The single most popular Tarot
deck. Published in 1910 by Rider and Co. of London, the deck was named after the publisher and the man who designed it, Arthur Edward Waite. Waite did none of the drawings which are now so well known, but, instead, he hired an otherwise unknown illustrator
, Pamela Colman Smith
, to create the drawings. Smith, who was nicknamed "Pixie", deserves at least as much credit
for the deck as Waite and certainly more than the publisher
The major innovation of the deck was the introduction of representational drawings for the minor arcana as well as the major arcana. There is one known deck from two centuries earlier which had this idea, and the similarities between a couple of the cards in the two decks are too great for Waite not to have known of his deck's predecessor. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the illustrations for the minor arcana originated with the Waite-Smith deck and these illustrations provided the basis for the majority of decks designed since the deck's publication in 1910.
The deck was also remarkable in that it successfully incorporated the elaborate and syncretic systemization of the Tarot achieved by the Golden Dawn, a mystical society of which both Waite and Smith were initiates. The most obvious of the changes made in doing so was the switching of the numbers for Strength and Justice: in all decks prior to the Waite-Smith deck Justice was number 8 and Strength was number 11.