United States Playing Card Company
Since 1894 "The United States Playing Card Company
is the leader in the production and distribution of premier
brands of playing cards, including BEE®, BICYCLE®,
AVIATOR® and HOYLE® playing cards."
BICYCLE®, BEE®, AVIATOR®, HOYLE®, CLUB SPECIAL®,
the Rider Back Design, the Diamond Back Design, the Goddess
of Liberty, and other brand names, card back designs and
designs of Aces and Jokers ... are registered trademarks
of The United States Playing Card Company in the United States
and other countries.
United States Playing Card Company History page
1881-1885 - "Russell, Morgan & Co."
1885-1891 - "Russell & Morgan Printing Co."
1891-1894 - "The United States Printing Co."
since 1894 - "The United States Playing Card Co."
USPCC acquired these other companies:
• The Standard Playing Card Company (Chicago)
• Perfection Card Co (New York)
• New York Consolidated Cards:
• The Bee Playing Card brand is owned by
and originated at New York Consolidated in 1892.
1969-1989 USPCC was acquired by a series of new owners.
• In 1986, the company acquired Heraclio Fournier, S.A.,
the largest playing card manufacturer in Europe.
• Arrco Playing Card Company Chicago, USA
1920s-35 named Arrow Playing Card Company
1987 the brand was acquired by USPCC
In 1994, a successful buyout returned control of the company
to Management and local investors. On June 29, 2004 the Jarden
Corp. of Rye, NY, signed a definitive agreement to purchase
US Playing Card Co. for $232 million in cash. In addition,
there's a stipulation in the contract that the US Playing
Card Company and its 510 employees will remain in town.
KEM Plastic Playing Cards
Scranton, PA 18504
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
A jolly joker holds his finger to one side of his nose -
a common theme in card designs. This jester is "in" on
the joke, or gives a signal to someone - a performance to
amuse the King and court. This joker will be in the "portrait" group
at dotpattern, soon.
Western Publishing Company
These jokers will be in the "symmetrical" group
It took 400 years after the first playing cards were used
in Europe (circa 1450 A.D.) for the first "double ended" court
cards to appear. Created to avoid re-arranging the cards
"heads up" - and giving away your hand to other
players who could see that you held court cards.
Information from: Benham, W. Gurney Playing
Cards: History of the Pack and Explinations of it's Many
Secrets (n.d. 1960?) Spring Books, London.