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Posted March 28, 2013 | Last Updated June 20, 2013 at 11:47am | Share this page on Facebook

Submarine Playing Cards

Service aboard U.S. submarines involved wearing ‘Red Adaptation Goggles’ in lighted spaces to preserve night vision for viewing instrument panels. The goggles solved one problem but created another: the red suits on playing cards were not visible through the red goggles. The Electric Boat Company published special playing cards with the Hearts and Diamonds outlined in black and the red indices repeated in black. The cards were printed by Brown & Bigelow Co. of St. Paul, Minnesota. Awkward at best, they were only partially successful either by day or by night. However, the deck emphasises the importance attached to playing cards for servicemen.

Electric Boat Co., World War II Submarine playing cards, 1941

Above: Electric Boat Co., World War II Submarine playing cards specially designed to be played with in "red light" with the Hearts and Diamonds outlined in black, printed by Brown & Bigelow, 1941. The Ace of Spades is a Brown & Bigelow standard design. Images courtesy Barney Townshend.


REFERENCES

Dawson, Tom & Judy: The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, U.S. Games Systems Inc., 2000

Cards from the collection of Barney Townshend.

• See also: Nutrimientos Purina.

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