D381 Fleischmann and Ferguson Bakeries

Last updated: Jan 19, 2020 @ 3:45 pm

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 locations. 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 means in turn that there are 100 Fleischmann cards. The Jennings card has been catalogued since the 70’s, but I’ve yet to see one. The rarity of Ferguson cards makes it 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.

1916 Fleischmann Bakery (New York) and Ferguson Bakery (Boston) D381 baseball card redemption coupons

D381 redemption coupons from each bakery location

Fleischmann cards, while quite scarce, are less so now after 2 big finds of 65 to 80 cards with coupons attached and another without coupons went to auction in 2016 and 2017. These cards 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 variations 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 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.