The Fleischmann Bakery in New York and the Ferguson Bakery in Boston issued these large, thin black & white cards in 1916. Roughly half of the cards in the set come from the teams in those two cities. Most players are shown in portraits but some, including all of the New York AL and Pittsburgh players, are seen in outdoor shots. Underwood & Underwood has the copyright on most of the photos, all of which are unique to this set.
There are 104 individual players in the set plus an additional 25 or so variations. My belief is that four players (Johnson, Tragesser, Jennings, and Nehf) can be found only with Ferguson coupons, which in turn means that there are 100 players shown on Fleischmann cards. Jennings has been catalogued since the 70’s, but I’ve yet to see one. The rarity of Ferguson cards makes it seem possible that there could be additional Ferguson-only players, although that’s unlikely. I spent many hours putting together what I believe is the only complete D381 checklist. Please check it out and let me know if you’re aware of other info.
While still scarce, Fleischmann cards are easier to find now after 4 big finds of 50 to 80 cards each came to auction between 2016 and 2020. Fleischmanns can be found with one of two different New York City addresses in the coupons, one listed as “Bronx Boul. & Post St.”, the other as “540 East 81st St.”. My theory is that both NY locations issued their own cards and the variations we find are due to different printing runs. Fleischmann cards with 2-line captions usually have a publishing credit for “Bradford & Co. Pub., St. Joseph, MI”, while the cards with 1-line captions do not. Bradford & Co. produced novelties that baking companies included in their product packaging or made available by mail to customers.
Ferguson cards are some of the rarest of all 20th c. issues. The examples of Eddie Burns, Duffy Lewis, and Frank Allen shown below are the only ones with coupons that have been graded, and, in all, I know of only 12 Fergusons with coupons; one is in the Burdick Collection at The Met. This bakery’s cards have been found only with 1-line captions and with no mention of the publisher.
Don’t miss this great collection of almost the entire D381 set. I’ve also created a gallery of my D381’s without coupons, a page that discusses variations and a page with photos used for D381 cards.