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Published January 19, 2013 Updated June 03, 2022

Russell’s Regulars

Willis W. Russell’s “Regulars” were first issued in c.1906, a brand aimed at the armed forces, in tribute to men of the “regular army”. It was patented with ‘Long Distance Pips’ with shading in the hearts and spades.

USA Willis W. Russell Regulars Patent 1906

Right: front and back from a box of Willis W. Russell's “Regulars” showing a card back on the reverse with a portrait and signature of Mr. Willis W. Russell and the remains of the U.S. tax stamp. Click image to zoom.

Willis W. Russell’s “Regulars” were first issued in c.1906, a brand aimed at the armed forces, in tribute to men of the “regular army”. It was patented with ‘Long Distance Pips’ with shading in the hearts and spades. These are sometimes known as ‘No Revoke’ decks. The pictured box is one of the most attractive ever produced. Mr Russell's pride in his merchandise is evident by his portrait and signature which appears on the box and Ace of Spades.


Russell's “Regulars” issued in tribute to men of the “regular army”, c.1906

Above: Russell's "Regulars" aimed at the armed forces in tribute to men of the “regular army”, c.1906. The Ace of Spades shows men in uniform, and the Joker (not shown) depicts a U.S. Cavalry officer riding a horse. The back design in this set does not match the named back shown on the reverse of the box. All images courtesy Rod Starling.


REFERENCES

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

Different coloured suit symbols were patented in USA on Nov 23, 1926, by Antoine Lefebure of San Francisco, with the assertion that “even experienced players confuse clubs and spades; hearts and diamonds”  here

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By Rod Starling

Member since January 09, 2013

View Articles

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

Also by Rod Starling

Download as Adobe PDF files:

"Playing Card Art Collectors Extraordinaire"

"Some Facts About Facsimiles"

"Something New and Topical"

"Tales From the Stage"

"Shuffling Along With History"

"Steamboat Cards and the Mississippi Mystique"

"Piatnik: High Quality & Longevity"

"Three Rare Playing Card Back Designs"


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