New: 2022-23 Tim Hortons
50 Years Later: Memories of the First WHA Trading Card Set and the Deal That Gave the League Its Big Star
Canadian Hockey Cards has been on the web since 1996. However our collecting and dealing goes back even farther. 1970 is where it started when Esso released their Power Player's collection. Every kid in school was collecting them. That started the interest in hockey cards in the years that followed.
We started doing card shows in the Vancouver area in 1990, and when the internet was accessible in 1994, trading and selling began then. We created our first website in 1996 specializing in Canadian issues. It has evolved over the past 25+ years to what it is today. We work to keep all McDonalds, Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire, and the Upper Deck Young Guns in stock. To see our whole story, visit the "about us" page.
The early history of hockey cards:
Made in Canada Hockey Cards have been in existence long before baseball and football cards were produced here. The very first Vintage hockey cards came out over 135 years ago. In 1879 and 1880 various card sized drawings depicting "Ice hockey" or "Eishockey" appeared. One American card called the game "Ice Polo" and depicted a game between Cottage City and Providence.
As the 19th Century drew to a close many more photos and cards appeared depicting various hockey clubs and colleges in Quebec and New England. The first sets that actually featured named players were made available in cigarette packs from 1910 - 1913. These three "C" sets (C-55, C-56 and C-57), measured 1 1/2" x 2 1/2". They featured colour portraits of the leading hockey players of the day. The top teams in that day were from Quebec, Ottawa, Montreal and Renfrew - which was a club team from Vancouver.
Some of the names of the players in these sets have a familiar ring with anyone who follows the NHL today. Names like Georges Vezina, Fred Cyclone Taylor, and Art Ross are some examples. These ended with the outbreak of World War One, and during the war years the only hockey memorabilia to be seen would be from American colleges.
Following the Great War, the West Coast featured the first revival of hockey cards with Victoria and Vancouver producing sets. Other Western Canadian sets and American sets followed into the 20's. The first National Hockey League set called William-Patterson appeared in 1923 featuring players from Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and Boston. Here is where the first cards of Howie Morenz, Aurele Joliat, and King Clancy debuted.
More food and candy manufacturers came on board as the 20's progressed with the object that if you collected the whole set, you would send the set in where they would stamp it and return it along with at. From these, the O-Pee-Chee Chewing Gum company prevailed due to better looking cards. O-Pee-Chee continued to produce cards up until 1940 when due to the 2nd World War, production ceased. Before they stopped, names like Eddie Shore, Charlie Conacher, Ace Bailey, Turk Broda, Toe Blake, Elmer Lach and Syl Apps appeared on cards.See the entire story