It states on the front of my John Baines football card: ‘Play Up Queen’s Park Rangers’. The ‘Special Notice’ on the reverse side reads: ‘Jerseys and shirts will be sent in all cases if the instructions on Show Bills are strictly followed, as there are several competitions. Please examine your Cards before sending, to prevent any disappointment.’
Every 10,000th card produced was a gold card and some interesting prizes were awarded. Wonderful artwork, John Baines is credited as inventing the Football Card in 1885 and was based in Bradford. His cards also depicted teams and personalities from other sports. The cards originally cost 1/2d and were purchased in packets of six. Sometimes they were sold off of a horse and van.
Although more than 20 million cards were produced up to the 1920’s, the QPR card I managed to pick up was the first one that I had ever seen. Difficult to date exactly, but it looks to me that it’s from the 1890’s which as far as I know would therefore make it the earliest Rangers card ever produced. I will be featuring various other QPR cards in the future.
For further information on these very collectable cards please visit this excellent website: http://www.bainesfootballcards.co.uk