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Jack of all Trades

Jack of all Trades card game.

Jack of all Trades card game box

Jack of all Trades card game, 1930s

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games Mfg Co. Ltd.

56-58 Whitcomb Street, London W.C.2 and 154/164 Vauxhall Street, Kennington Oval, London S.E.11.

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games Mfg Co. Ltd produced a range of indoor games, including card games, board games and pocket games, cribbage boards, counters, etc. during the 1930s. They also produced a “Cabinet of Games” containing nine games. Card game titles produced by Kum-Bak include: “Kargo”, “Jack-of-all-Trades”, “Market” and “Run it Out” or “Card Cricket”.

Right: the front of the telescopic box from Jack of all Trades card game, 1930s.

We can note that all the Craftsmen depicted in this card game are male. As in Kay Snap, there was not yet any expectation that women would be undertaking these traditional jobs or that they might be depicted in this card game. In a more culturally up-to-date version of the game we might expect to see female decorators, police officers, soldiers, and so on, but not in the 1930s!

“Jack of all trades, master of none, though oftentimes better than master of one” is a seventeenth century phrase suggesting a person whose knowledge is superficial.

Jack of all Trades card game Jack of all Trades card game Jack of all Trades card game Jack of all Trades card game rules

Above: cards from “Jack of all Trades” card game by Kum-Bak Sports, Toys and Games Mfg. Co. Ltd, 154/164 Vauxhall Street, Kennington Oval, London S.E.11, c.1935. The pack contains a total of 52 cards. Thirteen of the cards represent various Craftsmen, and the remainder represent the Tools and Implements used by these Craftsmen in following their employment. The back of the rules leaflet (shown right) lists all the craftsmen and their implements and tools. The Burglar is also listed as a craftsman, and presumably he provides employment for the Policeman.

The game can also be played as a form of Happy Families. If a player doesn't have a card of the set required when asked, he must reply, "On strike".

The original retail price of Jack of all Trades was 1/6d. In 1939 Kum-Bak sold their card games business to Castell Bros (Pepys Games).

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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