It’s an ace!

As part of my Directed Study in archaeology I have been researching information about the toys that were found under the floor boards in the Oatlands Gaol, Tasmania.

So far I have had little success in gaining information about the toys, but this week I have had some success. In my collection I have an ace of spades printed by the United States Playing Card Co. It is a Bicycle playing card, number 808. The ace of spades depicts the statue of freedom, which in 1865 was placed on top of the Capitol Building in Washington DC.

The 808 series of playing cards was printed in three colours—red, green and blue—and was introduced in 1885. The ace of spades in my collection is a racer number 1 series, which was introduced in 1895 and ran until 1906.

As mentioned in my earlier post, I am trying to match the date of the toys to families who lived in the  Gaolers’ Residence. From 1895 to 1906 there were six families living in the gaol, and the date range of the card spans the majority of this occupation. Three of the families had children, however playing cards were used more by adults than by children.

I have contacted the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and am hoping that they will be able to provide me with more information about the other toys in my collection. ImageImage

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One response to “It’s an ace!

  1. Please feel free to contact me at the attached e-mail address. I’m an undergrad archaeologist working on 19th century children’s toys (mainly marbles, but other things as well). Outside of just the objects themselves, I look at childhood of the time both from the adult’s perspective as well as the children’s. I’ve also looked at economics of families and comparing them to the marbles, mainly with an immigrant site in St. Louis, Missouri, but with others as well. As a mother of a 5-year-old, and a greying archaeology nut, I would be more than happy to lend a hand!