Friday, August 28, 2020

National Card Co, Perfection too

This is one of a series of articles looking at my older American jokers:

Dougherty  
- NYCC jokers
- USPC Jokers including Bicycle, Congress  
- National Card Company and Perfection too  - this article
Kalamazoo and Russell
- Coming soon:  Standard, Midland, Arrco, Arrow

Some of the materials for this are collected below but this project is iterative (OK, chaotic) with me first looking for old looking jokers and then going to the sources to identify them.  

I have no idea why this rabbit is coming out of an egg.  And I can't imagine what the little mystical folk behind him are doing with the acorn on a stick. If you know what's going on here, please tell me!  Cracking open the egg? Fighting off the pesky rabbit?

 This joker started at the National Card Co, Aladdin deck but of course, became a USPCC brand. P110.


I corresponded with Lee Asher of 52+Jokers about this joker. He said: "This is a National Card Co Aladdin brand. The back design is called a Dome Back. They were made by National from 1885 to around 1902. Then once USPCC acquired National, they ran this Joker from about 1902-1910. I believe there was a reprint in 2011. However, without the Ace of Spades or box (to see a stamp) it's going to be hard to narrow down to a single date. I don't think the numbers on the Joker are the same as the AOS. I could be wrong. For now, you have a 25 year range 1885-1910."

This round-faced instructor is leaning on his musket while instructing his dog.  I think of him a seated school teacher talker.  Hochman on P111, says it was first published by the National Card Company in 1885 or 1890. It's NU7 Rambler #22, or 7a. 

National intrroduced the dancing Brownies on their jokers as early as 1890. The Brownies dancing. P 112-114 had stars, not joker in indices





This joker of the three Brownies playing cards was initially published by the National Card Company in 1896. The 1896 version had a star inside of a circle in the corners. Also, the 1896 Joker has "The National Card Company" where mine says "Five Hundred".  Mine has the interlocked US in the corner which pushes its publication to after the USPC acquistion, a substitution made in 1910. Also, the #13 was added in 1925. Brad Starnes says: I would date your deck to 1927.  Also, looking at your Ace of Spades, it says Russell & Morgan which also points to 1927. 

The Pyramid Playing Card Company existed as an independent company from 1920-28.  Appropriately to their name, they push a Sphinx and Pyramid on their jokers. PY1 Winner, first published in 1920

From here on down are an assembly of old jokers that I have not yet properly categorized or organized. Help appreciated.

This Monkey Joker is among my favorites but his date of publication is a mystery to me. The character was first in soap advertising in 1880s. He's in the monkey section.  




I haven't yet identified this joker. It's possible that he is not historic. He is the card performing section of the collection.  



















This is much sorting and research for me to do: any and all help and advice appreciated.

Here's the jokers that we review above from the National Card Company (with the Hochman page #).
- Rabbit egg P110 
- Seated p111  
- Brownies dancing P112 & 114  
- Brownies playing cards P113  

Perfection
- pyramid P121

This is one of a series of articles looking at my older American jokers:

Dougherty  
NYCC jokers
USPC Jokers including Bicycle, Congress  
National Card Company and Perfection too  - this article
Kalamazoo and Russell
- Coming soon:  Standard, Midland, Arrco, Arrow

My New York Consolidated Card Company (NYCC) Jokers

 My New York Consolidated Card Company (NYCC) Jokers

This is a series of articles looking at my early American jokers historically:
- Dougherty  
NYCC jokers
USPC Jokers including Bicycle, Congress 
 

The NYCC story is that of Lewis Cohen and his family. He was born in NYC in 1800.He developed and patented a four color card printing process which allowed him to grow and prosper while focusing primarily on playing cards. He shared the patent with three relatives who grew firms run by a Cohen, a Levy, and a Hart. Under competitive pressure especially from Dougherty, they reunited in 1871 as the Consolidated Card Company. They were acquired by USPC in 1894 and remained an independent subsidiary until 1930 when they became Consolididated Dougherty.

 The first of the NYCC jokers that I have is NY47a Patent Squeezer #19, c1876 (hoffman P58). Below front and back.




The second NYCC is  the NY49 Squeeezer which celebrated their winning of a Gold Medal at the World Exposition in Paris.

I like thinking about World Expositions as an insight into how hard it was in the 1800s to get information and see the wonders of the world. I love the idea that people would travel and spend a month learning about what existed in the world.  The New York Consolidated Card Company spent considerable effort to be part of the 1878 Paris Exposition (Hochman P58, McKinstry P144). NYCC took the Gold Medal for best playing cards and this joker, first introduced in 1880, commemorates it.  Americana Section

Here are two more World Exposition jokers, also from the Americana section.  Neither are NYCC. The left one is I think the St. Louis World's Fair. It was published by Cuples of St Louis and NY.


 This joker descends from the NY51 Triton #42 c1890. Hoffman P59. But mine has the "Reg U.S. Pat Off" mention which doesn't appear in Hoffman picture. It is in the travel section under vehicles.

The two jokers below from my collection illustrate how one design would remain while the company around changes. The first one on the left is a NYCC60 Bee #92 c1895.  This card would probably have been printed sometime between when it was introduced in 1895 and before the acquisition of NYCC by USPC in 1930 when USPC merged NYCC and Dougherty into a single USPC division called Consolidated-Dougherty, represented by the card on the right. They're in the animal section, flyers subsection, along with many other variations of the BeeBoy joker.


The NYCC 62a Deluxe #142 was a very popular bridge size deck. Hoffman P62. I have two of them, they're in the jester section, clown subsection

Here's another New York Consolidated Card Company Joker, one of my favorites.NY65 Bee French Whist #69. Hoffman P 63. He is the jesters section, subsection performing with cards. I think he's marvelous. 



Girl Bee card.  She's a flapper who seems to be happily dancing.  NY67 Bee Bridge by NYCC. Hoffman p63. This joker is in the joker standing section, ?people/ jesters: standing / dancing ? subsection. Womens Page.


Want more history of Lewis Cohen?  Lewis Cohen initially founded LI Cohen Stationery Store. He printed his first deck of cards in NY in 1832. He developed and patented a four color card printing process which allowed him to grow and prosper while focusing primarily on playing cards. He shared the patent with three relatives who grew firms all of which were consolidated into one much larger firm: the New York Consolidated Card Company. NYCC published from 1871 to 1894 as an independent firm. They were acquired by USPC in 1894 and remained an independent subsidiary until 1930 when they became Consolididated Dougherty.

Other History of Joker Articles

- Dougherty  
NYCC jokers
USPC Jokers including Bicycle, Congress 
National Card Company, Kalamazoo, and Perfection too (and others, coming soon) 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

US Playing Card Company

 While I am primarily an aesthetic joker collector (focused on the images), I am growing interested in their history too. This article is part of a series where I review my historical jokers. 

Dougherty  
NYCC jokers
USPC Jokers including Bicycle, Congress  
National Card Company,
Kalamazoo, and Perfection too

And others coming soon.    BTW: I’m new at this historical thing. Corrections, comments, or info gratefully accepted in the comments.

Onto my cards from the US Playing Card Company (USPCC) sectionFor those who don't know, the USPCC has been the most successful and voracious of the US card publishers. The roots of the company go back to ~1895 and it acquired many (perhaps most?) of the US Card publishers including Doherty, New York Consolidated Company, and many others. The Belgian privately owned group Cartamundi acquired The United States Playing Card Company (USPC) in 2019. This includes the iconic Bicycle®, Bee®, Hoyle®, and Fournier® brands. The combined heritage of Cartamundi, USPCC, and Fournier: It's the 50th anniversary for Cartamundi,  the 150th anniversary for Fournier, and 134th of the USPCC Bicycle brand.

Here's an array of my older USPC Congress jokers.  Anyone know the dates (since matching them up with dates is my next project)?
 

This Moon Fairy joker was the joker in the first USPC Congress decks  in 1895 (It seems to match  P 87 of the Hoffman' Card Encyclopedia) but I'm not sure how to truly date it. It's in the crescent moon section.
Here's the Moon Fairy back.




Could this  Dundreary joker be the extremely rare bordered style with flesh tones? I can only hope but since mine is pretty much black and white, it seems unlikely despite the intertwined US in the corners and the border around Dundreary. I'm looking at it maybe being the US6 Congress #404 or #606 1881 from Hochman P86.


USPC first made the army cards  in 1881, US3 Army #303.  My pair of these jokers might be from the reproduction was made a century later.




I thought for awhile this was my oldest joker dating from 1896 but I learned that:  "The 1896 version had a star inside of a circle in the corners.  Yours has the interlocked US (the S is superimposed on the U). Also, the 1896 Joker has "The National Card Company" where yours says "Five Hundred".  That substitution was made in 1910. Also, the #13 was added in 1925. I would date your deck to 1927.  Also, looking at your Ace of Spades, it says Russell & Morgan which also points to 1927." (thanks to Brad Starnes). NU13a Hochman 113.


US7b Streamboat #999 c1895 on Hochman P88. Mine has a tiny D48 marked below the picture, Hochman's has a C26 to right of the ship.
These “Stage Playing Cards” are souvenirs from a bygone age but today they have historic and nostalgia value. The court cards and Aces each feature four portraits of famous theatre stars from the 1890s inside round frames, against a background pattern based on traditional court cards. The Joker is Marshall P. Wilder (1859-1915) the famous actor who was one of the first persons with a disability to become a celebrity on his own terms. (WOPC)


This Waterfall joker has the jumbo index on it. They were first introduced by USPC in 1895. Could this joker be from the first jumbo indices? It's on P102 as US34 Jumbo Index #88 






Let's summarize the USPC jokers from this era that I have:

Design joker 84 - missing
Army joker 84
Dundreary 86
Congress 87
Moon Fairy 87
Congress 88
Steamboat 88
Bicycle 89
Bicycles 90
Waterfall 93
Texan 94 - missing
Waterfall 102
Design 105 missing
Design shield 107 missing

Much sorting and research to do: any and all help and advice appreciated.


I'm doing most of my research using three sources: 
-    The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards by Tom and Judy Dawson. C 2000.
-    Paper Empires Vol I by Jason McKinstry. C 2019
-    The World of Playing Cards website. WOPC.co.uk 
I'd like to express my deepest thanks to those who create such quality works. You are, in my book, superheroes and celebrities. If I ever get to meet you, I'll ask for a selfie and be proud to have taken it.

To see my other articles about historical jokers. 

Dougherty  
NYCC jokers
USPC Jokers including Bicycle, Congress  
National Card Company,
Kalamazoo, and Perfection too

And others coming soon.    


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Dog jokers: Animal Jokers

There’s a lot that can be said about jokers featuring mans best friend. I have about 68 different canine jokers. This does not include the jokers about the Peanuts cartoon with Snoopy. Also, in the animal section, there is a subsection on felines; flyers; equestrians; monkeys; the reptiles, amphibians, shellfish, and fish; and the other animals.




















Next, you could look at other animal jokers: subsections include  felinesflyersequestriansmonkeys; the reptiles, amphibians, shellfish, and fish; and the other animals. Plus there the jokers about the Peanuts cartoon with Snoopy. Many people like to look at the overall joker organization or just gawk at the pictures of scantily dressed Pin Up Girls.