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Published February 01, 2015 Updated November 06, 2022

ARRCO

ARRCO Playing Card Co., Chicago, c.1935 - 1987, when acquired by USPCC.

USA ARRCO Army Military Navy Add to Collection

ARRCO Playing Card Co., Chicago, c.1935 - 1987, when acquired by USPCC.

Formerly Arrow P.C.Co. c.1930-35.

Also at: ARRCO Playing Card Co. (Canada) Ltd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

First Arrco AS, c.1935

Above: first Arrco ace of spades, c.1935 (formerly it read "The Arrow Playing Card Co"). Image courtesy Ken Lodge.

Club Reno ace of spades with Fortuna Bona legend, c.1940

Above: Club Reno, one of many brands published by ARRCO, the ace of spades reads ‘Fortuna Bona’ (literally "Good Fortune", a benevolent aspect of the Roman Goddess of luck and chance), c.1940. Red or blue back, various boxes, various jokers. Image courtesy Matt Probert.

‘Service de Luxe’ playing cards by ARRCO, c.1943 or later

Above: ‘Service de Luxe’ playing cards by ARRCO, c.1943 or later, produced for sale in USO canteens during WWII. 52 cards + 2 Jokers in box.

See also:Enardoe’ special conjuring deck for Edward O. Drane & Co, and also Enardoe’s Goofy Bridge


Victory, 1945

Above: “Victory" cards celebrating U.S. participation in the Allied victory, c.1945. Courtesy Rex Pitts.

Canasta set produced by Arrco in around 1950

Above: Canasta set produced by Arrco in around 1950.

Above: Canasta. Image courtesy Ken Lodge.

‘Sheraton’ playing cards, ARRCO, USA

Above: ‘Sheraton’ playing cards, ARRCO, USA. Image courtesy Ken Lodge.

‘Forcolar’ playing cards, ARRCO, USA

Above: ‘Forcolar’ playing cards, ARRCO, USA, 1945-47. A more modern attempt at a four colour "no revoke" deck with black spades, red hearts, orange diamonds and green clubs (clovers). The second edition has the initial of each suit shown on every pip card, not just the aces. Image courtesy Ken Lodge.

Centaur Canasta by Arrco, 1951

Above: Centaur Canasta by Arrco with ace of spades and jokers unique to the brand, c.1951. Courtesy Matt Probert.

Above: ‘Duratone’ plastic coated playing cards, one of several brands manufactured by ARRCO Playing Card Co.

Above: double set of ‘Duratone’ plastic coated playing cards in felt box, each deck contains 52 cards + 2 jokers, manufactured by ARRCO Playing Card Co, c.1950s.

Above: Unbranded deck with a different ace of spades and joker design, c.1960 (or perhaps earlier). We know from the A.P.C.Co tax stamp they are between 1940 and 1965.  See also: Delta AirlinesCanada Souvenir


Above: ARRCO standard court cards.

ARRCO was taken over by USPCC in 1986 and many brands were retained.

REFERENCE and CREDITS

Dawson, Tom & Judy: The Hochman Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, U.S. Games Systems Inc., 2000.

All images courtesy Matt Probert (unless stated otherwise).

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1440 Articles

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder 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.

2 comments

martha jones's Avatar'

I HAVE A SET OF ARRCO PLAYING CARDS AND WANT TO KNOW THE VALUE OF THEM

Robert Holt's Avatar'

I've been looking into Forcolar Playing Cards for quite a while now and from what I can ascertain the 1945 copyright was just that, a simple copyright. The cards didn't appear until just before Christmas of 1947 and according to their creator Walter W. Artzt he sold 70,000 decks in a matter of days.

As for the matter of suit initials appearing in the corners: that seems to have been original to the card and later removed. Whether that was temporary or not, I haven't figured out yet but they seemingly were there from the start. At least according to newspaper advertisements from December of 1947 when the cards first rolled out.


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