I have been playing around with ideas to expand the scope of the blog a little bit; nothing crazy just a little bit of contextual history here and a look at TCG's forebears there. The easiest way to feed this urge right now is to add a little more Bowman to the mix, which will in turn lead back to Gum, Inc. right at the start of FDR's administration.
I have been looking at three card strips of cards and salesman's samples of late and have discovered a couple of neat Bowman items out there, courtesy of Anthony Nex, who graciously let me lift about a bazillion scans.
The first known Bowman Baseball saleman's samples are from 1954; sadly there are none known from the classic 1953 color set. The 54's sample is arrayed 2 x 2:
There is another mix of players known and it would not surprise me one bit if quite a few more are out there. The back is neatly arranged:
1955 was the year of Bowman's Color TV cards and we get the classic 3 card variety now:
Unlike the 54's, the back does not even have a true facsimile of a 55 reverse:
They were really counting on the TV tie in. I wonder if they advertised on the boob tube? With Warren J. Bowman's history I would not be surprised, although the budget may not have been there. (NOTE: It turns out Warren J. Bowman wasn't there either-see Comments)
Now, the thing is that Bowman switched the faux wood grain to dark following the first 64 cards' display of blonde wood:
Perhaps the change was made due to production difficulties (brown wood grain would vex Topps in 1962) but they issued a salesman's strip with both grains during the transition:
Here is another:
I don't know the significance of the blonde version being upside down but it must have been cobbled together really quickly. They couldn't have printed both together, could they?
Back soon with a look at Topps saleman's samples from the 1950's. Stay cool kids!