Schonwasser Bathing Girls

Issuing Company: S. E. Schonwasser Co., San Francisco, Calif.
Country of Issue: USA
Year of Issue: Early 1920s
Color/B&W: B&W
Number of Cards in Set:
Card Size: 1 3/4" x 2 3/4"
Issued as insert with what product:

Notes: Checklist incomplete.

The backs mention that two different mail-in offers were available. If you sent in 5 cards and 50 cents, you would receive a 20-page album with space for 200 cards. If you sent in 10 cards and 50 cents, you would receive your choice of a large 8 x 10 hand-painted, mounted photograph of one of the cards in this set. There were two code letters on the back of each card that you were supposed to use when selecting the large card you wanted. It seems kind of odd that you had to send in your cards to get an album to hold the cards - who knows, maybe they returned the cards to you. The backs of this set are identical to the backs of the Schonwasser Film Stars cards.

Though the backs of the Schonwasser Bathing Girls and the Schonwasser Film Stars sets are identical, I don't think the two sets were issued together. I have seen four original groups of these cards, and all of these groups contained cards from only one of these sets.

Bill Butterfield sent me some additional information about how this set was issued. When Bill found them they were mounted in wooden boxes like drawers. Each card was in an envelope with an open front and a hole at the bottom. The cards were mounted in rows in the wooden drawers with a metal rod thru the hole in the bottom of the envelope. The only way to remove a card was to tear it loose from the rod like a pull tab. They were mounted in random order also. Click the picture above to see what an original envelope with the card inside looks like.

The Pull-Rak California Bathing Girls set may the same as this set. It is interesting that that set was called Pull-Rak, when that is apparently how the cards were to be removed - cards on a rack and you pulled them off.

In the ACC, Jefferson Burdick classified this set as E281 and called them Sennett Girls. I checked with an expert on Mack Sennett girls, and he didn't think the girls on these cards were Mack Sennett girls. There is no mention of Mack Sennett on the cards. I think Burdick was mistaken in this classification. I think he just saw that they looked like the Mack Sennett girl cards since these were girls on the beach, and named them the same.

The girls on these cards are unidentified. Some of the same girls can be found on multiple cards with different poses. This checklist will identify the cards by their code letters.

There was a blank back card in a group of these cards that I got. The blank back card looks like this set on the front, though the card is slightly smaller in size. I don't know if that card is part of this set or not, but I'm including it in the checklist below.

Thanks to Tom Boblitt and Bill Butterfield for help with this checklist.


AT
BD
CW
DX
EA
GP
GQ
GR
GS
GT
GU
GV
GW
GX
GY
GZ
HA
HC
HD
HE
HF
HG
HH
HI
HJ
HK
HL
HN
HO
HP
HQ
HR
HS
HT
HU
HV
HW
HX
HY
HZ
IA
IB
IC
ID
IE
IF
IG
IH
IK
IL
IM
IN
IO
IP
IQ
IR
T

Unidentified girl-blank back


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