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Published April 28, 2014 Updated June 27, 2022

Laboratoires Modernes

Happy Families game by “Laboratoires Modernes” promoting herbal products, c.1929

1929 France Advertising Medical & Pharmaceutical Happy Families Add to Collection

Jeu de Familles “Laboratoires Modernes”

This “Happy Families” game for the French company “Laboratoires Modernes Le Havre” contains four families of 5 members each: Bébé, Mademoiselle, Papa, Maman and Grand'Mère. Each family promotes herbal products to help you stay well and healthy, free from indigestion, head lice or constipation. The card back has details of the remedies

Above: the wrapper and the pamphlet accompanying the cards. Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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