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  #1  
Old 02-21-2021, 10:34 PM
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Default Colgan's Chips...Beware Imitations...The Rest of the Story

The Colgan's Chip sets have always been one of my favorite sets to collect.

As most folks are aware, there are actually three (3) different sets of "Colgan's Chips:

1909-1911 Stars of the Diamond (E254)
1912 Red Borders (E270-1)
1912-1913 Tin Tops (E270-2)

One of the really cool things about collecting the sets is that you also can collect the actual Colgan's Chip tins that the gum or "chips," and the round cards were packaged in for the consumer. There are Violet color tins that contained the Violet Chips gum, which Colgan's described in one of their ads as "having the aroma of sweet violets." In addition, Colgan's also marketed a 2nd flavor of gum in their green Mint Chips tins, which one of their ads describes as: "Mint Chips flavored like old-fashioned peppermint stick candy."

Having picked up several Colgan's Chips tins in both colors, I soon realized that the tins reflected a change in the company's ownership.

Earlier tins had the following listed on the bottom of the tin: COLGAN GUM CO. Incorporated Louisville, KY U.S.A. Whereas, a later variation of the tin had the following inscription: AUTOSALES GUM & CHOCOLATE CO. NEW YORK. SUCCESSOR TO COLGAN GUM CO. INC.

Once I realized that different tins existed, I started wondering if each set might have come in a unique tin for each set. Clearly the first series, would have been issued initially with the COLGAN GUM CO. Incorporated Louisville, KY U.S.A. address.

Confirming when the change of ownership occurred might shed light on whether the first set, Stars of the Diamond, might have all come in the tins with the Colgan Gum Co.

There is also a chance that the change in ownership happened before the end of the Stars of the Diamond series were issued completely, and the 2nd type of tin may have been issued with some of the Stars of the Diamond cards as well as the other subsequent 2 sets.

I found this interesting bit of information online: "In 1911 - eighteen (18) major vending machine companies consolidated into the giant Autosales Gum and Chocolate Co. In the same year - Autosales Gum & Chocolate Co. of New York purchased a large number of chewing gum and candy companies including Colgan's, Dentyne and Royal Remedy and Extract's "Sweet Wheat" with plans to market the products through its automated vending machines.

Then I stumbled upon this fascinating appeal involving the Autosales Gum & Chocolate Co. vs. H. E. Winterton Gum Co.

https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/ed...8420e51473273a

Whereas many hobby publications including Lew Lipset's The Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards Vol. 2 Early Gum & Candy Cards have mentioned the back of E254 Colgan's Chips warned to "beware of imitations" probably referring to the very similar Ju Ju Drums (E286), I believe this appeal identifies the real threat to the Colgan's Chips products: "Winterton's Satsuma Chips."

The fact that this product was marketed mid 1912 makes me also question whether the E254 Colgan Chips may have also been issued into 1912 if the backs warn "beware imitations." That warning also might simply mean that the Colgan Gum company was aware of several companies trying to imitate their extremely successful gum product.

The appeal also reveals that the Colgan Gum Company released the Violet Chips gum first and then the Mint Chips gum later.

"In 1908 it began making a brand of gum in the form of thin disks or chips; its first variety being violet-flavored and called "Violet Chips," its second variety (put out in 1909) being mint-flavored and called "Mint Chips." The company adopted in 1908 a distinctive package in the form of a round, enameled, and lithographed tin box, about 11/16 inches deep and with a cover about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, containing 10 disks, and retailing at 5 cents."

I believe this paragraph describes the purchase of Colgan Gum Co. by Autosales Gum & Chocolate Co.:

"The Colgan Company sold out its business to complainant (appellee) May 15, 1911, and the latter has continuously sold (among other gums) the Violet and Mint Chips of the same diameter and form, in precisely the same kind of a package, and lettered in precisely the same way, except as respects certain details on the bottom of the box not material here -- latterly putting 7 disks in a box."

Further on in the appeal I found this very interesting paragraph:

"The principal sales of Mint Chips and Violet Chips (both of Colgan and complainant) were in the south and southwest parts of the United States, and in some sections largely to Negroes, Italians, and French. Customers were in the habit of calling for and ordering these chips by the names "round gum," "tin box gum," or "tin gum."

Now I know a little more of the rest of the story, but I'm still uncertain which tins the 3 sets of Colgan's may have been issued with.

Any thoughts are appreciated!

Patrick
Attached Images
File Type: jpg colganoriginal.jpg (75.4 KB, 321 views)
File Type: jpg AUTOSALE.jpg (51.1 KB, 319 views)
File Type: jpg e254back.jpg (17.9 KB, 307 views)

Last edited by Vintagecatcher; 02-22-2021 at 06:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2021, 07:53 AM
FrankWakefield FrankWakefield is offline
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Great read, Patrick. Thanks for posting that.

Somewhere I think I read that Colgan's got its start when a pharmacist in Louisville was sitting at a table or counter in a restaurant (maybe at morning) with someone when he overheard some L&N Railroad person telling someone about 2 carloads of chicle that had been shipped from South America up to the southern coast of the US, and then on to a buyer who refused to accept or pay for the order when delivery was attempted. The railroad had no idea of what they could do to get paid for their shipping efforts, nor what to do with chicle. Colgan offered to buy it for a greatly discounted price, he thought he could add flavoring and get into the gum business.

This brings to mind Bill Haber. I did not ever meet him, but he and I had a few telephone conversations about old players and old cards. He would usually steer the conversation to the Colgan's Chips cards. He was always trying to ask about who I had, and what team they were with. Sometimes he'd ask about a particular player. I think he had several cards that weren't listed in the early guides. At the time I was more interested in talking about the players depicted in the white border tobacco set. On one call he told me about Bull Durham, who has a portrait card in the set. I thought Bull had an east coast family and a midwestern family, and he'd go back and forth between the two while a ballplayer, neither family knew about the other. Anyway, Mr. Haber knew a right smart about those round cards. I don't know the disposition of his collection, but I'd think his Colgans cards would have been impressive.
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:28 AM
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Here's a Violet for comparison as well. Great research and information!

Bill
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File Type: jpg Colgans Meyers w Tin B.jpg (50.0 KB, 245 views)
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2021, 03:33 PM
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Frank,
Bill Haber's Colgan's collection was purchased by Larry Fritsch. Since Fritsch's passing, I believe another major collector (whom I won't name since he may not want to make it public) obtained the combined Haber/Fritsch Colgan accumulation.
Bill was a good friend, a passionate collector and a peerless baseball biographical researcher. He was fascinated by short-term major leaguers and focused on Colgan's and T210s because they pictured so many of these elusive "cup of coffee" players.
B0b Rich@rds0n, another Colgan's fan
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:12 PM
FrankWakefield FrankWakefield is offline
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Wow, Spec. I don't think he and I ever discussed T210s. We'd talk about biographies, white border cards, and then the Colgan's He was calm, patient, and encouraging... I have a T206 that I sent him to sign on the back; he signed and sent it back. Mr. Haber was a treasure.


I remembered where I read about the 2 train car loads of chicle... it was in an article in the Louisville Courier Journal. Maybe took up a 3rd of a page. I think I have a photocopy of the article... somewhere. Maybe someone can find it in newspapers.com or someshuch.
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  #6  
Old 02-23-2021, 09:27 AM
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Great info.......some more to supplement yours.....

There are actually (4) different backs on the Colgan's Tins. The first is Colgan Gum with no outer rim writing. Second Colgan Gum with outer rim writing. Third Autosales with outer rim writing and fourth Sterling Gum with no outer rim writing. As I understand it, examples exist for both Violet and Mint chips types. I have all except the Sterling Green Mint Chips version.



Another of the "imitators" are chips from the Peerless Gum Chips from the Texas Gum Company. There are 5-6 different colored tins for this product--all of which are SIGNIFICANTLY more scarce than any of the Colgan's tins.

The tins included round cards--slightly larger than the Colgan's Chips with fantastic color artwork of "Birdmen of the Sky" and are set up very similar to Colgan's chips. Back somewhat similarly typeset--almost more like JuJu Drum backs. Fronts have incredible artwork in comparison to the B/W Colgan's chips.

The set pictures aviators and their planes for the budding hobby of flying. Including both the Wright Brothers, the checklist is likely incomplete at 13 subjects. Some sample photos include:









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Old 02-23-2021, 09:30 AM
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sorry for the whack-a-doo photo sizing.
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  #8  
Old 02-23-2021, 10:58 AM
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Nice post Tom. I've never seen those cards from Texas Gum, ironically the same company that produced E-105 Mello Mints
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  #9  
Old 02-23-2021, 08:52 PM
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Default Thanks for the responses gentleman!

Thanks for the responses gentleman!

Great info!

Has anyone purchased any of the cards in the three sets in their original tins?

Patrick

Last edited by Vintagecatcher; 02-23-2021 at 09:31 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-23-2021, 09:20 PM
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Default Connection between Autosale Gum and Sterling Gum

Incorporated in 1914, Sterling Gum Co. was organized by interests connected with the American Tobacco Company to manufacture and sell chewing gum and other confections. The company took over the plants of the Autosales Gum & Chocolate Co. at Long Island NY, Louisville KY, and Toronto Canada. Products included Sterling gum in two flavors, Dentyne, Bloodberry, Frozen Mints, Bradshaws, Red Heather, Sweet Pea and Colgans Taffy Tolu brands. They even had early inserts to mimic the success that tobacco companies had in the era.

As Tom's example illustrates, the Colgan's Chip tins were still being marketed in 1914 with the Sterling Gum designation. Were any round baseball images still being inserted into to the tins is the question?

Patrick

Last edited by Vintagecatcher; 02-23-2021 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:04 PM
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I can remember about 25-30 years ago I found a Colgans tin at an antique shop in North Pole Alaska. I bought it because it was a Colgans tin. When I opened it I found the gum and a card. Totally surprised.
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2021, 09:34 PM
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Default Unsurpassed ephemera associated with Colgan's Chips

The ephemera associated with the Colgan's Chips, whether it be their ad pieces or their point of sale displays, is simply the best!

Here's a little eye candy to support my claim!

Patrick
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Windowdisplay.jpg (19.5 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpeg Ladiescolgan.jpeg (10.6 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg colganenvelope.jpg (7.5 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg BobFreedmanColgansign.jpg (19.8 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Colganchipgreenmetaldisplay.jpg (20.3 KB, 30 views)

Last edited by Vintagecatcher; 02-25-2021 at 09:43 PM.
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