Deep Dive: Exploring the Exhibits

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

Paine's Whist Trays



This set of Whist Trays was named after the president of the Duplicate Whist Company President, Cassius M. Paine. Paine would use the U.S. Playing Card Company of Cincinnati as his manufacturing agent for these trays. This particular set was constructed out of a sturdy board material to house the decks of cards within.


Whist is a classic English card game that was popularized between the 18th and 19th centuries, predating the game of bridge. This game is typically played by four people split into teams of two. Partners would sit opposite of one another, utilizing a standard 52 card deck. The purpose of the game is to score as many "tricks" as possible, rewarded with one point per trick. The game is usually over when one team scores 5 points before the other, but there are variations on the rules used depending on who would be playing.


Each of the card sets in this collection feature a distinct design on the backs of the cards, with no two card sets being the same design. The same goes for not only the typeface of the card numbers, but also the designs of the face cards as well.


The patent date for these trays is March 3rd, 1896, under Cassius M. Paine of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.