March 02, 2010

The Blog of the Unknown Postcard



I need your help. I've been page by page through the 2009 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, and I can't identify this. More precisely, I can't identify the player, the team, or the issue. I have a pretty good idea what era it's from (pre-1919), but even of that I'm uncertain.

Some background: I've had this postcard at least 20 years. I can't remember exactly where I got it, but either a family friend who collected postcards and knew I liked baseball stuff, or from the Big Box of Awesome Tobacco Pins I inherited from my great-grandfather. Also, it's the size of a regular postcard, not a cabinet.

That's all I know about it. My guess is that the uniform is from one of these types: industrial team, an amateur team, or some sort of low minor league. I've never seen any other cap with a number on it like this, nor do I have any idea what the "CAD" down the front of the flannel stands for. The back is almost blank, which isn't helpful, and there's no photographer's seal or trademark anywhere on the card, which isn't helpful either, but leads me to think this isn't part of a large (or any) set.

So, what do I have here?

8 comments:

Jason said...

It was not uncommon back then for people to simply have their photos made into postcards, so it's highly unlikely that it belongs to any set. Most likely it was someone's portrait they had made. I've got a dozen or so of these passed around in the family; portraits, sports photos from local schools, large gatherings, etc.

IkesCards said...

Ok. I'll take a wild stab at this one...

This may be a photo of a military baseball player. The uniform markings might stand for something like C_______ Armored / Air / Artillery Division, 4th Company. If you think its WWI vintage, start by looking at military related sites with those wild cards. If its from your Grandfather, see if you can dig up something about any of his friends or relatives who were in the military during that time frame.

Good luck! Let us know what you find.

ernest said...

This is a Real Photo PostCard. Jason is right. It is most likely not a part of any set. For dating purposes go to this page (http://www.playle.com/realphoto/) This site will give you an idea about when it was made based on the stamp box design on the reverse.

ernest said...

In fact, it was made by Artura from 1908 to 1924.

Rob said...

I came to the same conclusion as IkesCards. I'm guessing it's the "Coast Artillery" Dept./Defense, 4th Co. I found a page that has some history about it. It looks like they were based in Pensacola, FL.

http://www.history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/lineages/branches/ada/0004ada.htm

Ben Henry said...

Thanks for everyone's comments. They have certainly helped shed light on the what, where, and when for this postcard.

Todd Uncommon said...

Very interesting post. I dig this kind of historical research.

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