A “transformation deck” is a pack of cards where the front of each card has been transformed: where an illustrator has taken the standard front – four diamonds, or three spades, or whatever else – and drawn a picture around it: turning hearts into tulips, say, or clubs into faces.
It sounds like a nice but slightly arcane thing to do, but it turns out, people have done it a lot, starting in 1803 and never stopping since.
Today we’re all being intrigued by the Straw Hat Riots of 1922. There are details in this New York Times article, but in essence: in the early twentieth century, the straw hat season officially ended on 15 September. And on that night, in 1922, mobs of fashion-forward youths stormed through the streets of New York, smashing the unseasonable hats of any passers-by who hadn’t yet switched to felt. Particularly diligent hat-grabbers even used the hats to start bonfires.