Monday, February 13, 2012

Neat Design for Cards

As part of my ongoing "side job" as a freelance writer working for the Card Connection Website, I come across some really neat designs from time to time. Currently, I am going through hockey sets and just stumbled across the last set Parkhurst issued in 1963-'64. They predated Topps as issuers of hockey cards, and for several years the two companies split up the six teams in the NHL.

And that team focus is part of the design of this set:

All of the Detroit Red Wings have this background image behind them, regardless of what their actual nationality was. Since they were the only team from the United States included in the set, this is appropriate.

So let's move North of the Border:

This is the background behind all of the Toronto Maple Leafs players. Although we now know the red-and-white flag with the maple leaf on it to be the National Flag of Canada, our friendly Neighbors to the North didn't actually adopt that as their flag until 1965. Before that, the Red Ensign shown above was flown, or the Union Jack (since Canada was still a Commonwealth of England), which was a part of the design. The Red Ensign is still in use, as the basis for the design of the Provincial flags of Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.

Here's the twist...the Red Ensign was heavily favored by the English-speaking areas of Canada. So, for the players who played on the team from the heavily French-speaking Quebec:

The Montreal Canadiens didn't get a flag at all. Instead, they had parallel solid-color bars placed behind them. The colors changed; some had pink bars, as shown above, but others had blue. And there were also green-and-yellow and red-and-yellow patterns. I am not sure if there was a reason for which player received which color, if you know, mention it in the comments section.

The back design is really basic, considering the front design. There are some pretty basic stats and vitals...but most of the back is dominated by an advertisement written in two languages. The tabletop hockey game you see above was available for one dollar (Canadian, as it has an Ontario mailing address) and ten wrappers. I wonder how well that game was built, or if it was little more than heavily-reinforced cardboard.


  1. There were three ads on the back of those cards. You could get the game, a miniature Stanley Cup replica or an autographed puck signed by Keon, Beliveau or Howe. That cost the mighty sum of 30 cents (well-spent, IMO).

    Of those, the only surviving example I've ever seen was of the mini Cup.

    I've not really noticed a pattern with the coloured stripes on the Habs other than the fact that when put in order, the colours are together (the pink backgrounds are together, the blue backgrounds are together, etc.) I'd have to look more closely beyond that.

    It has long felt to me as though Parkhurst mailed in their last two sets. Parkhurst always had the great writeups on the back with 2-3 times the text Topps had. The last couple sets were just lame in terms of information.

  2. Couple other thoughts - that Wings card is of Alex Faulkner - the first Newfoundlander to play in the league. He has this card and a York Peanut Butter card, both of which go for a pretty penny.

    That flag change was a pretty heated debate. Canada had fought two world wars under the Red Ensign. The veteran's groups in particular were none too keen to change it.