Complete Hindu Ad Gallery


In August 1909, the American Tobacco Company began a newspaper ad campaign for its Hindu brand of cigarettes. The campaign consisted of 12 different advertisements that prominently featured cards from the T206 set.


Thought to have been run exclusively in the Times-Picayune Daily and Evening newspapers in New Orleans, these ads ran six weeks. The first ad ran on Aug. 2 and the last on Sept. 10. Ads ran on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with the exception being ones that ran Tuesday and Thursday the first week in the Evening edition.


The first five ads featured card images of only major-leaguers. Each ad stated that the full set consisted of 150 subjects and that two picture cards of famous, distinguished or prominent baseball players would be included in every pack.


The sixth ad, published Aug. 13, was the only one to feature both major-league and southern league players. The text of this ad still referred to the set being 150 subjects of celebrated baseball players, with no mention of the southern leagues.


On Aug. 23, the remaining six ads began their runs. These featured card images of only southern league players. Each ad promised two pictures of southern league players in every box.


Several points are important to note regarding the language and images used in the ads.


First, in the major-league ads, card images of Nicholls (Hands On Knees), Rube Waddell (Throwing), Dooin, and Lobert are featured, but these cards are thought to be "no prints" with the Hindu back. The ads say that 150 subjects comprise the set, but because of unknown reasons, the actual printing fell short, with 102 major-leaguers confirmed to date.


Second, all southern league card images featured in the ads can be found with the Hindu brand back. However, these ads all mention the four southern leagues, including the Texas League. No card of a player representing the Texas League can be found with a Hindu brand back.


Finally, the ads indicate two planned phases for the distribution of the T206 subjects. The first ads say that two cards of prominent baseball players would be in every pack, and these ads feature only major-league card images. These ads show two cards in a pack, both major-leaguers. The second group of ads specifically say that two southern league players would be in every pack, and these ads feature only southern league card images, including the two in the pack.


Based on this and how the ad campaign was run, the conclusion could be drawn that packs of Hindu cigarettes first were offered with major-league subjects only and then several weeks later were distributed with only southern league players.