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Published March 23, 2015 Updated July 20, 2023

Åkerlund & Rausing

Swedish style pack by Åkerlund & Rausing, Stockholm, 1931-1937

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Åkerlund & Rausing is a Swedish packaging company founded in 1929 by Erik Åkerlund and Ruben Rausing. Åkerlund & Rausing was the first packaging company in Scandinavia, also producing paper and paper articles, cardboard and other printed matter. Eventually the firm became a leading manufacturer of food carton packages, including ‘Tetra Pak’ which was created by Ruben Rausing in 1951. These Swedish style playing cards were printed by Åkerlund & Rausing (although decks are also believed to have been printed by De la Rue and later by J.O. Öberg & Son).

Åkerlund & Rausing, 1933

Above: Swedish style pack by Åkerlund & Rausing, Stockholm, 1931-1937. 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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