Introduced in 1898. Discontinued in 1906. A very
handsome design that was updated in 1906, even though it was completely symmetrical (see
Lantern No. 2). Most designs that were updated had a design element that rendered the back
"one-way" or asymmetrical. A complete deck of Lantern No. 1 is hard to find, although
singles do circulate.
The red cards pictured above has small holes in
the center of each end. Singles of different Bicycle backs from this era are sometimes found with
these holes. I was puzzled by this until I found a picture of an early store display with
Bicycle cards strung together, hanging in the window.
A blue US8d Lantern No. 1 deck (NM, no joker, no box)
sold on eBay for $82 on November 15, 2016.