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Here be dragons!

18 April 2013 by Sarah

Drawing of a dragon on the back of a playing card.

Blue Funnel playing card, 1960s (Maritime Archives Reference OA/25/4/2/8)

The recent posting about the St George’s festival in Liverpool this weekend made me think about dragons.  These spectacular dragons are on the back of a pack of playing cards made for the Blue Funnel Line (Ocean Steam Ship Company) in the early 1960s.  Shipping companies, especially those that carried passengers, put a lot of effort into corporate branding, producing items such as ashtrays, crockery, menus and calendars. 

The Ocean Steam Ship Company, commonly known as Blue Funnel for reasons I’ll leave you to work out on your own, were a large Liverpool shipping firm who sailed predominately, but not exclusively, to the Far East and China.  The Maritime Archives & Library holds a large collection of records from the company, including examples of their marketing material.  These playing cards would have been a useful distraction during long hours at sea.

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