When movies, radio and television first appeared playing card manufacturers were worried. But people still had plenty of leisure time and card playing continued to increase. Today’s electronic devices, computers, the Internet and online gaming have changed everything and many former playing card manufacturers have closed down or been taken over by larger corporations. The older manufacturers are now a reminder of bygone days.
Originally known as Cappellano Hnos in the 1920s, over the years the company underwent several changes of name and address.
Brief History of Alf Cooke's Playing Cards
Agreement had been reached between Waddington's and De La Rue during the second world war for Waddington's to manufacture playing cards for De la Rue. Thus the Amalgamated Playing Card Company was born but it remained an unofficial name for many years.
The American Bank Note Company was a long-established firm producing national currency, finely engraved stock certificates and other security printing, including postage stamps. Like others before them they entered the playing card market, but only to pull out again after a short time, c.1908-1914.
Andersons of Edinburgh began publishing playing cards in the late 1920s and several brands are known, including ‘Clan Tartan’, ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Thistle’
Anonymous Mexican Playing Card Manufacturers
List of Argentinian Playing Card Manufacturers from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The founder of Ariel Productions, Philip Marx, was a prolific publisher of children’s books and comics towards the end of and just after the Second World War.
Astra Games was a subsidiary of the McCorquodale Group of Companies, producing standard advertising playing cards and cards for casino use during the period 1982-87.
The 'Old Frizzle' Ace of Spades shows the duty paid as one shilling, and the manufacturer's name is engraved at the bottom of the ace.
Naipes Tipo Español 'El Vencedor', Bedaumine Hnos, Bs Aires
The company was founded in 1908 as the printing division of the Brooke Bond Tea Company in Reading.
The style of these cards is descended from the earlier seventeenth century cards of makers such as Hewson
Playing cards advertising Sunspel underwear printed by the Breedon Press Ltd, Nottingham, c.1950
British Playing Cards Ltd was the predecessor of Universal P.C.Co. and involved Alf Cooke of Leeds and Bemrose of Birmingham, and maybe one or two other printing firms
Brotherton is recorded as operating at 13 Little Britain (London) from 1789-1840. In 1851 his factory was burnt down.
C. Della Penna S.A. playing card manufacturer and publisher, Buenos Aires, c.1930-1978
Antique English woodblock playing cards by a card maker named C. Hewson, mid-17th century
C.L.Keiblinger, Copenhagen 1852-85
C. W. Faulkner & Co Ltd, London, an important publisher of games, pictorial souvenirs, children’s books, and postcards
Compañía General de Fósforos Montevideana, founded in 1893.
Playing Cards by Compañia General de Fósforos, Bs. As. (founded 1888)
Card Fabrique Company had connections with several other manufacturers and their complete history is yet to be unravelled.
Elaborate court cards on a deck by Charles Bartlet, Philadelphia, (who was in fact Samuel Hart) c.1845-60. The pip cards are double-ended. The date may be somewhere between c.1845-65.
Charles Hodges produced engraved geographical and astronomical decks, London, c.1827-30
Today nothing remains of Charles Goodall's Camden Works, where three-quarters of the playing cards printed in Britain were produced.
Chitrashala Press produced some charming children's pictorial alphabet cards for early learning purposes in the 1940s.
The C.W.S. Printing Works at Longsight, Manchester, was the Co-operative Wholesale Society's printing division, set up to print labels and packaging for their range of products.
Daveluy produced card games between c.1840 and 1890. Many of his playing cards have historical connotations and show figures with a landscape background.
Advertising Playing Cards printed by Drukkerij Juten, published by “De Kloof” of Bergen op Zoom, Holland, c.1970
De La Rue introduced letter-press printing into playing card production and his patent was granted in 1831. He produced his first playing cards in 1832.
Denbro (Denny Brothers) c.1975-79
Difusora S.A is a distributor of smokers' materials. Around 1970-80 they also distributed "Minifusor" playing cards.
The luxury playing card factory founded in Frankfurt am Main by Bernhard Dondorf in 1833 existed for 100 years and was a particularly attractive chapter in playing card history.
Playing cards published by E. A. Chemmes, Buenos Aires during the early 1950s. The cards were probably printed by Ernesto Flaiban.
E. P. Franco, Naipes 'El Brujo', c.1953
Cards from std English pattern printed by The Eagle Playing Card Company Limited, Czechoslovakia, c.1900. The cards are in imitation of American cards, but probably for the UK market.
Philibert published an outstanding series of exotic, artistic playing cards in Paris from 1954 to 1960, including: St Hubert Bridge, Can-Can, Le Florentin and Mémoires de Casanova.
Editorial Gráfica Flores S.A. were manufacturers of playing cards and card games around c.1970-90.
Ernesto Flaiban, Buenos Aires, 1942-1970
Alto Imaging Group playing cards manufactured by Esveco Specialities B.V., c.1990s
Finely engraved deck by F. d'Alphonse Arnoult (Paris), c.1860. 52 cards.
Flaiban y Camilloni, c.1936, Naipes Tiburón, Tela de Araña
In 1860 the Fournier Brothers of Burgos (Spain) commenced producing playing cards. They produced high quality playing cards bearing a portrait of King Charles IV on the ace of coins.
Francisco Girbau & Cia, Buenos Aires, c.1890-1935