The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published April 27, 2014 Updated March 12, 2022

Brighter Families

“Brighter Families” promotional card game for Cosmos Lamps (Metrovick), 1930

United Kingdom Alf Cooke / Universal Advertising

“Brighter Families” promotional card game for Cosmos Lamps (Metrovick), 1930

“The Mark of Efficiency”

“Brighter Families” promotional card game for Cosmos Lamps (Metropolitan Vickers), published in 1930, contains 8 families relating to Cosmos light bulbs, promoting their efficiency and longer life. As with many other British manufacturers of household products during this era, Metrovick published a considerable number of advertising backs for playing cards promoting their wares, as well as this full set of Happy Families cards. The ‘MV’ logo was subtitled “The Mark of Efficiency”.

assorted Cosmos Lamps advertising playing cards, c.1930

Above: “Brighter Families” promotional card game for Cosmos Lamps (Metrovick), 1930. 32 cards in box. Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

advertising deck for Cosmos Lamps by Universal Playing Card Co (Alf Cooke), c.1939

Above: advertising deck for Cosmos Lamps by Universal Playing Card Co (Alf Cooke), c.1939. Image courtesy Matt Probert.

avatar

By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

View Articles

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.


Leave a Reply

Recommended

1950 Dutch Historical playing cards

Dutch Historical playing cards

Advertising for Mopenco, the Dutch Fountain Pen King

2002 The world’s smallest playing cards

The world’s smallest playing cards

Samye malen’kie v mire igral’nye karty / The world’s smallest playing cards

2022 Billionaire Boys Club Playing Cards by Theory11

Billionaire Boys Club Playing Cards by Theory11

Limited edition luxury playing cards by Billionaire Boys Club and Theory 11.

2006 Benfiquista!

Benfiquista!

Licensed and sponsored product for the Benfica Football Club, Lisbon, Portugal, 2006.

1975 Waddingtons Nursery Rhymes

Waddingtons Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhyme playing cards by Waddingtons, Leeds, UK, 1975.

2001 South Park Playing Cards

South Park Playing Cards

South Park characters and famous one-liners, by Carta Mundi for Hasbro Int. Inc., 2001.

1980 Pentacards

Pentacards

A five-suited set of playing cards published by Fleet and Case Games Ltd., Rainham, Kent, UK, c.1980.

1960 Souvenir Views of Scotland Playing Cards

Souvenir Views of Scotland Playing Cards

52 selected views of Scotland by De La Rue (Waddingtons) for GlenAlan Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland, c.1960s.

1911 The Jovial Cards

The Jovial Cards

Publicity items for a group of entertainers, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK, 1911.

1930 Waddington’s “Silkette” Playing Cards

Waddington’s “Silkette” Playing Cards

Cards made by John Waddington Ltd. for the Madras Club, Chennai (formerly Madras), India, c.1930.

1986 Helmsley Hotels

Helmsley Hotels

Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.

2002 Highland Hospice

Highland Hospice

54 different personalities from the city of Inverness published by the Highland Hospice.

2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme covers from 1956 to 2016 published by Winning Moves UK Ltd.

2010 Cape Wrath

Cape Wrath

Images from the Ministry of Defence Cape Wrath Training Centre, Sutherland, Scotland. Published 2010.

1910 C.L.Wüst Poster Stamps

C.L.Wüst Poster Stamps

A set of advertising poster stamps for C.L.Wüst playing cards.

2014 Vesalius Anatomy Card Game

Vesalius Anatomy Card Game

Celebrating the work of Andreas Vesalius in the quincentenary year of his birth.

2015 Nomad Luxury Playing Cards

Nomad Luxury Playing Cards

Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.

1920 Chocolate playing cards with scenes from World War 1

Chocolate playing cards with scenes from World War 1

An extraordinary Spanish pack of chocolate advertising playing cards dating from 1920

2005 Team GB

Team GB

Great Britains’s Olympic gold medallists from 1964 to 2004 published by the British Olympic Association.

2015 David Kindersley Centenary

David Kindersley Centenary

Celebration of the work of David Kindersley, stone letter-carver and typeface designer. Published by the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop, Cambridge, UK, 2015.

2021 Avengers Playing Cards by Theory11

Avengers Playing Cards by Theory11

Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.

2003 Official England Rugby Playing Cards

Official England Rugby Playing Cards

Pack celebrating the rugby world champions of 2003. Produced by MMcardz.

Beaujolais je t’aime …

Beaujolais je t’aime …

Pack promoting Beaujolais wine published by Editions du Nuton, France.

Gó Succo

Gó Succo

Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.

1705 Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne

Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne

“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.

Hall & Son

Hall & Son

Hall & Son

1850 Fortune-Telling Cards

Fortune-Telling Cards

Comic Fortune-Telling Cards published by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.

1850 Comic Question & Answer cards

Comic Question & Answer cards

Comic Question & Answer cards by Josh. Reynolds & Sons, circa 1850.

1824 Myriorama

Myriorama

Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.

1870 Transformation Cards for Christmas

Transformation Cards for Christmas

Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870.

Playing Cards: A Secret History

Playing Cards: A Secret History

Playing Cards: A Secret History

2018 IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.

Sergeant-Major

Sergeant-Major

Sergeant-Major card game devised by W.G.Smith

Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

We are deeply saddened by news of the passing of Anthony Rex Pitts (1940-2021).

Pepys Games

Pepys Games

The Story of Pepys Games by Rex Pitts

J. W. Spear and Sons

J. W. Spear and Sons

Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos.

Multum in Parvo Co., Ltd

Multum in Parvo Co., Ltd

Multum in Parvo published a range of indoor games during the period from 1884-1927.

1954 Ariel Productions Ltd

Ariel Productions Ltd

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.

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games MFG Co., Ltd, London S.E.11