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The letter is really the only thing helpful to collectors; the numbers are likely related to the printing run. and New York Consolidated Co., at the time subsidiaries of USPCC, also used these same codes. became part of USPCC they also began to use the codes.
Use the chart below to determine the year the deck was printed.
I do not know if other manufacturers, who often also have codes on ace of spades or other cards, varied the codes by identifiable dates.
The letter code is as follows: The main playing card manufacturers in the United States are shown below.
The code is helpful in dating decks after 1904, the year it started, according to the Hochman Encyclopedia.
But, I have found evidence that the dating code was actually in use prior to 1904 which is why I have amended the chart to include 1900-1903 (highlighted in yellow, below).
based in Racine, WI & Chicago, IL (since 1918) from 1918-1919 named "Western Press" (Chicago) from 1919-1920 named "Logan Printing House" (Chicago) from 1920-1927 named "Midland Playing Card Co." (Chicago) from 1924-1926 named "M. Sheffer Card Co." (Chicago) from 1926-1927 named "M. Sheffer Card Co." (Racine) Brands "Inter-Ocean Playing Card Co." (1924-1927) "Western Playing Card Co." "Whitman Plating Card Co." International Playing Card Co.
based in Milltown, NY (1912-1928) in 1929, became a division of USPC, but name was used for some years later Western Publishing Co., Inc.The code first came into use in 1904 and applies only to aces of spades that bear a letter plus a four-digit number.Combinations with fewer numbers have no meaning for collectors.Kei Izumi, a collector from Japan, found a Motor No. 1 deck, which was introduced in 1901 and discontinued in 1907, with a "D" code on the ace (pictured below).