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How Old Are My Vintage Playing Cards? Restokraft Noiseless Mattress Example

Posted by Reid Carlberg on

I recently purchased a new old stock deck of vintage Congress branded USPCC made "Restokraft Noiseless Mattress" playing cards.  These are bridge sized cards, completely sealed, and they have an in-tact tax stamp.  A great find for $12 on eBay.

I can't help but wonder if we could narrow down the age of these cards a bit and also identify where they were originally made.

Let's start with the easy part: the tax stamp.  This particular "1 Pack" tax stamp is generally identified as being in use from 1940-1965.  It's a big range, but it's a good place to start.

Now, it turns out if you search for Restokraft, you still get hits!  There's a company in Michigan known as "Serta Restokraft Mattress, Inc." and it's been around in one shape or another for over 100 years.  Serta, it turns out, is like a franchiser.  There are a number of licensees all over the country who make "Serta" mattresses, and in 1953 the company founded as Progress Bedding Company in 1913 became one of them, changing its name to Serta Restokraft.

So that helps us narrow it down a bit more: sometime between 1940 and 1953, prior to renaming itself as Serta Restokraft, the company would have likely produced this deck.  My logic here is that the Serta license was a big enough investment that they changed the company name.  They also would have updated any promotional material, such as a deck of cards.