Bedford Press

Years in Production

1957-1979

Brooklyn, New York

Company History

Bedford Press baseball cards are a direct descendant of the old Bowman Gum Company.

In April of 1952, Bowman founder Jacob Bowman sold his company to Haelan Laboratories, also in Philadelphia. One of the Haelan board members, John Connelly, also owned Connelly Containers which subsequently bought out Haelan Laboratories, and along with it the rights to produce Bowman baseball cards.

Connelly, however, had zero interest in producing baseball cards. A buyout of not only the card production rights but all of the factory printing equipment was quickly arranged with Bedford Press in Brooklyn, New York, (a company with strong ties to Connelly Containers) which was committed to entering the baseball card market

With little experience in card production, Bedford Press hired and relocated many of the Bowman executives, press operators and skilled workers, and some of the early card designs (particularly the backs) are quite reminiscent of Bowman baseball.

The Bedford Press factory and offices were located on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn (see red arrow above), just across from Ebbets Field, seen here being demolished in February, 1960.

For years, many of the artifacts from Ebbets field could be found in the Bedford Press offices, including signage, seats, and turnstiles, lending an air of authenticity to a fledgling card company.