‘Première Croisade’ with single-ended courts by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1850.
Card Fabrique Company had connections with several other manufacturers and their complete history is yet to be unravelled.
Standard Playing Card Co. started producing playing cards in c.1890 but was in business for only about four years before United States Playing Card Company acquired it in 1894.
The court cards and Aces each feature four portraits of famous theatre stars from the 1890s inside round frames, against a background pattern based on traditional court cards.
Willis W. Russell's “Regulars” were first issued in c.1906, a brand aimed at the armed forces, in tribute to men of the “regular army”. It was patented with ‘Long Distance Pips’ with shading in the hearts and spades.
Nutrimientos Purina (Purina pet foods) advertising playing cards produced by Miguel Galas S.A. (Brown & Bigelow), Mexico, c.1960
Court cards from the Seminole Wars deck by J. Y. Humphreys, Philadelphia, c.1819. Ace of Spades from Jazaniah Ford's Decatur deck, 1815. Jazaniah Ford was born in Milton (Massachusetts) in 1757
Amos Whitney Factory Inventory. What it was like inside an 18th century playing card factory...
Vanity Fair Transformation Playing Cards No.41 published by the United States Playing Card Company, 1895. All the number cards have been imaginatively transformed.
A series of four decks designed by John Littleboy. The pip cards in each deck have been transformed from the standard positions into a sequence of images which tell a story.
From Empresses to King Cats and One-Eyed Jacks, every game is a pageant of unforgettable cats, each with a story to tell...
Pack of Dogs. Every card tells a story...
Mermaid Queen playing cards, from a series of four decks designed by John Littleboy, 2008
Bag of Bones playing cards, from a series of four decks designed by John Littleboy, 2008.
One of a series of Columbian Exposition Souvenir Playing Cards published during 1892-94 celebrating the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the Americas.
Kem washable plastic playing cards proved to be very durable and even early examples are usually in near perfect condition. The aces and jokers present minor variations over the years, but their 'Spanish' version is quite unusual.
The Western Playing Card Company was formed in 1927. The exact history and origins are not clear.
Congress Playing Cards were first produced by the Russell & Morgan Company in 1881 as the finest and most expensive of their brands.
The famous 'Bicycle' playing cards were first introduced by Russell & Morgan Printing Co in 1885. They were hugely successful and became the most well-known brand in the world.
Bicycle 808 Seconds playing cards manufactured by The United States Playing Card Co, Cincinnati and New York, USA, with offices also in Windsor, Canada and London, England.
Facsimile edition of Andrew Dougherty's Illuminated deck, c.1865, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., and described as 'Civil War Illuminated Poker Deck'
The famous Bicycle playing cards were first introduced by Russell & Morgan Printing Co in 1885.
Cards with jumbo indices were introduced in 1895, and were given the subtitle '88'. Over the years a variety of Jokers were used, often taken from other brands.
The National Card Co. was formed in c.1886 by Samuel J Murray, who as a young man had worked in England in Charles Goodall's playing card factory. In 1881 he moved to Cincinnati and became an employee of Russell & Morgan playing card manufacturers. In 1886 he left Russell & Morgan and moved to Indianapolis to establish the National Card Company.
Lawrence & Cohen were successors to Lawrence, Cohen & Co.
The New York Consolidated Card Company was formed in 1871 by the merging of Lawrence & Cohen, Samuel Hart & Co and John J. Levy.
The Continental Card Company, 220 North Second Street, Philadelphia, started in 1874, manufacturing various qualities of playing cards, including Continental Steamboats, Manhattans, Continental Moguls, etc. Single-ended and double-ended decks are known, also a "Highest Trump" Joker.
Strauss & Trier, New York, c.1860
Samuel Hart was a prolific manufacturer of playing cards who commenced business sometime around 1845 in Philadelphia. He had previously worked for L.I. Cohen.
Andrew Dougherty was born in Donegal in Northern Ireland in 1827. He started his playing card business in New York in 1848.
Thomas Crehore copy, c.1850
By 1877 the New York Consolidated Card Co's "Squeezers" were a great success on account of the indices in the corners which enabled the cards to be fanned.
A rare American Russian political pack by J. Dravin, Roxbury Mass, 1909, depicting events and moods in early 20th century Russia.
Lawrence & Cohen decided to hire Owen Jones, the English playing card designer who produced back designs for De La Rue (London).