- Aerofilms Ltd, Aerial House, The Hyde, Hendon
Founded in 1919 by Francis Wills and Claude Graham White, Aerofilms originally flew out of the Stag Lane Aerodrome in Edgware using planes from the London Flying School. More information can be found at Wikipedia.
- Astley Series
- Boots Cash Chemists
Now Boots Company plc, one of the largest and best known chemists in the UK.
The first Boots shop was opened in Nottingham by herbalist John Boot in 1849. His son Jesse and Jesse’s wife Florence expanded the business and founded Boots Cash Chemists in 1871. By 1888 they began expanding the range of products beyond drugs and in 1890 started selling postcards. In 1899 the company introduced their own range of card, the Pelham Series, Many of the photographic images used on the cards were produced by Valentine & Sons.
The shop was located at 20 The Square (St Annes Road West), St Annes On Sea. No other information available.
- Bunney’s Ltd, Liverpool and Llandudno
Gift shop, stationers, book seller and postcard publishers – A H Bunney was based on Mostyn Street, Llandudno and Church Street, Liverpool.
- Constance Ltd., Streatham Hill, London
Founded in the 1930s by Joseph Asher, originally based off Paternoster Square in central London and moved to 22 Christchurch Road, Streatham Hill during World War II. The company closed in the 1980s.
- Dainty Series
See Dennis & Sons.
(Not to be confused with ‘Dainty Novels Series’, which were published by Shurey’s Publications).
- Davidson Bros., London
Davidson Brothers published toned lithographic and tinted real photo postcards in London and New York between 1901 and 1911. They also published reproduction artworks, greetings cards and comics.
- Dennis & Sons (E T W Dennis & Sons)
Printing and publishing company E.T.W.Dennis was founded in Scarborough in 1870. When the Post Office regulations were changed to allow the commercial production of picture postcards, Dennis were quick to fill the gap in the market and produced Britain’s first picture postcards in 1894.
Between 1900 and 1910 they published cards under the name ‘Dainty Series’. Dainty monotone images were often enhanced with a blue sky, paintings and colour images were also produced under this series.
The company closed in 2000. A detailed history of E T W Dennis can be found at Webber Postcards.
- Dixon (J Arthur)
See J Arthur Dixon
- Douglas H Pollard, St Andrews Rd South, St Annes
Douglas Pollard was an electrical and wireless dealer located at 1 St Andrews Road South, St Annes.
- E C & S Ltd, ‘Progress Series’
Published postcards of Blackpool and the surrounding area in the early 1900s. No other information.
- E Lloyd Williams, Carnarvon (sic)
The company were trading as stationers and newsagents at 21 Bank Quay Caernarfon in 1902 and had moved to Bangor Street in 1903 where they were still trading in 1937 (according to Carnarvon Traders). Presumably they sold their own postcards from their newsagents.
- E.R.G. & Co. Blackpool
Edward Rhodes Green & Co (also known as E.R.G & Co and E. R. Green & Co.) published postcards on Victoria Street in Blackpool from the early 1900s up to World War I, usually with the name ‘Victoria Series’. The majority of their cards were humorous seaside pictures, but they also published scenic cards.
- E T W Dennis & Sons, London & Scarborough
See Dennis & Sons
- Eyre and Spottiswoode
The company was founded by George Edward Eyre and Andrew Spottiswoode in 1845 on Fetter Lane, London. They were the King’s Printers, printing for His Majesty’s Stationery Office.
They branched out into Christmas card printing, and by the late 19th century were also printing postcards under the ‘Woodbury Series’ name.
In the 1970s the company became part of Methuen Publishing and was then sold to Cambridge University Press in 1987.
- Francis A P, Llanberis
Alfred Pryce Francis was a stationer in Llanberis. Presumably they sold postcards from the shop, but no other information is available.
- Francis H J, Carnarvon and Llanberis
Hugh Jones Francis was a stationer on Palace Street, Caernarfon.
- Francis Frith & Co, Reigate
Francis Frith was a Victorian photography pioneer who founded Francis Frith and Company in 1860. Originally the company took and sold family and scenic photographs. In 1910 they began publishing postcards, becoming one the largest postcard publishers in the country.
The company closed in 1970 and their collection was purchased by Rothmans tobacco company. In 1976 the collection was relaunched, it was purchased by John Buck in 1977 and run as an independent business.
The Francis Frith Collection contains over 365,000 photographs from around Britain, taken between 1860 and 1970, covering over 7,000 towns and villages.
- G P Abraham Ltd., Keswick (Abraham Brothers)
George Perry Abraham took photographs and lantern slides of the English Lake District, between 1865 and the 1920s. In 1907, with the help of his sons Ashley (a photographer) and George Dixon (an artist), the company started producing photographic postcards of the area, with many of the monochrome photographs being hand tinted by George Dixon. They also published illustrated rock climbing books and did much to promote the sport.
- Harvey Barton & Sons Ltd., Aberdeen and Bristol
Photographers, printers and postcard publishers based at St. Michael’s Hill, Bristol between 1885 and 1960.
- Hildesheimer & Co., Ltd., London and Manchester (Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co)
The company started publishing books in the 1830 on Miller Street in Manchester, and Christmas cards in 1876. They opened a second office on Silk Street in London in 1881 to print advertising cards and then postcards in the late 19th century. The majority of their postcards were drawings and paintings, rather than photographs.
- Isaac E Leach (also I E Leach)
Stationers in St Annes On Sea in Lancashire. One of the cards in the collection which shows published by I E Leach also shows Frith Series.
- J. Arthur Dixon Studios
The company was set up on the Isle of Wight in 1937 by photographer John Arthur Dixon. Initially they published greetings cards, but by 1947 they were also publishing postcards (initially under contract for W. J. Nigh & Sons Ltd) and in 1958 they added guidebooks to their range. The company became part of the John Hinde Group in 1998. A detailed history of the company can be found on the Wootton Bridge Historical website.
- J M & Co. (J McCulloch & Co) Edinburgh
Based in Gorgie, Edinburgh and founded in 1903. The company specialised in sepia and tinted collotype printed postcards of Scotland, most using the photographs of C Reid of Wishaw in North Lanarkshire and published under the name ‘Caledonia Series’.
- J R Owen, Nevin
John Richard Owen was a photographer who worked in Nefyn in the early 1900s. He began producing postcards at that time, after being given a glass negative of boat builders in the 1870s on Nefyn beach which he thought would be of historical interest. He was soon taking his own photographs of the area, publishing them as postcards and selling them in local shops. (Source, Nefyn.com)
- J Salmon Ltd, Sevenoaks
Founded in 1880 by Joseph Salmon, a bookseller from London, when he took over a stationers and printers in Sevenoaks, Kent. In 1890 he started printing picture postcards of the area around Sevenoaks, followed by scenes from around Britain, and in 1912 they started printing calendars.
Today J Salmon Ltd is still in family ownership and is the oldest postcard company in Britain.
Established in 1902 by photographer, Fred Judge, in Hastings. Initially a photographic business, they started publishing postcards in 1903. In 1910 they moved to larger premises and became a wholesale producer of postcards, appointing sole agents around the country to sell their cards. A full history of the company can found on their website.
- Kingsway Real Photo Series
- London and North Western Railway Company
A British railway company that operated between 1846 and 1922. As well as trains the company ran passenger ships from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and Fleetwood to Belfast, they also carried the Irish Mail between the two counties. They also published photographs and postcards of the trains, ships and stations.
More information about the ships that sailed between Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and Fleetwood to Belfast.
- Lilywhite Ltd, Halifax (also L.L.H.)
Founded by Arthur Frederick Sergeant (who had originally set up Halifax Photographic Company) and based in Sowerby Bridge near Halifax in West Yorkshire. They began publishing postcards in 1910. In the 1920s, Lilywhite took over Arrow Series Postcards, they continued to published cards using the Arrow name as well as republishing some older Arrow cards under the Lilywhite name.
- Lyric Series B V C
No information, but their logo is Blackpool Tower, so it’s probably safe to assume they were based in Blackpool.
- Mayson’s, Keswick
Henry Mayson (1845 – 1921) opened a photographic studio on Lake Road in Keswick in the 1880s. He photographed the Lakeland fells along with the social history of Keswick and the surrounding area and published postcards containing many of his images. An archive of 4,500 glass plates of his photographs are conserved by the Cumbria Records Office. Find more information about Henry Mayson and his work.
- McCorquodale & Co., Ltd
Founded in 1878 in Wolverton by George McCorquodale. The printing company is still in business today, visit their website for more information.
- Millar and Lang Ltd (M&L Ltd)
Founded in 1903 and based originally in Glasgow and latterly in London. Initially they issued black and white real photographs postcards but in the 1930s they also started publishing hand coloured cards. The company closed in 1982.
Many of their cards were published using the name ‘National Series’.
- Milton ‘Photogravure’ Series
See Woolstone Brothers
- National Series
See Millar and Lang Ltd.
- Peacock Brand
See Pictorial Stationery Co., Ltd.
- Pelham Postcards
See Boots Cash Chemists
- Photo Precision, St. Albans
Founded by two RAF photo reconnaissance officers. In 1963 the company bought fellow postcard publishers, J B White of Dundee. Photo-Precision was itself taken over by Colourmaster Ltd in 1969.
- Photochrom Co., Ltd.
Founded in Tunbridge Wells in 1896 producing greetings cards and guide books. They began publishing postcards in 1903 mainly using the Swiss Photochrom process, though they also produced sepia-tone and hand tinted cards. The company appears to have ceased trading by the 1950s.
- Photomatic Ltd
Printing company based at 3 Dellsome Lane, N. Mymms, Herts. No other information
- Photorial Stationery, London
See Pictorial Stationery Co., Ltd
- Photoway of Fleet Street
- Pictorial Stationery Co., Ltd.
Founded in 1897 at 23 Moorfields, London. The company started publishing postcards in 1902 under many names including Peacock, Most of their cards were printed in Leipzig, Saxony.
- R.A.P. Co., Ltd. (R A Series)
Rapid Art Photography (R.A.P. Co. Ltd) and were based at Chelsea Bridge, London EC4 as well as offices in Brighton, Eastborne, Bournemouth, Croydon, Dover, Folkestone, Southsea and Hastings..
R.A.P Co. Ltd and the logo ‘R A Series’ appear on many postcards, usually accompanied by a local publisher’s name.
- Raphael Tuck and Sons Ltd
In 1866 Raphael Tuck and his wife opened a shop selling pictures, frames and furniture in Bishopsgate in London. By 1870 their sons had joined the business and the company expanded into printing pictures and, in 1871, greetings cards. In 1880 the company moved to Coleman Street and in 1882 they opened a branch in Paris.
Queen Victoria granted the company a Royal Warrant of Appointment in 1893. In 1895 they opened a branch in New York.
In 1899 the company moved to Raphael House, a five storey building between Tenter Street and White Street in London and produced their first postcard showing views of London.
Raphael Tuck died in 1900, his sons continued to run and expand the business. They now had 45 sets of postcards. In 1903 Tuck’s introduced their ‘Oilette’ Series and by 1904 they had 15,000 designs. They also sold postcard albums and a frames. To publicise their business they ran several competitions, offering cash prizes to the people who collected the largest number of their cards.
In December 1940 Raphael House was bombed during a German raid, the building was destroyed along with all the company records and over 40,000 original photographs and pictures.
After the war, the company built a new head office and, despite their losses, continued to flourish.
In 1959 Tuck’s was taken over by Purnell & Sons, which became British Printing Corporation in 1964 and then Maxwell Communications Corporation in 1987. Maxwell ceased trading in 1991.
- Regent Fine Art Co. Ltd. Belfast (R.F.A)
- Rembrandt Intaglio Printing Company, London
Founded in 1895 by calico printers and sail makers Storey Brothers of Lancaster. By 1900 they were producing gravure art prints commercially. In 1926 they moved to London, but struggled to develop new techniques of printing to compete with their rivals and in 1932 were bought out by Sun Engraving Co. and renamed Rembrandt Photogravure Ltd. A full history of Rembrandt and Sun Engraving can be found here.
- Shurey’s Publications
A large magazine publishing company located in Gough Square, London. They included postcards as free inserts in their magazines to increase sales, the postcards bore the name of the relevant magazine series such as ‘Smart Novels’ and ‘Dainty Novels’.Most of the cards were photographs and artist drawings of scenes from around Britain.
- Smart Novels Series
See Shurey’s Publications
- Spring Bros. Publishers, Express Office, St. Annes on Sea
No information. However the photo on the card is from the Francis Frith Collection.
- Valentine & Sons Ltd Dundee and London
Founded in 1851 by James Valentine in Dundee, Scotland as a printing and portrait photography business. In the 1860s they started publishing photographic views of Scotland, sold individually and in albums. James died in 1879 and his sons William and George took over the running of the company. They started producing greetings cards a year later. When George emigrated to New Zealand in 1884, William took charge of the photographic business which now employed around 100 people.
In 1896 the company began publishing picture postcards and were employing a 1000 workers. They issued tinted, half-tone and real photo postcards (by 1907 they employed 40 artists to hand tint). They opened offices in New York, Canada, Norway and Jamaica, all of which were sold by 1923.
By 1929 the company closed their portrait business and focused on postcard production.
In the 1950s the postcard side of the business began to suffer and the company focus shifted towards greeting cards. In 1963 they were taken over by Waddington & Co. Ltd, who were sold to Hallmark Cards in 1980.
Valentine’s Dundee factory finally closed in 1994.
- W. A. & S., S. ‘Grosvenor Series’
William Ashton & Sons, Southport. No other information.
- W Lawrence Publisher, Dublin
- W McKenzie and Co., London
- Wildt & Kray Ltd., London EC1
Based at 15 Lensden Place, London EC1, the company produced a wide variety of photographic postcards and greetings cards, including scenic views, farm animals and art reproductions (such as their ‘Constable’s Country’ series).
- William Ritchie & Sons Ltd (W.R. & S.)
William Ritchie opened a bookshop in Edinburgh, The Edinburgh Bible Warehouse, and later a stationery warehouse in the city. William died in 1900 and his sons carried on running the business.
They started publishing postcards in 1903 showing views of Britain and Ireland, mainly under the ‘Reliable Series’ brand name. They appear to have ceased trading in 1928.
- WJP ‘County Series’
- Woolstone Brothers
Based in London, they published many subjects of postcards under various names including Milton Series, The Milton Post Card, Sellwells, Photolettes and Artlettes between 1902 and 1933.
- W R & S
See William Ritchie & Sons, Ltd
- W Williams, The Stores, Capel Curig
Founded by Evelyn Wrench in 1900 on Haymarket, London, they moved to Arthur Street in 1902 and became Wrench Postcards in 1904. They published a variety of postcard styles including monochrome, line art and tricolour, the subject included views from around Britain, trains, ships and art reproductions. However, they sold only their own cards and this soon caused sales to fall and led to the company closing in 1906.