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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Adrian C. Anson: 1887

Adrian C. Anson: 1887

A baseball card for Adrian C. Anson, first baseman for the Chicago White Stockings. Issued by Allen & Ginter Company, 1887. View full size

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Anson helped erect the pro baseball color barrier

Cap Anson was (common for the era, even in his native Iowa) a bigot. His racial attitudes were stronger than most, however, and he led efforts to exclude blacks from professional baseball.

Note that Jackie Robinson was NOT the first black to play in the major leagues -- both Fleet and Welday Walker played in 1884 before the color barrier limited baseball to the (ahem) melanin-impaired.

Ginter = Richmond industrialist

Lewis Ginter:

Major Lewis Ginter (1824 - October 1, 1897) was a prominent businessman, army officer, and philanthropist in Richmond, Virginia

Of Dutch ancestry, he was born Lewis Guenther in New York City, New York, he moved to Richmond, Virginia in 1842. Ginter had a number of careers, arguably making and losing a fortune three times. Ginter amassed a great fortune in the tobacco industry via new technology for rolling cigarettes. He used this massive fortune to act as a philanthropist and for the development of civic and business interests in Richmond. He developed the neighborhood Ginter Park and brought the Union Theological Seminary there. His niece Grace Arents continued his philanthropy, spurring the development of St. Andrew's School, the Instructional Visiting Nurse Association and the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden at her home Bloemendaal.

He served with the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, rising to rank of Major. His residence Ginter House sits on the Monroe Park campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Hired on to the John Allen & Co, he became a partner of the Allen and Ginter tobacco company that ushered in a number of innovations including cigarette cards and the use of local Virginia tobacco. In 1890 Ginter's company joined forces with James B. Duke to form the American Tobacco Co..

Ginter also commissioned the design and construction of the luxurious Jefferson Hotel Richmond, which opened in 1895.


It's interesting to view the evolution of baseball equipment over the decades, particularly (as this card shows) bats. Today's lumber has much more "meat" at the hittin' end, with a tapered handle that probably allows for higher swing speeds. Could this be due to better wood selection, lathing and curing techniques by the folks down there in Louisville? The lumber swung by the hitters of today's game make Cap's bat look like a fat stick.

Blowing Up A Baseball Card To The Size Of A Poster

By my estimation, the "Full Image" version of this is approximately 30 times the size of what it's supposed to be, which would partially account for the somewhat pixilated effect.

[And maybe even pixelated. - Dave]

Origin of cards

I don't know how commonly known this is, but this photo illustrates the fact that baseball cards were originally introduced in cigarette packs in order to keep the cigarettes from bending over. When they later started getting popular with kids they were packaged with bubble gum.

On a totally different note, this illustration makes the guy look like he's in "Night of the Batting Dead."

"How do I get to the Susquehanna Hat Company?"

Another look at "Cap" Anson.

"Cap" Anson was the was the 1st member of the 3000 hit club.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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