Although the sport of boxing is currently going through a lean time, that certainly wasn't always the case. In fact, prize fighting was one of the most popular sports in America. Evidence of this fact are the once popular 1910 Mecca & Hassan Champion Athlete and Prize Fighter Series cards. Fortunately, Dean's Cards was recently able to acquire a handful of them.
The 1910 Mecca & Hassan Champion cards were issued by tobacco manufacturers as both a tactic to promote their brand as well as serving as a valuable piece to the packaging. The inserted card would give structure to the loose packaging that the cigarettes were wrapped in. Another famous example of a tobacco card is American Tobacco Company's T206 Honus Wagner.
However, the T218 Mecca & Hassan Cards have a lot of really great features. Perhaps the most striking feature of the Prize Fighting collection is the beautiful color artwork of the cards. The full color images are set in front a bold background and set inside of a white border. The rich colors that fill the cards are particularly enjoyable because they're an excellent example of colorized photos, a technique used before the invention of color photography.
Another cool characteristic of the T218 cards is the level of detailed information printed on the back of the cards. They include a paragraph biography of the prize fighter as well as a recapped listing of his bouts; including their date, the opponent, the result and the length of the bout.
Another unique hallmark of the 153 card Mecca & Hassan Champion Athlete & Prize Fighter collection is that they included champion athletes from a wide array of the day's most popular sports, including aviation, track & field, swimming, billiards, golf and even roller skating. Without a doubt, the 1910 Mecca & Hassan cards are a lasting mark of a very different time in America's sporting life.
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