The National Card Co., Indianapolis & New York
The National Card Co. was formed in c.1886 by Samuel J Murray, who as a young man had worked in England in Charles Goodall's playing card factory. In 1881 he moved to Cincinnati and became an employee of Russell & Morgan playing card manufacturers. In 1886 he left Russell & Morgan and moved to Indianapolis to establish the National Card Company. The National Card Co. Aces of Spades state 'Indianapolis & New York'. The plant was located at 5th and Eggleston in Indianapolis, whilst offices were at 221-227 Canal St., New York City.
Early National Card Co brands include: Steamboats, Crescent, Apollo and Rambler.
All playing card manufacturers produced their own version of the Steamboat brand, usually towards the bottom of the range. There doesn't appear to have been any patent, copyright or trademark restriction on the “Steamboats” brand.
All National brands were available with gold edges, and the brand number on the box was one higher on gold edged decks.
Crescent No.44 & 45
1886 saw the ongoing production of several new brands introduced by the National Card Company including Owls, Arrows, Aladdin and Columbia. In that same year the American Federation of Labor was founded and the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbour. The structural engineer of the statue was Gustave Eiffel.
In 1894 the National Card Co. was merged with the United States Printing Co. as a key component in the formation of the United States Playing Card Company. From c.1900 the name of the U.S. Playing Card Co. was placed at the bottom of the Ace of Spades and on the box, in addition to the National Card Co name, and most of the National brands remained in production by the U.S.P.C.C.
Full House Poker No.555
Full House Poker No.555 was patented on 30 June 1896 and was the first example of a deck carried through into USPCC’s range. Earlier examples of the deck have the words “Patent Applied For” rather than the actual date of the patent on the ace of spades and box.
Columbia No.133 & 134
Member since February 01, 1996View Articles
Curator 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.
Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.
The Encarded First Edition is a limited edition of 2,500 designed by Paul Carpenter and manufactured by the Expert Playing Card Company.
Cards slanted to the right, issued to mark George W. Bush’s second term of office.
Playing cards inspired by mysterious symbolism of secret societies as well as a tribute to the National Playing Card Co.
Monarchs luxury playing cards by Theory11, featured in the film Now You See Me.
Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.
Rules and regulations that guided prison life in America’s most notorious prison.
Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.
A recreated of the original 1876, No. 18, Triplicate deck by A. Dougherty by Michael Scott in 2014.
Triangle Playing Cards by Michael Scott.
Two Notched Construction Card Sets by Shackman & Co, N.Y. 1970s.
IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.
Spyscape espionage, surveillance and cryptography themed playing cards, 2018.
Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany
Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.
Fortune Telling cards by Whitman Publishing Co., 1940.
‘Vargas Girls’ paintings by Alberto Vargas in a deck of cards published by Creative Playing Card Co Missouri.
Anma US Armed Forces, 1942.
The Curator Deck with designs by Emmanuel José with suit symbols cleverly transformed into artistic designs.
Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989
Warren Paper Products Co., Lafayette, Indiana, publishers of Built-Rite toys, games and puzzles.
Christmas Playing Cards published by Novelty Playing Cards, Syracuse, New York, 1986.
Hamm’s Beer promotion deck with bear cartoons by Frank M. Antoncich 1968.
“Victory" cards celebrating U.S. participation in the Allied victory, c.1945.
The Maya Deck produced by Stancraft for Hoyle, 1976.
Caleb Bartlett patriotic deck (reproduction), around 1835-40.
Snap card game illustrated with animals, by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Roundup card game by Whitman Publishing, 1951.
Old Maid card game by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Crazy Eights by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Animal Rummy by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Authors quartet game published by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Whitman 8 Card Games boxed set, 1951.
Paddington card game published in UK by Whitman.
Avilude or Game of Birds published by West & Lee, Worcester, Mass, c.1880.
In the 1970s Whitman Publishing Co. ordered a series of popular games from Hong Kong for the UK market.
Timothy Curtis Art custom Bicycle playing cards, 2018.
Hanky-Panky poker card game, California, c.1975.
RCI Playing Cards, a 20th century playing-card maker of Minneapolis, 1969-1985.
Bicycle Steampunk playing cards with Gothic artwork by Anne Stokes, 2015.