Episode 11 – History of Playing Cards

About the Episode

Be it euchre, poker, cribbage, or crazy eights, card games have been a staple pastime for centuries. Join Robin, Nick, and Keely as we learn more about the handheld history of playing cards!

Notes

  1. The city of Windsor, Ontario was home to a playing card factory for over 70 years. Read more about the factory and its link to Windsor’s history here and here.
  2. For images and more information on the playing cards of the French Revolution era, click here.
  3. Check out this 1886 publication on Cavalier Cards released during the English Civil War.
  4. Want to expand your card game repertoire? Check out Bicycle’s rules on a variety of card games.

Images

Bouchot, Henri. “A Newly-Discovered Pack of Lyonnese Playing-Cards (1470).” The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 1, 3 (May, 1903): 296-297, 300-303, 305.

Bouchot, Henri. “A Newly-Discovered Pack of Lyonnese Playing-Cards (1470).” The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 1, 3 (May, 1903): 296-297, 300-303, 305.

British Museum; Museum Number: 1896,0501.498; Description: complete pack of 20 playing-cards: “Das Richterspiel oder Wer ist der Dieb” Hand-coloured etching, Backs plain; School: German; Curator’s comments: Complete pack for playing this game. Each suit consists of deuce, 10, two knaves and king, and the cards are numbered 1-20. Each has a fancy figure or subject, with a miniature playing-card showing its value above. With a sheet of printed instructions in German and French. NOTE: Acquired in 1896 so presumably created during the nineteenth century.

Nine of Beasts of Prey, engraved playing card. Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale (photo: Bibliotheque Nationale) NOTE: The bear at the centre of this card is found in the Giant Bible of Mainz.

Bibliography

Primary Sources

Cotton, Charles. The Compleat Gamester. London: J. Wilford, 1725.

Nouvelles cartes de la Republique française. Plus de rois de dames de valets; le génie, la liberté, l’égalité les remplacent: la loi seule est au dessus d’eux (Paris: U. Jaume et J.D. Dugourc, 1793-1794). Available at http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb40254159r. 

Newspapers

“Affairs in Hamilton.” The Globe (1844-1936); Feb 21, 1891, p. 18.

“Bridge-Euchre.” The Globe and Mail (1936-Current); Oct 8, 1942, p.12.

“Caledonian Euchre Party.” The Globe (1844-1936); Feb 11, 1921, p. 8.

“Charge Sunday Gambling to Eleven Card Players.” The Globe and Mail (1936-Current); Oct 17, 1938, p. 7.

“Cornwall Club Raided.” The Globe (1844-1936); Feb 4, 1902, p.12.

“Father on the Farm Euchre.” The Globe and Mail (1936-Current); Jul 12, 1947, p.6.

“Feminine Poker Disturbed Neighbors.” The Globe and Mail (1936-Current); Aug 9, 1946, p.1.

“Gambling Cards Found as Squatters Move In.” The Globe and Mail (1936-Current); Oct 29, 1946, p. 8.

“Gambling in Montreal.” The Globe (1844-1936); Apr 16, 1903, p. 4.

“Hart House Gambling Brings Ban on Cards.” The Globe and Mail (1936-Current); Feb 12, 1947, p. 5.

“Judge Gives Poker Lecture.” The Globe (1844-1936); Feb 25, 1920, p. 7.

“Military Euchre.” The Globe (1844-1936); Mar 11, 1914, p. 5.

“Murder Over a Poker Game.” The Globe (1844-1936); May 10, 1904, p. 7.

“Poker and Faro Playing.” The Globe (1844-1936); Dec 14, 1885, p. 8.

“Poker Club Broken Up.” The Globe (1844-1936); May 10, 1889, p. 2.

“Poker Games Lead to Sensational Suit.” The Globe (1844-1936); Jun 29, 1914, p. 8.

“Progressive Euchre.” The Globe (1844-1936); Apr 17, 1894, p. 4.

“Stopped Gaming.” The Globe (1844-1936); Nov 11, 1899, p. 18.

“To Stop Card Gambling.” The Globe (1844-1936); May 3, 1904, p. 9.

“Veterans Euchre Party.” The Globe (1844-1936); Jan 20, 1923, p. 14.

“Why Not Five-Suit Euchre.” The Globe and Mail (1936-Current); Apr 11, 1938, p. 6.

Secondary Sources

Diman, Robert William. “David Hume on Canadian Paper Money – An Overlooked Contribution.” Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking 37, 4 (2005): 783-787.

Campbell, Colin S and Garry J Smith. “Gambling in Canada – From Vice to Disease to Responsibility: A Negotiated History.” Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 20, 1 (2003): 121-149.

Catherine Perry Hargrave. A History of Playing Cards and a Bibliography of Cards and Gaming. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1930.

Heaton, Herbert. “The Playing Card Currency of French Canada.” The American Economic Review 18, 4 (Dec., 1928): 649-662.

Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut. Gutenburg and the Master of Playing Cards. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1966.

Parlett, David. “The Playing-Card.” Journal of the International Playing-Card Society 35, 4 (April-June 2007): 255-261.

Smoller, Laura A. “Playing Cards and Popular Culture in Sixteenth-Century Nuremberg.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 17, 2 (Summer, 1986): 183-214.

Tosney, Nicholas. “The Playing Card Trade in Early Modern England.” Historical Research, 84, 226 (November 2011): 637-656.

Tosney, Nicholas. “Legacies of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century gaming in modern attitudes towards gambling.” Community, Work & Family 13, 3 (01 August 2010): 349-364.

van Buren, Anne H. and Sheila Edmunds. “Playing Cards and Manuscripts: Some Widely Disseminated Fifteenth-Century Model Sheets.” College Art Association 56, 1 (Mar., 1974):12-30

Willioamson, G.R. Frontier Gambling: The Games, The Gamblers, & The Great Gambling Halls of the Old West. e-book Architects, 2012.

Credits

Producers: Robin Mullins and Emily Cuggy

Hosts: Robin Mullins, Keely McCavitt, Nick Bridges

Researchers: Nick Bridges, Nick Johnston, and Kirsty Walker

Audio Editing: Emily Cuggy

Image Credit: British Museum; Museum Number: 1896,0501.498; Description: complete pack of 20 playing-cards: “Das Richterspiel oder Wer ist der Dieb” Hand-coloured etching, Backs plain; School: German.