Finding the ship that is depicted on the backs of the cards was relatively easy. Checking the photos of all the ships of the Scandinavian American Line, there was only one with two pipes on top: the SS Frederik VIII.
|The SS Frederik VIII had a tonnage of 11,850
gross and was build by AG Vulcan from Hamburg, Germany.
It was launched on May 27, 1913 and had its maiden voyage for the Scandinavian American Line on February 5th, 1914.
For her last voyage she departed from New York on December 7th 1935 to Copenhagen.
In November 1936 she was sold to The Hughes
Bolckow Shipbreaking Co. for scrapping at Blyth.
So that information didnít really change anything in dating the deck.
Although we first thought that the total design on the back could suggest a
maiden voyage, this was contradicted by the fact that the Frederik VIIIís
maiden voyage started on Feb. 5, 1914, about 9 years before Waddington produced
itís first playing cards. So we checked if any special occasions had taken
place, important enough to be supported or commemorated by this deck. Alas, the
shipís logs donít give any conclusive information. So we got stuck and can
only give a choice between a number of dates that might have been the reason for
publication of this deck:
1/ the 25th anniversary of the Scandinavian American Line in 1923.
2/ the 10th anniversary of the ship in 1924.
3/ the first alternation to cabins and 3rd class only in 1925.
4/ the addition of a tourist class to these in 1929.
5/ hard to imagine, but still possible, is that this deck was presented as a goodbye gift for her last voyage to the USA on Nov. 22, 1935.
The deck consists of 52 cards, one joker and a blank card. It has solid gold edges and came in a gray box with a card glued -face down- on the bottom and the name of the company embossed in the lid.
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