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Published January 27, 2024 Updated January 27, 2024

FDR New Deal Deck

Facsimile of ‘FDR New Deal Deck’ of 1934 re-published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010.

2010 USA Bill Schroeder J.M.A. Inc Facsimiles & Replicas Political Add to Collection

According to publisher Bill Schroeder, this pack was produced in 1934 by J.M.A. Inc. of Dallas, Texas without the agreement of the White House. Roosevelt was so angered that all the packs were subsequently suppressed and destroyed. Some 65 years later, in 1999, one pack was found hidden among the possessions of a former employee of the printing company. The frightened employee gave it to scholar and collector Bill Schroeder and he published this in a limited edition in 2010. See the box

The King is President Franklin Delano Roosevelt; the Queen is Eleanor Roosevelt and the Jack is Vice President James Nance Garner. The Aces show the abbreviation of an agency created during the First New Deal, 1933-34: Diamonds – RFC (Reconstruction Finance Corporation); Clubs – NRA (National Recovery Administration); Hearts – CWA (Civil Works Administration); Spades – AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Administration.

facsimile of “FDR New Deal” deck of 1934 published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010 facsimile of “FDR New Deal” deck of 1934 published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010 facsimile of “FDR New Deal” deck of 1934 published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010

Above: limited edition facsimile of the “FDR New Deal” deck of 1934, re-published by Bill Schroeder, USA, 2010.

The back of the cards shows the initials of the numerous agencies created during Roosevelt’s mandate in the so-called New Deal, in the centre of which is the NRA (National Recovery Administration).

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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