U.S. Poker Chips Salesman Sample Catalog - c. 1923
U.S. POKER CHIPS SALESMAN SAMPLE CATALOG - C. 1923
(Trade Catalog) U.S. Poker Chips salesman sample catalog. C. 1923. Cincinnati. U.S. Playing card Co. Oblong 4to. 11 x 8.5 x 2.25 in. [8 pp (unpaginated).] on thick gray card-stock, each mounted with brass rivets at gutter margin to black cloth hinges, consisting of separate boards back-to-back, 4 leaves of corrugated cardboard acting as tissue guards between the leaves also mounted on black cloth hinges; with 93 clay poker chips carefully mounted, of varying sizes, types, and colors throughout, all sizes w/ printed & typed labels detailing the sizes and types of chips. Original brown buckram brass split-pin post-binder, three brass split-pin clasps at gutter margin (slight shelfwear, very slight wear to couple corners, minor toning to old cardboard leaves), a NF and complete exemplar.
First edition, thus, of this exceedingly scarce Jazz Age poker chip salesman sample catalogue issued by the famed U.S. Playing Card Co. This sample catalogue includes multi-colored samples of the "Superior" poker chips line, showing blanks to be engraved; "Paranoid Plain" poker chips in blue, yellow, coral, burgundy, and white; "Paranoid Inlaid" poker chips featuring double star chips, American Eagle, fleur-de-lis, clover, swastika, stylized letters, and numbers; and finally Anchor Poker chips plain and embossed, available in the exceedingly rare 7/8 in., and 1 1/4 in. sizes, as well as more typical 1 1/2 in. According to the United States Playing Card Co. catalogues and advertisements of the 1920s, the Paranoid Plain, Engraved, and Inlaid Chips were made for exacting trade and private clubs, which would stack accurately, colors remained true, and the shades were always uniform. They also produced these with die-cut inlaid, or "Monogram" inlaid to special order for athletic clubs, automobile clubs, casinos, resorts, hotels, and more. Their "Plain," "Embossed," and "Engraved" lines were less expensive lines, and in this catalogue feature such motifs as Elk for Elk's Lodges, four suit cards, horseshoes, and jockey hat and crop for horse tracks, Indian head, bulldog, and others. The United States Playing Card Co. was founded in 1867 by Russell, Morgan, Armstrong, and Robinson, Jr. when they formed a printing company partnership known as Russell, Morgan & Co., which specialized in theatrical, and circus posters, broadsides, placards, and labels. By 1881, the company began producing playing cards, and by 1894, the United States Playing Card Co. was spun off from the original printing house. U.S. Poker Chips, and other gambling implements began appearing in company catalogs and advertisements as early as the mid-1890s, which could be purchased in 100 to a box, or large sets of many different colors. No copies located in Worldcat; See: The American Stationer, Vol. 41, Jan. 21, 1897, p. 113; Official Rules of Card Games: Hoyle Up-to-Date (1923), pp. 254-255; The United States Playing Card Company, Our History (2017); Robert Eistenstadt, Antique Gambling Chips & Gambling Memorabilia, U.S. Playing Card Co. Die-cut Inlaid Chips (2017).