Kickstarter: Innovation Playing Cards by Jody Eklund (Black Ink Playing Cards)

15 Mar

Karl-BenzKarl Friedrich Benz (November 25, 1844 – April 4, 1929) is depicted on the Jack of Spades. He was a German engine designer and car engineer. Also Karl generally regarded as the inventor of the first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. In 1879, he patented all the processes that made the internal combustion engine feasible for use in an automobile. And in 1886, Benz was granted a patent for his first automobile – Benz Patent Motorwagen.

Karl, together with his wife Bertha Benz, founded one of the most famous automobile manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz. The first Mercedes-Benz brand name vehicles were produced in 1926.

Innovation Playing Cards: The Jack of Spades – Karl Benz


Nicola-TeslaNicola Tesla (10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) is the Jack of Clubs in these playing card decks. He was a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.

Tesla immigrated from Smiljan, Austrian Empire (modern-day Croatia) to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison (The King of Clubs) in New York City. But he got experience in telephony and electrical engineering even before his immigration. The inventor soon started his own business with the help of different financial backers. Later his patents earned him a considerable amount of money, much of which was used to finance his own projects with varying degrees of success. In his lab he conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, and early X-ray imaging.

Innovation Playing Cards: The Jack of Clubs – Nicola Tesla


Samuel-MorseSamuel Finley Breese Morse (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872) was an American painter and inventor. First of all, his is known for being a co-developer of the Morse code. He also contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs.

Morse didn’t have any serious interest in telegraphy. He had tried different styles of art and had established his reputation as a portrait painter till his middle age. Morse created his first masterpiece, the Dying Hercules (Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, US), in 1812.

He helped found the National Academy of Design in New York City in 1826, and served as the Academy’s President from 1826 to 1845 and again from 1861 to 1862.


Dying Hercules by Samuel Morse

There is a story about Morse’s involvement into telegraphy. In 1825, New York City had commissioned Morse to paint a portrait of Lafayette, the leading French supporter of the American Revolution. While Morse was painting, a horse messenger delivered the message of his wife’s sudden illness. Morse immediately departed to his home at New Haven. By the time he arrived, his wife had already been buried. Devastated by this tragedy and the inability of the current message system to transmit news faster, he decided to explore a means of rapid long distance communication.

The historic encounter of Morse and Charles Thomas Jackson, a scientist who described him some of the properties of electromagnetism, happened in 1832. After witnessing Jackson’s many experiments with electromagnet, Morse developed the concept of his single-wire telegraph, and submitted his findings to the US patent office. But he wasn’t the first one in this field.

Morse developed his electrical telegraph system with the help of an American physicist, Joseph Henry, and Alfred Vail, an American machinist and inventor. Their system sent pulses of electric current along wires which controlled an electromagnet that was located at the receiving end of the telegraph system. A code was needed to transmit natural language using only these pulses, and the silence between them…

Innovation Playing Cards: The Jack of Hearts – Samuel Morse



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