"Panko" Playing Cards

We have six original playing cards from the "Panko" Card Game in our Women's Suffrage Collection.

The game consisted of 48 playing cards which are based on the battle between pro- and anti-suffrage campaigners.They have a purple and white design on one side and on the reverse, there are cartoons by E.T. Reed of Punch magazine. The cards were produced in 1909 and published by Peter Gurney.

The game was advertised and distributed by the Women's Social and Political Union as well as private sellers. Playing cards were a very popular fundraising and outreach tool during the suffrage campaign. It was marketed as a gift (for 2 shillings) with the caption:

“Not only is each picture itself an interesting memento, but the game produces intense excitement without the slightest taint of bitterness.”

The rules state that all players should be split into Suffragists and the Anti-Suffragists. The illustrations show figures on both sides of the debate, including Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst leading the campaign, a judge sentencing a suffragette to 14 days in jail, a policeman arresting a suffragette and a card showing the suffragette refusing a meal in Holloway, amongst many other examples.