January is National Hobby Month.
What is your hobby? Is it playing chess or checkers? Or playing cards?
Those games and more are advertised in this Spring 1890 trade catalog by S. A. Maxwell & Co. The catalog is entitled Catalogue of Sporting and Athletic Goods No. 62 and is located in the Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library.
For card players, S. A. Maxwell & Co. sold playing cards, game boxes, and poker sets. These boxes and cases, used for storing playing cards and accessories, were available in plush, leather, and oak. A leather case, priced at $96 per dozen, was lined with satin and included a lock and key. It came with 200 composition chips and two packs of cards. For the cost of $108 per dozen, a polished oak case with carved edges was available.It came with a lock and key and also a drawer. It also included 200 composition chips and two packs of cards. Several silk plush cases, ranging in price from $25 per dozen to $144 per dozen, were also shown in the catalog.
For traveling card players, the company sold Travelers' Poker Sets. Available in either a pasteboard or cloth box, these sets included a deck of cards and 100 assorted chips.
Also advertised in the catalog were folding chess boards and different styles of chess men. The chess boards cost anywhere from 80 cents per dozen to $15.70 per dozen.
Other games shown in Catalogue of Sporting and Athletic Goods No. 62 include marbles, dominos, cribbage, checkers, and backgammon. To see more images of games from this catalog, take a look at the Libraries' Galaxy of Images.
It's National Hobby Month, so whatever your hobby is … have fun!
Top: S. A. Maxwell & Co., Chicago, IL. Catalogue of Sporting and Athletic Goods No. 62, 1890, page 994, Checker Men and Chess Men.
Bottom: S. A. Maxwell & Co., Chicago, IL. Catalogue of Sporting and Athletic Goods No. 62, 1890, page 992, game boxes and poker sets.