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View Full Version : Check out these laxative back print scrap T206 multiple overprints!


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07-03-2007, 03:50 PM
Posted By: <b>Trae R.</b><p>Someone contacted me through T206.org and asked what I knew about them.<br /><br />"I don't know much about these cards. My Dad gave them to me with some other T206 cards because he is moving soon and trying to downsize/clean out before he sells his house. He had lots of random cards that he picked up at various flea markets and garage sales from the 1950s to the 1980s. They have been sitting in a closet for the last 20 years. I've tried to do some research on line and the other T206 cards I have are all pretty standard with common backs. These were unlike the others and I couldn't seem to find anything like them on the internet."<br /><br />Thoughts?<br /><br /><img src="http://www.mlbvintage.com/misc/multioverprintback.jpg"><br /><img src="http://www.mlbvintage.com/misc/multioverprintfrt.jpg"><br /><br />

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07-03-2007, 03:54 PM
Posted By: <b>Joseph</b><p>Thank goodness Andy Warhol never saw these cards...<br /><br />They are great.

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07-03-2007, 03:59 PM
Posted By: <b>Bill K</b><p>Those are awesome! If indeed real I can't imagine owing a more unique pre-war card than one with a laxitive ad on the back.<br /><br />Thanks for sharing Trae.<br /><br />Bill<br><br>My personal collection - <a href="http://s47.photobucket.com/albums/f176/fkm_bky/" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://s47.photobucket.com/albums/f176/fkm_bky/</a>

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07-03-2007, 04:40 PM
Posted By: <b>joe brennan</b><p>Trae, Do you think this was done during a print run for bitters. Maybe after a complete run of T206's to test the print? Print scraps that made there way out the door in a printers pocket? <br><br>In Rememberance of James W. Brennan Sr. 1924-1982. Dad, thanks for everything you did for me.

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07-03-2007, 04:45 PM
Posted By: <b>Jason L</b><p>after a test run earlier in the day!

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07-03-2007, 05:02 PM
Posted By: <b>Kevin Saucier</b><p>I don't know the answer but I sure would like to own one.

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07-03-2007, 05:13 PM
Posted By: <b>Max Weder</b><p>"Test runs" and "laxitives" conjure up some unwanted imagery.<br /><br />Max

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07-03-2007, 07:38 PM
Posted By: <b>Darren</b><p>Trae, <br />Are those all the cards with the laxative printing? Any HOFers?

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07-03-2007, 08:14 PM
Posted By: <b>Trae R.</b><p>Darren, there are 4 addtl. cards, all over sized top to bottom. There aren't any HOF'ers.<br /><br />Regards

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07-03-2007, 08:39 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike</b><p>Tell him to throw them on eBay as individual cards... ideally after getting them authenticated. I wouldn't want 12 of them, but it would be neat for most collectors to have one of them.

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07-03-2007, 08:56 PM
Posted By: <b>Trae R.</b><p>Check this out, some of them are starting to fit together! It would be neat if someone else had the remaining pieces to this puzzle and we could put an entire sheet together?!<br /><br /><img src="http://www.mlbvintage.com/misc/cardpuzzle.jpg">

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07-03-2007, 09:06 PM
Posted By: <b>Trae R.</b><p>Woah, and even cooler, I found part of what is printed on the back. Look in the second row of 3 that line up and you can make out this postcard:<br /><br /><img src="http://www.mlbvintage.com/misc/acardpuzzlepiece.jpg"><br /><br />The odd part is that according to this eBay auction the postcard is from 1904?!<br /><a href="http://tinyurl.com/2fjnjs" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://tinyurl.com/2fjnjs</a>

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07-03-2007, 09:15 PM
Posted By: <b>Trae R.</b><p>Thanks to Andrew (for the email!) I realized this (other side of postcard) is also printed on there!<br /><br /><img src="http://www.mlbvintage.com/misc/19_1.jpg"><br /><br /><br /><br />I also just figured out <b>6 of these cards actually fit together</b>, check this out! I didn't quite line them up perfectly, but you get the idea. The "63 V" clearly line up and the rest could definitely work.<br /><br /><br /><br /><img src="http://www.mlbvintage.com/misc/cardpuzzle6piece.jpg">

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07-03-2007, 09:16 PM
Posted By: <b>Trae R.</b><p>The bottom row clearly also depicts a lady with a nice period hat on, set at an angle on her hand. Although I can't find anything online to show the actual photo being used there, any ideas?

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07-03-2007, 09:19 PM
Posted By: <b>Joann</b><p>Wow. Every time I think I've seen the coolest thing I've ever seen on this board (the W555 camera/candy box being the most recent), something like this comes up. <br /><br />I think someone ought to break the bank to keep the whole thing together b/c the puzzle is much more compelling than any of the individual pieces. <br /><br />But ... if sold individually, would any individual card get more than the others simply because the piece on the back represents a "better" part of the puzzle? If so, would that be a first - where a specific back gets more than others b/c it is a more significant part of a larger whole?<br /><br />And do we all appreciate what we have here? I think that typically the pieces and parts to this would appear one at a time, over time, over large geographical areas, and there would be threads devoted to speculation as to what they were, what they added up to - whatever. Here, we get to see almost the whole thing right out of the gate, and the pieces will all be known in terms of the context they came from. That in itself is unusual.<br /><br />Joann

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07-03-2007, 09:40 PM
Posted By: <b>Jason L</b><p>I share your views on the importance of the group...<br /><br />do we know how this kind of overprint thing can happen???!!!!<br />I don't understand at all.<br /><br />Would a printer take some T206 scrap stock to use as a test run on some other advertisement print run? If so, then why isn't it clearer or more bold vs. the T206 back print?<br /><br />Can anyone help me understand this better? Joe D, other printers out there?<br /><br />Thanks!<br /><br />Thanks for sharing this Trae.<br />

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07-03-2007, 09:52 PM
Posted By: <b>Trae R.</b><p>This is so very cool! My only thoughts right now on the post-card being from 1904 is that:<br /><br />a) unused postcards were later used for a T206 print run<br />b) the same paper manufacturer (or printer?) for the postcards also printed T206<br />c) the postcard date on eBay is incorrect<br /><br />I don't see it working any other way with the 5 year gap in between. I can't imagine them running the same postcard design for 5 years. Does anyone else have a theory?

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07-03-2007, 10:03 PM
Posted By: <b>Trae R.</b><p>I just noticed there is also an obvious absence of a color (orange?) in these cards on the "sheet".<br /><br /><img src="http://www.mlbvintage.com/misc/noorange.jpg">

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07-03-2007, 11:30 PM
Posted By: <b>joe brennan</b><p>No doubt the date on the postcard is wrong. Anyone finding a postally used postcard would pretty much seal it. <br><br>In Rememberance of James W. Brennan Sr. 1924-1982. Dad, thanks for everything you did for me.

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07-04-2007, 01:59 AM
Posted By: <b>barry arnold</b><p>Many thanks, Trae!<br />We can always rely on you to keep us posted re: some amazing contributions<br />to the fabulous field of T206s.<br /><br />all the best,<br /><br />Barry

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07-05-2007, 08:43 AM
Posted By: <b>Trae R.</b><p>Can you all please bookmark this thread in case you see any of these come up for sale to complete the puzzle? Thanks!

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07-05-2007, 09:29 AM
Posted By: <b>Mike Peich</b><p>Trae--This is a great find, and thanks for sharing it with us. I will try and clear up some of the mystery surrounding the overprints based on the research I've done in American printing practices. I should also add that I make books by hand, so I practice what I research and preach.<br /><br />One of the most expensive elements in any printed object is paper. Pressmen (and they were usually men) were particularly sensitive to this fact and would often use previously printed sheets to check their registration (lining up a sheet so that the colors all fall into place) before beginning a press run. These practice sheets, usually called waste-sheets, had been previously printed and discarded because they may have been used to set up the press, or they may have contained technical errors that rendered them unusable from a quality-control perspective. Before beginning a press run it was important to make certain that the press printed the sheets correctly because once the press was set in motion, a mistake could be replicated many times over before any error was discovered. If an error escaped the pressman's view, a lot of valuable paper would be wasted, and the pressman would be held accountable for the loss of paper.<br /><br />So, to prevent printing mistakes, and to exercise frugality, pressmen would use waste-sheets to make certain that the press was set up correctly before a press run was begun. In most cases a multiple printed sheet, like the T-206s Trae found, would be discarded because it's difficult to check for errors on any sheet that is printed more than twice. In this case, though, the pressman brought the waste-sheet home, possibly to show his children, and eventually it got into the public domain. (I exercise this same process at the press I operate at my university. The paper my students and I use is very expensive, and I don't want to waste it in setting up the press. This is due to the fact that I don't have much spendable income because I have all these pieces of old printed baseball related cardboard in my home!)<br /><br />I hope this helps explain what is a very unique example of the printing process. In fact, Trae, I would be happy to add your cards to the trove of examples I use with my students to illustrate early printing practices. You will be performing a great educational service, and I will be a good steward for your cards!<br /><br />Happy Fourth to all, Mike

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07-05-2007, 09:37 AM
Posted By: <b>MVSNYC</b><p>mike- very informative, thanks...

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07-05-2007, 10:09 AM
Posted By: <b>Trae R.</b><p>Thanks Mike for taking the time to post, that makes perfect sense!

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07-05-2007, 10:31 AM
Posted By: <b>Joe D.</b><p>I agree with everything said about the waste sheets - but I am not so sure that is what happened here.<br /><br />The part that puzzles me (no pun intended) is how poorly the Piedmont backs line up when the laxative printing lines up. The second row is not lined up with the first.<br /><br />I do not believe the T206 sheet would have been layed out that way. It would have made for a rediculously difficult cutting job. You would want to line up the units so that you would have fewer cuts to make. And, I believe we have already seen evidence of a "Piedmont Back" sheet with all units lined up (as any print shop would have set it up).<br /><br /><br />So it is a head scratcher to me.<br /><br /><br />Honestly - my first impression is that someone lined up some already cut T206s (staggering them) and then stamped the laxative stuff on the back. I can't think of another reason for the Piedmont back lineups - but I am only on my first cup of coffee.<br /><br />Very cool post and items Trae.

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07-05-2007, 11:21 AM
Posted By: <b>MVSNYC</b><p>Joey D...sup man?<br /><br />maybe i'm confused here, but it looks like in Trae's last attempt to piece the "puzzle" together, that they line up almost perfectly (the bitter's ad, as well as the piedmont backs)...<br /><br />dontcha think?<br /><br />edited to say "almost perfectly".

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07-05-2007, 11:35 AM
Posted By: <b>scott brockelman</b><p>While it lines up better on the second try, it is not exact, I believe there were many more cards, obviously the back printing is duplicated many times. The small group above lines up to show the laxative print, but they are not in the exact position as originally made. <br /><br />Scott

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07-05-2007, 11:42 AM
Posted By: <b>Joe D.</b><p>The Piedmonts line up nicely left to right (within the rows)<br /><br />But when you compare to the next row - the units do not line up vertically.<br /><br />Its not even close. Looks like they middle of the one lines up with the left edge of the one above it. Thats not how it would have been printed.

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07-05-2007, 11:50 AM
Posted By: <b>MVSNYC</b><p>joe- i will defer to your trained "printer's eye"...but when i look at Trae's post from july 2, 9:15pm...those 6 cards appear to line up really well (near perfect)...BUT, again, you probably have a better eye for this...<br /><br />very cool, either way.<br /><br />OK, guys, let's ALL get off the computers and go party!<br /><br />i'm going to a party @ my friend's apartment, which overlooks the east river, RIGHT infront of where the fireworks are shot off...

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07-05-2007, 12:16 PM
Posted By: <b>Joe D.</b><p>I took Trae's image and dropped in vertical lines (in green) to show how poorly the units line up vertically.<br /><br />Take a look at the graphic element I circled in green (in the Piedmont border)... and see how much further to the right it is in the next row (below it).<br /><br />If the bottom cards were cut vertically - the bottom row would lose the "ont" in Piedm'ont'<br /><br />I can't imagine printing plates being made with lineups this poor - causing a cutting nightmare. And I believe we already have seen evidence that the printers knew how to lineup the units on the back (an uncut Piedmont sheet was posted).<br /><br /><br />Time for a bbq. Later.<br /><br />A tip for everyone: Drinking and eBay do not mix! "I won what? and bid how much?!?!?"<br /><br /><br /><br /><img src="http://www.internetville.com/stuff/cardpuzzle6pieceline.jpg">

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07-05-2007, 02:44 PM
Posted By: <b>Mike Peich</b><p>Hi Joe,<br /><br />Yes, I agree that the original Piedmont backs don't line up, and that is exactly why they were waste sheets. Whomever printed them didn't have perfect registration, probably as the Piedmont printing job was being set up, so they were deemed ruined and saved to be used during set up for another job, in this case the Bitters laxative. <br /><br />But, you know, it's 2:45 here in Pennsylvania, and I think my first beer will help me process this better!<br /><br />Cheers, Mike

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07-06-2007, 08:23 AM
Posted By: <b>Joe D.</b><p>Mike,<br /><br />The poor Piedmont lineups is not a registration issue.<br /><br />The entire blue would move as a unit and would always line up with itself.<br />Even if it was in the wrong position... all of the blue would be in the wrong position (and would stay consistent).<br /><br />It is impossible for part of the plate to move and the other part to stay still.<br /><br />Before the puzzle was put together - I would have definitely gone with the waste sheet theory (without question). But putting them together and seeing that things don't line up - it becomes apparent that the piedmonts were not on the sheet that way... <br /><br />I can't help but think that they were normal cards, already cut, that someone lined up and then stamped with the laxative stuff. <br /><br /><br />Regards,<br />Joe

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07-06-2007, 12:01 PM
Posted By: <b>boxingcardman</b><p>I know the owner of these cards and he doesn't think they like up together as an uncut group that was trimmed down by hand from scrap.

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07-06-2007, 12:56 PM
Posted By: <b>David R</b><p>I am the owner of these cards. Thanks to everyone for all the great information and to Trae for his great sleuthing in finding the actual laxative ad postcard on eBay. After reading all the posts and looking at the cards again, I think Scott Brockelman has it right. I think these were all cut from a single sheet of printers scrap that had multiple copies of the ad, but that the top group of three and the bottom group of three that Trae put together from the scan don't actually fit together on the sheet. I think there are two groups of three that fit together side by side and two other cards that fit together top to bottom to form a bottle. I don't think the two groups of three fit together top to bottom because (1) the piedmont cuts don't line up that way and (2) the text printing for the ad doesn't all actually line up that way if you look at it closely. I think Scott B is right that the top group of three and the bottom group of three actually came from different sections of the larger sheet but were not next to each top to bottom on the original sheet.

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07-06-2007, 01:19 PM
Posted By: <b>Joe D.</b><p>I missed your post.<br /><br />I go with your explanation as the most likely possibility.<br /><br />