Wonderful railroad souvenir deck made by the Canadian department of Charles Goodall & Son c.1910 for Canadian Pacific Railway. It features photographs of scenes along the routes served by Canadian Pacific Railway. Particularly interesting is the Joker, said to be “Ojibway Chief ‘Hiawatha.’” Everything that I have read indicates that the only “Hiawatha” drawn from Ojibwe history, tradition and culture is the fictional Hiawatha that is the protagonist in Longfellow’s notorious poem, “The Song of Hiawatha.” There was an Iroquois chief named Hiawatha, but he has nothing to do with the Ojibwe nation or with Hiawatha’s poem. Thus the photograph of the Ojibwe Chief used in this deck for the Joker is not really named Hiawatha, and perhaps that is why the name is in quotes on the card. The cards are accompanied by a single piece of paper that is a “List of Views” of the scenes depicted on the cards, but it does not list all 53, and so I am left to wonder whether there was a second page to the list. Frankly, it is of little moment, because the list does not match the scenes to particular cards in the deck, and the scene on each card is identified on the card itself.
The deck has 52 cards, plus the “Hiawatha” Joker noted. The cards are wide, measuring 89mm x 63mm, with gold gilt around. They are accompanied by the remnants of what was once probably the original box.
The cards are in excellent condition, with most of the gold gilt intact. The “List of Views” has survived remarkably well for a single sheet of paper. As noted, the “box” is mere remnants, and this set has been priced as if there were no box.
References: Dawson, The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, p.270, SCA17; Bollhagen, The Great Book of Railroad Playing Cards, p.27, CP-3.
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