HI This is my first go at a post - fingers crossed etc.
I have had a go at illustrating 10 really early US Makers - roughly from 1805 to 1850
The rest is in the file attachment - pictures with notes - and its meant to be self explanatory...
TEN EARLY AMERICANS
These are the oldest American manufacturers represented in the Plainbacks collection
The brief notes reflect extensive research in Gene Hochman's original Hochman Encyclopedia and in the latest version by Tom and Judy Dawson
I have noted the Hochman type
for each deck and much information will be found in the related Encyclopedia entry.
As ever, dates are best guesses. The code after the name is the reference on Plainbacks
, where more of the cards are shown.1805? John Casenave, 174
A lovely early American deck. John Cazenave of New York is listed among the "unknown makers" in Gene Hochman's original encyclopedia - that is, although his survived, no examples were known. However, a Casenave wrapper was a later discovered by Hochman and it showed an Ace of Spades, enabling this maker's cards to be identified. See Hochman type U33. Although very early, the style would become typical of the early US makers.1816 J Y Humphreys, 168
Cards of great character! Humphreys was from Philadelphia, and produced a number of set of different designs in the period up to 1825. See U29.1820 Thomas Crehore I3
Thomas Crehor(e) was from Dorchester Mass, and created another style that was set to become an American standard - perhaps because they are very clear and bold designs. The Type is U3.1830 Caleb Bartlett, I77
Bartlett of New York ha a design similar to Crehore above. Before Independence cards would have been imported from England ... the generic American Manufacturer
label on the Ace was commonly used by early American makers to show they are not imports. The Hochman type is U8.1835 Geo. Cook, I90
Another pack looking like Crehore. Again the American Manufacturer label is used, and here note Excelsior
on the Ace of Spades which A. Dougherty also used on early cards. Cook is not well known and does not appear in the Hochman.1840 L.I Cohen I2
This is an early example by Cohen - the business that was destined to become the New York Consolidated Card Co. These cards resemble Casenave above. Type is NY4.1840 Nathaniel Ford I47
The Ford family are one of America's oldest makers and this is Hochman type U1. Based in Milton, Mass. the family made cards from perhaps 1811 to 1860. A moving yellow post-it note by a previous owner, says: Benj. Libby 24th Maine. Cards found with his effects.1840 Emporium I56
This is one of the first manufacturers to adopt a brand name (as opposed to just the maker's name). This is a rare maker and little is known about the manufacturer - see U34.1845 American I61
Another anonymous American Manufacturer
Ace, in fact these were early examples by Samuel Hart (later also part of New York Consolidated Card Company). See U14.1844 Carmichael Jewett & Wales I55
This is a lovely bright deck, similar in style to contemporary English cards by Hunt and their successors Bancks. This could be a copy; perhaps there was a business association ... perhaps the English were exporting in disguise?!