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A Brief History
Theories of Origin
French Regions
Thomas de la Rue
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American Standard Playing Cards

United States Playing Card Co.

In January of 1867, A. O. Russel, Robert J. Morgan, James M. Armstrong and John F. Robinson formed a partnership, acquiring printing rooms in Cincinnati where they set up as Russel, Morgan & Co. and printed theatrical and circus posters, placards and labels.

In 1880, the company embarked upon the manufacture of playing cards, and issued their first deck in June, 1881 under the brand name 'Capitol', and later established the 'Bicycle' brand name (1894).

In 1891, Russel, Morgan & Co. became the United States Printing Company. The Playing card manufacturing side of the business had grown so large that in 1894, the operations were separated from the printing company, and became the United States Playing Card Co.

The USPCC has assumed a dominant role in the playing card industry in America ever since, not the least because of the high quality paper stock which remains a carefully guarded industrial secret, and because of a number of important acquisitions. The USPCC acquired the "Bee" brand from the New York Consolidated Card Co. in 1892, and various other major players including the Arrco Playing Card Co., Chicago., and Hoyles in the 1980s.


The English Pattern
Regional Patterns of 18th Century France
Gallery of Early Standard Playing Cards
WhiteKnuckle Standard Playing Cards


PlainBacks.com: Extensive gallery of early standard playing cards. Famous American and English makers. Plain Backs is a celebration of the English Court Card as a cultural design icon.
DXPO Playing Cards: Exposé of early and contemporary European Standards.
International Playing Card Society Decline of the English Court Card.
History of Playing Cards - Playing Cards.us: Brief History of Playing Cards
Sea Of Pain Fine Art Productions - Brett A. Jones works from his studio in Queensland, Australia. Only recently he has completed a rendition of the English Pattern.

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