

While I'm not generally a fan of photo cards, this set is such fun it's one of my favorite to collect. I'm not sure that knowing the pictures are probably of real criminals and cops makes collecting it better of worse. I kinda liked the idea that Fleer just dressed his employees up and took their pictures.

Dan - Have you ever thought about having an ongoing page where we could log our sets? Maybe a grid with set down one side and our names across the top. We could check if we collect or have a complete set. As I describe it, it sounds like a major undertaking. I know past polls have not always gotten much response. - Jack J.

This message has been edited by fallbrookjack on Dec 29, 2013 12:16 PM


Chuck Ross
(Login ChuckRoss)

Re: R36 Cops and Robbers Photo Source

December 29 2013, 2:56 PM 

Dan, I have a complete set. The question is will you tell us how many complete sets you have? : )


Charley Ramone
(Login oldbubblegum)
temporary moderators

HAPPY NEW year! Wowza!

December 29 2013, 5:29 PM 

As usual, I'm late to the party. This little piece is M A J O R ! (re: this set)
JJ from the bottom of my heart, a very warm and genuine thank you! Thank you!

I've spent some time webagating the pic source over the years and never got any confirmation. I knew a man who was an executive at Fleer who knew a an "old man" who retired from F Fleer, whom he said would know the TRUE answer. I did not push.. (ok a little) and urged him to ask that 1 question (re: photos,pics)to the fella.(they talked every few weeks)Sadly, my next contact with the original "fleer dude"; I asked if he had talked to the "old man" and (I quote)
"..yeah, sorry about that..he passed away a couple weeks ago..never got to ask him.." (Argghh!!!!)

So, this little gem you uncovered is like a Christmas gift.

This confirms Jeff Shep's and others theory that "dapper dan" originally had a needle.

There is certainly a WIDE OPEN Door for you "non sport detectives" now (AHEM!)(wink,nod)

DAN Writes: "
I think I remember that the last numbers seemed
a little hard to find....wish I could remember
if it was the last 12 or last 6...
..........anyone know this answer ? "

Hi Dan, I think its all about personal experience (collecting,set building)
Personally, I did not find the last 12 or 6 a challenge compared to other numbers.
I had a harder time finding ANY cards for the longest here, 2 there etc
As I closed out the "master" I had way too many cards and suddenly...they appeared weekly on ebay, yahoo or auction houses...kind of reminds me of the "tough" G-men go years with nothing..then a flood of "hard numbers" comes on the block , wave after wave! (sigh)
Of course , FIRST & LAST are always hard in decent condition. (any set, any year)
My hardest cards were #9 Bruiser bill, #10 Terry the terror, #30 black hand tony and #33 Hong Kong Wow.
#9 bruiser bill is used as a pic in different guides and he has a skull & bones tattoo its "cool" I guess. And can be elusive and the others mentioned have "tough" or " Cool" names..which I believe, makes them more popular, played with more or kept.
Cards like "schemer snitch" ( who wants a snitch?) and "constable corntassle" (goofy looking, teeth missing, goofy name) = NOT "cool". My theory.

I've thought about writing an article on this issue but I think all bases have been covered here on net 54 prior.

We can get into colors, stock etc and then we are on rabbit trails.

I think Prof. Chuck has the bigger question for you Dan? (giggle)

GREAT WORK JJ! Just great work!

"showing the love since 1935"


Jack J.
(Login fallbrookjack)

Cops and Robbers Photos

December 29 2013, 6:05 PM 

Charley - I'm glad to play Santa for you this year.

For me, the hardest two cards in this set are the ones I don't have ... numbers 27 and 33 (if anyone has an extra). Of course, it's a little like always finding something in the last place you look. -Jack J.

Dan C
(Login DanCalandriello)

Dan's meaningless post/information

December 30 2013, 8:19 AM 

I dislike doing this, but I found my
June 2000 wantlist (my retirement date)

It indicates Cops and Robbers wasn't
highly regarded as it shows many needed cards.

Cops and Robbers 16 22 29 30 32 34 35
not sure if these #s were needed for set 1,2,3,4,etc

As stated, this information is of no use
to anyone, but does show Jack's two cards
were/are in my collection.

Also noteworthy is the fact I have taken
"singles" from my set(s) and sent to
collectors that needed them for their Master Sets.


Dan C
(Login DanCalandriello)


December 30 2013, 8:30 AM 

the same wantlist shows the below information

for trade - 5 7 8 10 11 13 15 17 18 19 20 23 25 28

I think it means these numbers were "plentiful"


(Login hfire)

Like they

December 31 2013, 9:41 PM 

said Great Info & I also think it would be a great research project. Thanks, Jack



Kurt K.
(Login Monsterwax)

Re: R36 Cops and Robbers Photo Source

December 31 2013, 11:04 PM 

Low grade set here. I'm a little disappointed to know they used stock photos. I always assumed they just had people they knew pose for them like Topps did for Creature Feature (using employee's faces to replace the stars faces.) Now I will NEVER be able to think of "Doper" Dan Dugan the same...

(Login wdmullins)

Re: R36 Cops and Robbers Photo Source

January 1 2014, 2:40 PM 


is a better scan of the page, and the whole magazine. Someone (not me) may want to browse through adjacent issues and pages to see if other pictures can be found.


(Login kurlywurly)

Re: R36 Cops and Robbers Photo Source

January 2 2014, 6:12 AM 

Happy new Fourteen to all ,

A super find Jack , if real life was't sucking all my hours through a seive i'd have given tracking down these old timers .

I must admit that the publication date of 1926 caught my eye .

I've always imagined the set as a 30's issue maybe 34 or thereabouts , so did Fleer store these images or did someone way back actually do what we are suggesting and flick through old copies for suitable dopers , hopers and gropers to include in their issue .......or did Fleer store the issues ....or was the issue a heck of a lot earlier than suggested ????

Charlie , you still squeezing that hefty frame if you're into the same po
box # ?

I am also slightly dissapointed that they weren't Fleer guys in the mug shots but what a super slice of social history to see the dippers , thieves and ner do wells emulated into card history .


Kurt K.
(Login Monsterwax)

Re: R36 Cops and Robbers Photo Source

January 2 2014, 12:08 PM 

The article estimates the cost of the stolen goods from drug addicts to be between $200 million to $3 billion ever year... and that doesn't include the cost of police protection to prevent a greater loss, or the cost of arresting and jailing those who are caught. (You could bet the police and jail costs would far exceed $3 billion a year.) The biggest shocker is that was the cost in 1926! Imagine what it must be now...

Alan R. Moon
(Login AlanRM)


January 2 2014, 8:33 PM 

Cool stuff Jack. Can't wait to see where the pics on the other cards came from.



Jack J.
(Login fallbrookjack)

R36 Cops and Robbers Photo Source

June 18 2015, 12:51 PM 

Stumbled onto this additional info on the photos used in the Fleer Cops and Robbers set. Card number 8, Chief Inspector Kennedy was the real-life head of the New York Police Force, Thomas F. Byrnes. He was Chief from 1880 to 1895. He coined such common police phrases as "Rogues Gallery" and "The Third Degree". His strong leadership resulted in both glory and corruption, and he was asked to resign by then President of the NY Police Commission, Theodore Roosevelt. The C&R set is not the only Non-sports set to memorialize the Chief. Buchner set N288 shows him without hat, and a tobacco issue that I couldn't identify has him in the same pose as the R36 set. - Jack J.

[linked image] [linked image]

[linked image] [linked image]


mr moses
(Login 1880snonsports)

nice catch!

June 18 2015, 1:26 PM 

and share.......... Bet all the images in the set had a concrete example they used rather than an imaginary character.

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