This firm commenced producing playing cards with the name Kalamazoo Paper Box & Card Co in 1903.
The distinctive Ace of Spades features the Statue of the Goddess of Freedom, based on the bronze statue designed by Thomas Crawford (1814-1857) that, since 1863, has crowned the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Owing to the romantic appeal of gambling on the Mississippi river many manufacturers added “Steamboats” to their range, differentiated by a number, such as 999.
Steamboats #66 playing cards manufactured by the Kalamazoo Paper Box & Card Co., c.1903.
Steamboats No.99 was one of a number of brands produced by the American Playing Card Co. of Kalamazoo.
This deck was of slightly superior quality than it's predecessor “National Steamboats No.9” and is enhanced by a more picturesque Ace of Spades.
The theme of steamboats navigating up and down the Mississippi also extended to the cotton plantations alongside the river and to African American people employed therein who were sometimes depicted on the special Joker card.