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Monarch Bicycles Advertising Playing Cards

This pack was produced by the USPCCo as an advertising pack for the Monarch Cycle Manufacturing Company in 1895. It is presumably the first advertising pack with special court cards made in the U.S.A.

On the (identical) Kings the cyclist Tom Cooper ('King Cooper', 1874 – 1906) is shown. He was really famous, and he later changed to automobile racing. He died in an accident.
The Queens show a woman which I believe to be Lillian Russell (1860 – 1922), an actor and singer, as she is quoted on the box (which is not present in my pack, the illustration is taken from my image archives):
The images shown on two of the cards resemble her very much. Actually, I have read about a different box with a quote of Jessie Bartlett Davis (c. 1860 - 1905), an operatic singer and actress. She might be the other woman shown. The pictures have a text indicating W. M. Morrison as the photographer.
The Jacks show a donkey, and no reason for that is yet known.
The logo animal of the company was a lion in a wheel, as can be seen on all court cards and on the back.

There are a Joker and an extra card, which are also missing from my pack. I have used pictures from my image archive. The Joker is the actor and comedian Walter Jones. The extra card shows Lee Richardson; the „Premier fancy Bicyclist of the World rides a Monarch“. His father was from the Monarch company.

Another special feature of this pack is that a modification of the design has obviously been used a year later for the Stage Playing Cards.

© Peter Endebrock, 03 Sep. 2014