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Vereinigte Staaten Spielkarten

This is a whole 'family' of packs with several 'generations', and I am showing three of them here.

The pack was originally made by the Russell & Morgan Printing Co. in Cincinnati, as shown on the Deuce of Acorns. The date on the Deuce of Leaves (31st May, 1881) has nothing to do with the cards, it is the date of registration of the trademark, the statue in the Spade suitsign.

The pack was produced on request of the American Skat players; they wanted to have a German-suited pack instead of the standard French-suited packs normally available in the U.S.A. That can also be seen from the announcement of the pack, which refers to a request at the Skat Congress in Milwaukee in 1888. The Deuce of Leaves correspondingly gives a second name for the pack, Amerikanische Skat Spiel Karten. The cards were first produced in 1889.

Note the error in the name on the Deuce of Acorns, which should not have the 'n' at the end of 'Vereinigten', and that was corrected in later editions.

The second generation was produced around 1900 by the USPCC, which had been founded in the meantime. Their name is now on the Deuce of Acorns. The pack shown is the Amerikanische Skat Spiel Karten No. 2. The name on the Deuce of Acorns was correct now.

The final pack shown was also made by the USPCC, but it was distributed by the Williamsport Paper Co.. Their trademark is on the Deuce of Acorns. The 'H 1953' on the Deuce of Leaves together with the tax stamp on the box dates the pack to 1926. This time it was called Amerikanische Gaigel Spiel Karten, which is only a difference in the number of cards present in the pack: Skat packs have 32 cards while Gaigel packs lack the Eights and Nines, but have a pair each of the other cards, so that there is a total of 48 cards. From the earlier packs there are also Skat and Gaigel versions.

© Peter Endebrock, 28 Dec. 2002