1948 Topps "Magic Photos"

Topps’ 1948 “Magic Photos” set consists of 252 cards, each measuring approximately a tiny 7/8” x 1-7/16”. The ensemble is unique on several levels, the first being that it is one of Topps’ earliest trading card productions and contained the company’s first-ever baseball card offering. All of the images were "self-developing" – similar to a Polaroid photograph – issued with blank fronts that could be developed into sepia-tone photos by exposing the cards to sunlight. A somewhat complex sub-set system was utilized by Topps, dividing the minute offerings into sport and non-sport categories, each with a respective series letter: Boxing Champions "A" (24); All American Basketball "B" (6); All American Football "C" (13); Wrestling Champions "D" (25); Track and Field Champions "E" (17); Stars of Stage and Screen "F" (22); American Dogs "G" (17); General Sports "H" (2); Movie Stars "J" (45); Baseball Hall of Fame "K" (19); Aviation Pioneers "L" (9); Famous Landmarks "M" (9); American Inventors "N" (8); American Military Leaders "O" (10); American Explorers "P" (2); Basketball Thrills "Q" (5); Football Thrills "R" (5); Figures of the Wild West "S" (7); and General Sports "T" (7). The set is anchored by John Sullivan (#A2), Jack Johnson (#A6), Joe Louis (#A15), Jesse Owens (#E1), Clark Gable (#F1), Audie Murphy (#J23), Lou Boudreau (#K1), Babe Ruth (#K6), Tris Speaker (#K7), Rogers Hornsby (#K8), Christy Mathewson (#K10), Honus Wagner (#K11), Ty Cobb (#K13), Lou Gehrig (#K14), Walter Johnson (#K15), Cy Young (#K16), Charles Lindbergh (#L6), George Patton (#O3), DePaul (#Q5), Sitting Bull (#S3), and Billy the Kid (#S7). Topps' “Magic Photos” have proven popular among collectors of both sport and non-sport sets. “Fully developed” cards are typically in greater demand and command a higher premium than counterparts in lesser condition.