A new American tale is being told and a new collectible adventure awaits in the World of Paper Empires. I'm Author Jason McKinstry, join me in taking a step back into the heart of the nation to look for fresh clues and rare treasures. Let me introduce you to the most significant Early American Playing Card Makers.
Samuel Hart - Standard Club Cards - c1870
Browse my expanding line of Books and Playing Card Collecting products. Your home to American History & Rare Decks.
Get Ready to Learn about some of the most fascinating and completely forgotten about American Manufacturers of all time.
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Travel back to a time when playing cards weren’t just an amusement... they were a way of life! Experience the new Mini-Doc series that’s been 200 years in the making. Together using the latest in research technology, we will peer into the past and discover the secrets of the greatest playing card manufactureres of all time. Episode 1 Now Playing! The Forgotten History of Andrew Dougherty.
Samuel J. Murray originally began his American card making career employed by the USPCC. After a disagreement in 1886, he left and The National Card Co. was born.
Milltown, New Jersey wasn’t ready for Willis W. Russell when he set up shop in 1905. With a factory located in the centre of town and his face on every deck, he was hard to miss.
Welcome to my brand new section! You never know what you’ll find in here. This is the spot where I will be adding new original works, colourizations, animations and more. Go in and have fun!
Grab your decks and saddle up. Feel the excitement of playing cards and history come alive in this short video.
Playing Cards have been a fixture in America since the start. Take a trip to Old New York and see where it all began.
What happened to Lewis Cohen’s playing card factories? Find out in this short video.
It's time to celebrate The US Playing Card Company for their 140th year manufacturing playing cards in America.
Help celebrate 140 years of US Playing Cards with this video featuring their early brands.
Great News! Paper Empires Volume I and Collector’s Corner Annual are both available on Amazon. You can buy signed copies from my store, or you can go to Amazon and get your unsigned books there. Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read Paper Empires Express for free. Prime members may receive a discount on shipping.
Let your imagination and collection run wild with these hand-made display pieces. Originally named “Card Carvings” in the Feb 2017 edition of Card Culture Magazine, this passion project has been growing ever since. Now I make many unusual carvings/displays that will enhance any collection. Have an idea? Contact me.
(C$ 24.99 shipping)
This Mixed-Medium Eagle carving is based from the image used on many boxes and wrappers of Samuel Hart’s Legendary Faro Cards. The Bird was a regular fixture of the Wild West because Samuel Hart’s Cards were sold everywhere and preferred/insisted upon for the game of Faro or Pharo.
This Eagle is hand carved and finished. It measures approx 7” x 5.5” and would make a fine addition to any collection.
(C$ 22.99 shipping)
A highly decorated wooden spade finished with the same class put into the original designs by L.I. Cohen and Lawrence Cohen & Co. This hand-made display piece measures approx 7” x 6.5” and will add a special something to your collection.
Hochman Encyclopedia Author, Judy Dawson chose this spade design to add to her beautiful collection of rare playing card themed treasures.
(C$ 22.99 shipping)
A unique display piece for your unique collection. This classically designed ace of space was a well worn American institution by 1855, having been used by makers such as Thomas Crehore, Caleb Bartlett and Samuel Hart.
Your wooden spade is hand-made and finished, it truly captures the essence of the early period of playing card manufacture. It measures approx 7.5” x 4” including its stand.
Hi, I’m Jason McKinstry, Author of Paper Empires. Thank you for coming and being a part of this. I appreciate that you’re here and I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little bit about myself.
I live in Canada with my family not too far from Toronto, Ontario. I have been researching antique American playing cards and their makers for close to ten years. I have been a collector for over twenty-five years and I have experience across a wide spectrum of subjects, from US/World Coins, Stamps and Paper Money to large and small antiques. I’ve even worked quite a bit with high end vintage toys.
I’m a carpenter by trade and specialize in Century Home restoration. I guess you could say that in many ways, I’m intimately familiar with the world of yesterday. I have a keen interest in American History which has allowed me to add substance to every area I study. When I discovered the incredible and largely forgotten world of Early American Playing Cards, all of my experiences came around full circle. I have never found anything as historically significant that was waiting to have its story told. From that point forward I have dedicated myself to bring this hugely important industry into the light for the modern world to see. Let me be your guide and show you what I’ve found... you won’t be disappointed.
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