Thrift Treasure: Vintage Johnson Card Shuffler

Johnson Card Shuffler - Hero photo

Our thrift purchases, while typically board games, are not limited to just that category. We regularly pick up puzzles by our favorite publisher, Ravensburger. There is no lack of metal and wood puzzles to challenge us for an evening. Yet odd games like this copy of 3D chess make their way into our basket no matter the cost.

We’re always on the lookout for items that will keep our games and puzzles organized. Even better is when we find something which enhances gameplay. Like the time we attempted to upgrade Super Mario Level Up by replacing its standees with Super Mario chess pieces! This week we found something that will be used for various games to make setup quicker. Check out this vintage Nestor Johnson Mfg. card shuffler!

Johnson Card Shuffler - shuffler and box

This card shuffler was priced at $6.99 at a Goodwill in Nebraska and I just could not resist. It included the original box without the lid. The original instructions were still in the box and the card shuffler itself looked like it had hardly been used!

Johnson Card Shuffler - Original instructions

There is no indication of when it was originally manufactured on the box. Due to the date of a patent application and consensus on eBay, it appears to have been available from the mid 1950’s on. You wouldn’t know it by looking at the condition of this example and the others online. The powder coated metal and wood construction meant it would last a lifetime or more. There is no plastic to be seen anywhere.

Johnson Card Shuffler - lowering card shelf

Operation is as simple as lowering the deck holding shelves and placing cards in either side. Small rubber wheels grab the cards as you turn the crank on the front. No batteries needed!

Johnson Card Shuffler - showing the shuffler in action

I must admit, I doubt it will see much use in our house. Instead, it is displayed among some of my other vintage game-related items. It has survived seventy years without tarnish, abuse, or breaking. I’m not going to be the one to break that streak! Get your own on eBay!

Do you enjoy vintage games?

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