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Samuel Hart 1870

American Playing-Cards, Samuel Hart 1870

Samuel Hart occupies a considerable position in American card making history, not the least for which he is often credited with introducing the Joker to the Deck. Some of the other innovations he introduced included, rounded corners, double ends and satin finishes. It was not that Hart had invented these things. His important contribution came in the form of being the first card maker to put them all together so that his cards had all these features.

Sqeezers, Samuel Hart

In 1871 Samuel Hart, together with John M. Lawrence, Solomon Cohen and a number of other reputable New York card makers formed the New York Consolidate Card Co. The New York Consolidated Card Co. was responsible for introducing "Squeezers" to the market. Another important innovation which would rapidly evolve into the corner side indices. Their solution was to put a 'miniature' of each card in diametric corners and thereby the player would be able to 'squeeze' their hand of cards tightin order to make a neat fan. It made card handling easier.

Samuel Hart began his professional life in as a stationer in Philadelphia in 1844, and was later joined by Isaac Levy. Apprenticed under the auspices of the great Lewis I Cohen, "Samuel Hart & Co" began manufacturing playing cards in 1849. READ MORE »

Further Reading

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


International Playing Card Society Decline of the English Court Card.
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.

Early Standards

Texan No. 45's
Russel & Morgan 1886
Samuel Hart 1870
A. Dougherty 1865
De La Rue 1834
L. Hewson 1680
Pierre Maréchal 1567

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Card Masters of the
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Thomas de la Rue
Lewis I. Cohen
Lawrence & Cohen
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Andrew Dougherty
Ferdinand Piatnik


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