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The E-Sylum (11/7/2010)

Book Content

The recent World Series inspired a blog post from the American Antiquarian Society. Their November 2nd Past Is Present blog discussed some numismatic-related baseball ephemera. -Editor

W.S. Hill baseball note front W.S. Hill baseball note back

Advertisers have long used the image of popular baseball players and baseball teams to hock their wares. If you think it’s a 20th (or 21st) century phenomenon, think again. In the American Antiquarian Society’s collections there are many examples from the 19th century of advertisers associating themselves with baseball.

One nice example is a bank note advertisement from 1889. W.S. Hill, Watchmaker and Jeweler from West Chester, Pennsylvania issued a flyer, made to resemble currency, with an image of Albert Goodwill Spalding and a generic Chicago White Stocking player on the front and portraits of twelve members of the 1888 Chicago White Stockings on the reverse. The White Stockings, who would become the Cubs in 1903, did not win the National League pennant in 1888 (the first World Series was still 15 years away) and came in third in 1889 so we’re left to wonder why a Philadelphia area jeweler chose a team from Chicago in its advertising.

To read the complete article, see: Prices BATTED to Pieces (

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