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Card deck:The Great Southwest Souvenir Playing Cards

United States Playing Card Co.1911

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

Featuring images "from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast and the Gulf of Mexico," this deck of souvenir playing cards helped to popularize the Southwest as a tourist destination in the early 20th century. The U.S. Playing Card Company produced this deck exclusively for the Fred Harvey Company of Kansas City, Missouri, as part of Harvey's massive publicity campaign to promote travel to the formerly inaccessible region. When the advent of the railroad opened the Southwest, Harvey was there to exploit it. Forming a partnership with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1878, he acquired exclusive rights to operate hotels and restaurants along Santa Fe railway lines west of the Missouri River in 1889. Known as the "Civilizer of the West," Fred Harvey (1835-1901) cultivated every aspect of tourism, developing hotels, restaurants, and newsstands, and even organizing tours in his "Harvey Cars" for such spectacular sights as the Grand Canyon. Along with pictures of popular tourist attractions in the region, this souvenir deck includes pictures of Harvey's hotels and Santa Fe railway stations. The box shows a map of the United States with Santa Fe rail lines and Fred Harvey hotels marked in red.

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  • Title: Card deck:The Great Southwest Souvenir Playing Cards
  • Creator: United States Playing Card Co.
  • Date Created: 1911
  • Location: Kansas City, MO
  • Subject Keywords: Native American, Petrified Forest, train, costume, Native American, weaver, hotel
  • Type: Card Games
  • Medium: cardboard, cardstock, photomechanical, printed, coated


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