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Go Back Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Vintage (WWII & Older) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions

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Old 06-11-2017, 12:27 AM
trdcrdkid's Avatar
trdcrdkid trdcrdkid is offline
David Kathman
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,328
Default Hobby history: The Burdick collection, 1947-49 (T206 Wagner, Old Judges, etc.)

Most people on this board are probably aware of the J. R. Burdick card collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, which contains complete or near-complete sets of most sets of tobacco, gum, and other insert cards from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century. What's less commonly known is how collaborative the Burdick collection actually was. Burdick announced his intention to donate his collection to the Met in the December 1, 1947 issue of Card Collector's Bulletin (#51), and over the next decade or more (but most frequently in the first couple of years), Burdick wrote a "Metropolitan Notes" column for CCB in which he reported on his progress in sending his collection to the Met and getting it ready for display. These columns make it clear that the collecting fraternity of the late 1940s thought of the collection as a "national" one that would represent the hobby for future generations, and Burdick frequently reported on cards that other collectors had donated for the collection, and listed cards that he still needed.

Below I've posted that December 1, 1947 article in which Burdick announced that he was donating his collection, followed by all the articles from the next two years (through December 1, 1949) in which he reported on his progress with it. Burdick wrote something about the collection in every issue during that time except the April 1, 1949 one. I've added the date of each article after the first one. Of particular note to this board is the October 1, 1948 issue, in which Burdick reported that John D. Wagner had donated a T206 Wagner to the collection; the following issue (December 1, 1948), in which Burdick reported that Wagner had donated 207 Old Judges that Burdick did not have; and August 1, 1949, in which Burdick reported on the baseball cards that were missing from the collection. My CCB collection is much more sporadic for the next five years, but when I have time I'll see if I can post some of Burdick's Metropolitan Notes columns from the mid-to-late 1950s.

February 1, 1948 (#52)

April 1, 1948 (#53)

June 1, 1948 (#54)

August 1, 1948 (#55)

October 1, 1948 (#56)

December 1, 1948 (#57)

February 1, 1949 (#58)

June 1, 1949 (#60)

August 1, 1949 (#61)

October 1, 1949 (#62)

December 1, 1949 (#63)
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:09 AM
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Leon Leon is offline
peasant/forum owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: near Dallas
Posts: 28,212

Burdick felt that the T206 Wagner, which renowned collector John Wagner (no relation) gave him for the Met collection, could be valued at whole book price of $25.
Leon Luckey
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:54 AM
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Peter_Spaeth Peter_Spaeth is offline
Peter Spaeth
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 20,102

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File Type: jpg burdick-poster.jpg (80.7 KB, 191 views)
Stuff trumps all. Even tainted stuff.

"...we don't believe that there is anything of a material nature for our company to be concerned with." -- Joseph J. Orlando
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Old 06-11-2017, 11:57 PM
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Joe Gonsowski
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: IA (formerly MI)
Posts: 1,020

Thank you David, an enjoyable Sunday night read, fascinating history, a couple items I enjoyed reading about . . .

- Most hobbyist supported Burdick's decision to donate to the Met, a few initially felt it more important to keep the cards in circulation for future collectors to enjoy.

- In addition to his card collection, Burdick also donated a full run of the BULLETIN and his Catalogs.

- The Cartophilic Society of Britain coined Burdick's collection at the Met as the "National Collection" and thought the same should be done in Britain (they already had a National Stamp collection, but nothing for cards).

- By June of 1948, Burdick was already having health issues (spent a month in the hospital).

- On August 1, 1948, Burdick sent 1465 N172/N175, 148 N173, and many other Duke and Goodwin cards. He added more OJs with time.

- December 1, 1948, John Wagner donates 207 N172s that Burdick needs bringing the total to 1672 with a split of 682 NL, 463 AA, 251 WA, 78 others + 198 varieties.

- Amazing how many collectors sent cards and whole collections in support of Burdick's effort. October 1 1949 Bulletin has several examples.
Best Regards,
Joe Gonsowski
- 19th century Detroit memorabilia and cards with emphasis on Goodwin & Co. issues ( N172 / N173 / N175 ) and Tomlinson cabinets
- N333 SF Hess Newsboys League cards (all teams)
- Pre ATC Merger (1890 and prior) cigarette packs and redemption coupons from all manufacturers
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:34 AM
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Jobu Jobu is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: WI
Posts: 2,510

Once again, thanks for taking the time to post this!
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