The History of Hockey Cards
The first hockey cards as we know them now (yes the cards now look much better and much different, but still they were hockey cards ),
The first printed cards came out in 1910 and the only way you could get your hands on them was to buy a pack of Imperial Cigarettes with only 36 cards in the set, so only one card per pack. On the back was a very small snippet about the player.
The next change to hockey cards were in 1924 ( no more Cigarettes packs ) ..Now they bundled in packages with Candy and Gum. I guess they figured out best to do that for Kids. The company was called Maple Crispette Co also did Major League Baseball Cards at the same time.
In 1933 things changed again for the first time Hockey Cards were in both French and English and only sold in Quebec and Ontario The Cards were called ICE KINGS and released by worldwide gum.
In 1951 was when the big NEW hit about Hockey Cards when Parkhurst came on board with 100 card set and the very first to put the cards in a package with nothing else.
Parkhurst printed Hockey cards for ten years missing one in 1956 which they call the missing link. The 1951 set is the most famous set in hockey card history with 93 out of the 100 players Rookie Cards in the set; players like Gordie Howe and Maurice Richard.
Parkhurst stopped printing in 1954 when O-Pee-Chee and Topps started up in the Hockey Card business.
The 1954 Topps who was a Chewing Gum Company and printed the 1954 Hockey Set just a few years after printing the Topps Baseball Cards, now the best Baseball Card Company in the world. The Hockey Set in 1954 was interesting because they only printed American Team players. No Toronto or Montreal Players were in the 1954 Topps Set and only a 60 card set.
Parkhurst also printed a set in 1954/55 of all six NHL Teams but only a set of 100 cards.
So not all players were in the set. Parkhurst took a turn in 1955/56 when they printed a set of only the two Canadian teams. Again, in 1957/58 Topps went USA and Parkhurst went Canada. This went on for years until Parkhurst printed their last set in 1963/64.
O-Pee-Chee joined the fun; their first set came out in 1968/69 and for a few years after that, Topps and O-Pee-Chee would print a copy set most of the time with O-Pee-Chee having over 200 cards in their sets. Topps would only have half that number of cards in their sets.
The outlook of Hockey changed in the 1990 years with the Upper Deck Company taking over the Hockey Card World. A few companies like Pinnacle hanged on for a short time.
But nowadays, Upper Deck makes all the Hockey Cards. The nice thing Upper Deck has done there is kept the O-Pee-Chee name on some of the Cards in yearly sets .
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