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American Advertising Boards

My last article featured foreign manufactured advertising boards, and I promised to continue with a listing of the American manufacturers in this article. Before I do, however, I am enlisting your assistance with a dilemma. My reference book on collectible cribbage boards, which will include values, is in the final stages of completion. It will be sent to the publisher for editing by May 1, 1999, but it will take several months before it is available for sale. I promise to keep you posted on the approximate date that it will be available.

In the book, I have done a feature on war boards, which is long overdue. You can't imagine how much information has been sent to me on this subject, so I am including a special section on it in the book. My dilemma, however, is that a board was designed for ACC members to send to the soldiers of the Desert Storm War, and I don't have a clue as to its dimensions or design. It was designed by Mickey Griffin of Lincoln, Nebraska and manufactured by Vandercraft. Over 1000 boards were donated to the cause, so I know that many of them must still exist. I would deeply appreciate any information that can be given me about this board.

Now that I have asked for your help - On to American Advertising Boards!

American Manufacturing Concern manufactured many advertising boards in the early 1900s, including the one for the famous Lash's Bitters. They used only one board model, a three track board, which included detailed information about the company advertised on the face of the board. Some of the boards have the name "Amer. Mfg. Concern Falconer, N.Y." stamped in one corner.

In the case of the Priest's board, which is pictured, there were also papers glued to the underside which gave detailed information about their products. It was distributed in the 1920s.

Other boards in the same model which have been located include:

Urban Shoe
Chew Clover Gum
Buffalo Brewing Company

Milton Bradley Company of Springfield (now owned by Hasbro) manufactured the vary famous Coca-Cola advertising boards in the 1930s and 1940s. The board came in two models, #4624CC (which is pictured) and #4625CC.

The Coca-Cola boards were widely distributed, and many of them still can be found for sale at flea markets, antique stores and on the Internet.

Great Western Enterprises of Aberdeen, WA manufactures an oval board which has a high gloss finish and features a recessed plastic peg storage pod on the underside. The plastic pod is a feature of their board which distinguishes it from other manufacturers.

Spencer Abersold founded the company in 1983, and the board model is still being manufactured. Great Western Enterprises, however, no longer does advertising boards.

Used barrel staves have been used by at least two companies to advertise their products. The most famous one is Jack Daniels of Lynchburg, KY, whose whiskey barrel staves are turned into boards by local craftsmen. Napa Valley wine barrel staves, by John E. Gaspari, can also be found in the marketplace.

A great flat rubberized board was used as a promotional in the mid 1980s by Budweiser Beer and came stored in a flat velvet pouch.

This board doesn't seem to be available in great numbers, for the only one about which I have information is the one in my collection. I would love to know how many of these delightful boards still exist!

Cribbage organizations have created a few boards which advertised their tournaments, including one done by DeLynn Colvert, which was used in the Montana Cribbage Championship tournaments in the early 1980s. This board will be pictured in my reference book. Eventually, the ACC designated the Long Board as the preferred board for use in sanctioned tournament play, and the advertising (or souvenir) boards were set aside.

T.N.M. Machine of Maplegrove, Mn manufactured a little metal key chain cribbage board, which was actually playable! The pegs store in the screw-out end which held the keys, and the overall size of the key chain is 3¾". At least one distributor, Brookstone of Peterborough, NH, had some of these boards printed with their name.

Many other companies have had their products advertised on cribbage boards - Eddie Bauer, Crisloid, Champion Spark Plugs, Marlboro, Chas. A. Brewer & Sons - just to name a few. For the collector who wishes to specialize in this great category, there is a plethora of styles from which to choose.