The Name of Pamela's Deck
When the Tarot deck that Arthur Edward Waite paid Pamela Colman Smith to create was first published by Rider in England, in December 1909, there were no other Tarot decks published in an English speaking country and it was simply called Tarot Cards. It was accompanied by Waite's book, The Key to the Tarot. The following year Waite added Smith's black and white drawings to the book and published it as The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. In 1971 an American publisher, U.S. Games, bought the right to publish the deck and published it
under the title The Rider Tarot Deck. In later editions they changed the name to Rider Tarot and then Rider-Waite Tarot.30
Today most writers and scholars, in order to recognize Smith's contribution, refer to the deck as the Waite-Smith Tarot. By whatever name, it is still the most popular Tarot deck in the world. It is important to honor Smith as the designer. Some authors seem to be confused on this point and claim that Waite was the designer. But Waite could not draw and although he had some ideas about the symbolism of the Tarot that he no doubt shared with Pamela, she spent six months in her studio creating the illustrations and it is doubtful that
Waite was hanging out there with her all of that time.31 \_/
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