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Rare 1912 "The Walter Johnson Spring-Garter" Advertising Card
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $1,185.00
Exceedingly rare advertising display card featuring Walter Johnson in promotion of "The Walter Johnson Spring-Garter." The colorful card is printed on sturdy stock and features an illustration of "The Big Train" in a pitching pose superimposed upon a larger image of the garter. Getting Johnson's endorsement for this product was probably an easy task for the company (based in Coffeyville, Kansas) because, as noted by the printing along the base, the garter was manufactured by "The Johnson Spring Garter Company - Walter Johnson President." A patent date of April 2, 1912, appears in red print in the center of the sign. We actually spoke with Hank Thomas, grandson of Walter Johnson, and he confirmed both the sign's approximate date of manufacture (1912) and its extreme rarity. This may be the only known example (neither we nor Hank Thomas have ever seen another) and only a few items of any type (including an example of a retail box that is out there somewhere) are all that survive from The Johnson Spring Garter Company. Thomas noted that the company was not a financial success and was only in business a short time. He also explained the significance of Coffeyville: This is the small town where the Johnson family lived in the teens (they moved from Coffeyville, Kansas, to Bethesda, Maryland, in about 1920). The advertising card (7.25 x 9.25 inches) appears to have been designed for store display. It has a few light creases and minor surface blemishes, as well as paper and adhesive residue on the reverse from its having once been mounted in an album. Despite the minor flaws, the card displays exceptionally well, with all of the colors bold and vibrant, and with a strong overall Excellent appearance. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,185.00
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