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Who was the person credited with the concept of a world's fair?

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World's Fair
by E.L. Doctorow


This novel tells the story of Edgar Altshuler, a 9-year-old boy from the Bronx, and his adventures at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. On his first visit to the fair, Edgar is enthralled by industry's vision of the futuresafe, secure and prosperous cities, speedy and cheap transportation and modern invention to make life easier. On his second visit, he sees that the exhibits are constructed of gypsum whose paint is peeling and that the displays are really toys.
                                   
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Pick a Card
by Bob Brooke

 


When people think of playing cards, they usually imagine classic aces, spades, hearts, clovers and diamonds. And let’s not forget the king, queen and jack court cards. Most of these same people probably have an old card deck stuffed in a drawer somewhere in their homes. In fact, playing cards are so ubiquitous that they’ve played a major role in entertainment for hundreds of years. Besides helping friends or family spend a relaxing evening playing friendly card games, there are those used to play bridge and poker. And don’t forget all the cards used in casinos for black jack and other games.



The classic 52 deck of cards has been around forever, and today come in a wide variety of designs. Collecting playing cards can be very rewarding. There are so many incredible, rare and beautiful decks—and so many new ones released all the time—it’s almost impossible to know where to begin. Beginning collectors will also find them in all price and quality ranges, from inexpensive to rare decks, and those of mint quality to inferior ones.

The Pros and Cons of Collecting Playing Cards
On the plus side, playing card collectors never run out of cards to collect. All decks contain four common symbols—Clover, Club, Diamond, and Heart. Those symbols and pictures of the cards themselves also appear as decorations on a variety of objects that can greatly enhance a collection.



Most collectors begin by collecting standard decks, that is any pack of cards available at a local supermarket or convenience store. Buying one or two standard decks is a great place to start, but they don’t make a collection. Collectors who want to build a really good collection need to focus on “custom” or “designer” decks. These are the same cards as in a regular deck with the normal numbers and faces, but what makes them different are their designs, decals and quality. By collecting many different types of decks and designs, a collector can amass a fine collection in no time.

On the minus side, collecting playing cards can be very expensive. On average, standard decks cost about $10 each, but some of the fancier ones can cost a whole lot more. Of course, there are some that are cheaper, but these aren’t usually in such good condition. Those collectors who wish to collect only new decks will have to spend quite a lot to do so.

Collectors never run out of cards to collect. The problem with collecting decks of cards is that it’s almost impossible to stop. Even if a collector runs out of space, he or she may discover a better deck to replace a lesser-quality deck. Fortunately, it can take years to get to that point.

A collection won't necessarily be worth a lot of money. Collectors often find that only other collectors will pay more money for decks should they choose to sell them. Unfortunately, collecting playing cards isn’t something collectors do to make money.

Not every deck will contain a full set of cards. It’s important to check every deck to avoid those that aren’t complete. Many used decks naturally contain missing cards.

Some collectors like to play with some of the cards they collect. But that could wear them out, which would diminish their value. The only alternative is to buy duplicate sets, but that involves spending more money.

How to Start a Playing Card Collection
Novice collectors may be wondering where to find those special custom-designed decks. Standard ones can be found at garage sales and flea markets, but to find the really special ones will take a bit of digging. Games and magic shops often have in stock playing card decks that are unusual. Beyond the obvious local places to find cards is the Internet. There are plenty of trustworthy online stores that have all the unique and amazing cards a collector could possibly wish for.

The best part about collecting playing cards is that there are no rules or playing cards that must be in a collection. Essentially, every collection is a custom one. Collecting playing cards is a personal affair because each deck added to a collection is the personal choice of the collector. And because playing cards come in many shapes and sizes, no two collections are ever the same.

Develop a Plan
It’s important for novice collectors to learn to spot the real values and gems without losing their shirts. Failing to do so can lead to a lot of disappointment and wasted money.

To keep on track, smart collectors develop a plan. Tops on the list deciding on how much money to spend on a collection. Setting clear ground rules in advance is very important.

Also, collectors must decide from the outset if they plan to use the cards they collect. Whether or not the cards will be used plays a very big role in determining what you the decks will be used for.

Many collectors like to open the cards and use them for anything from magic to poker.
Collectors who are thinking about getting serious about collecting playing cards need to think carefully before they begin breaking seals and shuffling decks of cards with legitimate monetary value.



When it comes to pricing—rare and/or valuable cards are most valuable in their unopened, sealed condition, much like toy collectibles. When a collector breaks the seal and opens the box—the effect on the monetary value of the deck can be brutal.



Those intending on collecting playing cards to sell later at a profit cannot open the decks or play with them if they expect the cards to retain their value as collectibles. Many purchase two of every deck they buy, so that they have one to open and play with as much as they want without worrying, and one to store in a safe place and keep in that “perfect’ unopened condition. But this may not be possible with custom or rare decks.

Displaying a Playing Card Collection
It can be a challenge to display a playing card collection. While the boxes and backs of card decks may have interesting designs, displaying some or all of the faces of cards in a collection can be daunting. Besides all the different motifs, cards come in different shapes and sizes. Some decks are long and wide, some short, some even round.



Card sleeves, available in office supply stores and online, are a great way to display individual cards. This is the best way to protect cards and show off the more interesting cards in a collection. Having stands to prop them up on will make them stand out that much more. Multi-tiered shelving can be a good way to display cards like this.

Some collectors use flat display cases. Even though they can take up more space, they’ll show off the front of the playing card decks. In most cases, the front will show what the back of each card looks like, which can be the neatest part. Unless you have a large area, using standard size decks will be the easiest playing cards to put on display.

Display uncut sheets of cards. This can be very expensive but can make a collection stand out. Some collectors buy uncut sheets of playing cards, have them framed, and display them near their collection.

Display one card from each deck in binders. Pull a joker out of each deck and place them in binders that can be on display. Just use sheet protectors that won't damage the cards and try to remember what deck each card belongs to.


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