Educational playing cards have of course been around for several centuries, and are not new. Jaime Margarit of Palamós, Gerona (Spain) registered a patent for a new pack of Naipes Instructivos (Instructional playing-cards) in 1888. As can be seen, each card shows a letter or syllable in the top corners, vowel permutations for consonants, a series of images whose names in Spanish commence with that letter or syllable, and a miniature playing card in the centre. The images include animals, geometrical forms and other edifying objects. The wrapper and Ace of Coins state that Jaime Margarit was a Bachelor of Arts and Senior Teacher. The Ace of Coins also shows two children studying with allegories of learning.
A great fashion for educational playing cards had spread from France to Holland, Germany and England during the seventeenth century. They have been popular ever since. For comparison see also: Logica Memorativa by Thomas Murner, 1507 • Robert Morden's Map Cards, 1676 • Arms of English Peers, 1686 • Proverbial Cards, 1698 • Mechanical Instruments, c.1700 • Geistliche Karten, 1718 • Cartes Questions-Devinettes, c.1840 • Happy Families • Jaques' Illustrated Proverbs, c.1885 • Japanese Uta Garuta • Children's Maxim Cards from Uruguay • Change for a Shilling, c.1930 • Indian Alphabetical Cards, c.1940 • Wild Flower Sevens card game, 1960 • Snip Snap, 1968 • Learn Thai Playing Cards, 2009 •