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Published October 25, 2015 Updated July 26, 2022

Atlantic Playing Card Co

Atlantic Playing Card Co., Inc. promoted Bridge Ensemble boxes and companion accessories.

USA Atlantic Line United States Playing Card Co. Advertising Bridge Add to Collection

Atlantic Playing Card Co was a publisher and distributor of playing cards, also running a mail-order scheme offering playing card-related lines for “work at home” or self-employment. Some early Atlantic decks are listed in the Hochman Encyclopedia from as early as c.1910 with brand names which do not appear in this catalog, except “Monogram” c.1937. At one point it became known as Atlantic Playing Card & Match Co., Inc. The business was subsequently taken over by USPCC.

The catalog shown below lists many accessory items such as score pads, tallies, pencils, boxes, etc which would have been the principal goods being sold in the scheme, along with monogrammed playing cards. Some of the cheapest decks work out at around 25 cents ($36 per gross).

Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s Trade catalogue by Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s Trade catalogue by Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s

Above: by offering a series of plain back designs in flat colours with classy names such as “Brigadier” or “Washington Square” a personal monogram can be overprinted (onto pre-printed cards) in small batches and assembled into single, twin or four deck boxed Bridge Ensembles with gilt-edged cards. Ideal for department stores, Bridge clubs and the like, or as wedding souvenirs and extra-fine gifts.


Trade catalogue by Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s Trade catalogue by Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s

Above: more details of various wholesale Bridge Ensemble boxes and companion accessories. As the catalogue has no contact details it was most likely to have been left with existing customers or prospects.


Trade catalogue by Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s

Above: more details of various luxury Bridge Ensemble boxes.


Trade catalogue by Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s Trade catalogue by Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s

Above: details of sales promotion aids and the monogramming service.


Trade catalogue by Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s Trade catalogue by Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s Trade catalogue by Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s Trade catalogue by Atlantic Line Playing Card Co., Inc., c.1930s

Above: trade catalogue from the 1920s or ’30s. Images from the collection of Rex Pitts.

A similar “work at home” scheme for selling playing cards on commission, starting with friends and acquaintances, was launched by the Chicago Playing Card Company, 1039-1047 W. 35th Street, Chicago, in 1930. The line included six qualities of cards: Ascot, Boulevard, Initial, Coronet, Ariel and Club Card   see more

REFERENCES & NOTES

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

Thanks to Rod Starling for additional research. The label (right) is from Piatnik’s Baroque costume deck, sold as “Kingsbridge” (c.1950), and the box clearly identifies Atlantic as the exclusive distributor in the U.S.A. (Click to zoom)

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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.


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