History of Kem
KEM Cards began production of playing cards during the first half of the 1930s. The companyís proprietary manufacturing methods gave KEM cards the enviable title of the first mass produced plastic playing card. Made of cellulose acetate, KEM cards were bendable, washable, and retained their shape long after paper based cards had withered and died. KEMís unique polymer gave KEM cards their distinctive texture, snap, and handle. Unlike other cards, KEM cards were able to withstand the occasional spilled beer, making them an instant hit with seasoned poker players.
KEM cards gained substantial popularity during the Second World War as troops gathered together in barracks across Europe to play stud, draw, and other poker games. The cards could withstand the humidity of jungle weather, and were less effected desert sand and grit.
KEM cards set the standard for poker card design with the release of the KEM. Arguably the most well known of KEMís card designs, The has become the icon for poker card known world round. This design was seen in the movie ďRoundersĒ as Matt Damon battled John Malkovich in an underground cardroom in NYC.
For 70 years, Kem cards ruled the plastic playing card industry. The company experienced great success through the 1950s and 60s. After many years of success, and having produced countless decks of their patented plastic playing cards, KEM cards sold their plants and copyrighted artwork to the US Playing Card Company in 2004. This historic corporate purchase left the industry with a shortage of plastic playing cards. Finally, after almost two years of silence, the presses have started churning, and the US Playing Card Company has begun re-releasing KEMís vintage Arrow and Paisley designs.
Now after a few years of production a few new back styles have been released by the new manufacturer. Designs such as Pantheon, Arrow Black and Gold, and impressions are surfacing on playing card tables accross the globe.
In 2007. Kem was selected as the official playing card of the World Series of Poker. Being named the official playing card of the World Series of Poker has signified the Kem Brand is once again back atop the world of card games.