24 Game Add/Subtract Jumping Levels 1 to 3


For decades, teachers drilled American school children using flash cards that posed simple arithmetic problems. The advent of inexpensive electronic calculators in the 1970s made it possible to do much routine arithmetic automatically. Flash cards took new forms.

This set of cards teaches addition and subtraction, apparently to individual students. It consists of a deck of 42 cards. Each card is printed on both sides with two circles divided into four quadrants. A digit is printed in two quadrants of each circle(for the easy cards) or three quadrants (for the medium and difficult cards). There are 12 easy cards marked with a single dot (five of these cards are identical to five others); 16 medium cards (eight identical to eight others), which have two dots, 14 difficult cards (six identical to six others), which have three dots; and a cover card. The playing cards also have a single digit marked along the top and bottom edge. The goal of the game is to choose a set of cards of a given level of difficulty, quickly point to one of the circles, and explain how the numbers in the quadrants of that circle can be added and subtracted to produce the digit along the edge. Once a student could accomplish this correctly within certain time limits, he or she “jumped” to another level and received an award.

A mark on the cover card reads: 24 (/) GAME (/) ADD/SUBTRACT (/) JUMPING LEVELS TM 1 to 3. Another reads: SUNTEX (/) INTERNATIONAL INC. Another reads: [copyright sign] 1995. A paper tag attached to the front of the cover card reads: Benjy.

According to Robert Sun, the designer of the 24 Game, these are “mini-cards,” interim take-home cards that were distributed 24 to a pack. It seems likely that this represents most of two packs.

The example was obtained by the donor at Georgetown Day School in the period 1996–1999.

Date Made: 1996

Maker: Suntex International Inc.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Pennsylvania, Easton

Subject: Mathematics


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Science & Mathematics, Arithmetic Teaching


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Benjamin C. Messner

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2008.0038.03Accession Number: 2008.0038Catalog Number: 2008.0038.03

Object Name: game

Physical Description: paper (overall material)Measurements: overall: 1.8 cm x 7.5 cm x 4.6 cm; 23/32 in x 2 15/16 in x 1 13/16 in

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-d1c9-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1443334

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.