This is what I grew up playing with. These are Vintage (that makes me feel old) KEM Normandie Club cellulose acetate playing cards from the '70s. We had five decks of them, three green and two brown (black).
KEM Normandie 85.JPG
I didn't think there was anything remarkable about them when I was growing up. They were just the cards we played with at my house. We never played with a pack of Bicycle cards, or Bees, or Aviators, just these. What I didn't find remarkable, but do in hindsight, is that I remember my father having these cards from the time I was four or five. They weren't in boxes. Each deck was held together using a rubber band. My father was very specific as to how the rubber band should be wrapped around each deck so as not to damage the cards. We were still using those same decks of cards when I was seventeen. I actually found two decks (one green and one black) in a drawer at my parents house in GA when I was about twenty-five. They probably hadn't been used in some years at that point. I know the five decks we had received regular use over the years when I was growing up and what I would consider to be heavy use for a couple of years in there. I'd say they held up extremely well.
Over the years, as I saw how fast normal playing cards wore out, I would wonder where my father had gotten those amazing playing cards that had lasted so many years. One day I came across a picture of a deck of vintage KEM cards from the mid '30s that looked very familiar to me. I looked further into KEM cards and found that the cards pictured came from the Normandie Club in early '70s. The Normandie Club is the oldest Southern California
card club in existence and is located in the city of Gardena, Ca., where I was born.