Monday, July 6, 2009

1931 Blue Ribbon Malt

Depression era sets are always of great interest. There just weren't a lot of widespread releases back then. The majority of those sets were regional. This makes the cards harder to track down and more difficult to complete.

Many regional sets from this period have incomplete checklists. This could be detected in several ways. If a set has had other releases, the set in question could be compared to previous years. There could be an indication on the back that this card was one of so many, but there have been less cards known to exist. Cards may have been planned but not printed, as is the case with some mid-thirties Diamond Stars.

This particular set can be traced back to an Illinois company called The Decatur Brewing Company. During prohibition, many breweries were forced to either close or adapt. The Decatur Brewing Company chose to manufacture a malt extract and chose to call their product Blue Ribbon. The company thought that by naming their product Blue Ribbon, people would assume that it was made by the same people who made the Blue Ribbon beer before prohibition.

The thinking worked. Blue Ribbon malt extract was a big seller and used for everything from baking to home breweries. 1931 is the last known set for a reason. In 1932, Pabst merged with the Decatur Brewing Company which had become Premier Malt Products, Inc. by that point.

There are five known White Sox cards in the 1931 set.

(1) - Lu Blue
(2) - Lew Fonseca
(3) - Vic Frazier
(4) - John Kerr
(5) - Billy Sullivan

There are also two other known Cubs cards from this set. They are Bob Smith and Lewis "Hack" Wilson. The dimensions of each card is 4 7/8 x 6 7/8. There is speculation that someday more card may show up from the unnumbered set, but those additional cards have yet to surface.

1 comment:

GOGOSOX60 said...

Just think the outfield upper decks were only about 3 years old at the time of the photos. Hardly any beer spill on them yet.

The park seems so spacious looking....!

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