Iron Horse Playing Cards

Recently, we finished watching Westworld, the recent HBO series around the same time that Jody Eklund launched Iron Horse Playing Cards. Needless to say, our interest in the Wild West narratives are at an all time high. Iron Horse Playing Cards couldn’t be launched at a better time than now.

This series is a narrative about robbers attempting to rob a steam locomotive which is referred to as an Iron Horse. Steam locomotive were just starting to gain widespread usage in America and before the advert of this invention, horses were used as the main mode of transportation. Seeing how steam locomotive is more powerful and made of metal, people start using the term Iron Horse. We’d have to say it is a badass name.

If you have not heard of Jody Eklund, we will advise you to take some time to look at his past projects. Done that? Good, you can better appreciate Iron Horse Playing Cards now. A pity there are not many screenshots of the playing cards itself so we can only show you that much.

IRHR Number cardsIRHR Spade Court

We love the sketching style by Jody. His shading brings out the depth of the drawings. This is where Jody’s playing card projects always fascinate us, his sketching and shading techniques bring life to the characters. Take some time to appreciate the Ace of Spade and the pair of joker cards below. The joker is another design where a full picture will be formed when you put the two joker cards side by side.

We would die to see Jody take on more fantasy theme related projects because we are fans of fantasy. HARDCORE fans!

One thing to point out about this project is that there will essentially be only ONE deck edition and that is the Black Ink edition.

Here are some design specs for the cards:

  • Printed by the Legends Playing Card Co.
  • 54 completely custom playing cards. Each court, Ace and Joker cards will have original illustrations
  • The Cards will be printed on the Classic Finish (which is the highest quality card stock that Legends Playing Card Co. has to offer)

A slight variation will be the Signature edition where the big difference will be the card back. The left picture below is the Black Ink card back which is gray in colour while the Signature has black colour (right bottom).

That does not mean your buying choices is limited. The project offers different packaging. The project offers the standard deck, Black Ink, which is unlimited print. The interesting part about the design of the tuck box is that if you put both together side by side, you will get the full image of the iron horse.

IRHR Rewards 2 Deck 2

The Deluxe package which offers a deck of Signature edition and a soft touch slip case. The slip case is embossed and guess what? There are only 500 of such cases printed. According to the project release page, metallic ink is used for the printing of Signature deck.

IRHR Rewards Deluxe 2

Signature package will be the last and most expensive one. We think this is the most complete package that collectors should go for. It includes two decks of Black Ink and one signature deck. Take note that this does not include the soft touch slip case that Deluxe package offers. There is a different package box which can contain the 3 decks offered in this reward. There will only be 1500 quantity available.

IRHR Rewards Signature 2

The dealer coin has been unlocked and is also available as an add-on.

IRHR Coin

Jody has also kindly provided the backstory of all the characters appearing on the royal court card portraits. We will include those below in thumbnail format and you have to click on them to view them in larger resolution.


Sources

Westworld (HBO series)

Iron Horse

Iron Horse Playing Cards (Kickstarter project)

 

 

Innovation Blue – Special Edition

Let’s ask ourselves a question here. Do you know the names of the inventors of the technology advances that provided us with the greatest convenience we can only dream of? The type of innovations that can be considered as magic back in medieval times?

The article we are presenting today is a project by Jody Eklund and it’s called Innovations. Wait a minute… That is not something new because this project has been done and in the hands of backers back in 2015. Well, today is 2017 and Jody maybe doing the same deck this time but he made a special edition of Innovations. This is the blue special edition with a blue custom deck case as what you can see in the header above.

What makes this so special is the limited quantity of the deck. There will only be 1000 decks available in the world and only 500 are numbered and once you miss it, you have to dig through the black market for it.

Here are some specifications that I got on his kickstarter page:

  • Printed by the Legends Playing Card Company
  • This will be a Ultra Limited Edition. Only 500 of 1000 decks will be numbered and packaged inside a customized Collector’s case
  • Each court card, Ace and Jokers will have original illustrations, capturing the feel of the era.
  • The Cards will be printed on the “Legends” Classic Finish, which is their highest quality card stock.
  • The Tuck Case will be made with Premium Card Stock Box, fully embossed and foiled.
  • Unique Back Design

When Red Hands was envisioned, we missed out on all of Jody’s past works and we’re fortunate that he is releasing a special Limited Edition of Innovations Blue playing deck with special case. There is no way we will miss this out.

INB Spade Royal Court

The Spade suit illustrates (left to right) Henry T Ford, Mary Anderson and Karl Benz. All three of them are related in the automobile industry.

Henry T Ford is the brainchild behind Ford and credited with Fordism. Because of his push for mass producing expensive goods to make it affordable for more people, he indirectly became rich since half of America’s cars were his Model T and the famous line, “A customer can have a car in any color so long as it is black” further illustrate his mass production mantra. No doubt that is paraphrased but I personally think it conveys a certain degree of arrogance. Here’s a little known fact, he introduced the 5 day work week which consists of 8 hours work per day with weekends off. He figured that if people worked too long, they won’t have time to enjoy themselves with their hard earned money which also means his own employees won’t even bother buying his car for leisure.

Many people may not know who Mary Anderson is (including us). She is the lady who makes sure you are able to see things out of your car windscreen whether it rains or snows. Yes, the trusty windscreen wiper is invented by Anderson to make driving in the snow and rain more convenient for the driver. From what I read, she did not gain widespread fame or money from her invention partly because I think she is a woman and women were not considered equal to men. Her design was used later on by car companies as part of a standard design after her 17 year patent on the wiper expired! What a bunch of d***s!

If you wonder the Benz behind Karl Benz has a relation with a certain famous car brand, you got it right. Trying to summarise on the achievement of this man does not justice to the magnitude of his achievements. Benz built the world’s first automobile, Benz Patent-Motorwagen, he is the grand daddy of all cars and not Ford in case you’re wondering. I will just provide a link to wikipedia on how Mercedes Benz is conceived for those who are interested.

INB Heart Royal Court

The next suit will be Heart and the inventors  (left to right) Alexander Graham Bell, Ada Lovelace and Samuel Morse. We struggle to find the subject they expertise in and finally concluded that they would be the some of the earliest people in algorithms.

When we saw Alexander Graham Bell‘s name, we thought he will not need any explanation and introduction because he invented the phone. By phone, we meant the device that doesn’t have a LCD screen but is capable of transporting your voice to another person who could be situated anywhere in the world. Makes you wonder how far the phone has progressed since he first invented it. It will give him a heart attack.

Ada Lovelace is widely regarded as one of the first person that believed machines can do more than just calculus and created the first algorithm and make the machine execute a program. Nothing impressive? Try doing that in 1800s and let me know how that works out.

Did you know that Samuel Morse had a career switch motivated by the loss of his beloved wife? It came about when he received news that his wife has passed via a letter sent by a horse messenger. By the time he returned home, his wife is already buried and that drove him to find a faster way of communicating across long distances. Did you know that before he explored the field of electromagnetism, he was a painter! Pretty mind boggling fact! You can take a look here for a catalog of his paintings.

INB Club Royal Court

The suit of Club consists of Thomas Edison, Ida Hyde and Nikola Tesla.

How do I start to write about Thomas Edison? I could start by stating that he has a total of 2,332 patents credited to his name and 1,093 of those are US patents (indexed by wikipedia) and I found some of his British patents if you want more information. Since Nikola Tesla is in the Club suit as well, I will mention the War of Currents. Once again, I advise you to read this for yourself and equip yourself with history. Edison and Tesla were bitter rivals over which current should be used to better and cheaper deliver electricity throughout America. During this competition, underhand methods were used. these are stuff that you thought you will see in a movie. Rightly so a TV series, American Genius, did an episode on that event.

The queen of club is Ida Hyde and another lady who we have zero knowledge about. Thanks to wikipedia, we know that she was the first inventor of the intracellular micropippette electrode or microelectrode. This allow researchers to study the change of currents in individual cells which helps them understand better how nerve and muscle cells react under stimulation. She was never credited with being the first inventor of the microelectrode. Being a woman, she was heavily disadvantaged compared to men and received her Ph.D at the age of 39!

INB Diamond Royal Court

The Diamond suits looks at air transportation and (left to right) Wilbur WrightAmelia Mary Earhart and Orville Wright are the unforgettable names that we have heard of in our lives. If you don’t, you probably need to read more books!

We look to the skies and air transportation. Mentioning air transportation and the Wright Brothers will no doubt in one of the names in your mind. They wouldn’t be the pioneer of air transportation because there were records of air travel experimentation in the ancient world such as man carrying kites, hot air lanterns and even a man mimicking how a bird flies.

If you do not know by now, women never did enjoy the same privileges as men back in earlier times. Amelia Mary Earhart is significant in the fact that she is the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo. We would consider her one of the biggest icon of feminism. She dared to do the impossible and let nobody stopped her in achieving what she wants.

Having described the Royal courts, we will move on to the Joker cards. Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers and their respective inventions as the background. It was disappointing because I was hoping to see different inventors or innovators and not a repeat. Better yet, include more women!

I will close off with the the four Aces and they are representations of the field of invention as what was covered earlier when I was describing all suits. Again, the Model T and the propeller plane have already appeared in the joker cards. Maybe something else would be nice.

INB Aces
(Left to right) Model T, Airplane, Lightbulb and telephone

This is the most painstaking article to write because of the amount of reading that had to be done for each of the character represented in the royal court suit. It sure was rewarding as I never read what these inventor did in detail. Reading up some bits and pieces of their lives was an eye opener and I find Samuel Morse to be the most interesting and human. Because he could not see his wife for the last time, he dared explored a field to further and improve a better way of communication so that nobody else had to suffer what he suffered. That is truly inspiring and so humane.

Lastly, after reading about the women inventors in Innovations, I had a glimpse of the discrimination of women and how they are seldom held in the same regard as men. They have to perform better and work harder in order to be recognised. That is if they are lucky. Some were never given credit for their inventions and simply ignored as if acknowledging women is a threat in itself. Fast forward a century and more and the women’s situation doesn’t seemed to have improved by leaps & bounds. Women still have to work harder than men in order to get the same level of recognition and respect. In some countries, women don’t even have rights. Truly a pitiful state but it is something we can all improve on. Praise to be given to Jody Eklund for letting us know about women inventors.


Sources

Innovations Blue – Special Edition (Kickstarter project)

Innovations (Kickstarter Project)

Wikipedia (various links)

The Athenaeum

Ruters Collection of Edison’s British patents

Reference.com (microelectrode)