Erdnase era cards

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
User avatar
Bill Marquardt
Posts: 407
Joined: May 4th, 2011, 11:16 am
Favorite Magician: Pop Haydn

Erdnase era cards

Postby Bill Marquardt » September 14th, 2015, 2:44 pm

I know that there has been discussion on the topic of what brand or sort of playing cards were actually used by Erdnase and others of his era, but I am still curious about the topic. Erdnase states in EATCT that, "Nearly all standard cards are red or blue." I infer from that sentence that he would most likely have used such cards.

The modern decks of cards that I have seen, that are produced as throwbacks to that time seem to be in other colors. Is there any history of cards that shows the backs and colors of decks used in that period?

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25116
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC

Re: Erdnase era cards

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 14th, 2015, 3:11 pm

While there were many more playing card companies manufacturing cards, the main cards in use were cheap Steamboats or Bicycles (from Russell Morgan, at that time, I think). I have some decks from about 1906 and later (due to work on the DeLand book) and to the untrained eye they are not hugely dissimilar to the cards we use today. Of course, there was no plastic coating--they were varnished. Backs of Bikes were red and blue (and there were some other colors as well). Steamboats had a plaid pattern, more expensive decks had a nicer plaid pattern and coating.

But you certainly would have seen red backed and blue backed Bicycle Rider backs in those days.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Return to “Magic History and Anecdotes”