Dean’s Cards recently acquired a very nice collection of about 90 B18 Blankets. The 1914 B18 Blankets are some of the most unique baseball collectables made in the Prewar Era. They are made out of felt and were originally issued folded in with tobacco products. Because they are cloth instead of paper or cardboard, they have an especially long life and many of them look as if they were made last week.
The entire set includes 91 “cards” grouped together by teams and then organized alphabetically. The blankets were issued by several different manufacturers, most notably the Egyptienne Tobacco Co., and feature no manufacturing marks.
Each blanket has a player framed by a baseball diamond with a ball, bats, mitt, and catcher’s mask on the bases. The player is surrounded by a pennant featuring the name of the city and the league. There are a number of star players and Hall of Famers included in this set. Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, and Casey Stengel are all represented. Cobb’s Red Infield variation is the most expensive card in the entire set.
Many of these cards feature different variations. The basepaths, bases and infields can have different color combinations. For many cards, the Red Infield variation is the most valuable.
One interesting aspect of these blankets is the alternative use in quilts and blankets. The blankets could be sewn together on a decorative quilt. Even today, these quilts still exist in good condition and often feature other tobacco quilt squares containing other themes.
Please go online to my blog at http://blog.deanscards.com/ to vote for your favorite B18 blanket and watch my You Tube about the B18 Blankets.
– Dean Hanley
Owner of DeansCards.com
(Please feel free to contact Dean Hanley directly at Dean@DeansCards.com if you have any further information or comments. A major contribution to this article was made by Allyson Hamlin – who helps research these old issues for DeansCards.com.)
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