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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.

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Tradespeople

8 Articles

Trades People Happy Families

Happy Families card game depicting trades people from 1920s.

Trades People Happy Families

Snap

Snap by Multum in Parvo Co. Ltd. illustrating common occupations of the day, late 19th century.

Snap

Merry Families

Merry Families published by Multum in Parvo Co., Ltd, from 1896

Merry Families

Cotswold Happy Families

“Cotswold Happy Families” created by Mary Gardiner and illustrated by Chris Rhodes, printed by Willow Press, 1997.

Cotswold Happy Families

Country Craftsmen

“Country Craftsmen” Happy Families with illustrations by Mandy Hall, published for the National Trust by Dinosaur Publications Ltd, 1978.

Country Craftsmen

Highwayman

The game of “Highwayman” published by Chad Valley Company in c.1950 simulates travelling on old Coach Routes and being held up by highwaymen.

Highwayman

Jack of all Trades

Jack of all Trades card game.

Jack of all Trades

Kay Snap

Kay Snap Children's Card Game, made in England, 1930s.

Kay Snap