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Old Double Deck of KEM Pinochle Cards

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (96 items)

    I found this cool double deck of KEM Pinochle playing cards in a plastic holder. I have a few questions for someone who is more knowledgeable than I am. Does the design on the back have a name? I looked up KEM cards and found names like Club Back, Star Gazer, Arrow, Paisley, Jacquard, Florentine etc., but never found a name for this particular pattern.
    The date number C140 - does the 'C' stand for Cadet Size? They are the same size as the regular Bridge Set - 2.25" X 3.5" And I am guessing that the 140 means January 1940, but the dating on some of these card decks is a bit confusing.
    The last question regards the box - I keep seeing it called bakelite everywhere but it seems to be just some sort of plastic instead. Thanks in advance for any info.

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    1. aghcollect aghcollect, 7 years ago
      #1 - your dating is correct 140 = January 1940
      #2 - "C" refers to Cadet - these were specially made for use by US military in a slightly smaller size so they would easily fit in the uniform breast pockets.
      #3 - Bakelite "is" plastic - it was the first plastic developed and simply has different chemical property makeup than what is common today (if you have some "Scrubbing Bubbles" bathroom cleaner, you can put some on a q-tip and touched to the bakelite, the q-tip will turn yellow. No harm will come to the bakelite) - if your cards were made in 1940, I assume the box is bakelite.
      #4 - Card back design - unfortunately, I could not find the name of this back design for you.
    2. Rogueroman Rogueroman, 7 years ago
      Wow. Thanks for all of the great info. I will try the Scrubbing Bubbles tip. I do realize that bakelite is plastic but so many times I do see people calling something bakelite when it is another form of plastic. I found sometimes when you run bakelite under hot water it gives off a particular smell and this particular piece didn't but again - scrubbing bubbles. One last thing - on one of the cards from each deck (you can see them in the front of the last photo) it has in the upper right hand corner MEDALLION - 3-5623. Could that be the name of the design on the deck of cards? Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
    3. aghcollect aghcollect, 7 years ago
      No - I believe that is actually an old telephone number when they still used the first two letters of the area you were calling i.e. ME3-5623
    4. Chuqii Chuqii, 6 years ago
      I actually bought these decks of cards!

      This back style is just called "Pinochle." I have some old KEM advertising from the early 40s, and that is how they label it in the ads.

      Not sure what the C stands for. The cadet sized cards were a mini size deck, smaller than the bridge size cards like these. However, both sizes' date codes start with C, so the C does not indicate anything about the size of the deck.

      This KEM box is actually made of Neillite, a plastic similar to Bakelite. The bottom of the box is stamped "Neillite".

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