The purpose of this page is to help collectors distinguish between Exhibit cards, other rival arcade cards, and arcade-style cards made by companies other than the Exhibit Supply Company. Some of the distinctions are still subjects of debate in the card collecting world. I base my analysis on card styles and materials, advertising data, and in some cases firsthand information from old time collectors.
The card types shown here vary widely in quality and subject matter. Some are rare, others are commonly found. Most of the card types here are misrepresented as Exhibit cards by uninformed sellers when they are offered to the public.
Date(s): September 2, 2011. Album by Adam Warshaw. 1 - 94 of 94 Total. 6874 Visits.
1 1914 W530 Pinkerton Wagner
2 1914 W530 Pinkerton Bender
3 1914 W530 Pinkerton Tinker
4 1914 W530 Pinkerton Jennings
5 Dempsey U and U 1919 Underwood & Underwood Jack Dempsey: Underwood & Underwood was known for licensing photos. Many baseball sets from the 1920’s have the U&U copyright on their images. Apparently, U&U also tried its hand at producing postcard-sized blank backed cards of its own. Dempsey and Willard are the known subjects, indicating an issue date ca. 1919; they fought on 7/4/19.
6 1920s Unc Arcade Card Dempsey
7 Babe Ruth and Snookums This is not an Exhibit card. It is an arcade card from a rival issuer. There are several known cards of this format, all movie star cards from the era. They are very hard to find.
8 1920s anonymous arcade card The cards are frequently found with perforations at the top edge, possibly indicating that they were connected in pairs, like the Pull Here cards shown below.
9 1920s Buzzy Barton arcade card
10 1920s Gibson arcade card
11 1920s anonymous arcade card Carey
12 1920s anonymous arcade card Maynard
13 1920s 4 on 1 Frequently mistaken for an arcade card, this and a pair of baseball cards were actually issued in a box of toys and novelties, shown in the next few images.
18 E282 Dempsey ca. 1929 or 1930 E282 Goudey Oh Boy Gum Jack Dempsey and Tom Mix. From a series of at least 30 movie-related cards. Please see my separate page on Oh By Gum Cards for more images.
19 The photo from which the E282 was made. Shot by a Hollywood studio.
20 1930s W Unc Pull Here A rare issue especially difficult to find in its as-issued two card state. The cards folded over for insertion and removal from the machine and were usually separated after purchase.
21 1930s W Unc Pull Here Chevalier Here is a typical separated card
22 W Unc Pull Here Lugosi One of the few Lugosi career-contemporary cards, this one has been trimmed.
23 W Unc Pull Here Quartet Here is a panel of four uncut cards. I heard but cannot verify for a fact that the cards were issued this way and then would be cut down the middle in the vending machine. The cards are scored across their tops for separation as is the case with the singles I showed. Note the Boris Karloff.
24 W Unc Pull Here Quartet w/Lugosi Bela Lugosi on an uncut quartet
25 Push Pull 2
26 W Unc Pull Here Quartet Back The back of the quartet
27 Mutoscope Glamour Girls Dat-A-Ble The area in which Mutoscope distinguished itself was in the production of pin-up cards. The images were produced by well-known pin-up artists like Earl Moran and Zoe Mozert and cross-licensed for various products.
28 Mutoscope Glamour Girls Thar She Blows Various series of cards were issued under names like 'Glamour Girls' or 'Hotcha Girls' and vary in degree of rarity as a result.
29 Mutoscope 1942 Yankee Doodle Girls Best as I can ascertain, Mutoscope went out of business in 1949 and some or all of its assets were acquired by ESCO, which recycled some of the girlie cards as Exhibit cards and made some Mutoscope-PC-backed cards in the mid 1950s for baseball and boxing.
30 Mutoscope 1943 Hot Cha Girls
31 Mutoscope 1945 Artist Pin Up Girls
32 Mutoscope 1945 Artist Pin Up Girls
33 Coney Island Arcade Courtney-Mitchell Issued shortly after WWII at Coney Island, these cards are on thin stock similar to strip cards and individually measure about the same as a contemporary baseball card. They use pirated images taken from prewar exhibit cards and 19th century cabinet cards. Recently I have determined that they were issued in sheets of 9 cards.
34 Kid Herman Schmeling Beginning in 1946 and continuing for about 20 years a former pug named Kid Herman who had newsstands in New York City made a set of cards depicting the heavyweight champs from Sullivan onward. The sets went through various incarnations with different stocks. One of the earlier print runs was made using a card stock very similar to an arcade card and cards are often misrepresented as Exhibit cards. They are not arcade cards at all but were sold in sets in a packet.
35 Kid Herman Burns white with blue Color variant on the 'arcade' style cards.
36 1946 Kid Herman Hart red thick stock
37 1946 Kid Herman Baer blue thick stock
38 Kid Herman Baer
39 Kid Herman Clay
40 1946 Kid Herman wrapper
41 1947 Bond Bread Musial Although widely known as bread "Exhibits" the cards were likely made by made by Chicago-based Aarco Playing Cards, who licensed their regular sized issue using this art to the Bond Bread Co. for its Homogenized Bond product inserts. No idea how these big boys were sold.
42 1947 Bond Bread Slaughter
43 1948-52 Richard 'with steps' 1948-52 Canadian "Exhibit" Maurice Richard. "Rocket" Richard, the 1st man to score 50 goals in a season, is the key to the set. There are 2 card of him, one with the stairs in the background, one without. I say "Exhibit" because ESCO did not issue these cards; they were copy cat arcade cards.
44 1948-52 Richard 'no steps' 1948-52 Canadian Exhibit Maurice Richard, no stairs variation. I spoke with several Canadian hockey card dealers at the 2005 National who told me that this set is very scarce. I found only three cards for sale there from this set.
45 1948-52 Harvey 1948-52 Canadian Exhibit Doug Harvey. A HOF defenseman for the Habs and then the Rangers, Harvey was considered the greatest of all until Bobby Orr came along.
46 Geoffrion "Boum Boum" Geffrion. I guess that is how they spell it in Quebec?
47 1958 Nu Card Music 62 Ray Charles Nu Card issued several sets of arcade card-like materials in the late 1950s and early 1960s, sold from cello packs. One of the sets was pop music. Blank backs.
48 1959 Nu Card LIL 1 Jeff Richards Nu Card apparently licensed some of its Western cards for Long Island Lighting to do a public safety card issue. The cards differ from the standard Nu Card format as they lack the separate band of information at the bottom.
49 1959 Nu Card LIL 3 Hugh O'Brian
50 1959 Nu Card LIL Backs A variety of the safety tips on the card backs. Note the 1959 copyright date.
51 Nu-Card Western Chuck Connors This card is from the normal series of western cards made by Nu-Card in the early 1960s. They were sold in packs and are frequently mistaken for Exhibit cards because they are the same size and in a similar format.
52 1960 Nu-Card Baseball Hi-Lites Sold in packs, they are plentiful. The images do not always depict the subjects of the cards.
53 Coney Island Arcade Gehrig The proprietors of the arcade at Coney Island commissioned a variety of arcade cards of their own, starting with the smaller black and whites shown above, and then moving to the color cards shown here.
54 Coney Island Arcade Lorre Greenstreet A wide variety of movie-related subjects were made, some original like the four shown here, and some that were pirated versions of Exhibit cards.
55 Coney Island Arcade Karloff The cards likely date to the late 1950s or early 1960s. Sizes vary slightly but are generally about Mutoscope card-sized, which makes sense since they were likely vended from old Exhibit or Mutoscope machines. Styles vary widely.
56 Coney Island Arcade Lionel Atwill Best known to horror film fans as Inspector Krogh in Son Of Frankenstein.
57 Coney Island Arcade Chaney
58 Coney Island Arcade Van Cleef, Lee
59 Coney Island Arcade Lee Van Cleef This card pegs the CI arcade cards as running into the late 1960s because it is from The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.
60 Coney Island Arcade Jack Elam Again, a late 1960s image, from another Sergio Leone western, Once Upon A Time In The West 
61 Coney Island Arcade Bonanza Pernell Roberts, Michael Landon Probably dates from the early 1960s because Roberts left the show in 1966.
62 Coney Island Arcade Bonanza 2 Blocker Greene
63 Coney Island Arcade Chaney Jr
64 Coney Island Arcade Connors
65 Coney Island Arcade Gunsmoke
66 Coney Island Arcade Bronson
67 Coney Island Arcade Brynner and McQueen
68 Coney Island Arcade Brynner
69 1961 Kennywood Arcade Satchel Paige Made for and sold at the Kennywood amusement park in PA, the issue covers not only baseball but also other sports and entertainment.
70 1961 Kennywood Amusement Park Dodgers Bum
71 Mutoscope or Exhibit? Here is a comparison of the same subject as issued by Mutoscope [R] and ESCO [L]. Note the subtle differences. The ESCO reissues are much harder to find than the original Mutoscopes.
72 Sauer Mutoscope Back 1950s Hank Sauer with Mutoscope back. Exhibit sized card with Exhibit front art.
73 Stanwyck card This Barbara Stanwyck card is the same size and dimensions as an Exhibit card but is on much thinner stock.
74 This card comes from Canada and was sold as a Canadian exhibit. It ain't, though it could be an arcade card as it is blank-backed and on cardboard. I've seen others from the issue.
75 Pacific Ocean Park card P.O.P. was an amusement park on the coast of Los Angeles that existed on a pier from 1958-1967 when it closed. Apparently, it had an arcade and it pirated the ESCO 4 on 1 cowboys issue to make its own arcade cards.