the more things change…

by

Have you ever sat and wondered what it must have been like to collect baseball cards way back when… you know, in the days prior to the interweb, penny sleeves, and printed price guides? If you pulled a presidential DNA card from an Allen & Ginter pack, would you consider trading it for say, an hour in a time machine? I know I would!

Luckily, we do have access to a time machine of sorts, and it goes by the name of “Shorpy.” Best of all, you can use it as often and as long as you wish, and it won’t even cost you a Willie McGee card.

I must warn you that Shorpy “the 100-year-old photo blog” can be quite addictive. So you may wish to skip the rest of this entry and return to check it out sometime in November when there is no baseball to watch.

I suspect that most Cards in the Attic readers will be quite interested in this photo of a young military cadet that seems to have been taken in his dorm room right around 1911.

Why? Perhaps you need a closer view…

That’s right… baseball cards. Actually, there are all kinds of interesting things to look at in this photo, so you’ll want to be sure to visit Shorpy.com and download the uncropped high resolution image that they obtained from a National Photo Company Collection glass negative on file at the Library of Congress.

But this blog is about baseball cards, and not so much the other stuff, so let’s focus on the cards. Without screw down acrylic cases to protect his collection, this young collector simply affixed his cards to his wall so he could look at them whenever he felt the need. Raise your hand if you’ve never done this yourself. Now put your hand down liar!

Without his own blog or MySpace page, the subject of our attention could only document his STELLAR collection by sitting in front of it and having someone take a photograph. Nearly 100 years later, his efforts are greatly appreciated. This guy even had a fish card that I suspect Cardboard Junkie can identify in an instant.

Not that long ago Shorpy ran another photo that seems to have either been shot in a military barracks, or some bizzaro pool hall. This photo dates to the later 1910s, but does that alone qualify the photo to be included here?

Hardly! A closer inspection reveals more baseball card madness…

My first thought was that they stuck the entire contents of a blaster box on the wall, but I’m fairly confident that Target wasn’t around yet. You’ll want to make sure to also check out the full-size image of this by following this link.

Isn’t history kool? Isn’t it also a little strange? Then, not unlike now, the country and the baseball card hobby faced hard times with myriad challenges and opportunities. What will be your legacy? (Completely rhetorical, of course- no need to go into all of that in the comments section!!!)

Did I mention that Shorpy.com could be addictive?

- Kris

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3 Responses to “the more things change…”

  1. whitesoxcards Says:

    Those photographs are priceless! Do I spy an Allen & Ginter fish card under those T205s?

  2. jv Says:

    this is probably the most interesting post I’ve read in a really long time. Good job!

  3. nmboxer Says:

    Kris, this is fantastic. The placid faces, the details of the rooms, and…..the cards. Holy mother macree.

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