Andrew Dougherty was one of the biggest American card-makers in the 19th century.
Andrew Dougherty was born in Donegal in Northern Ireland in 1827. He started his playing card business in New York in 1848.
The idiosyncratic courts used in this deck were used by several other U.S. manufacturers, including Crehore and Hart, and continued into the early 1900s in Faro decks.
Andrew Dougherty’s Army & Navy deck from the Civil War era, c.1865. The cards have no indices and are printed in red/blue/black only with a green/red back pattern.
Dougherty's ‘Cruiser No.96’, first published c.1897, was dedicated to the U.S. Navy.
Excelsior by A. Dougherty, c.1870.
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'
No.50 appears at the bottom of the Ace of Spades and the cards have corner indices and miniature suit symbols in the corners.
Dougherty was at the forefront of innovation, adding Best Bowers and then Jokers, rounded corners and various types of indices, or indicators, to his cards.
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.
The earliest Ace of Spades had the Centre Street address and the Jolly Joker was used until the “Tally-Ho” Joker was introduced in the early 1900s. The brand has seen only minor variations over the years.
Dougherty first secured a patent for “Triplicates” in 1876, a novel type of indices with a miniature card in the top left-hand corner (and bottom right). These kept Dougherty at the forefront of innovation.
Not much is known about this early manufacturer who is reckoned to have traded between c.1870s-1890s.