Welcome to the Private memorabilia collection of 'theyflysohigh'
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J. BAINES Ltd - The Football Card King
The earliest known memorabilia card to feature a Hammers connection is from the Bradford based company J. Baines Ltd. series of football cards, dates from 1897 and depicts Henry Hird of Thames Ironworks - the predecessors of West Ham United.
Sold in packets of six and avidly collected by generations of schoolboys of the day. Baines encouraged the obsession by offering prizes to the person who returned the largest number of cards to his North Parade base in Bradford. The vast majority of Baines cards which were released from the 1880’s to the end of the First World War in 1919 are regularly found in very poor condition, often with rough edges and very tatty. How on earth can this happen to cards in almost every collection ?
One of the cards that Baines issued told its own story: According to this card the children of the era played a game called "Who's nearest", with....yes you've guessed it.....Baines Cards. The picture clearly shows the children of the day throwing the Baines card against a wall and then bouncing back onto the pavement. The card is rough with all the edges damaged like so many that turn up in auction houses and dealers tables. One of the West Ham United cards below, show children playing a game with the cards.
Coloured shaped cards sold in packets. Released over a period from 1880's to round about 1919 which these examples date from. Cards came in various shapes and sizes including shields, hearts, ivy leaves etc.
Size 81x68mm PRICE GUIDE: £100.00
Image courtesy of Alan Jenkins
All Sports Weekly
Periodical: 3rd January 1920
J. Baines Packet
Roberts Brothers Games
A set collecting game cards. 8 sets of 6 cards, each representing a League Team.
Rules of the game:
Object of the game is for a player to secure a complete set of cards. The first to do so cries "Piktee" and scores 50 points and claims the Free Kick card, and a new deal starts'
If a player dares, he may not call out his 5 card team but he can wait to get a six card team. If he is still the first to call "Piktee" he will score double points but, of course, by waiting, someone else might call a team before him and he will not score.
The Penalty card is exactly that, a penalty card. If you are caught with it in your hand when "Piktee" is called, you lose 25 points. The first player to score 500 points after several deals, wins.
CAN YOU HELP?
Confirmation needed if this is indeed a West Ham card. I suspect it may be Aston Villa. Date of issue also required.
The post war period launched a host of newspapers and sports publications, including ‘Football Bits’ which was an off-shoot of ‘Tit-Bits’ and the popular boys magazine ‘Topical Times’.
Another new comer to the market place was ‘All Sports Weekly’. Their first edition coincided with the start of the 1919-20 season. Five months later in January’s 1920 issue the newly elected Hammers to the Football League Second Division were the featured team group.
Football Special and Football Pictorial
Another weekly newspaper, this time from the Amalgamated Press stable was launched at the begining of 1920. The Friday 'tuppence' periodical however was short-lived and survived until June 1922.