Ernest Russell - C56 - Imperial Tobacco Hockey Card - No20 - 1910
The first true set of Hockey cards, the 1910-11 C56 was issued in packs of cigarettes produced in Canada by the Imperial Tobacco Co. The set is made up of 36 cards, but there is a C56 Newsy Lalonde card which featured the number 37 on the front instead of 36 - only 5 are known to exist.
The C56 Hockey cards feature a lithographed player picture with a white border. The player's first initial / name with last name and team appear in the border area below the picture, while a card number appears in the upper left corner. Backs feature a "Hockey Series" design with two crossed Hockey sticks and a puck, followed by the player's name, team and a history of his past teams. Dimensions, 1 1/2" by 2 5/8"
The designation of C56 was bestowed upon the cards by Jefferson Burdick’s American Card Catalog many years after it was issued and the “C” comes from the fact that it was a Canadian release rather than being given a “T” for tobacco.