Playing and address cards are prepared from cardboards, made by pasting a sheet of cartridge paper between two sheets of white or colored paper; or for ornamented backs, sheets may be printed with the intended design. Cardboards of extra thickness may have two or more sheets of cartridge paper interposed. As ordinarily made, the first process, called mingling, is arranging a sheet of cartridge paper between each pair of sheets in a ream of white demy paper. The pile thus made is called a head. Placed on a table at the left hand of the paster, he draws down the top sheet, and brushes it over with paste; then the cartridge paper, drawn down on the pasted surface, is treated in the same way, and its surface is immediately covered with two sheets drawn down at once upon it. The upper one is pasted for the next cartridge paper, and so on till the head is again made up. It is then subjected to the action of a powerful hydraulic press, by which the water is expelled from the sheets. Removed from this, each outside pair is successively taken off, one board at each end of a copper wire, and suspended on lines 24 hours in a heated room to dry. The boards are then passed between stiff cylinder brushes, by which they are well rubbed and partially polished.

They may next be varnished on the side intended for the backs, thus making them water-proof and less likely to be soiled. They are then rolled between a warm iron and a paper roller, as in the process of calendering, next between two polished iron rollers, next with smooth sheets of copper interposed between the cardboards, and finally they are subjected to a pressure of 800 tons. The boards are thus made straight and even, and receive a finely polished glazed surface. If not intended for playing cards, they may now be cut into the required sizes of address cards. To be enamelled, they receive an application of china white, or silver white (a very pure variety of white lead), which is first mixed with water containing some fine size, made from parchment cuttings boiled down. This application, being smoothed over with a badger's hair brush, is first dried, then rubbed over with flannel dipped in powdered talc, and finally polished with a close-set brush. - The old way of painting playing cards was by the use of stencil plates, with openings corresponding to the spots, each plate comprising many cards, so as to cover a cardboard. Through these openings the color was introduced with a brush.

The court or face cards required a stencil for each color, one being applied and then another, the open spaces in each being where the color used with it belonged. The operations somewhat resemble the printing of colors on cloth. A cardboard, when thus painted, was cut up into its separate cards. Printing has succeeded to the use of the stencil, and the process in use for applying different colors is by blocks, essentially the same as those of the calico printer. The English manufacturers receive the print of the ace of spades from the stamp office, this being the duty card, costing the manufacturers Is. sterling. But if the cards are for exportation, no duty is required, and the duty card in this case bears a printed notice, forbidding its use in Great Britain and Ireland, under a penalty of £20.