Monday, September 26, 2011

An Early Mention of Baseball Card Flipping

While going through some old files in my computer, I came across this little tidbit:

There was an article by Stewart Culin in the Journal of American Folklore dated 1891 entitled "Street Games of Boys in Brooklyn, N.Y."

As he explained the relatively new game of "pictures" he explained:

"This game is a recent invention, and is played with the small picture cards
which the manufacturers of cigarettes have distributed with their wares for
some years past. these pictures, which are nearly uniform in size and
embrace a great variety of subjects, are eagerly collected by boys in
Brooklyn and the nearby cities, and form an article of traffic among them.

This is probably one of the earliest explanations of what later generations called "flipping." Much earlier, there was a different game called "penny pitching," which had similar rules and is probably as old as minted coins.

Part of me wonders if the 14-year old boys of 1891 got a kick out of Jack Glasscock's name.

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