VintageBasketball.com, click for home.

1904-05 J. Baines Net Ball, School Girls

Description:

John Alexander Baines of Barnsley and Bradford was one of the main suppliers of "football" cards in the U.K. While called cards, they weren't really cards are we think of them. They were primarily in the shape of a shield. J. Baines was an apparel company. This European manufacturer of jerseys, shirts and sweaters produced a "Net Ball" shield card and a "School Girls" shield card, each, 3 1/8" tall and 2 3/4" wide, of girls playing net ball. It is believed that the issuance of these cards occurred in 1904 as part of a regular series of sports cards and were distributed in promotional packets in association with the Cartwright Memorial Hall and the Great Bradford Exhibition of 1904. The exhibition ran from April-October of 1904, and research indicates that many souvenirs were distributed at the event. It is speculated that Baines received the Gold Medal Award (referenced on cards and packets) at this event, but this couldn't be confirmed. Each packet contained 6 shield cards. There are variations to the cards: #1A - A woman with a closed collar/hair Up/Net Ball with a Bradford back; #1B - The same as #1A with a more realistic image of the woman and no initials above the image, plus a different font style on the back; #2 - A woman with a closed collar/hair up/Net Ball; Gillingham back; and #3 - A younger woman with an open collar/parted hair/Net Ball; Bradford back. Honestly, there are probably more variations we don't know about. While we have no knowledge of distribution numbers, it does seem like the School Girls shield is more difficult to find, as is the Gillingham-backed card version The most common variations I have seen are - #1A for the Net Ball card and #3 for the School Girls card. While not shaped like cards, they share a common thread with older american sports cards in that there was an offer on the back for an equipment giveaway, in this case, 50 jerseys, shirts and sweaters. If you believe Net Ball is basketball, this "might" be the first card ever. Basketball was brought to England in 1895 by a colleague of James Naismith. Variations of the game developed, with official rules for Net Ball coming out in 1901. One last item - most variations show an abbreviation E.S.B. above the image of the women. The women were members of the Baines family, believe to be a wife or daughter. Hopefully, we will find out more in the future on these great cards.

Category:

Sports Cards/Panels

Sub Category:

1900s

Condition:

Good

In Collection:

Yes

Manufacturer Artist:

J. Baines

My Most Recent Blogs

Story-paper Tabloids - Feb. 28, 2017

You may be familiar with the term pulp, used to describe some of the older, cheaply made periodicals from many years ago. However, the term "story-paper tabloid" may not be as common. Story-paper tabloids are similar to pulps in the low quality of the materials used, but differ in their format and size. Produced using cheat wood pulp paper, they ...

Seldom seen Clark Candy Cards! - June 19, 2016

Recently, I was lucky enough to find 10 of the 16 cards from the 1954 Clark Candy basketball set. These cards are quite rare and seldom seen, even by advanced basketball collectors.

Rare Album Postcard Acquired - March 1, 2016

Recently, I came across a surprising find - the 1928 Cuban Aguilitas Album Redemption postcard. When I've seen these in the past, they have always been baseball related. This one is basketball themed and shows the same image as card #397, the HNOS Maristas. The seller of this item said he found it in Cuba three decades ago. It is a nice and une...

The rarest card ever in vintage basketball - C.A. Briggs - Feb. 7, 2016

On January 20, 2016, the 1933 C.A. Briggs card was added to the VintageBasketball.com collection. I am excited to share info about this card with all of you. While there are many rare items in our hobby, speaking specifically about cards, this is probably at the very top of the list in terms of rarity. Take a few minutes to read a little more a...

My Favorite Items

1933 C.A. Briggs Basketball
B33 Basket Ball Flannels 1912
Basket Ball Rules for 1893
Hamilton King L5 Leather 1912
Ken-Wel Advertising 1920
Naismith's Phog Allen Portrait Print 1936
Spalding Men - 1896
Spalding Men - 1899/1900
Spalding Women - 1901