Sunday, February 18, 2007

Crehore Playing Cards 1802

Collection of Tom and Judy Dawson
My ancestor, Thomas Crehore of Boston, manufactured and designed some of the first American Playing Cards between 1802 and the mid-1840's. I think he had a unique illustration/graphic arts style. More here:


Dr Ken Lodge said...

The cards illustrated are much later than 1802. The letterpress process of printing was not invented until 1832. The cards are copies of English cards of c.1800.

Amy Crehore said...

This link says 1820:

The link in my post no longer works. Hope this new link works.
My title to this post did not refer to the cards shown, just the time he started making cards- according to other people's research, not my own.
Thank you for your comment.

Amy Crehore said...

This link says letterpress printing was around since the mid 15th century-

Amy Crehore said...

The link describing Thomas Crehore's cards says: "printed from woodblocks or copper engravings and colored after printing through the use of stencils."

Also, perhaps he did not design them, but only made them, copying English designs.

Dr Ken Lodge (playing card historian) said...

The title at the top of the cards suggests they are from 1802. Letterpress for text was indeed invented in Europe in the 15th century, but for printing pictorial material (like playing cards) a special process was developed and patented by Thomas de la Rue in 1831 in England for printing his playing cards. Before that date all cards were produced by woodblock and stencil, like Crehore's early cards. But the ones illustrated are printed by letterpress (I have a pack, too), so must be later than c.1832. The Dawsons give no detail of the introduction of letterpress printing for cards in the US in their excellent book. Incidentally, it was looking at their entries on Google that led me to your site. How nice to be a descendant of T.C!

Amy Crehore said...

I'm glad you told me you are a playing card historian. I wrote this post in 2007, purely based on something I found on the internet that was art-related and ancestor-related. I trusted the source and perhaps the descripton or date was wrong. I know now that Thomas could have been Benjamin Crehore's brother who made pianos and bass viols. Ebeneezer was the other brother and I am his direct descendant.
I was interested in my ancestor. I know his factory burned in 1846. And he died that year. So, let's just say that he probably produced the cards "shown" between 1832 and 1846.
I was only interested in his name and his profession from 1802-1846,which was playing cards. Thanks for the info. I could change the title and post, but I really don't need to after publishing these comments.