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Alcatraz: Rules and Regulations Playing Cards

Rules and regulations that guided prison life in America’s most notorious prison.

Alcatraz operated as a prison (or penitentiary) from 1934 to 1963. In 1972, Alcatraz Island became part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Each card has a rule or regulation in white lettering against a dark green background featuring a prison watchtower. The card designs perhaps also reflect the dullness and monotony of life in such an institution. The back design, on the other hand, is dramatic – more like a Hollywood film poster or the cover of a Marvel comic book. Although the date 2003 appears on the bottom of the tuck box and on the extra card, the Piatnik imprint on the Ace of Hearts would suggest that this pack was actually printed in 2005. See the box

Alcatraz: Rules and Regulations Playing Cards

Above: Alcatraz: Rules and Regulations Playing Cards. Printed by Piatnik for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, CA, USA, 2003. 52 cards + 2 Jokers + 1 extra card with text in tuck box. Size 63 x 88 mm.

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By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

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Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.


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