The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published May 29, 2010 Updated June 12, 2023

Samuel Hart, 1846-1871

Samuel Hart was a prolific manufacturer of playing cards who commenced business sometime around 1845 in Philadelphia. He had previously worked for L.I. Cohen.

1845 USA Hart New York Consolidated Card Co Indices Patent Add to Collection

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.


Corner Indices

A patent was issued on February 9, 1864 to Cyrus W. Saladee of Paducah, Kentucky, under patent number 41,587. It is believed to be the first American deck with corner indices. This idea revolutionized American card manufacture by enabling card players to fan the cards to view only a small portion of each card, sufficient to see the indices. This was soon followed by Andrew Dougherty’s patent for “Triplicates” and other novel systems of index types which were adopted by several competing manufacturers until, over time, they became the new norm.

Saladee Patent Deck, Samuel Hart, Philadelphia, 1864

Above: Saladee's patent deck with small corner indices published by Samuel Hart, Philadelphia, 1864. The Ace of Spades mentions Saladee’s name. Hart also issued a “Bazique” set incorporating two Saladee Bazique Registers


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.

avatar
1439 Articles

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

2010 Go Green playing cards

Go Green playing cards

Suggestions how to “go green” and help combat the impact of climate change.

North American wildlife playing cards

North American wildlife playing cards

From humid wetlands to frozen tundra, the wildlife in North America is extremely diverse.

Why our playing-cards look the way they do

Why our playing-cards look the way they do

Analysis of early playing card designs: origins, suit differences, standardization, technological ad...

Hummingbirds of the Americas

Hummingbirds of the Americas

Colour photographs of hummingbirds with data about each species to aid recognition.

Seashells playing cards

Seashells playing cards

Each card shows colour photo of a different seashell for easy identification.

Discover trains of North America

Discover trains of North America

55 different Illustrations of railways and locomotives from the United States.

2022 Tarot for Baby

Tarot for Baby

This board book simplifies tarot archetypes into accessible affirmations for young children.

1994 Music playing cards

Music playing cards

Portraits of 13 classical music composers.

Managing cards without corner indices

Managing cards without corner indices

For many hundreds of years cards had no corner indices, were square cut and mostly made from card wi...

1982 Star Trek II • The Wrath of Khan

Star Trek II • The Wrath of Khan

This deck is a vibrant photographic tribute to "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," one of the most be...

1992 Norfin® Trolls

Norfin® Trolls

Troll dolls with gaudy hairstyles in a multitude of different costumes.

2002 Impressionist Art Cards

Impressionist Art Cards

Details of 13 paintings by 8 different Impressionist artists on elongated cards.

1904 Miniature Card Dominoes

Miniature Card Dominoes

A miniature set of Goodall domino cards (5.9 x 3.5 cms) still in perfect condition.

2003 Safety playing cards

Safety playing cards

Safety playing cards designed to reinforce the “Think and Be Safe” concept.

2016 Politicards 2016 & Politikids 2016

Politicards 2016 & Politikids 2016

Politicards™ 2016 & Politikids 2016: twin decks of satirical playing cards produced by Peter Green f...

2004 K Deck

K Deck

“K Deck” political playing cards, USA, c. 2004.

2016 Tuxedo playing cards

Tuxedo playing cards

Stylish ‘Tuxedo’ playing cards with animal faces created by Natalia Silva, USA, 2016.

2003 The Deck of Hillary

The Deck of Hillary

‘The Deck of Hillary’ with quotes and photographs of Hillary Clinton, USA, 2003.

2005 Shakespeare playing cards: Insults

Shakespeare playing cards: Insults

Shakespeare Insults playing cards with portraits by Jan Padover, USA, 2005.

2004 Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes

Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes

Shakespeare playing cards: Quotes, the first volume of a double set published by Prospero Art of San...

2012 Old Testament playing cards

Old Testament playing cards

Old Testament playing cards with illustrations by Jan Padover, USA, 2012.

2008 Politicards 2008

Politicards 2008

Politicards ’08 with caricatures cast as characters from classic movies, USA.

2003 Starz behind bars

Starz behind bars

Starz behind bars playing cards with mug shots of the rich and famous under arrest, USA, 2003.

2003 House of Cards: Deck of Bush

House of Cards: Deck of Bush

House of Cards: Deck of Bush playing cards presenting reasons not to re-elect President Bush for a s...

Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort whiskey playing cards, USA.

2011 Holy Trinity Church playing cards

Holy Trinity Church playing cards

Holy Trinity Church commemoration playing cards, USA, 2011.

1992 Batman® playing cards

Batman® playing cards

Characters from Batman: The Animated Series on a pack issued in 1992.

2010 FDR New Deal Deck

FDR New Deal Deck

Facsimile of ‘FDR New Deal Deck’ of 1934 re-published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010.

2008 Gay / Really straight Republican hypocrites

Gay / Really straight Republican hypocrites

Gay / Really straight Republican hypocrites, USA, 2008

2008 Politically Wild John McCain

Politically Wild John McCain

“Politically Wild John McCain” published by Newt’s Playing Cards, USA, 2008.

Mohegan Sun playing cards

Mohegan Sun playing cards

Mohegan Sun playing cards published by Gemaco for Mohegan Sun casino.

1970 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! playing cards

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! playing cards

Strange facts from Robert Ripley’s ‘Believe It or Not’ books, in the form of cartoons.

2020 Undressed deck

Undressed deck

Undressed deck created by Edi Rudo and Néro Catineau, USA, 2020.

Fate fortune telling cards

Fate fortune telling cards

Fate fortune telling cards published by Merrimack Publishing Corporation, USA.

2004 Politicards 2004

Politicards 2004

Politicards 2004 with satirical cartoons by the award-winning illustrator Peter Green, USA.

1972 Politicards 1971

Politicards 1971

Politicards 1971 for the presidential election in which Richard Nixon won a landslide victory.

1996 Politicards 1996

Politicards 1996

Politicards ’96 with satirical caricatures on every card by Peter Green, USA.

1984 Politicards 1984

Politicards 1984

Politicards 1984 with caricatures by Donald Gates, published by the Kamber Group, USA.

1980 Politicards 1980

Politicards 1980

Politicards 1980 in which Ronald Reagan defeated the incumbent Jimmy Carter, with caricatures by Kei...

1981 Card Tricks

Card Tricks

Stereotypical representations of gay men and men they most admire, in a 1981 pack from San Francisco...