1893 The United States Printing of Ohio Calendar U.S. Playing Card Company

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We sold this item at auction for $950
 in May, 2023.

The 1893 Ohio Calendar, produced by the United States Playing Card Company, stands as an artifact of America’s gaming and printing history. Manufactured at the Russell & Morgan Factories in Cincinnati, Ohio, this calendar showcases the company’s prowess in the realm of playing card production and advertising.

The United States Playing Card Company

Founded in 1867, the United States Playing Card Company quickly rose to prominence as one of the leading manufacturers of playing cards in the country. The company’s origins can be traced back to the partnership between Russell, Morgan & Co., who acquired several smaller playing card businesses to consolidate their operations under one roof.

The Ohio Calendar, with its label posters and playing card advertisements, offers a glimpse into the company’s marketing strategies during the late 19th century. Each month features promotions and special offers tailored to card dealers, highlighting the company’s commitment to catering to its clientele.

Advertisements for Playing Card Variations

Notably, the calendar also showcases different styles of playing cards manufactured by Russell & Morgan, including the No. 89 “Treasury” and No. 505 “Extra Army and Navy” Steamboat cards. The illustrations of various card backs further demonstrate the company’s dedication to producing a variety of playing card designs.

Beyond its advertising function, the Ohio Calendar serves as a piece of gambling ephemera, reflecting the prevalence of gaming culture in 19th-century America. Playing cards were not only used for recreational purposes but also played a significant role in illusions, magic performances, and crooked gambling practices.

While some parts of the calendar appear to be hand-illuminated, indicating the meticulous craftsmanship of the time, its rarity and historical significance make it a highly desirable collectible. Sold by Britannic Auctions for $950 in May 2023, it is worth noting that the item would likely fetch a higher price if it were in fine condition, underscoring its value to collectors of playing card memorabilia and ephemera.

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