The object pictured is a revised card game introduced by Waddington’s in 1968, ahead of the decimalisation of the British currency in 1971. The first edition of the game was launched shortly after the first flight over Mount Everest by Flight Lieutenant D.F. McIntyre and Sir Douglas Douglas-Hamilton on 3 April 1933. The registered trade mark of the game featured the mountain and the back of the cards pictured in blue or red showed the bi-plane and the mountain. (see picture below). The game was designed by Norman D. Vine and published by the Sum-It Card Game Ltd.

The game was designed to be fun, but also educational, as it aided a child’s arithmetical skills and understanding of money. In the original version there were a total of 60 cards. Fifty-two cards represented different amounts of money in shillings and pence. Eight ‘sum cards’ displayed a total sum of money. Having been dealt seven money cards and one sum card, the object of the game was to discard and pick up money cards so as to acquire seven cards that added up to the amount shown on the given sum card. The scoring was based on a penalty system. The winner of each round incurred no penalty but the other players had to sum the penalty scores on each card (the smaller red figures) in their hands.

The Waddington’s 1968 version of the game followed essentially the same rules. The pack size was reduced to 54 cards – 48 playing cards and six sum-it cards. On the first release of the revised game, the decimal value of each playing card was shown in large black print and the nearest equivalent value in shillings and pence was shown in smaller red print underneath. This added extra educational value to the game at a time of change. However, though this is still included in the rules contained with the pack illustrated here, the cards do not feature the previous currency, which suggests that, after a period of adjustment, this conversion was dropped. This pack probably dates from later in the 1970s.

Under one guise or another, Waddington’s was in business from the 19th century, initially as a printing company and from 1922 as a maker of games: best known for the No.1 playing cards, board games and jigsaw puzzles. Games sold under the Waddington brand have included Monopoly, Cluedo, Buccaneer, Totopoly, Spy Ring and Go. The firm was bought by Hasbro in 1994, but the brand name still appears on jigsaw puzzles.

More information:

Date 1930s, 1960s, 1970s
Material(s) Cardboard
Item number MBPO293

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Here are pictures of the original Sum-it card game from the 1930s.

Below: This sum-it card from 1968 shows the value of the card in shillings and pence in red: a feature missing from the cards in the object under consideration .

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