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Published September 21, 2022 Updated September 21, 2022

Periodic Table playing cards

Periodic Table playing cards produced by Synheme Inc., Canada, c. 2006-2007.

2006 Canada SynHeme Inc. Education Add to Collection

A double deck produced by Synheme Inc., Canada, c. 2006-2007. SynHeme's mission “is to create fun and educational decks of playing cards”. Each card presents one element of the Periodic Table:

  • Atomic number
  • Element name in English, French and Spanish
  • Atomic mass
  • Natural state
  • Chemical series
  • Melting and boiling points
  • Period and group
  • Some common uses

Over the two decks all 118 elements presented. The 4 Jokers have more than one element per card.

Periodic Table playing cards produced by Synheme Inc., Canada, c.2006-2007 Periodic Table playing cards produced by Synheme Inc., Canada, c.2006-2007

Above: Periodic Table playing cards produced by Synheme Inc., Canada, c. 2006-2007.

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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