Thursday, January 18, 2018

Congress Jokers

This is maybe the oldest of my Congress jokers, perhaps from 1908! It is perhaps from a Congress No.606 deck  by U.S.P.C.C, 1908. (source an article by Simon Wintle from June 2010 on The World of Playing Cards)

Pink Congress Joker
Pink Congress Joker - Perhaps from 1908

Congress Playing Cards were first produced by the Russell & Morgan Company in 1881. They were one of the four original brands produced by Russell & Morgan. The others were Tiger (101), Sportsman (202), Army and Navy (303 and 505),  and Congress (404 and 606).  In 1891, the company changed its name to the US Playing Card Company. (Source: Wikipedia Article on USPCC Jan 18, 2018). The original joker from the Congress brand decks featured a Moon Fairie.

This joker could date from 1899, it's also described on the WOPC Congress article. I don't keep it with my Congress Jokers (since they are themed as Americana and feature American monuments), it is instead grouped with the other characters sitting on crescent moons.

Original Congress Brand Jokers

 Around 1900, Congress switched to putting a picture of the US Capitol on their jokers.  The World of Playing Cards website. has some historical info on these decks.

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