Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Joy of the Completed.....ummmm....Sub-set...I guess!?!

Yesterday brought with it an opportunity to stop in to my LCS and have a browse through the endless shoeboxes of singles, trying to whittle away at some want lists. The urgency of doing such things has been heightened ever since I found out that my LCS will be closing its doors in the near future. On one hand this is completely understandable given the current state of the hobby and the difficulties "brick and mortar" stores face trying to survive. On the other hand I think we are due for some kind of resurgence in the hobby in the next few years, provided some things change. Anyway, in the end I brought home a large stack of cards belonging to several sets I am working on, plus a pile of stuff from the 25-cent box.

Last year, while waiting for Baseball to become relevant again I decided to try my hand at putting together a Football card set. You can read all about it here. I knocked off a few more singles and inserts from my want list including these two cards from the 'Worlds Fair' insert set, highlighting the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

WF2 - 1893 Chicago World's Fair

WF11 - Eadweard Muybridge

I know that the established premise of this type of post is to be "The Joy of the Completed Page", however, seeing as these cards are the same size as the original Mayo tobacco cards they do not fit into the tobacco sleeve pages. The only way to store them is in the tobacco card top-loaders. Now that the set is complete you can sit back and enjoy a little cardboard history lesson as well as check out some truly cool cards.

The 1893 Chicago World's Fair was held to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Christopher Columbus discovering the New World. This 14-card set highlights some of the people and events that gave this World's Fair its significance.

Eadweard Muybridge was a photographer who would come to be known as a pioneer in the development of motion pictures. His exhibit at the worlds fair showed off his "zoopraxiscope" technology, technically creating America's first movie theatre, predating what we term today to be motion pictures.

George Ferris debuted his 260-foot tall invention at the World's Fair. The cost to ride was $0.50 and the ride lasted for 20 minutes. Total number of people to ride the Ferris Wheel was 1.5 million.

The Court of Honor housed all the main buildings that were designed for the World's Fair. The statue pictured stood 65-feet tall, overlooking the Grand Basin.

Despite not being given an official place at the World's Fair, Buffalo Bill Cody set up his Wild West show just outside the Fair which included his famous re-creation of Custer's Last Stand.

Due to the exterior of the buildings being white stucco and the illumination provided by powered street lamps at night, the buildings in the Court of Honor shone brightly and became known as 'The White City'

One of the more prominent displays at the Fair was electricity. Thomas Edison and General Electric had originally bid for the contract to provide the electricity to the World's Fair. They were outbid by a fellow Fair attendee and a card subject later in this set.

Having no sense of the importance of its architecture I will not even try to fake it. All I know is that over 18 million people visited it and it was made entirely of materials native to the area.

The John Bull Locomotive was brought out of retirement by The Smithsonian Institute to make a self-powered trip to the World's Fair. On its 150th birthday (in 1981) The Smithsonian fired up its engines once again, making it the oldest running steam engine in history.

As the partner of George Westinghouse and the main competitor to Thomas Edison and General Electric, Nikola Tesla's more efficient alternating current electricity won the bid to power the 1893 World's Fair.

The 'Viking' was a replica of a 9th Century Viking ship called 'The Gokstad' that was excavated 13 years prior to the World's Fair. The ship itself sailed across the Atlantic, from Norway, to participate in the Fair.

As far as I am concerned, THIS is the best card of the set. Totally scooping Allen & Ginter (as far as I know) we have the first trading card of The Hamburger!!! This staple of any carnivore's diet made its public debut in 1893.

Scott Joplin was known as 'The King of Ragtime' and at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair he introduced the world to Ragtime music and subsequently the entire Chicago music scene. If you love music then you need to read about Scott Joplin here.

Frederick Law Olmstead was essentially the creator of the 1893 World's Fair. It was his design and his vision that led to all of the amazing buildings that housed the World's Fair. His work as a landscape designer included New York's Central Park, Stamford University and the University of Chicago.

I have many more singles to show off from the LCS trip and will be doing so over the next few posts. Also, I have to catch up on some generous mailings from fellow bloggers.

Having gone back over this set it truly reinforces my love of history and how card manufacturers can succeed in a product if enough care and thought is put into a historical set. I am three cards away from the 'Celebrated Citizens' collection from the same release. Once I complete it, I will definitely share with you.



  1. Great post! I have been becoming more and more interested in the tobacco sized cards the more I see them. The problem is, I can never find pages, top loaders, or anything to store them in. Right now they all go in a team bag because I don't know how to display them.

  2. great post! I got back into collecting because of political/historical cards, including the ones in Mayo.

    I've got some extra Celebrated Citizens minis- shoot me an email with what you need!