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Published January 31, 2013 Updated July 31, 2023

Triplicate No.18

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).

1878 USA Dougherty Triplicate History Indices Innovation Patent Add to Collection

A. Dougherty’s “Triplicate No.18”

Andrew 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. There are several variations in the size and design of the “Triplicate” indices, with the smallest being the earliest. Dougherty's “Triplicate” playing cards have a specially designed Ace of Spades which was intricately engraved, with a spread of cards inside the central Spade symbol demonstrating the innovation.

'Triplicate No.18' playing cards by Andrew Dougherty, c.1878

Above: Triplicate No.18' playing cards by Andrew Dougherty, c.1878. This is the second version of the brand with a 'Little Joker' card instead of a 'Best Bower' and a more elaborate Ace of Spades with the addition of two cherubs and an eagle at the top.

Doughtery’s patent for his “Triplicates”

Above: Doughtery’s patent for his “Triplicates”. Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 16S,626, dated October 11, 1875; application filed October 6, 1875. See original document here


REFERENCES

Dawson, Tom & Judy: The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, U.S. Games Systems Inc., 2000

Hargrave, Catherine Perry: A History of Playing Cards and a Bibliography of Cards and Gaming, Dover Publications, New York, 1966

Images from the collection of Rod Starling, author of "The Art and Pleasures of Playing Cards". Thanks to Matt Probert for extra research.

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94 Articles

By Rod Starling

Member since January 09, 2013

Rod Starling was one of the founding members of the 52 Plus Joker card collectors club. He authored many articles for the club's quarterly newsletter, Clear the Decks. His collection encompasses both foreign and American decks. Rod also authored a book titled The Art and Pleasures of Playing Cards.


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