Dennis "Dainty Series"  Games

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   The  year dates and illustrations of  "Dainty" Party Games, published by Dennis, are given here.   Starting in the 1920's, party games and card games became very popular. Dennis produced a large number of these games using the "Dainty Series" trade mark, later (about 1959) changed to "Dennis Productions".  

   In about the early 1920s, Dennis Games were  issued with  a "G" prefix followed by a number. This "G" series continued into the 1960s    

   Enough  Dennis /"Dainty" Games  have survived  where the year of issue can be dated approximately, with some years exactly. This allows a schedule to be compiled of the "G" number dating, by the year of issue; this  is given in the Table below. The number of games introduced in any one year changed over time, it started with  about 10 games per year in the 1920/30s. In WW2   paper and card allocations were very much in force, allowing about 40% of the paper/card used pre WW2 . WW2 production was about 4 games a year.  After the war, production was  about  8 games per year  Obviously by the 1950s, there were many more entertainments competing in the home, Radio, TV etc.

 

N.B The Illustration style of the Game cannot be used to date a Game. The Illustrations design style typically look back to prior design styles that were in vogue 30 years previously. A good example of this is G848, published in the 1960s, with a strong 1930s "elegant cruising" illustration style. Again, games of the 1950s used  1920s Art Deco Styles.

   Another problem with dating arises  when a date occurs in a quiz,  it is rarely contemporaneous. Typically it refers to an event 10 to 20 years prior. For example, a 1936 florin (coin) is mentioned in one quiz game, but the game was published about 15 years later. This "always looking back" ten years or more, is typical of these Dennis games. Everything is very "retro", designs looking back 30 years and quiz questions looking back at least a decade.

G Nos 1940 on

1940 697 706
.1941 707 711
1942 Bombed
1943 Disrupted
1944 712 716
1945 717 724
1946 725 732
1947 733 740
1948 741 748
1949 749 756
1950 757 764
1951 765 772
1952 773 780
1953 781 788
1954 789 796
1955 797 804
1956 805 812
1957 813 820
1958 821 828
1959 829 836
1960 837 844
1961 845 852
G numbers 1920 to 1939
Year "G" From "G" To
1920 501 506
1921 507 516
1922 517 526
1923 527 536
1924 537 546
1925 547 556
1926 557 566
1927 567 576
1928 577 586
1929 587 596
1930 597 606
1931 607 616
1932 617 626
1933 627 636
1934 637 646
1935 647 656
1936 657 666
1937 667 676
1938 677 686
1939 687 696

g7g7366   g839                 587     


   Jumbles Games

  This Game uses cards with  Statesmen names jumbled up e.g Asquith. Also jumbled up was John Burns. G number was 517. .The wording  "Patent Applied For" is used. Full identification of  "E.T.W.Dennis Ltd ,London & Scarborough" is made, as well as the "Dainty" Series. Have seen G555A  in similar envelope, the G number was on the results card


"Party Game" Cards. No G number
Title Series Numbering & other Notes
Nursery Rhymes en Casserole Second Only seen a single card Agnes Richardson
Nursery Rhymes en Casserole Third No14 on envelope Game in an envelope. Hilda Cowham
Lost in the Jumble   Single card only seen Illustrated by Hilda Cowham
An Intelligence Test   No14 on envelope Game in an envelope. Hilda Cowham
History Alphabet No1   No14 on envelope Game in an Envelope. Agnes Richardson did a lot of cards with Dutch children

Further Information sought on above , no G number, "Party Game" cards

THIRD SERIES

            

  Nursery Rhymes en Casserole.

   This  game had 12 folded cards, each with the  boy and girl coloured design, by Hilda Cowham, on the front of the cards  (I also show a 1913 Faulkner postcard "The only boy in the room" by Hilda Cowham, in a  very similar style). Inside each card  there was  room for questions on one side and space for answers in the space opposite.  The game featured unusually described nursery rhymes The Game was in an envelope and was  labelled No 14 on the envelope .The 12 cards were also labelled "Third Series, Nursery Rhymes en Casserole" .  (Note: All  Party Games that used colour in the design and were in  envelopes,  have No 14 on them)

(Note: This envelope version was sold at half the price of the box version, 7.5 pence , compared to the full price of 1s.3d=15 pence


Envelope 14

 

  Also seen in an "Envelope 14" were two more games,   "An Intelligence Test" and also "History: Alphabet No1" 

   The artist for "Intelligence Test" was Hilda Cowham, black cats were "lucky" in her drawings! Probably the Dutch illustration was by Agnes Richardson, who did a lot of postcards featuring Dutch children. Two of her postcards, with Dutch children and a goose , (Both Celesque, Photchrom  circa 1910)  illustrated.

Agnes Richardson designed the "Nursery Rhymes in Casserole", Second Series

Hilda Cowham designed "Lost in the Jumble"


PUZZLED'EM SERIES

Series Number& Title only (No "G")

 

1934 Puzzled'Em

Each Box contained 24 cards. Working back to Series 1 gives a start date of Puzzled'Em as 1930.

SERIES 5 KEYCARD

Cards numbered  97 to 120

 
1938 Puzzled'Em Series 9 Cards numbered to 216  
1941 Puzzled'em Series 12   Dainty Series
1943 Puzzled'Em Series 14`

Card Numbers had reached 336(14*24)

Have a Series 14 box , posted on 5 November 1943, fitting in with the idea of a  Puzzled'Em Series start date of 1930, with one  Puzzled'em  game per year

Box heading

"DENNIS'S PARTY GAMES"

1944 Puzzled'em No 15   Dainty Series
1950 Puzzled'em No 21   In V&A
1954 Puzzled'em No 25 Pz25 Shadowgraphs Household objects
1955 Puzzled'em No26 Pz26 Shadowgraphs/Everyday objects
1957 Puzzled'em No 28   Drawn B&W /Household items
1958 Puzzled'em Pz 29 Pz 29 on envelope  Shadowgraphs B&W/Household Items

"Dainty Series" in envelope

1960 Puzzled'em Series31   Household Objects/B&W photos. Dainty Series
1961 Puzzled'em No 32` Pz32 Dennis Productions. Photographs of everyday things. It also exists in an  envelope labelled ETW Dennis of Scarborough. Probably 1961
1962 Puzzledem G2402   Household Items. Probably 1962
1962 Puzzledem G2404   "Sports" Puzzles/Text only  front
1962 Puzzledem G2405   Household puzzles
1962 Puzzled'Em G2409   Used in home
1962 Puzzledem G2408   "Hardware" Puzzle. Figure bent right on box

The usual Puzzled'em box illustration (left) is shown, this  design lasted until 1960.

 1961 had a design change  of the box (right) ,but still used  the "Series"  designation (which was 32). 

  "Series" designation was dropped and a  "G" numbering was used in 1962.

  This Pz 29 was in an envelope and not a box. The terms "Series" and "Pz" seem to be used interchangeably? Pz29 on the envelope and "Series 29" on the cards.

 This Puzzled'em Series was issued at the rate of one a year from 1930 to 1962

 

 

 

 

The V&A Museum has "Puzzledem",  Dainty Series No 21.   No "G" number

Pz 32 is attributed to "Dennis Productions" Series No 32. This would make it  post 1960

   

   The original "Puzzled'Em" drab styling is  above (Left). The box heading was "DENNIS'S PARTY GAME" for this old style

  Pz 32 Puzzled'Em was the last use of the old "Series" numbering in 1961 (Pz 32). In 1962 G numbering was used for "Puzzled'Em

  Dennis took Party Games production seriously from about 1930 onwards and introduced some new ideas for games.  This Puzzled'em Series does not have any G number, until 1962.

  Puzzled'em Series 32 was from "Dennis Productions" and this would place it in 1961, followed by the 1962 Puzzled'ems labelled G24xx.

  A good fit for year of issue is by dating  Series 1 to 1930, followed by one Puzzled'em a year, getting to Series 32 in 1961. This is confirmed with Series 5 having cards numbered 97 to 120. Working back with 24 cards per Series gives 1930 as the start date

  The 1962 versions, dropped the "Series" designation and have G numbers instead. 1962 had the last Puzzled'ems and suggests a clearing out of old stock and winding up.


"Animal  Puzzled'em". Does not belong with the usual Puzzled'ems, but was a G numbered game with Box No, G706.

*G707 was another Animal Puzled'em, but for children

G711 was a Bird Puzzled'em

.


1925

G549          G556A(English Towns&Cities)

1925 Games had drab colours on a grey background


 

1926   introduced brighter colours and designs, This continued until 1929


  G580 (circa 1928). Wilkie Collins's  "Woman in White"  is drawn in high 1920s fashion. Two of the other book titles in G580 are "Eight Strokes of the Clock" and "Middle of Things", both published in 1922. This would fit well with a date of about  1928 for this game given their strong "retro" propensity.


"DAINTY" DENNIS, "G" NUMBERED GAMES

Very small selection of "G" numbered "Dainty" Games follows......

DAINTY SERIES: G549 'Enry's Experiment, Jumble Girls Names G588 , NuZoo G633, Bridge Wedding G676, Aviarieties G684, Birds & Animals G794,  Find the Fault G803 ,G833 Find the Fault   

DENNIS PRODUCTIONS: SpellIt G849, [ Jumbles (TV Personalities)  G850  AND  Jumbl

es (Radio Stars) G851]. G4001 and G4002, presumably published in 1964, seem to be the last??

 The  two games, G850 and G851 are obviously from the  very late 1950's/early 60s , David Nixon, Jack Warner etc mentioned for TV and Semprini, etc for Radio.  TV really got going with the Queen's coronation in 1953 and was well established by 1960.  1961 is a probable date for G850 and G851


Illustrations of Dennis "Dainty" Games

 Through the Decades

                                        Late 1920s/1930?

Early examples seen of this "3 card player powdered wigs" design are Boxed G588 ,"77 Varieties" Jumbled Girls Names  (Late 1920s/1930?). This design was issued as soon as  Dennis passed the "77"  Party Games mark. ALSO  Boxed G596 (Irish Songs) in the late 1920s/1930?

Not every design featured "77 Varieties",  G589 (The Garden") illustrated here does not have it. "Hidden Birds" has illustrations copied from G589 but with different colours used

"77 Varieties" mentioned. (Presumably to outdo Heinz  57 !).   

 Note: a G628 had  handwritten "Sefton Park YPC (Young Peoples Club)  2/10/1933"  on it. The title was "Find'Em" , an early ,probably the first, version of the "Find the Fault" series.


Late 1930s

  Bright modern highly coloured design introduced  by Dennis "Dainty", in the LATE 1930s. see G666 and G676 (also G669 "The Golfers Game", same design as G676)

and G684 also G659 "A Dickensian Hour"

 G694 "The City" is particularly colourful. (Illustrated below)

 

Note: G684 Aviarieties was also supplied in a drab grey/green "Party Game"  envelope, instead of a box

Late 1930s


 1940s

G718 The old "3 card players, powdered wigs" design  was brought back  for WW2 use, with  wartime economical limited colours.      Also G716 in monochrome green for wartime use. (both illustrated).

Three card player design seen forWW2

703 Nursery Toys

704 Celebrities

705 London Streets

718 Choir Concert (illustrated)

Drab limited wartime colours  introduced in the 1940s by Dennis "Dainty". I Have seen the 3 card player design reprinted in drab green, as well as the colours of  G718:Choir Concert (illustrated)

 Possibly the usual artist/illustrator was called up for war service.

                    

G717:"Soapstone Dragons" Story is  also in this drab green/grey cover envelope . In the wartime 1940s it seems that games were mainly either in a box with  "3 card player design" or  in the drab grey/green envelope.    

  This use of limited muted colours on an off- white background was typical of the late 1940s designs. See G732 "Trios" and G750 "Ants"

 

                                    1940's

 


1950s

    Post WW2, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, there was  good demand for Party Games.

   Dennis "Dainty" designers used bright colours on a white ground during this period. The illustration styles suggest "Art Deco", although issued in the 1950s

     I show G767  "Can You"    and     G782 "Sons" .(G781 was same design as G782 but for "Caged Animals")

G801 "Hidden Flowers" (not shown) was the same design type

G811 (Illustrated) Design in a 1930s style

  

         1950s


   Highest "Dainty Series" Game seen is G833

Last "Dainty Series" Game I have seen is G833 ,a game called "Find the Fault", see below

(Note: The Dennis lists included with the games are not that reliable.  This G833  is misnamed "Park your Car" , "Find the Fault" is listed as G831)

G833, Last "Dainty Series" seen  G833 (Incidentally, G832 was a very similar "Find the Fault")

G835, First "Dennis Productions"  seen  is G835, with artist designed logo. G837 is a "Dennis Production"   Jumbles "Towns & Cities", with an artist designed logo.


To G834,  Title of  "Dainty Series" still used                             

Price rise to 2 shillings a game, starting with G829

  Dennis was down from 10 games per year in the 1920s,  to about 8 games  per year in the  1950s)

1959 was G829 toG836 (Seen "Dainty" use on G833 ,G835 was the, first use I have seen of "Dennis Productions". both artist designed and non artist typography).G836 was the  artist designed "Dennis Productions" logo)

1960 was G837 to 842.    1961 was G843 to G 850 (Have seen G850 and G851, see below)


         The  new "Dennis Production" Games Series 

Probably, G835  was the first "Dennis Production"  in 1959 (there was a non artist designed version of  Dennis Productions logo).

  =Post 1958.    The new artist designed logo,  first appeared on G835 in 1959.

   


                             1960 (G837 to G 844)

=Post 1958

G841 was used on 2 games :"Write the Word, Cricket" and also "Screen & Stage stars".

G842=,"Tally Ho" and G844= "A Canny Game",( design style shown for G848 in 1961),  look like 1930s  high end cruising fashion illustrations. (They still used the "Dainty" designation on the result cards, even though they were "Dennis Productions") .

"Stick a Pin" =G843?.  G840 =Rhyme a Tag.  G837= Jumbles  "Towns&Cities"


1961 (G843 to G850)        

G848 "Find the Pro" Elegant "Cruising" 1930's design style, although published in 1961. Also 1920s styles were used in the late 1950s.              

 

 

 

 G850 and G851 (TV & RADIO STARS) , issued about the year date of 1960/1961  ??,

=Post 1958

                                                                                                    

 


I have never seen any 1xxx  Dennis games. I do not think they exist.

The "G" series then  proceeds in a "gapped number" fashion, for 2xxx and 3xxx and 4xxx


      All G2xxx are "Dennis Productions"    =Post 1958     

G2401 Puzzledem : Household Series      G2402 Puzzledem: Household Items

G2403 Puzzledem: Things to Eat           G2404 Puzzledem : Sports Series      

        G2406 WHOZOO A to M           G2407 WHOZOO  N to Z           1962

                           G2408/2409 Puzzledem "Hardware"/"Used in the home"           

G2410 &G2411   Tell Tale Tracks,                                                                                                      


All G3xxx are "Dennis Productions" and must be post 1960.    =Post 1959

 G3001  Find the Fault (Country)

  Find the Fault G3002(Towns)

 G3003(Transport) Find the Fault  

G3004 What's Wrong (Sports)      G3005 What's Wrong  

  G3006 Tricky Trades     

 G3010 Spot the Town 

                                                                   1963


[G4001 and G4002].  3 party games in each box, (illustrated here)              1964

  

   After 1960,  TV became the main home entertainment and this lead to a reduction in the number of Games issued per year.  These Dennis games finished by the mid 1960's, probably in 1964 with these "Dennis Productions" G4001 and G4002?

 

 

 Probable Schedule

I think that the last "Dainty Series" Games was G834, after that , starting late 1959, "DENNIS PRODUCTIONS"  was used

1962 was 2404 to 2411

1963 was 3002 to 3010   and 1964 was 4001, 4002 (6 games)


 Dennis produced score cards for card games. I show the front of  a Progressive Contract Bridge score card for "Dennis Productions"=post 1958

 In addition to Games,  I have seen a set of Dominoes in a case with "Dainty" on the case. Also seen a "Dainty" set of playing cards in a box with score sheets, for playing Bridge.

   I show  a "Dainty" graphic logo used on the box of  a 1930s card game of bridge set, that was produced by the firm of Dennis. This is probably based on a drawing of Mr Pickwick. (Dennis gave readings from Dickens and his father knew Dickens himself)

 

 


 About 1932 Dennis/Dainty introduced a card game called "Trio". It was patented as 24947/32. It was based on bidding for sets of cards, apples, oranges etc. I do not think many were sold as they are very hard to find today. (This should not be confused with  G732 "Trios" , which was a question and answer game)


E.T.W.Dennis also produced a "Nursery Rhymes Novelty Card", probably 1937. Only two seen, as Xmas cards.


End of Dennis Party Games Section. Dennis Postcards follow.


 

Evolution of Dennis published and printed PPCs (1900 to 1907 approx)

"ETWD" initials in black in negative , in white in picture

 dennis postcard back 1900

Typical "full size card" 1900

Explicit ETWD initials in usual white in picture

 U/B introduced late 1901 (Have one P/U Dec 1901).D/B in  late 1902

First attempt at a divided back. P/U Dec 25 1902.Space has been left below the picture for a message and also on the address side

 

 

First attempt at a divided back. P/U Dec 25 1902    "THIS SPACE AS WELL  AS THE BACK MAY NOW BE USED FOR COMMUNICATION". Post Office RegulationsDennis postcard divided back 1902
The above Dec 1902 PPC marks two changes It is a very early version of a Dennis published divided back PPC, in addition it is the first known Dennis example of a subject PPC as opposed to a topographic (artist drawn or photographic) view card. There is no mention of "Dainty" on this late 1902 PPC (above)
   
Late 1903 D/B       "Dainty" in type only (down the dividing line) 

 Dainty not in graphic form       Large lettering  in "POST CARD"

Later, smaller size lettering "POST CARD"   D/B  "Dainty" in type only, down the centre dividing line, this lasted until the Spring of 1904 (Earliest known artist drawn trademark is P/U June 18th 1904)

Dennis Dainty in non graphic form

First "Dainty" Series ,with artist drawn Trademark, seen is P/U June 18th 1904..Shown here is same artist drawn trademark card for Leeds with "eggshell blue" sky P/U Sept 1904Dennis  "Dainty" in graphic form
Full photo, no vignetting.

 

 
 

     Note:   The "Dainty" graphic form also exists with an ornamental  centre dividing line.  First  seen P/U  June 18th 1904. It. also has an explicit text box ,(below graphic) of "ETW Dennis,Scarborough). Possibly this was the first "Dainty" graphic form used??, (where Dennis has to "explain" what "Dainty" Series refers to).

  By 1907 the graphic was more elaborate with ornamentation around a smaller  rectangular box

 

       THE Final form of above "Dainty Graphic" type back has NO reference to "Post Office Regulations" in the text

By 1906 the rectangular graphic  had a "foliage" border added

     

  About 1914, when Dennis produced cards that were of Scarborough events, he used just the "Dainty Series" designation and no graphics. These cards were not for the UK in general but were just for Scarborough and nearby. Notification of further examples would be appreciated


  Dennis continued to publish photographic prints. I show a Souvenir Booklet of Cornwall, with the prints (16*25 cms) signed Elmer Keene.(All are "Rough Seas").    Probably about 1910, when Dennis certainly published Elmer Keene monochrome postcards

I show below P/U 1908 and 1911 Dennis postcards by Keene, in a similar style.