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Samuel Hart, 1846-1871

Samuel Hart was a prolific manufacturer of playing cards who commenced business sometime around 1846 in Philadelphia. He had previously worked for L.I. Cohen. Hart purchased the Thomas Crehore playing card plates and some of their machinery after Crehore closed down in 1846. He is considered as an early innovator in the business. They also made the "Thomas Crehor" decks (no 'e') which had similar aces of spades and the typical Hart one-way courts and possibly were attempting to continue the Crehore name. Hart also appears to have traded as Charles Bartlet. From 1849 Hart also had offices in New York City.

In 1871 Samuel Hart & Co became part of the New York Consolidated Card Co. During their 22 year life as an independent playing card manufacturer they were extremely active and produced a large variety of decks, including many different aces of spades and "Imperial Bower" jokers. The name "Squeezers" had been used from around 1870 to denote the indices in the corners of the cards, but after 1873 all indexed cards made by NYCC were called Squeezers.   more...

Above: single-ended deck manufactured by Samuel Hart & Co in c.1860. The ace of spades gives the address as New-York.

double-ended deck manufactured by Samuel Hart & Co in c.1865

Above: double-ended deck manufactured by Samuel Hart & Co in c.1865. The ace of spades gives two addresses: 416 South 13th St., Philadelphia and 546 Broadway, New York.

Probably the most popular and long-lived of all Hart issues were the George & Martha Washington Aces of Spades, all published under the Samuel Hart & Co. name. At least five different versions are known, from between 1868 until after 1900.

Above: cards by Samuel Hart & Co., West 14th Street, N. Y., c.1872, with newly designed double-ended courts without indices, somewhat similar in style to those of Chas Goodall of London. The "Imperial Bower" was probably the first U.S. Joker which first appeared during the 1860s for the game of Euchre.

Above: Samuel Hart & Co., N.Y., c.1870, probably produced by New York Consolidated Card Co.

Last Updated December 31, 2015 at 09:30pm

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