1876 Centennial A. Dougherty Playing Card Back Die Proof ABNCo.
A. Dougherty card back design c.1876
The Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, the first official World’s Fair to be held in the United States, was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from May 10 to November 10, 1876, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. Officially named the International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures, and Products of the Soil and Mine, it was held in Fairmount Park along the Schuylkill River on fairgrounds designed by Herman J. Schwarzmann. Nearly 10 million visitors attended the exposition, and 37 countries participated in it.
Andrew Dougherty was born in Donegal in Northern Ireland in 1827. He started his playing card business in New York in 1848. Dougherty’s story is a key part of the development of the American playing card industry as he can be credited with several innovations to playing cards. In 1849 he moved to a new address at Cliff Street, New York, and for a short time entered into partnership with two brothers named Coughtry. Coughtry & Dougherty stayed in business until c.1853. Dougherty soon prospered on his own, changing his address several times as he moved into better premises. Dougherty died in 1905 at the age of 78 and his sons continued to run the business in New York until 1907 when the United States Playing Card Company purchased it. USPCC kept the Dougherty business operating independently until 1930 when it was combined with the New York Consolidated Company to form Consolidated-Dougherty Card Co. Inc., a division of USPCC.