Playing Card Manufacturers
When movies, radio and television first appeared playing card manufacturers were worried. But people still had plenty of leisure time and card playing continued to increase. Today’s electronic devices, computers, the Internet and online gaming have changed everything and many former manufacturers have closed down or merged with larger corporations. The older manufacturers are now a reminder of bygone days.
Brepols started making playing cards in 1826, although he had been in the printing trade since 1800. In 1833 the firm was called Brepols & Dierckx (the former's son-in-law). Biermans (1875-1970) was a relatively late arrival on the Turnhout playing card scene.
Van Genechten started making playing cards in c.1840 and continued until the founding of Carta Mundi in 1970.
Gustaaf Mesmaekers founded his business in 1859 in association with Louis-François Moentack, who left the business in 1862.
Gurney was not the only printer who went briefly into the playing card business during the twentieth century.
Andrew Dougherty was one of the biggest American card-makers in the 19th century.
The United States Playing Card Co. (USPCC) represents an amalgamation of all the major American card-makers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries
Ferd. Piatnik produced a very large range of cards with many different standard and non-standard patterns. This is a survey of his standard English output.
In December 1831 Thomas de la Rue was granted his patent for printing playing cards by letterpress.
The firm of Thomas Woolley lasted for many years from 1836-1904 in several different guises.
Alf Cooke was an important producer of playing cards and card games in the UK during the period 1920-1970.
Andersons of Edinburgh began publishing playing cards in the late 1920s and several brands are known, including ‘Clan Tartan’, ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Thistle’
Andrew Dougherty was born in Donegal in Northern Ireland in 1827. He started his playing card business in New York in 1848.
The founder of Ariel Productions, Philip Marx, was a prolific publisher of children’s books and comics towards the end of and just after the Second World War.
Astra Games was a subsidiary of the McCorquodale Group of Companies, producing playing cards during the period 1982-87.
Atlantic Playing Card Co., Inc. promoted Bridge Ensemble boxes and companion accessories.
The 'Old Frizzle' Ace of Spades shows the duty paid as one shilling, and the manufacturer's name is engraved at the bottom of the ace.
The company was founded in 1908 as the printing division of the Brooke Bond Tea Company in Reading.
Bertrand Domec was an importer of playing cards into Argentina, 1904-1970.
Brotherton is recorded as operating at 13 Little Britain (London) from 1789-1840. In 1851 his factory was burnt down.
Brown & Bigelow of St Paul, Minnesota, was a leading producer of playing cards in the U.S. from the late 1920s - 1980s.
C. Della Penna S.A. playing card manufacturer and publisher, Buenos Aires, c.1930-1978.
SPIELKARTENFABRIEK VON C.L. WÜST, 1811 - 1927. A short history of the Wüst factory by Martin Shaw & Paul Symons.
C. W. Faulkner & Co Ltd, London, an important publisher of games, pictorial souvenirs, children’s books, and postcards.
Originally known as Cappellano Hnos in the 1920s, over the years the company underwent several changes of name and address.
Originally known as Cappellano Hnos in the 1920s, and undergoing several changes of name and address, the company produced catalan style packs with the brand names "Naipes Triunfo" and "Torcacita" as well as an Anglo-American style pack titled "VELCAP".
Carta Mundi was founded in Turnhout on 27 June 1970 by pooling the production and sales facilities of the three surviving companies: Brepols, Van Genechten and Leonard Biermans.
Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos.
Today nothing remains of Charles Goodall's Camden Works, where three-quarters of the playing cards printed in Britain were produced.
Chiefton Products Ltd, toy manufacturers, Pauls Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1QT.
Founded in 1889 as Compañía General de Fósforos, and favoured by certain economic factors, the firm provided a range of general printing and publishing services, with interests in textiles and other industrial processes. In 1929 the firm became known as Compañía General Fabril Financiera S.A.
Clifford Toys is a brand name of F. Levy & Co., Ltd, London, sellers of toys and fancy goods.
The C.W.S. Printing Works at Longsight, Manchester, was the Co-operative Wholesale Society's printing division, set up to print labels and packaging for their range of products.
Daveluy produced card games between c.1840 and 1890. Many of his playing cards have historical connotations and show figures with a landscape background.
Editorial Gráfica Flores S.A. were manufacturers of playing cards and card games around c.1970-90.
Berger also produced a Hungarian-type "Seasons" pack with the brand name "La Estrella" and a six-pointed star logo, which was subsequently used by Domicelj and Vigor, suggesting some sort of business succession.
Gráfica S.A. of Buenos Aires has produced a number of brands using the Catalan pattern.
The Hardy family of playing card manufacturers began with Henry Hardy (1784-89) and continued through to Hardy & Sons who finally closed down in c.1840.
Having started out as Fournier Hermanos, Burgos in 1860, the company remained in the Fournier family undergoing several changes of name and finally becoming Hija de B. Fournier sometime around 1900.
Hudson Industries Pty Ltd of Carlton in Victoria was first registered as a printing company in 1920. In the 1940s they registered their own distinctive ace of spades and joker.
Hunt & Sons (1820-1849) was the first maker to modernise the court card designs with a complete re-drawing.
Igor Domicelj commenced producing playing cards in c.1945. By the early 1950s the range had grown to include Naipes La Estrella, Barcelonesa, Chinita, La Española, Fantasio, Cartas Gitanas, Naipes Tipo Húngaro and a Jewish Quartet game.
Coimexpor Spanish-suited playing cards by Industria Gráfica Pesout, S.A., Buenos Aires, Argentina, c.2008.
Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany
Japanese playing cards include: 'Awase' or 'matching pairs' cards and Portuguese or Spanish-derived 'Dragon' type cards.
John Jaques & Son (established in 1795) published a large range of popular parlour games, many of which have become classics.
John Sands had incorporated the earlier playing card manufacturing businesses of Hudson Industries Pty Ltd and Valentine Publishing Co.
Juan Roura produced a range of popular designs including Catalán, Castilian and Cádiz patterns for domestic use exportation.
This firm commenced producing playing cards with the name Kalamazoo Paper Box & Card Co in 1903.
La Cubana were successors to P. Munguia, who were founded in 1872. The company closed n 1995 bringing to a close Mexico's longest standing playing-card factory.
Legends Playing Card Company (founded 2013) aspires to print the highest quality playing cards and packaging in the world.
Léonard Biermans had been employed by Brepols from 1871-1874 before opening his own playing card factory in 1875.
Litografía Fabbri, Lima, Peru, c.1900-20, printers of cigarette insert cards for tobacco companies.
Litográfica del Perú S.A. were manufacturers of playing cards in Peru sometime around the decades of the 1970s and/or 1980s.
The Fourvel family was of French origin but had settled in Spain during the XIX century. In the 1930s Luis Fourvel went to Argentina and established a printing business which flourished until the early 60s.
A division of Imperial Tobacco, they appear to have made cards almost exclusively for the cigarette token market, which flourished during the 1930s.
Mas-Reynals was founded in 1989 by Miguel Mas Reynals. Since 2003 the firm trades as Varitemas S.L.
Multum in Parvo published a range of indoor games during the period from 1884-1927.
Difusora S.A is a distributor of smokers' materials. Around 1970-80 they also distributed "Minifusor" playing cards.
VIGOR S.R.L (1955 - c1975) manufactured a range of playing cards and card games, including Chinita, La Estrella, Barcelonesa, La Española, Fantasio, Las Rosas, Pokerin, Cartas Gitanas and a Hungarian Seasons pack.
The National Card Co. was formed in c.1886 by Samuel J Murray, who as a young man had worked in England in Charles Goodall's playing card factory.
The New York Consolidated Card Company was formed in 1871 by the merging of Lawrence & Cohen, Samuel Hart & Co and John J. Levy.
During the 1930s The Ormond Printing Co. Ltd produced playing cards for the Irish market with a distinctive ace of spades, joker and court cards. In 1935 the firm was acquired as a manufacturing facility for Waddington’s cards in Eire.
Following their acquisition of Clemente Jacques y Cia in 1967, the playing card business was taken over by Pasatiempos Gallo S.A., which in 1990 became Pasatiempos Gallo S.A. de C.V.
Cards of the Spanish National Pattern 'Money Bag' type manufactured by Pedro Bosio, Genova (Italy) probably during the 18th century and for export to Spain or South America.
Playing Cards by Compañia General de Fósforos, Bs. As. (founded 1888).
Porterprint was a printing business based in Leeds (UK) which manufactured playing cards during the period c.1930-1980.
This is the official Spanish National pattern of the 18th century. Design and production was controlled from Madrid as a source of national or regional revenue. The factory was located in the town of Macharaviaya, in the province of Málaga.
Reed Paper Products of Waterloo manufactured playing cards until the late 1970s.
Joseph Reynolds had been producing playing cards in the traditional method since c.1809.
Willis W. Russell started a modest playing card business in Milltown, a small town in northern New Jersey, in 1905.
The distinctive Ace of Spades features the Statue of the Goddess of Freedom, based on the bronze statue designed by Thomas Crawford (1814-1857) that, since 1863, has crowned the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Samuel Hart was a prolific manufacturer of playing cards who commenced business sometime around 1845 in Philadelphia. He had previously worked for L.I. Cohen.
Simeon Durá of Valencia was one of Spain's most distinguished playing card manufacturers, flourishing between 1871-c.1940.
SOIMCA - Sociedade Impressora Caxiense - is an important playing card manufacturer in Brazil. It was established by Nelson Soares in Caxias do Sul, in the south of Brazil, by 1955.
Spicer & Detmold (1922-48) produced a lot of pictorial back designs. Most decks with picture backs were printed in 4 colours.
Stancraft Playing Cards were manufactured by Brown & Bigelow of whom they were a subsidiary.
Thai Playing Cards Manufacturing Factory was established in 1938 as part of the government Excise Department.
The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards was founded by Royal Charter in 1628.
Thomas Creswick was a paper-maker and wholesale stationer. Playing cards were produced from c.1820 onwards.
A series of card games for children published by Tower Press during the 1950s which evoke the optimism and love of fun of that era.
Over the years the pressures of competition and other market forces have led to many smaller manufacturers being taken over by larger ones. The outcome is that the U.S.P.C.C. is now the largest manufacturer in the United States.
Valentine & Sons Ltd, Dundee & London, were greeting card and book publishers who also produced playing cards and party games during the early 20th century.
A. Van Genechten ran a flourishing business, supplying various kinds of cards both inside the country and abroad including England, Spain, France, Denmark, South-East Asia, China and Japan.
Willis & Company was formed in 1869, having been preceded by Charles Steer at the same address (80 Long Acre, London), who also manufactured playing cards during the 1850s and 60s.
Waddy Productions Ltd was a member of the giant Amalgamated Press group and only published card games for a short period in the 1930s.
Warren Paper Products Co., Lafayette, Indiana, publishers of Built-Rite toys, games and puzzles.