In 1929 the production of circular cards was started and these were very popular.
Reel printing was introduced, with photogravure backs and rotary letterpress pips and court cards. In 1926 the General Strike threatened production but the workers took no notice and brought bedding into the works in order to carry on working uninterrupted.
At that time a good quality pack of cards cost only 9d. Billiards and other recreations were provided and the workers camped in the factory.
In 1934 the rights for 'Monopoly' were won, which has produced about half a million pounds’ sales each year since then and set the firm on the road to greatness in the toy trade in the UK. Above: early (pre-war) edition of Monopoly board game printed by Waddingtons (click image to zoom). Outside of USA the London Monopoly board is the best known, with names like Piccadilly, Fleet Street, Bond Street and Mayfair. In April 1940 the supplies of playing card board were cut off when Norway was invaded.
Today there are special editions such as Harley Davidson Monopoly, Star Wars Monopoly and Simpson’s Monopoly. Churchill requested that playing card manufacture be maintained at any cost, so as to provide distraction during the endless hours of boredom in the trenches.
Waddington’s retained their own Joker and Ace of Spades.
A number of pre-war backs and motifs, as well as old boxes, were used (up) at this time.Initial sales were nil, and so the game was repackaged at 2/6d and sales boomed, up to 1000 packs per week, becoming the firm's most successful card game.Click here to view 1933 Trade Brochure ¦ 1940 Trade Brochure.No cards on display, visits are by appointment only. A small but fine collection of 19th century playing-cards from Austrian makers.This collection is documented in the exhibition catalogue: Dornik-Eger, Hanna "Spielkarten und Kartenspiele", Wien 1973, (see bibliography section). Pachinger who collected local cards (from Upper Austria) during the second half of the 19th century.Ltd were absorbed by Thomas De la Rue thus leaving only one major competitor. This was first subsidised by the Great Western Railway company and later by the London and North Eastern Railway company, continuing until 1956.