I just ordered the Hochman Encyclopedia from the 52 plus Joker website, and started reading it today. Good stuff already!
I know that this might be the start of a collection that may never finish. But I guess that is what gives the pleasure of collecting: That you are never really finished, because there is always another item you can add by widening your scope. However, right now, in this part of my collection, my scope is standard American brands that can be found sealed in a box, with some kind of foil or cellophane, either outside the box, or wrapped around the cards inside.
And yes, all the brands you are mentioning are within interest, as long as they are to be found as issued in the condition described earlier. I just have to figure out, which come in a box, that originally had cellophane around it, or came sealed with a wrapper around the cards inside, so I can focus my search. The last part, the cards being wrapped in foil or another type of material inside the sealed box, is harder to discover. That's why it would be interesting to know which cards came in that condition.
For instance these "Bee" cards have wrapped cards inside box. http://www.ebay.com/itm/1940s-Sealed-Wrapper-New-York-Consolidated-Playing-Cards-Bee-Poker-Squeezers-/261836861538?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cf6b17062
However, these come in cellophane: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Bee-No-92-Playing-Cards-W-Tax-Stamp-Consolidated-Card-Co-/151666421471?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item235005eedf
Both are prospects to my collection, albeit in "as issued" condition, because they either come in cellophane or wrapped inside the sealed box. But the latter is harder to figure out, when you just see a sealed deck unopened. And I want to steer clear of decks that are sealed without cellophane and/or wrapped cards inside.
However, I am now sipping through Hochman's Part 1, so I hope to discover more :-)
I have been looking to take my collection in the direction of collecting vintage standard brands, from now closed American playing card companies, only focusing on the decks that come in standard red & blue backs, sealed and in some kind of cellophane or foil (either outside or inside the box). However, I am wondering, when did standard American playing cards start getting produced with cellophane or foil, and which companies introduced it?
Wow - that's a major challenge you're setting for yourself.
Have you checked in the Hochman's Encyclopedia yet? That would probably have every bit of information you need to find those decks.
BTW: when you say "standard brands," what's your definition of such? For example, Bicycle would be considered a standard brand, but there were over eighty different card backs used with the Bicycle brand name prior to 1950. Some were available for only a limited time while others were around for decades - and one, the Rider Back, was printed first in 1893 and has been in print ever since. And it wasn't their first design - the design now called the Old Fan Back is believed to be the first, in 1885. Then, it was just called the Fan Back - just as World War I was a name not used for "the Great War" until World War II took place.
Now, Bicycle was always a USPC brand, originated within the company. So let's look at the brands that originated elsewhere. Bee (NY Consolidated) is best known for the Diamond Back, and Tally Ho (A. Doughtery) is best known for two backs, the "Original Circle" back and "Original Fan" back - but both decks have had several backs over the years. Hoyle (Brown & Bigelow) today is known for their Shell Back - I'd be very surprised if it was their only design. Arrco (originally the Arrow Card Co.) has their US Regulation decks as well as their Tahoe designs...
There's a lot of possibilities, as you can see.