The name of the T206 set, also known as the "White Border Set," originated from the numbering system used by Jefferson R. Burdick when he created The American Card Catalog. The first known cataloging appeared in a short article in a magazine in 1936. The first catalog, The United States Card Collectors Catalog, was published in 1939. During the next several years, Burdick continued his work, and in 1946 the catalog was updated and renamed The American Card Catalog.


Burdick catalogued card sets with categories designated by letters. The "T" category was composed of 20th-century U.S. tobacco insert cards. The "206" came from a sequential numbering system used to list various sets in the "T" category.