In 1916, M.J. Moriarty's Movie Souvenir Card Company produced a series of playing cards featuring some of the era's biggest stars. Included were Mabel Normand, the Talmadge Sisters, May Allison, Harold Lockwood, and dozens more. The cards were beloved by moviegoers, who were eager to get their hands on any pieces of memorabilia they could that featured their favorite actors and actresses.
For every Talmadge and Normand, however, there are several players who have not withstood the test of time. Dorothy Kelly, for example, retired into obscurity in 1917. Richard Travers, although appearing in well over 100 films, never managed to reach true stardom. The deck of cards is a unique mix of silent film legends and those who almost achieved immortality on the silver screen.
Silent Film Quarterly was founded on the principle that all silent film deserve to be remembered and discussed, even those that are now obscure and hard-to-find. This set of playing cards embodies that mission perfectly, as it captures a snapshot of the world's biggest stars in 1916.
As the centennial of the cards' production nears, it seems the perfect time for them to be reproduced so that once again silent film fans can include them in their collection. Sourced from scans of the original cards, this reproduction will be printed on high-quality linen card paper and will come housed in a custom cardboard tuck box, inspired by the design of the original.
The back of the cards features an insert from Alexander Von Wagner's The Chariot Race, just as the original deck of cards did. The front of each card features a portrait of a silent film star (53 in total), with their name printed beneath the image.
As an added bonus, a special edition of Silent Film Quarterly will be produced with brief biographies on each of the actors and actresses featured (as well as information about the original deck of cards). Produced at the same size as a standard issue of the magazine, it will fit in nicely with anyone's subscription.
Please consider supporting this project and helping to reproduce a unique piece of silent film memorabilia. Just think of holding King Baggot, Anita Stewart, and Mary Miles Minter in your hands next time you play poker!
Risks and challenges
The digital files have been created for the deck of cards, so all that must be done now is the printing! My goal of $750 covers the minimum number of decks that need to be printed for the project to be sustainable, taking into account Kickstarter fees. There are no foreseeable challenges with the production process, and I anticipate the project will progress without incident if the funding goal is reached!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)