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Published March 14, 2013 Updated June 03, 2022

Capitol No.188

“Capitol No.188” was first introduced during the Russell & Morgan Printing Company era in c.1886 and carried through into the U.S.P.C.C's catalogue after 1895.

USA Russell & Morgan United States Playing Card Co. Capitol 1895

“Capitol No.188”

Russell, Morgan and Company issued their first pack of cards in 1881 and their first brand names were “Tigers”, “Sportsman's”, “Army”, “Navy” and “Congress”. Various others soon followed including “Bicycle No.808”. “Capitol No.188” was first introduced during the Russell & Morgan Printing Company era in c.1886 and carried through into the U.S.P.C.C's catalogue after 1895. The cards were supposed to be better quality than Bicycle cards, being made of better stock, stronger and more durable. Six different backs were offered, in pink, blue and buff enamel.

Right: the back in pink. Click to zoom→

The picturesque Capitol Joker was used throughout the duration of this brand, until it was phased out in 1928.

“Capitol #188” brand playing cards manufactured by Russell & Morgan Printing Co., Cincinnati, c.1886

Above: “Capitol #188” brand playing cards manufactured by Russell & Morgan Printing Co., Cincinnati, c.1886. Standard deck with two-way court cards and gilt edges. The Ace of Spades has two baby angels around the pip and is titled “Capitol.” The Joker shows the Nation's Capitol Building. The Capitol Joker was used throughout the duration of the brand until it was phased out in 1928. Click here to view box.

“Capitol #188” brand playing cards manufactured by The United States Playing Card Co., c.1895

Above: “Capitol #188” brand playing cards manufactured by The United States Playing Card Co., c.1895. The Ace of Spades is virtually the same as the example above, modified to read “U.S.P.C.C.” and “No.188” is added.

Right: the box has the Ace of Spades design, with two baby angels around the pip, and is titled “Capitol” on the front and back. Click to zoom→


REFERENCES

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

All images on this page are from the collection of Rod Starling, author of "The Art and Pleasures of Playing Cards".

See also:  Tigers No.101Army No.303Navy No.303Army & Navy No.303Bicycle No.808Bicicleta No.810Congress No.606Cabinet No.707Jumbo Bridge No.88Squared Faro No.366.

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By Rod Starling

Member since January 09, 2013

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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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