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Archive of posts published in the category: Cards
Apr
7

Bicycle Playing Cards – Vintage Back Designs

Vintage Back Designs of
Bicycle
Playing Cards

Bicycle
playing cards are probably the most recognizable brand of
playing cards in the world.  Although the average person probably
associates Bicycle brand playing cards with the famous “Rider Back” design, the United States
Playing Card
Company
, or “USPCC” (which produces the Bicycle brand)
actually
produced over 80 different back designs with the “Bicycle” name over
the first few decades of the brand’s existence.  The Rider Back
design is
obviously  the most familiar, having been in constant production
since
1887.  But this was actually the second design to carry the
“Bicycle” name; the first was the Old Fan
back design, which was first produced in 1885 (and recently revived to commemorate the 125th
anniversary of
the Bicycle brand).

Bicycle
playing cards were originally produced in red, blue, green, and
brown, but the green and brown decks were discontinued in 1927.

The
reader may observe that many of the designs were revised one or
more times and thus appear in multiple variants (e.g. Racer
Back No. 1
, Racer Back No. 2).  This
usually happened for one of two key reasons.  First, many of the
earliest
designs were “one-way” backs, i.e. the backs were asymmetrical. For
instance, several different backs contain a three-pronged wing in the
middle of
the card that can be oriented in 2 different ways.  In the early
1900’s,
most of these were revised to a four-pronged wing design to render the
backs
symmetrical.  (The one notable exception is the League
back, which was first printed in 1893 and is the only back to retain a
three-pronged wing.  It also appears that this back has never gone
out of
production, and is still a favorite among magicians because of its
asymmetry.)  Second, the USPCC tried to keep up with the times, so
it
periodically updated the decks to reflect newer designs in bicycles,
automobiles, and motorcycles.

Indeed,
it was the attempt to be trendy that launched the Bicycle line
in the first place.  According to company lore, in the early 1880’s, cycling — on
unicycles,
bicycles, and tricycles — was taking the country by storm.  It was
also
around this time that Russell & Morgan, the forerunners of the
United
States Playing Card Company, decided to produce a new line of cards and
asked
employees to suggest an attractive name for the new product.  In
light of
the cycling craze, a printer, “Gus” Berens, offered the suggestion
“Bicycle.”
His idea was enthusiastically accepted, and the company has been
producing the Bicycle
brand of cards ever since.

In the
past decade, the USPCC has begun to capitalize on the Bicycle
brand’s rich history, issuing a commemorative “Vintage
Design Series
” in 2006 and a more limited “Heritage
Design Series
” in 2010 and 2011, each of which featured re-printings of a
number of the old back designs.  The Bicycle brand has also been
looking to the
future in recent years, partnering with magic companies and other
entities to
produce

Mar
31

Welcome To Card Factory | Cards, Gifts & Party Supplies

Celebrate all of life’s moments with Card Factory

Whatever the occasion, you’ll find everything you need at Card Factory no matter what your budget is.

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Whether you’re looking for 21st birthday cards, or celebrating an age they’d rather not mention, our fab birthday cards will make their day. Make your birthday card even more meaningful with our personalised cards and photo cards – great for sharing special memories of favourite times, as well as an embarrassing photo or two.

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Whether they’ve sent you the most perfect present or are just always there for you at exactly the right time, saying thanks with a heartfelt thank you card means so much. Thank you cards are a lovely way of telling someone exactly how much you appreciate them; and our personalised thank you cards and photo thank you cards will help you make that message even more special.

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At Card Factory, we’ll help you take the stress out of planning your wedding so that you can concentrate on your happy-ever-after. From wedding planners and organisers, to save the date cards, wedding invitation cards and RSVP cards; most of our wedding stationary is beautifully coordinated, so you can be certain that everything will look just the way you want it to.

Get the party started

At Card Factory, sending cards isn’t all we do. Our birthday gifts, balloon bouquets and birthday party decorations will ensure you’ve got everything you need to celebrate every occasion in style.

Card Factory really is your one stop shop when it comes to celebrating all of life’s most important moments.

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