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Circa 1948 R154 Pic Transfer Bubble Gum Box
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,058
Display box for Pic Transfer Bubble Gum, issued by Gumakers of America, Inc., of Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania, containing sixty-three unopened packs of gum (out of an original 100) plus an opened pack and seventy-four color transfers. The blue-and-white back-panel display advertises "Free - A Transfer Prize With Every Piece of One-Cent Pic Bubble Gum." The display panel also promotes the company's upcoming big prize contest and tells dealers to "Get behind this contest and keep the kids coming to your store." As noted on the box, the transfers, which were meant to be applied to garments, were included in packages of gum. (We verified that fact by opening one of the packs. The transfer is wrapped around the gum.) Therefore, we are not sure what the seventy-four loose transfers found in the box represent, though they have never been folded (as they would have to, to be inserted into packs) and are clearly Pic Transfer premiums. It is likely that these were provided to retailers be handed out directly to buyers as extra incentive to buy Pic Transfer gum. All of the loose transfers are baseball related, picturing generic figures in action, many of which also include the name of a Major League team. By comparison, the transfer found in the one pack we opened pictured a pair of dice below the caption "Shoot The Works." (The pack transfer and the loose transfers are the same size, approximately 2.25 x 5 inches.) Another interesting aspect of this box relates to its year of issue. The date "June 21, 1948" is written in pencil on the lid, but Christopher Benjamin, author of the definitive work The Sport Americana Price Guide to the Non-Sports Cards 1930-1960, always believed this to be a prewar issue. He formed that opinion on the basis that he stops seeing products produced by Gumakers of America soon after America's involvement in World War II. Based on the year notation on the box, we now know that this issue dates from 1948. In his listing of this issue, which was obviously written years before the discovery of this box, Benjamin was able to catalog the Pic Transfer Bubble Gum issue based on the wrapper, which he has seen and which clearly states that each pack contains a transfer. Benjamin notes, however, that he has never seen a verified sample of the heat-transfer pictures that were packed in Pic Transfer Bubble Gum. This is a fascinating box that answers many long unanswered questions about this unusual gum issue. The display box (5 x 6 x 2.5) is in overall Excellent condition and the gum packs appear just as they did when issued. The seventy-four loose baseball-theme transfers are in Excellent condition. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,058
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