Before there was bridge there was whist. And before there was duplicate bridge, there was duplicate whist. Those who have played duplicate bridge are familiar with what are known as duplicate bridge trays or boards. They are trays with slots, usually made of aluminum today, which contain the hands that are to be played in the bridge competition.
Wikpedia describes the early history of these trays – as used to play duplicate whist – as follows:
"First used in duplicate whist in the 1890s, the devices were called duplicate whist trays. Since the first in November 1891, numerous patents have been registered incorporating a variety of shapes, sizes and materials and having various means of inserting and retaining the cards in place in the trays or apparatus, as they were often referred to in the patent description. Amongst the earliest versions were those manufactured by Ihling Brothers & Everard of Kalamazoo, Michigan and referred to as the Kalamazoo Tray, a square tray, getting award winning recognition at the 1893 Chicago World Fair. The company's interests in duplicate whist trays were purchased by The Duplicate Whist Co. in 1899, which introduced a tray known as the Paine's Duplicate Whist Tray after its President, Cassius M. Paine; Paine used the U.S. Playing Card Co. of Cincinnati as his sole manufacturing and sales agent."
Listed here is a 12-tray set of the Paine's trays, dating c.1899.
The trays are in very good condition and the box that houses them is structurally sound, reasonably clean, with most of its label still intact.
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