Brown & Bigelow “Knott’s Berry Farm” Souvenir Playing Cards, c.1950sBrown & Bigelow “Knott’s Berry Farm” Souvenir Playing Cards, c.1950sBrown & Bigelow “Knott’s Berry Farm” Souvenir Playing Cards, c.1950sBrown & Bigelow “Knott’s Berry Farm” Souvenir Playing Cards, c.1950s

Wonderful souvenir deck made by Brown & Bigelow for Knott's Berry Farm. Each card has a photograph of a scene from the park, and when this deck was published, Ghost Town was the centerpiece of Knotts and its major attraction. Given this dominant subject matter of the cards, the fact that the pictures are black and white, and the look of the then contemporaneous visitors to the park appearing in a few of the photos, it seems relatively safe to date the deck to the 1950s, if not earlier. It is interesting to note that the backs are an illustration of Ghost Town, not a photograph of it.

Wikipedia summarizes the history of Knotts this way:

"Knott's Berry Farm is a theme park in Buena Park, California, now owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, and a line of jams, jellies, preserves, and other specialty food, now part of The J. M. Smucker Company based in Placentia, California.

"Starting in 1920, farmer Walter Knott and his family developed their Buena Park berry farm into a popular tourist attraction. Originally selling berries, homemade berry preserves and pies from a roadside stand, Knott built a restaurant, shops and stores onto the property by the 1930s. These were then augmented with minor attractions and curiosities until Knott gradually created Ghost Town, transforming them from a way-point to a Western themed destination in 1940. World class rides were then built and free entertainment drew crowds. Disneyland in nearby Anaheim complemented the theme park, making Orange County a tourist destination to Southern California visitors. As more elaborate rides were included, and big name acts were featured in Knott's John Wayne Theater, a fence was built and admission charged, turning it into a commercial theme park."

The deck has 52 cards, plus 2 Jokers. The cards are bridge size, measuring 89mm x 58mm, and come in the original box.

The cards are in excellent condition, lightly used if at all. The top flap of the box was cut away and is now loose; otherwise the box is in good, perhaps very good, condition, reasonably clean but with a tear developing on one edge.

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Item ID: T00002350

Brown & Bigelow “Knott’s Berry Farm” Souvenir Playing Cards, c.1950s

$25 USD

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