Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Asian Girlie Jokers

 This is the Asian section of the girlie porn erotic pinup section of my joker collection. They certainly have a certain innocence about them.  This is also most certainly in bad taste and reprehensible but I am sort of an equal opportunity collector of jokers collecting the tasteful, the beautiful, the tacky, and awful, and others. I don't judge.

Here's all the ensemble shots.

Want to see the original old post of Pin Up Girlie Glamour Jokers (ie erotica and porn)? It's now split into bikini girls (the essentials covered), girlie illustration jokersold fashioned Asian  (this one), and harder core pornographic jokers.. There are also some Asian ladies in the Chinese joker collection that I bought (but have not organized or curated). 

For something lighter, how about some cartoon jokers?

Friday, September 18, 2020

Questions about the symbols on classic cards

 I have an array of Bicycle and other American royal cards in front of me and I have many questions.  If someone has already written all this up, I'd appreciate the referral. If not, here's some questions.  I'll just ask about the jacks in this post but I have questions about the queens and kings too.

Clubs - The jack of clubs  (should this be capitalized?) is holding a long vertical rod-like thing with a sort of arrow head on one side (the top?) and a point on the other side.  It might be a stylized spear although the point on the back of it doesn't quite make sense. Anyone know anything about it?

There is also a leaf hanging from the hat or crown of the JoC.  Again, anyone know anything?

Hearts. He has a moustache (JoC is cleanshaven) and is holding something in his hand, maybe a leaf? There is the axe behind him.

The Jack of Spades is holding a type of stick has a sort of spiral to it.  It has three sections in the spiral (ie it turns around one and a half times). What is it and what is it called?

Diamonds.  The JoD is holding a rod which looks very similar to the JoC rod but with the point at both ends (not the arrowhead).  It has a curved thing coming off it which could either be the hand protector if it's a sword or, in some versions, suggests a crossbow.  Anyone know anything about it? BTW, JOD also has a moustache. 

These queens, like all the four suits, is holding a flower. She also has some sort of stick. What is that stick? In the one on the left, she has a musical staff clearly on a decoration that might be part of her clothes, might be a shield. On the right, she’s holding something with six symbols visible, a seventh potentially hidden by her hand. The symbol might be of a plant, perhaps a grass or grain.


I won't write much about the suits about which a great has been written. Simply, modern American suits are a descendent of the French four suits which can be traced to maybe classes of society, maybe other things.  

The kings had a fixed identity in both French and British decks since the 1500s: Charlemagne (hearts), David (spades), Caesar (diamonds), and Alexander (clubs). The queens and jacks, not so much.

The card numbers have an array of symbols associated with them:

An Ace stands for Desire
Two stands for Union
Three is for Faith
Four is for Satisfaction
Five symbolizes a Change
Six is for Adjustments
Seven is an epitome of Victory
Eight stands for Power
Nine represents New beginnings
Ten symbolizes Success

A longer somewhat consistent explanation is available at:

Monday, September 14, 2020

Antlers, Horns, and Tusks Jokers

 With about 500 different animal jokers, and more arriving weekly, chaos threatens. How to put them in albums so I know where to find them.  I’ve created order by grouping them by species. At first it was easy, all the cats belong together. And all the dogs. 

But as I've had to handle more than household pets and not being a biologist, I built my own categories of the animal kingdoms. I am not following the conventional system with domain, kingdom, phylum, genus, and species.  Why not? Because I don't understand it . Today's article is about jokers with animals with antlers, horns, and tusks. Like this one:

This joker features a deer with corkscrew antlers from Cypress. I know that it's from Cypress since I've seen the back of the joker.

 This is the Official System that I did NOT use

Bull fighting: Let's make it part of our history. Only our history. No more BS or bullfighting.

This animal is past his prime but his remnants are pretty durn impressive.
This joker is making a point about environmentalism and a lack of respect for the world that we depend on. I totally agree.
Walruses have tusks!

Want to see other types of critters on jokers? Monkeys, Bears and other furries;   Swimmers Slimeys and Sea Creatures;  cats dogsflyers, and horses.

Here are the jokers with antlers, tusks, and horns, about fifty. The construction and balancing of each page of nine is an art project. 

That makes about 54 different jokers in the antlers, tusks, and horns section. Can you think of a better name?  Other animal section: Monkeys,  Bears and other furries;  and Swimmers Slimeys and Sea Creatures.  Also cats and dogs, flyers, and horses

Want jokers that walk on two legs? Like pretty scantily dressed girls (and a few boys)? How about jesters dancing?  I’d personally recommend: jokers with masks

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Standard Playing Card Manufacturing Company

This article review the joker playing cards in my collection that were created by Standard Playing Cards during its 40 year life. I also pursue my obsession with discovering the folklore mystery surrounding a Standard joker.

Standard Play Card Manufacturing Company was founded in 1890 and bought or merged as part of the creation of USPC in 1894. But USPC ran Standard independently until it was merged into Consolidated Dougherty in 1930. 

My two primary sources about Standard playing Cards:

  1. WOPC has a page with a section on Standard Playing Cards (the World of Playing Cards).
  2. Hochman's Encyclopedia, compiled by Tom and Judy Dawson. pages 137-144

 In terms of dating cards, there’s a question of the tiny code numbers USPC placed on their jokers. During Standards years of being an independently operated wholly owned sub, the coding system of small letters on the aces and jokers of USPC was used but the intertwined US in the corner was not added. I think. 

This joker below may have been the second joker that Standard published, SU2 c1895. It has the dotted background and no product codes on it.

It is also the featured mystery on the article about American Folk Tales and Mythology on jokers in late 1800s.

I have three jokers of this design: one with no fine print (above), one T 574, and one P220Z.

What of the saying: "IV'E GOT HIM (sic)"?

 I have two that might be from SU11 Jap #20, c1910.  P137 of Hochman. There’s another on P140.

Two of my backs are geometric red, one is a red with a lady with a hat, lots of flowers, leaning on a rail fence.  The Standard Backs! (as an aside, this count of three was current 9/6/2020 but now it's 10/18/2020 and I have five of these. I've been on a collecting binge lately thanks to the pandemic).

I think of him as the Baggie Clown on P139 of Hochman.

The  Clown & Goose below is described on P139 of Hochman.

The Liberty Bell first appeared on a Standard Joker in 1874 as shown in Hochman on P137, #1776.

 Standard Jokers - This collection's inventory with Hochman page numbers: I still need to....

- Sovereign P140 - in advertising designs section
- American Beauty Baggy Clown p139 c1910 in clowns section

WOPC has a page with a section on Standard Playing Cards.
Hochman's Encyclopedia is the major source, pages 137-144

 Here are the other articles about my older American jokers:

NYCC jokers
USPC Jokers including Bicycle, Congress  

National Card Company and Perfection too 
Kalamazoo and Russell 
- Arrow and ARRCO
Standard  - this article

- Coming soon:  Midland, Arrco, Arrow

Also, there's the article about American Folk Tales and Mythology on jokers in late 1800s.

Folklore Mysteries from late 1800s on Joker Playing Cards

I'm looking for help solving a mystery. 

Here's my question "My primary mystery is the image where an apparently good little mythical creature is capturing an evil little creature in a box or trunk. It has a caption of “Iv'e got him” sic." 

I'm  trying to understand the mythology or folklore behind some jokers designed in the late 1800s or early 1900s. 

In fact, this is one of three sets of images on jokers that I'm curious about.

The first mystery for me is the first card where an apparently good little mythical creature is capturing an evil little creature in a box or trunk. It has a caption of “Iv'e got him” sic. Does this image reflect any story that might have been known in the US in the late 1800s?

They might be imps or elves or spirits or leprechauns (weren’t the Irish immigrating in great numbers at that time?).   It was first published in 1895 by the Standard Playing Card Company based in St Louis and Chicago. 

Here are my three jokers with the same image, the other two were published by the same company after it was bought by the US Playing Card Co but while it was run as an independent company.

This next joker card was first published in 1885 by National Card Company of Indianapolis and NY and it shows a bunny rabbit being hatched from an egg. Behind him, there are two small mystical creatures with a tool for hitting sort of like a pickaxe. It has an acorn on it. It is either to help the bunny break the egg or to bonk the bunny on his head. While it's clear that the little folk are surprised, it's not clear to me whether they are scared by the bunny or just surprised.  It appears, using current thinking, to be Easter-related. Anyone know anything about them?

This imagery seems to have been picked up in a number of more recent jokers such as this one below. In this version, the witch emerging from the egg is clearly a bad witch.

This monkey joker is among my favorites. It has a monkey holding a jester's wand which, unlike almost all jester wands which feature the head of the person holding it, it has a person on the end. It’s the head of Punch from Punch and Judy, descended from the Italian tradition (thanks Dan!).

The monkey in this picture interestingly enough had a previous role as the character for advertising for Monkey Brand Soap.  No, you could not make this stuff up.  Check out this advertisement from the 1880s including the clever poem:

This fourth set of images on jokers with the three little mystical creatures is not a mystery to me. They are the Brownies as depicted by Palmer Cox in the late 1800s. They were widely known back then as the Palmer Brownies. They were popular in cartoon strips, books, and video games. OK, I'm kidding about the video games but they were so popular that the name was used for a Kodak Brownie Camera, the youngest girl scout levels, and a brand of mixes for chocolate Brownies. I wonder sometimes how much the National Playing Card Company (Indianapolis and NY) would have paid for the right to put these brownies on their jokers.

 Here are some  articles about my older American jokers:

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

And here are some nice happy mostly contemporary dog jokers!

Friday, September 4, 2020

Kalamazoo and Russell Playing Cards

 Let me show you my jokers from the Kalamazoo and Russell Card Manufacturing companies. As background, this is one of a series of articles looking at my older American jokers:

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

Let's start with some romantic Kalamazoo jokers. Hochman says these started production on 1910. They're RU13 from Hochman P129.

The “Smart Set 400” brand with named backs was introduced in c.1906 by the Kalamazoo Playing Card Co. in Michigan. Kalamazoo subsequently merged with the Russell Playing Card Co. in around 1913 or 1914. Thereafter the “Smart Set 400” series continued to be published by the Russell Playing Card Co. under its own name (quoted from World of Playing Cards). Here's my four

The four decks were named for the girls on their backs: Flying Girl, Dreaming (copyright 1909 RHILL), The Fortune Teller  (copyright 1909 by RHILL), and Day Dreams (F.A.&S Co.). Day Dreams is the narrower joker with the tear in the middle.

Rustler was first introduced by Russell in 1906. The original design called Russell's Regulars had stars in the corner, It's RU5. Mine has a geometric back. 

My second Rustler is likely RU 17 published in 1912, Hochman P130. It's in the American people section of the collection, cowboy subsection.

Russell apparently won a Blue Ribbon and put it on a joker that he started publishing in 1930, RU8a  P127 Hochman. 

Dandy Dapper  RU18 P131

1912 Statue of Liberty RU18 P131

 This Whig King joker first appears on P133 & 135 in 1904 and 1905 as either Ru24 or  RU37b. Its associated both with Ruseel and the Universal Playing Card Company. There's some mystery about Universal and it's acquisition or relationship to Russell.  

Kalamazoo & Russell: What's the story? Willis Russell started Russell Playing Cards in Milltown NJ around 1905  and made lovely cards but the company declared bankruptcy in 1911. It continued to operate and was put up for auction in 1913.  It was bought by Benjamin Rosenthal of the Kalamazoo Paper Box and Card Company the two entities were combined. He also bought the American Bank Note Companies playing card line a year later.  

Let's summarize the Kalamazoo / Russell jokers in the collection (with the page from Hochman):

- Rustler P126 & 130
- Blue Ribbon P127  
- Smart Set P129  
- Baggie clown 130  NEED TO FIND
- Dapper 131
- Aristocrat 131  NEED TO FIND
- Statue of Liberty 131  
- Whig King P133

Articles coming soon on:

Midland. P149. 150 Topsy Clowns
Arrco - Geometric Man. 1935 P151
Arrow - Dancer. 1925. P151

Here are the other articles about my older American jokers:

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

- Coming soon:  , Midland, Arrco, Arrow

PLUS, there's the article on the mysteries of the mythologies of the images on some old jokers.