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  #1  
Old 08-04-2008, 03:58 AM
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Posted By: Marty Ogelvie

Ted Zs thread got me thinking about T206, ABs (I have none).  So I browse eBay and find about 20 newly listed (raw).   The scans are a bit small, but when I enlarged this one of Joe Tinker, http://tinyurl.com/5c2xdq those have to be the smallest borders I have seen in a while. 

Do the ABs carry this characteristic or do you suspect a trim job..?



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  #2  
Old 08-04-2008, 04:20 AM
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Posted By: Paul

The Tinker looks like it might have a trim on the right side, but hard to tell from that scan. However, AB's were smaller than other T206's due to the pack size, & they usually have small borders. I have one AB that is not trimmed with smaller borders than that Tinker.


edited for spelling

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  #3  
Old 08-04-2008, 04:53 AM
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Posted By: Marty Ogelvie

Thanks Paul.

I remembered that one of the brands were a bit narrower (or more narrow?) due to pack contraints but I could not remember if it was AB or not.



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  #4  
Old 08-04-2008, 10:11 AM
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Posted By: Jon Canfield

Paul and others - while it has long been rumored AB's were smaller left to right because of pack size, this is, without a doubt, untrue. AB 10-count slide and shell packs are identical in size to that of Sweet Caporal, Piedmont, Sovereign, etc.

Now, this does not mean AB's are not "thinner" than other T206's. I think this is clearly the case (and not the result of trimming). However, I can confirm that it does not have to do with the packaging. Rather, it seems more likely that the American Lithograph Company cut the AB cards thinner for whatever reason. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe it was intentional - who knows. Point is, however, that the reasons for this was not due to pack size.

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Old 08-04-2008, 01:23 PM
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Posted By: Dave Hornish

The bizarre thing about AB widths would be at least three separate printings had to have been made, right? Maybe AB included something else in the packs that made it necessary for a thinner card?

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  #6  
Old 08-04-2008, 01:31 PM
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Posted By: Jon Canfield

Dave - I've owned 3 AB full packs (and currently own 2 of them) and there is nothing else with them - just 10 cigarettes just like all the other brands.

I agree with you that it is interesting and I have no explanations for it. Another possibility, however, is that a different printing company printed all series of the AB cards?

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  #7  
Old 08-04-2008, 01:40 PM
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Posted By: Dave Hornish

Jon-

Maybe a subbed out job?

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  #8  
Old 08-04-2008, 02:59 PM
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Posted By: barry arnold

I,too,have an AB pack and can corroborate Jon's contentions and findings,
although ole expert Jon doesn't need corroboration methinks.

best,

barry

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  #9  
Old 08-04-2008, 03:06 PM
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Posted By: Ted Zanidakis

American Lithographic Co. (ALC) produced all the T206's; and, that includes the American Beauty (AB) cards.

The AB's are approx. 1/16th of an inch thinner than the standard width of T206's.
Furthermore, Frank Wakefield has observed that some of the Broad Leaf cards appear slightly thinner than the
normal 1 7/16 inch width of a T206. I bring this fact up, since if you recall my "ABCD" theory (illustrated here,
which also includes the 1910 Coupon), that these five T-brands must have been produced simultaneously in
the Summer of 1910 by ALC.

Cycle cards from this ABCD series are always normal width. But, the BROAD LEAF's and DRUM's do vary in width.
I can't attest to the 1910 Coupon's, as I don't have any. I do have Coupon T213-3's and they are narrow like the
AB's. But, the T213-3 were issued several years later. Perhaps, someone will chime in regarding the width of the
1910 Coupon cards.

My point here is that 3 brands of this ABCD series (of five), for whatever reason, do have varying widths....with
the AB's being consistently narrow.






TED Z

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  #10  
Old 08-04-2008, 03:18 PM
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Posted By: Jon Canfield

Ted - interesting point about the Broadleafs as well. Just to dispell any notions of a smaller Broadleaf pack, I have one as well and it is the same size.

While I understand 3 of the 5 brands vary in size, my only point is that I'm sure this wasn't due to pack size.

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  #11  
Old 08-04-2008, 03:26 PM
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Posted By: Todd Schultz

possible dumb question here, but could the lithographs for ABs have been placed closer together on a sheet and/or the sheet was smaller? Otherwise, it seems to me that to cut one of them narrow you leave the ones next to it wider, unless you make two separate cuts. Making separate cuts to shave off what, 1/16"? seems like alot of unnecessary work, especially if, as Jon says, there was no need to accommodate smaller packaging.

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  #12  
Old 08-04-2008, 03:37 PM
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Posted By: Ted Zanidakis

I completely agree with you....you are the man on this forum, when it comes to T-packs.

I have an interesting question for you. Going back to early Cigarette pack production (circa 1800's) and prior to BB
cards (or other types of premiums), a plain cardboard stiffiner was inserted in the packs. Then in the late 1800's,
when lithography was in it's peak, some clever person came up with the idea of premiums. In the 1880's they had a
thick premium (i.e., A & G, N162, Old Judge cards). By 1909 this "stiffiner" premium became thinner. By the 19-teens,
the premiums (T213's and T216's) were paper thin.

Can you explain this change ?

TED Z

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  #13  
Old 08-04-2008, 03:47 PM
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Posted By: Jon Canfield

Ted - can't even begin to explain it to you and your guess is as good as mine. However, a few possible ideas that come to mind...

(1) It may be that as the ATC tried to cut costs to maximize wealth, something James Duke might not have done, the quality of the paper used became less.

(2) Maybe David can chime in on this but it is possible that the inks used and printing quality improved over time. Maybe thicker stock had to be sued to prevent bleeding in 1880s and by the time the 1910s roleld around, the process was improved to prevent this.

(2) Also, as we work into the mid-'teens, the quality of paper could have been a result of WWI. I do understand that the US didn't enter the war until 1917, but WWI was in full swing in 1914. I'm not sure where paper came from in those days but it could be that the war caused shortages even in the US despite the US having not entered as of yet.

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  #14  
Old 08-05-2008, 06:06 PM
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Posted By: Dave Hornish

Hmmmm.....

Pondering this thread, I am questioning something I always assumed about T206 printings, namely that when a sheet or run of cards was printed, it was all one printed back at a time. In that scenario sheets of Sweet Caps would be followed by sheets of Piedmonts, etc until a press run was completed

However, what if there were multiple backs on a sheet and one of the edge columns contained the AB's or perhaps Broadleafs where the main part of the sheet had say Sovereign's. This last column would end up being a little short side to side compared to the rest of the sheet, due either to press size or cutting methods. I know there is evidence of backs being side to side horizontally on a sheet but has there ever been more than three consecutive horizontal backs seen in any configuration of miscuts? Just a crackpot theory but I wonder if this might explain the narrowness of AB's in light of the smaller pack argument going up in smoke.

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  #15  
Old 08-05-2008, 06:22 PM
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Posted By: Ted Zanidakis

I believe a partial uncut cardboard sheet was found a long time ago that had an array of Piedmont
backs on it and blank fronts.
This would indicate that press runs were made based on each T-brand; and, not a mixture of them.
From a practical printing standpoint this makes a lot of sense , since they did not have to mix inks
to print the backs.

TED Z

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  #16  
Old 08-05-2008, 06:26 PM
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Posted By: Dave Hornish

Mastro might know.....

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  #17  
Old 08-05-2008, 10:35 PM
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Posted By: Jon Canfield

Ted - interesting about the sheet. Any idea when it was found and who has it now?

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  #18  
Old 08-05-2008, 11:37 PM
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Posted By: Ron R

This is my 1st ever post to this forum, after reading the posts many times. Just had to comment on the idea of a smaller American Beauty pack. I have many tobacco cards and quite a few packs. I've been collecting 1910 era baseball items for over 30 years. I have 2 AB packs. One is dated 1905 and is the standard size of other 1910 era packs. However, I have a 2nd pack dated 1910 which is thinner. Both packs still have the cigarettes in them. I believe this explains why most of the T206 AB backs were cut to a smaller width.


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  #19  
Old 08-06-2008, 09:11 AM
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Posted By: Marty Ogelvie

curiouser and curiouser

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  #20  
Old 08-06-2008, 09:41 AM
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Posted By: Jon Canfield

Ron - I sent you an email. I'm very curious about the AB pack and I look forward to hearing more about it. The AB packs I've owned/currently own are dated 1903, 1905, 1908 and "unable to read tax stamp" so I have not come across a correct 1909-1911 era AB slide and shell pack yet so I'm very intrigued to learn that I may be incorrect regarding pack size.

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  #21  
Old 08-06-2008, 10:54 AM
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Posted By: Jon Canfield

Just to follow up to my previous post, I have spoken with Ron via email and his 1910 AB pack is a 15-count soft pack. While I agree completely that the 1910-era soft packs are thinner than the slide and shells, I do not believe they were used for card distribution.

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  #22  
Old 08-06-2008, 01:24 PM
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Posted By: Marty Ogelvie

Jon,

Thanks for the follow up, so were back to 'AB card size was NOT determine by AB pack size.. '



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  #23  
Old 08-06-2008, 01:34 PM
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Posted By: leon

"While I agree completely that the 1910-era soft packs are thinner than the slide and shells, I do not believe they were used for card distribution."

May I ask why? Just curious.....

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  #24  
Old 08-06-2008, 02:38 PM
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Posted By: Ted Zanidakis

DITTO......to Leon's question regarding 1910 soft packs ?

Also, answering your ?
"Ted - interesting about the sheet. Any idea when it was found and who has it now?"

Such a sheet had surfaced back in the mid-1980's. I am not aware of what ever happened to it.

TED Z



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  #25  
Old 08-06-2008, 03:58 PM
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Posted By: Jon Canfield

Leon and Ted - well it's a guess but there is method to my madness.

First, other than Coupon that did not offer a slide and shell configuration, all cards associated with cigarettes since 1886 have been packaged with slide and shell packs and not soft packs. Specifically, all other T206 cigarette brands used slide and shell boxes. I can't see AB not using the slide and shell box when it was available.

Second, while I don't have a scan handy, the ATC ledger pages listed cards as coming from 10-count boxes.

Third, I believe all of the soft packs are not 10 count configurations (but please correct me if I'm wrong). While I do understand Hindu did not use a 10-count configuration, all other brands did.

Fourth, I find it difficult that so many AB cards could survive in nice condition if soft packs were used. Soft packs offer little to no protection for cards. Corners would all be horrible bent, etc. Inner slides protect cards perfectly.

Now, am I 100% sure that AB did not use soft packs - no. But I would think the chances that they used the boxes are more likely than not. It is a good question and unless we ever find a card and box intact, I don't think we will know with certainty. It's just an educated guess.

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Old 08-06-2008, 04:17 PM
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Posted By: Marty Ogelvie

If I am way off in left field somewhere, don't hesitate to slap me around some but I would have thought T206 Cards could have been used in SOFT packs to help protect the cigarettes.  no?

The manufacturer's concern was the cigarettes, not the card.. why would they want to spend extra money on packaging to protect the card?

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  #27  
Old 08-07-2008, 02:20 AM
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Posted By: Ted Zanidakis

Your argument against soft packs is convincing. So, I turn back to the standard slide and shell T-packs......
I assume you have closely measured a 1910 American Beauty pack vs a Piedmont (Sweet Caporal, etc.) pack.
We are looking for is a mere 1/16th to 1/32nd of an inch difference between the thickness of the AB pack vs
the others. But, you are saying this is not so....is this correct ?

TED Z

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  #28  
Old 09-07-2008, 02:42 PM
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Posted By: Ron Rice

As the owner of an unopened 1910 American Beauty 'soft pack' 15-count, I did some research after reading the posts. First of all, the 'soft pack' is not as soft as you might think. It is nearly as firm as 10-count hard packs I have, so I think its possible a thinner T206 could have been packaged with a soft pack, and the cards survived without creasing. I also have an 8-count Sweet Caporal soft pack dated 1910 (unopened) that seems wide enough to hold a T206.

In trolling the ATC documents on-line, I found a 1909 ATC price list catalog that shows ATC sold only 10 & 20-count packs. I believe Jon C is using this as part of the evidence of his theory. It makes sense that slide/shell packs are right for a card insert. However, no similar ATC price list exists for 1910-1911 so hard to say if anything changed. I found another source on the site that said 8-count and 15-count packs were introduced in 1910 after a tax increase. The smaller packs with higher tax could be sold at the same price. Although cigarette cards were only in slide/shell packs up to 1909, it is possible that things changed in 1910. Remember that some cards became 'soft cards', such as silks, leathers and tiny indian blankets. American Beauty had silk butterflies, I believe. So I think it is likely that thinner AB T206's were inserted after 1909. When the AB 350's were trimmed, the backs didn't line up well. So they went to the 'frameless' design. These are just theories, of course.


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