Summary

Seven metal jacks attached to a piece of square cardboard with a rubber ball in the centre of the card. Made by Grey Iron Casting Company, Mt Joy, Pennsylvania, USA, in 1935. They were purchased in Maryland, USA in the 1950s for the Dorothy Howard Collection.

Jacks is an ancient game, dating back to prehistoric times. The first jacks were natural materials - animal bones, stones, seeds and shells, and when the game became a popular part of children's culture, manufacturers began mass-producing them from plastic and metal. In Australia, jacks are mostly shaped like sheep's knucklebones, but overseas there are also ceramic cubes and 'star'-shaped metal pieces. These stones are an example of the natural materials used by children to play jacks in the United States in the early 20th century.

Part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC). The ACFC is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.

Physical Description

Seven metal jacks attached to a piece of square cardboard with a rubber ball in the centre of the card. The cardboard is red and buff and has a star in each corner. The rubber ball is red. Each jack has six spikes attached and resembles an atom. Two jacks are metallic blue, three are metallic silver and two are metallic bronze, though the colour is worn.

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