This article is the first of a series on vintage American advertising jokers and decks. I think this Lewando's Advertising playing card deck is from 1926 and was manufactured by USPC. I'll explain my basis for this below. I'll start with the joker since it is my primary interest and on yes, it is magnificent.
Lewando's Special Playing Cards features a black moma cat carefully treating the little chicks. They seem to be getting cleansed, dyed, and then hung up to dry. Most of the chicks are white, there is one black chick. The cat's apron has the business on it: "CLEANSING AND DYEING." The pitch to customers is at the top: "YOU CAN RELY ON LEWANDO'S".
The joker also has a little code on it H113. I posted about this on the FB joker collectors forum and Matt Schacht pointed out that it is the US Playing Card Company's code for dating decks and in this case, is most likely for 1926 (1905 and xyz were also possibilities. Add link to the sheet with all these codes).
The graphical theme and exquisite engraving continues on the Ace of Spades. The ace includes the name of Lewando's General Manager, a W L Crosby plus their two primary business addresses.
The back of the cards are a nearly symmetrical geometric design built around a fleur-de-lis image. Card magicians will note that it's not really symmetrical because each of the two addresses (NYC, Boston) face a different way. The back has a similar image from the ace of spaces and specifies three lines of business: Dyeing, Cleaning, and Laundry. Like on the ace of spades, it claims the image as a Trade Mark.
I looked up Murray's Finger Release Patent, 434878 and found that it was granted August 19th, 1890 The patent was filed just three months earlier. The patent granting process these days is measured in years, not month.
|Lewandos Playing Cards Box Green|
- Cigarettes, Liquor, Beer, Text jokers for drinks
- Desserts and Candy
- Coca Cola Jokers
- Public Interest Messages, space science and technology
- Logo type jokers, Geometric Designs Jokers featuring "Joker"
- Other types of advertising this is where the Lewando joker will go (Text jokers are separate)
- Jokers promoting playing cards , Ads for brands of playing cards