Wednesday, August 18, 2010

E. T. Phone Home

Google Books has a nice copy of Successful Farming, from 1916. The cover from the February issue shows a pilgrim wannabe defending the hen house, probably from some wily fox.

The magazine is filled with such interesting articles as, "On the Trail of the Eggs", "Beauty and Utility in Silos", and the ever gripping, "Sanitary Hog Quarters". They also have wonderful advertisements for such useful items as automobiles, boots, tires, seed, and baseball cards. Yep, on page 145, right below an ad for ACME Quality Paints is the following:

They were promotional cards, with advertising on the back. They were akin to the 1916 M101-5 series from The Sporting News.

I've copied the entry from the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards. From the info on the back of the card shown, it would appear that to get the complete set, a child would have to coerce his father into subscribing to Successful Farming for seven years, at the whopping cost of $1.00.

Successful Farming started out in 1902. It is still in publication.

And who was the man behind this magazine?

None other than Edwin Thomas Meredith. Mr. Meredith was born in 1876 and died in 1928 at the age of 51. For 13 months (Feb. 1920 to Mar. 1921) he was the US Secretary of Agriculture, serving under President Woodrow Wilson. After his time as Ag Secretary his publishing company also produced Fruit, Garden, and Home. That later became Better Homes and Gardens.

Here's an image I snagged from eBay a while back, when I was doing some research for this post.

Thanks, E.T. Meredith, for having the savvy to promote your magazine with baseball cards. Collectors the world over thank you.

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