Anyone know anything about the '45 Texan decks?

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Anyone know anything about the '45 Texan decks?

Unread postby EndersGame » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:19 am  

I'm not sure that I've got the right forum to post this, feel free to direct me elsewhere if I'm posting in the wrong place.

Here's an old '45 Texan deck someone recently showed me. It turns out that it's actually a Stripper deck! Inside it has a paper that that says "Directions for Using The Wizard's Pack of Cards", which has descriptions of 15 effects that can be performed with the deck, and yes the cards are tapered. Those Palmetto card-backs sure are nice looking too!

I'm curious what year this might be from, or if anyone knows anything more about it?

Front of the tuck box: '45 Texan Playing Cards, The U.S. Playing Card Co, Cincinnati USA, Russell & Morgan Factories
Back of the tuck box: Texan Playing Cards, Palmetto Back

Below are some photos of what it looks like.

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Re: Anyone know anything about the '45 Texan decks?

Unread postby EndersGame » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:50 am  

Someone suggested to me privately to take a closer look at the stamp collectors label used to hold the box together, which I've done - it turns out that this stamp is from 1926 - more on that below.

I did contact USPCC prior to posting all of this, but I have the impression they only check the decks they produce currently. Here's what they wrote:

"We checked our current playing cards product list and we were unable to locate these cards. USPC does not maintain a library or archives of discontinued cards. There are a number of collector's books available to purchase on the Internet or visit your local bookstore or library for available titles. Mrs. Robinson's Playing Card Collector's Handbook published in 1955 offers a timeline of early Bicycle playing cards. http://www.jimknapp.com/Cards/Bicycle.htm.. If you are unable to locate them there, a search on the Internet would be the best place to look for your desired card deck."

So that doesn't get me much further, because it's quite obvious that this isn't a current deck. As for Jim Knapp's website, some Texan Palmetto's are listed on his page with Non-Bicycle cards here: http://www.jimknapp.com/Cards/Non-Bicycle.htm.
It's item #26 on that page, but the cards he shows are ones produced in Ontario Canada, and were a much more recent version of this deck. These more recent versions were published in the 1990s/2000s. In 1998 Jeff Busby even wrote a book about them entitled "Secret of the Palmettos" (available here) that was about edge-marking, which relates to the one-way design of the backs. But these decks had English/French on the cover (as you can see in pictures 1, 2, 3, and 4), and they mention Ontario on the Ace of Spades; clearly different from the much older 45 Texan deck with Palmetto backs that I have.

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However, there's a few more parts to the puzzle about this deck, some of which add more mystery, and others of which start clearing things up.

1. First of all the tuck box flap has an unusual design and shape - is this unique to a particular era?

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2. Here's another interesting thing: on the reverse side of this flap, in pencil, there's some faint writing in pencil.

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It's hard to make out, but I recognized the second word: DEDIT. And because I'm an amateur magician, that rang a bell. Specifically this bell. "MUTUS NOMEN DEDIT COCIS" is a well known mnemonic used for a particular card trick effect (which is based on a principle first described in 1769 by Gilles-Edme Guyot).

Looking more closely, I realized that the pencil writing used a different series of words than what is normally used today: "CICOS DEDIT TUMUS NEMON". That's a variation used in "The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims" by Andrew Steinmetz, first published in 1870 (example page here). I wonder when the MUTUS NOMEN DEDIT COCIS list was popularized? Evidently the person who wrote CICOS DEDIT TUMUS NEMON on the box flap was either unfamiliar with the more common words used, or learned them instead from Steinmetz' book, or from another source.

But one thing we can conclude from this is: at one point a person who owned this deck was using it for card magic. Which isn't surprising, given that it is a stripper deck.

3. But there's more. On both sides of the tuck box, a stamp has been used to keep it together.

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And when you put it together, here's what that stamp looks like:

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My son did a bit more research about the Junior Philatelic Society (JPS) in London, and discovered that this stamp was issued in 1926. If it is from that era, that would date the deck around the late 1920s. It's not definitive evidence, but you'd imagine that you wouldn't get a stamp like this and only use it to fix a deck box 20 or more years later. This would have to narrow down the date to some time close to 1930, which is around 90 years ago.

4. There's one final piece of evidence I found in my online research. On a webpage here about the history of the USPCC, I found the following: "USPC expanded internationally in the 1910s, establishing the International Playing Card Company in 1914, initially for product distribution to Canada. Successful sales in that country led the company to establish a manufacturing facility in Windsor, Ontario, in 1928. Among the unique brands marketed to Canadian customers was Texan 45, a style popular in Quebec since its introduction in the 1930s." I've not been able to confirm this, but it does give a date that is around the same era from the Junior Philatelic Society stamp.

I'd love to be able to verify that statement, and find out when the Texan 45 was originally produced, for how long, and whether it was officially produced as a stripper deck for magicians or whether that was a custom alteration to the deck by a magician (and just put instructions for it in the box). Another thing I'm still left wondering is this: does the "8-20" that is under the Ace of Spades in tiny print give any definitive way of identifying this deck?

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Re: Anyone know anything about the '45 Texan decks?

Unread postby maxs » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:30 am  

I'm not sure, but I think these are discontinued by now. They were printed by USPCC and distributed by the International Playing Card Company Ltd. for the canadian market. I have no idea when they were first issued but the last printing run (as far as I know) was in 2012. The more recent decks have Bicycle faces and a bilingual tuckbox (french/english). The cards are all standard poker so my guess is that your Stripper deck is customized. IMO the 2012 print run handles exceptionally good, it's one of my favourite decks.
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Re: Anyone know anything about the '45 Texan decks?

Unread postby EndersGame » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:12 am  

maxs wrote:I'm not sure, but I think these are discontinued by now. They were printed by USPCC and distributed by the International Playing Card Company Ltd. for the canadian market. I have no idea when they were first issued but the last printing run (as far as I know) was in 2012. The more recent decks have Bicycle faces and a bilingual tuckbox (french/english). The cards are all standard poker so my guess is that your Stripper deck is customized. IMO the 2012 print run handles exceptionally good, it's one of my favourite decks.

Thanks for your contribution. I did already mention the English/French version of the Texas Palmettos, and there are pictures and reviews of them here and here and here and here.

As best as I can tell, these are much newer reprints from the 1990s and 2000s, and have a different looking tuck-box, with English/French on the box cover:

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The Ace of Spades in these English/French versions is clearly marked with Ontario; here are two examples:

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The deck I have is much older than these, and as you can see from the photo in my original post, the Ace of Spades says it was produced in Cincinnati.

According to this page, there were at least three different Texan decks:
- Texan 45 Palmetto
- Marlboro Texan
- Texan No. 45 1889

Some of them were produced as early as the late 1800s, but then went out of production for almost a century, and were reproduced in newer editions (like the English/French one you mention above) in the 1990s and 2000s. For example, about the Texan No. 1889 deck that page says: "This edition of Texan No. 45's was first printed in 1889 by Russel, Morgan & Co. in Cincinnati. They went out of production for 80 years, but were brought back into circulation by the United States Playing Card Co in more recent times. The cards are slightly tinted to give them an antique look. The court card designs are reflective of the period. They are printed on embossed paper card stock."

The deck I photographed and am asking about in my original post is clearly not one of the newer reprint editions from the 1990s/2000s, but must be one of the original Texan 45 Palmettos. I haven't been able to find definitive dates about when they were produced, however, aside from one site which suggests they were produced in the 1930s.
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Re: Anyone know anything about the '45 Texan decks?

Unread postby maxs » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:51 am  

I'm pretty sure they were all printed in the USA (Ohio/Erlanger), older and newer ones. The International Playing Cards Company distributed the cards in Canada that''s why there is Ontario on the AoS.
It also says "Litho in USA" which means it has been printed in the USA. the tuckbox of the newer Texan decks also states "Made in the U.S.A" on the side.
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Re: Anyone know anything about the '45 Texan decks?

Unread postby EndersGame » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:49 am  

It looks like the English/French versions were made at least as early as 1975. There's an eBay auction for one here that is a 1975 deck.

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The listing describes it as a first Canadian edition, and like the decks from the 1990s and 2000s, it does have English/French on the tuck box. I'm surmising that much like the Texan No. 45 1889s, the Texan 45s like my older deck were out of production for 80 years or so, but when they were reproduced in the years circa 1975-2010, it was just in an English/French edition intended for sales in Canada, whereas the original versions (1920s/30s) were English only. At least, that conclusion seems to make the most sense for now, unless I come across evidence to the contrary.
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Re: Anyone know anything about the '45 Texan decks?

Unread postby Mike Ratledge » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:12 pm  

It seems like I remember Marlboro / RJR Tobacco using Texan 45 for an advertising campaign back in the late 70's or early 80's. They are available with a wide range of date codes, mostly Norwood (suburb of Cincinnati) printing, but have been reprinted since the move to Erlanger. I don't remember details, unfortunately.
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Re: Anyone know anything about the '45 Texan decks?

Unread postby JuFiN » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:52 pm  

I happen to own this set which is in fact a Marlboro Texan deck (one red one blue). Although these decks are a reproduction of an 1800 Russell and Morgan deck so its probably not the exact one you are thinking about.

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Re: Anyone know anything about the '45 Texan decks?

Unread postby EndersGame » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:38 pm  

JuFiN wrote:I happen to own this set which is in fact a Marlboro Texan deck (one red one blue). Although these decks are a reproduction of an 1800 Russell and Morgan deck so its probably not the exact one you are thinking about.

Cool looking set, I saw quite a few pictures of those online when doing research on this. They are readily available - there's lots of them on eBay and elsewhere around the web.

As you say, they are later reproductions of the Marboro Texas deck, which went out of production for 80 years or so, and is a different deck. Thanks for sharing though!
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Re: Anyone know anything about the '45 Texan decks?

Unread postby hilton8 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:45 pm  

I just know a little about it.
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