It's 1910 in Cleveland. You're 13 years old and you're exhausted.
You've spent all morning grinding coffee beans at your uncle's shop inside the Cleveland Arcade. Your arms are sore but your spirits are high.
Your beloved Cleveland Naps are playing the St. Louis Browns down at League Park. You grab a pack of Hassan Cork-Tip Cigarettes from the counter and race out to the street. It's a 3 mile run, but it's one that you're used to.
You arrive early enough to meet up with your pals and grab a seat inside.
Your favorite pitcher, Cy Young (who is older than your father) is getting the day off. Instead, you get to see Addie Joss take the mound.
Your buddies are excited because some rookie that the Naps acquired from Philadelphia is making his home debut today.
You kick back, pack your smokes, open them up and find a card. Your friends think the Hassan cards are dumb, but Hassan is the only brand your uncle smokes. You plan to slip the card quickly in your pocket, but first you have to take a peek.
Welcome back to 2014. Pictured above is "Indian Boy Playing with Pet Crow" from the Hassan Cigarette's (T73) Indian Life in the 1860's set. The coloring on this card is eye-popping. The purple, blue and yellow of the mountains is fantastic. Once again, let me remind you that this is a scan of a card I picked up for about $2, 104 years after it was printed. It's hard to believe. In the background we have a horse and what appears to be a couple ponies or just far-away horses. There's a mosh pit of squirrels behind the boy's legs. That crow is a big ol' sucker.
Are crows tamable? I've always thought they were the idiots of the bird world. This kid has a field of ponies, a pile of squirrels rocking out, and yet he wants to play with a rat with wings? To each their own.