The Russell & Morgan Printing Co • The United States Playing Card Company
The famous ‘Bicycle’ playing cards were first introduced by Russell & Morgan Printing Co in 1885. This was the time of the high-wheeled bicycles and, because they were newer and faster than high-wheeled carts, the name ‘Bicycle’ was chosen for the new brand. They were hugely successful and became the most well-known brand in the world. A total of 82 different back designs were issued over the years, featuring bicycles, motorcycles or automobile motifs, and for very short periods, bi-planes or warships. Similarly, a number of different bicycle-themed Jokers have accompanied decks over the years and the early editions are now very scarce and sought by collectors.
Most standard packs manufactured by USPCC came with either red or blue backs. Some brands also came in green or brown, but these are relatively more scarce.
The Bicycle Playing Cards official website contains a lot of interesting information, including company history and a downloadable catalogue. See also: Bicycle Playing Cards for Collectors • Bicycle Seconds • Congress No.606 • Jumbo Bridge No.88 • Norwood #85
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.
Screenprint designs on an ever-topical subject, designed and made by Sallie Chinkes, 1979.
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.
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.