Vancouver : Museum of Vancouver
View this document at Museum of Vancouver: Deck of cards c. 1900
|Creator||Stone, Marion, (Miss)|
|Title||Deck of cards c. 1900|
|Published||Vancouver : Museum of Vancouver|
|Contributor||Museum of Vancouver|
Legend claims that playing cards were invented centuries ago by bored wives and concubines in eastern harems. History tells us that playing cards first appeared in Europe during the early years of the Italian Renaissance, around 1376. As they spread throughout the continent, different versions of the deck were used in different areas. Court cards appeared in the earliest known decks. The four suits which we use today originated in France and represented the different social classes: hearts symbolized the Church; spades, the aristocracy; diamonds, the well-to-do; and clubs, the peasantry.
Souvenir cards enjoyed a tremendous vogue in Europe and America during the late 19th century. These were manufactured in London around 1900. Scenic attractions along the route of the Grand Trunk Railway System, such as Toronto harbour and the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, appear on the faces of the cards. The Grand Trunk Railway was built to connect the major cities of eastern Canada with the American seaport of Portland, Maine. In 1853, tracks were laid between Montreal and Portland, making the Grand
Trunk the first international railway in North America. During the 1920s, the Grand Trunk was taken over by the government and became part of the Canadian National Railway system.
a) box; b) box lid; c) cards (52)