Lost Advertisements–Bull Durham’s Fan for a Fan

29 May


A 1913 advertisement for the “A Fan for A Fan” offer from Bull Durham Tobacco:

Keep Cool at the Ballgame

 Free (for a few days only)

A Fan for a Fan

 To Every Purchaser of a 5 cent sack of “Bull” Durham Tobacco

A realistic imitation of a baseball, with an excellent likeness in colors of some famous baseball player in every fan!  All real baseball “fans” will want this on site!  All the ladies will want them–because these fans are so novel, attractive, and handy to have in hot weather to keep you cool and comfortable!  Go right away to your dealer for a 5 cent muslin sack of “Bull” Durham, and get this “Fam for a Fan,” Free!

In addition to the Christy Mathewson fan featured in the ad,  Ty Cobb, Hal Chase, Frank Baker, and Larry Doyle were also available; the fans themselves included a facsimile signature of the player and no mention of Bull Durham.  Apparently they are rare enough that auctions date them only to “Circa 1910,” and make no mention of them being distributed by the tobacco company.


Chase, Mathewson and Doyle fans from a 2005 auction; the three sold for $3,480.


3 Responses to “Lost Advertisements–Bull Durham’s Fan for a Fan”

  1. Zippy Zappy May 29, 2015 at 10:55 am #

    That’s an awesome and unique piece of baseball memorabilia. I would if anyone would dare to fan themselves with 100+ year old $1000 fans.

    • Zippy Zappy May 29, 2015 at 10:56 am #

      *I wonder if anyone would dare to fan themselves with 100+ year old $1000 fans.

      • Thom Karmik May 31, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

        I can’t imagine how many of them ended up in landfills over the years, I have only seen one in person and it was very fragile. There seem to be very few around, and no one I talked to about them even knew they were produced by Bull Durham. Compared to a lot of more plentiful items from that period these seem to be very undervalued.

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