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CWS Printing Works

Labor and Wait

CWS Printing Works, Longsight, Manchester

The Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) was originally established in 1863 and the Scottish CWS followed in 1868. A full history of The Co-operative can be read here

The C.W.S. Printing Works at Longsight, Manchester, was the Co-operative Wholesale Society's printing division, presumably set up to print labels and packaging for their range of products. During the 1930s a range of advertising playing cards and children's card games was produced promoting various products from the Co-op's range. The Ace of Spades features the wheatsheaf motif in the centre with the legend "Labor and Wait" on a banderole, with "C.W.S.Printing Works Longsight Manchester" beneath. The Joker is a full-length jester holding a bauble.

advertising playing cards manufactured by C.W.S. Printing Works, Longsight, Manchester during the 1930s

Above: advertising playing cards manufactured by C.W.S. Printing Works, Longsight, Manchester during the 1930s.


At least six different C.W.S. Snap games were published by the English & Scottish Joint Co-operative Wholesale Society Limited and printed at their printing works in Longsight, Manchester during the 1930s.

Tea is filling the Nation’s Teapot

Right & Below: “Rose of the Orient Tea Snap” cards manufactured by C.W.S. Printing Works, Longsight, Manchester during the 1930s. 48 cards; 12 sets of four identical cards showing various stages in the cultivation and production of tea on C.W.S. plantations.

“Game of Snap” manufactured by C.W.S. Printing Works, Manchester during the 1930s

Above: another “Game of Snap” manufactured by C.W.S. Printing Works, Manchester during the 1930s. The reverse features the wheatsheaf motif with the legend "Labor and Wait". Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

Last Updated November 27, 2015 at 02:36pm

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