A super-quick but highly interesting factoid . . .

I see on David Levy’s “Edmond Hoyle, Gent.,” blog that the George Clulow collection of books relating to playing cards has been acquired by Vanderbilt University. This includes (according to a Vanderbilt website) ancillary materials, including, if I understand correctly, original Owen Jones playing-card designs. I suppose that those were done for De La Rue, because off hand, I cannot remember ever reading that Jones designed any cards for Goodall. As is well-known, the collection had been amplified by the US Playing Card Company.

The Vanderbilt site tells us that Jones: “. . . ushered in the standards of modern playing-card design with his tessellated and geometric patterns devised to thwart cardsharps and cheaters.”

That’s a new one on me, though I don’t really know anything about Jones.

Mike Goodall, in his main book about the Goodalls (Charles Goodall & Son: The Family and the Firm 1820-1922), states many interesting details about Clulow. The following facts are all from Mike’s book, pages 85-86. Clulow was born in 1835 and passed away in 1919. He worked for Goodall from about 1869 until 1887. He designed the trademark that shows “Good” and “All” inside a heart. Mike says: “Many of Goodall’s most striking card backs were designed by Clulow. He became Goodall’s Managing Partner in 1884.”

—Tom Sawyer

September 5, 2017

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