Tea time was collecting time
Time for another look back at some great old collectibles. During the second world war, cards about the size of a stick of gum were common. Up until about the 60s, food products, and yes even cigarette companies, added a “Cracker Jack” like surprise inside their boxes. They depicted war planes and ships, switched themes to flowers and even the peaceful constellations from the heavens. I have a few of those olds cards.
But how many recall when collecting meant making sure that the grocery list included Nalley’s Chips, Salada Tea and Sheriff instant puddings? Contained in the packaging were little plastic disks with paper pictures of athletes from our favorite sports - hockey and football. Organized collectors could purchase a plastic carousel to house their coins in. Encouraging your parents to drink a lot of tea was not as easy as it was to get granny to have all her tea toddling friends to save the plastic disks and cards for you. It never ended either.
The companies just kept making them. One theme lead right into another, year after year. In case you are confused, it was Red Rose that countered with little figurines of cute little animals and I think Disney characters. It eventually would make sense that sports and the players who made the games exciting would adorn the little cards and coins too. In fact sports figures played a prominent role in these collectibles from the turn of the last century. Most were inside tobacco packages and even back then some players understood the dangers of smoking and demanded their cards be removed from circulation. The Honus Wagner card is the best example, demanding huge sums of money at auction, because it is a short print.
In the early 60s Sheriff/Salada began the first of four great hockey collectible sets produced during that decade. Today these coins are rare. Rare because in the simple days of the 60s when kids were allowed to shoot pellet guns and BB guns in their back yards, they made great little targets. Imagine being able to pick off those hated Maple Leafs! Rare because many are still hidden in boxes or trunks in great grandma’s attic boxes. The coin’s produced in 1967 that included the new expansion teams were comprised of many short print coins that make collecting a complete set nearly impossible, especially these days. Big stars of the day like Howe and Hull are still expensive, but no where near the money demanded for the short prints of the guys who happened to be at practice when the photographer arrived.
Often the question arises about the value of old cards and coins. They will always hold their value.