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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

L. G. Sloan, Ltd

'Thames Side' Playing Cards manufactured by The Universal Playing Card Co., Ltd for L. G. Sloan, Ltd., 1930s.

from a 1929 advertisement

L. G. Sloan, Ltd, 41 Kingsway, London W.C.1

Above: 'Thames Side' playing cards manufactured by the Universal Playing Card Co. Ltd specially for the importer and stationer L.G. Sloan Ltd, London, 1930s. The back design was also found on Universal P.C.C's Fortune Telling sets. The box features a drawing of The London Embankment & Cleopatra's Needle.

Above: double set of playing cards manufactured by The Universal Playing Card Co., Ltd for the stationers L. G. Sloan, Ltd, c.1936. The joker and ace of spades were specially customised for L. G. Sloan.

Above: as above. Image courtesy Matt Probert.

Above: Congress 606 boxed set by USPCC imported into UK by L. G. Sloan Ltd, London WC2, c.1930. Image courtesy Matt Probert.

L. G. Sloan was also distribution agent for the popular crossword card game “Kan-U-Go” and cards by the U.S. Playing Card Co., as well as Waterman's Pens (see below).

L. G. Sloan Advertisement for Waterman's Pens, 1934

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.