The history of Bicycle playing cards goes back to 1867, when A. O. Russell and Robert J. Morgan acquired part of The Cincinnati Enquirer in Ohio. They made playing cards starting in 1881 and created the Bicycle brand. The United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) name appeared in 1885.
Name Reflecting Popularity of Cycling
The name “Bicycle” reflects the popularity of the bicycle at the end of the 19th century. The first Bicycle decks featured a simple back design with a bicycle in the center, but over the years, the company has experimented with a variety of different back designs, including some that featured automobiles, airplanes, and even warships.
Bicycle cards are high quality and durability. The cards come from a special type of paper that is coated with a resin, which gives them a smooth, air-cushioned finish. So, this makes them easy to handle. Bicycle cards also feature vibrant colors and intricate artwork.
Bicycle cards have become the dominant brand of playing cards in the world. They account for around 60% of all card sales.
Bicycle cards are now also a popular collectible item. There are a number of different Bicycle decks that are rare and valuable. These include the 1885 Bicycle Premium deck and the 1930 Bicycle Beehive deck.
Today, the USPCC is still the leading manufacturer of playing cards in the world. The company produces a wide variety of different brands of cards, including Bicycle, Bee, KEM, and Hoyle. Bicycle cards appear in over 100 countries around the world.
The United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) makes other products besides playing cards. These include:
Poker chips: The USPCC produces a variety of poker chips, including plastic chips, clay chips, and ceramic chips. The company’s poker chips are used by casinos and poker players around the globe.
The USPCC also produces a variety of card accessories, including card cases, card protectors, and card shufflers. These accessories are designed to help card players keep their cards organized and protected.
Here are some of the most notable events in the history of the company that makes Bicycle playing cards:
1867: A. O. Russell and Robert J. Morgan purchase the printing section of The Cincinnati Enquirer.
1881: The company begins producing playing cards.
1885: The company adopts the United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) name.
1889: The company introduces the iconic Bicycle brand of playing cards.
1930: The company introduces the Bicycle Beehive deck, which is considered to be one of rarest and most valuable Bicycle decks.
1966: The company receives a request from US soldiers in Vietnam to produce decks of cards containing nothing but the Bicycle Ace of Spades. The cards played a role in psychological warfare against the Viet Cong.
1987: The company introduces the Air-Cushion Finish, which is a revolutionary new way of coating playing cards.
2004: The company purchases KEM Cards, a manufacturer of plastic-coated playing cards.
2017: The company celebrates its 150th anniversary.
- Year Started: 1881
- Year Ended: 2099
- Origin Of Name: Named after Popular Trend of the Day
- Location Sales: Worldwide
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: A. O. Russell and Robert J. Morgan
- Owner While In Use: United States Playing Card Company (USPCC)
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Bicycle Playing Cards
- Naics Code: 423920
- Location Headquarters: Erlanger, Kentucky USA