Friday, May 8, 2020

American Playing Cards Manufacturing Association 1930s-40s

Jokers promoting cards.  These jokers seem to tell mini-stories each of which is a promotion for playing cards.  I've heard (from Tom van Berkum and others on the FB Joker Collectors Group on 2/29/2020) that these were the standard jokers of the Association of the American Playing Card Manufacturers, 1939-40s. They were printed by "Brown & Bigelow", "USPCC", "Western Publishing Co.", and maybe other printers.

First, a History Lesson.

Joker: History Lesson ~1939 USPCC
Joker: History Lesson ~1939 USPCC

Second: Hear Ye!!
Joker: Hear Ye!! ~1939 USPCC
Joker: Hear Ye!! ~1939 USPCC

There seem to be a total of six stories. The other four are "At Home", "Between You and Me", Distress Call, and "Society Note."

I hear that there are six different cards and I hear that there are six slightly different variations of each of these cards.  I have all six of “Hear Ye”;   five of the "At Home", “Between You and Me”, and “ Society Note”; and four of “Distress Call” and “History Lesson”. 

But I do have many dupes of each of these so now that I know to look for six variations of each, I should take them all out and see if I can find them.

Click for an Overview of the Taxonomy of Playing Card Jokers

Would you like to see more jokers about playing cards? It's a bit self referential...
Artsy cards which feature playing cards - Art section
Card trick  performing subsection. Jesters Section, Performing sub section,  
Juggling things, including cards or pips -  Jesters Section, Performing sub section,  
Scatterman - Jokers scattering cards -  Jesters Section, Performing sub section,  
Jokers Promoting more card playing - this post - Advertising section
Ads for Brands of Playing Cards Advertising section
Head Shots holding cards - Jesters Section, Heads and Busts subsection, With Hands subsubsection
Card Themed Full Duplex - Topsy Turvy Section, Cards subsection


  1. I have several of these .. inherited a huge collection of very very old cards but unsure what to do with them... 🤔

    1. Email me. Or, comment with your email (I won’t publish it) and I’ll help

    2. Did ya ever find out values? Because yea seem to be the thing to collect back in the 30’s


Thanks for your input and for reading and thinking about jokers.