Over the years eight different Aces of Spades were used with this brand and the Joker was also modified several times.
The Joker is particularly persuasive, whilst the Ace of Spades has a battle scene involving artillery, with Navy ships in the distance and the statue of the goddess of Freedom in the middle.
The famous Bicycle playing cards were first introduced by Russell & Morgan Printing Co in 1885. More recently the brand has been open to private designers since the early 2000s.
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.
1st edition of famous Bicycle Playing Cards printed by Russell & Morgan Printing Co., Cincinnati, 1885.
“Capitol No.188” was first introduced during the Russell & Morgan Printing Company era in c.1886 and carried through into the U.S.P.C.C's catalogue after 1895.
The second edition of 1883 has slightly larger indices and a more simplified Ace of Spades showing two sailing ships.
No.4 Special Whist (American Skat) playing cards made by the Russell & Morgan Printing Company, 1889.
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.
In 1881 Russell, Morgan & Company commenced playing card production by issuing six grades of cards with new, purely American names.
Imagery of slightly eccentric tourists sightseeing in Egypt, or perhaps in the Alps, appears on the back of the box, the Ace of Spades and the Joker.