Considered, of course, by many collectors as the best looking set of all time, 1953 Bowman Baseball is indeed gorgeous. You can see that on the two strips from REA:
Unlike Topps, who put specific copy on the backs of their samples, Bowman usually just sent out strips of cards from their production sheets accompanied by a letter with some hyperbolic copy. The backs are straight from the printing press:
Since I actually can't help it, the auction had great 1954 and 1955 panels as well and since the scans I nicked are so much better than the ones I posted here a while back, I figured what the hey. 1954 came 2x2:
Bowman stuck a sticker on the backs of some. They also use "Salesmen's" whereas as I have always used "Salesman's". Not sure if the top one lost it's sticker (probably not) or if it was never affixed:
Blond or chestnut, take your pick (although some hybrids with both on the same panel exist):
For their swan song, Bowman finally went to a legit sample with ad copy on the back.Gorgeous ad copy, I might add:
The 20 years of leadership refers to their first issued set, when the company was known as Gum Inc., although the first cards appeared in 1933 and they were all non-sports. Gum Inc. competed directly against Goudey and those were the two major issuing companies in the years leading up to World War 2.
I've always liked these samples; they are great little offbeat collectibles.