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Warwick Bros & Rutter


The firm of Warwick Bros & Rutter published over 7,024 picture postcards during what is now called “The Golden Age of Postcards” (1901-1913).

Although the firm was an Ontario based company, the founder, William Warwick (c1830s -1880) was born in Montreal to an English father and an Irish mother. His mother’s name was not listed in the book: “Warwick Bros & Rutter Limited. The Story of a Business 1848-1923” but a look through the “non-catholic Montreal BMD index” suggests that his parents may have been Guy Warwick and Louisa Fortune. Over 100 of his postcards were images of Montreal.

In 1847 William Warwick left Montreal for Woodstock, Ontario, where he opened a small book and stationary shop. In the 1850s he added a bookbinding facility and began to manufacture and publish schoolbooks and others. In the 1860s he developed his wholesale business, but finding Woodstock a limited market, moved his business to Toronto in 1868.

In 1880, while driving through The Exhibition grounds in Toronto, Warwick had an accident in which he was thrown from his carriage and injured so severely that he died within a few weeks. The loss of the head of the business was a serious blow. But, Mr. Warwick had surrounded himself with able and loyal associates, and these people took up where he left off.

Mrs. Rosina Warwick, who had proven herself a worthy and capable assistant to her husband became the head of the business assisted by the eldest son, Guy F. Warwick. Arthur F. Rutter, who had joined the staff as a lad in 1873, assumed charge of the manufacturing departments.

Following William Warwick’s death, the name of the business was changed to “Wm. Warwick & Son”, the firm consisting of Mrs. Warwick and eldest son Guy. In 1885, when the second son, George R. Warwick was admitted to the partnership, Mrs. Warwick retired and the firm name became “Warwick & Sons”. Arthur F. Rutter was taken into the partnership in 1886 and Charles E. Warwick, the youngest son, was also made a member of the firm. In 1893 the firm name was changed from “Warwick & Sons” to “Warwick Bros. & Rutter”.

“For some years, the firm made a specialty of the production of picture post cards. It was the first Canadian firm to enter the field with “Made in Canada” coloured cards, leading the way in three color and four color printing processes and making available the highest class of color printing at a popular price.”

Warwick Brothers & Rutter was one of many companies in the stationery and printing industries affected by the Toronto fire of 1904. The firm, located at 68-70 Front Street West was the Ontario Government printer, and copies of many older government documents were lost in the fire. After the fire, the company built a new facility at King Street and Spadina Avenue, just west of what is now the Spadina Hotel.

Source for his business life: “Warwick Bros & Rutter Limited. The Story of a Business 1848-1923

Warwick Bros & Rutter Postcard List – February 2008 (filtered Excel  list 59kb)


Comment from Geoff Mann
Time: April 22, 2014, 8:30 am

Just wondering how many J.Ed.Terryberry postcards there are? I have two cards and his own personal photo album witch I inherited all photos of Toronto and the Muskoka’s dated back to the early 1880’s just wondering if some of the photos could be real photo cards if any one knows please let me know thanks and have a wonderful day Geoff

Comment from Donna Bonaccorso
Time: January 6, 2013, 1:51 pm

I was curious as to whether Arthur Rutter’s son Guy joined the firm and if he is the same Guy Rutter who was an illustrator for Wilson P MacDonald.

Comment from Pauline North
Time: June 25, 2011, 5:32 am

Hi! I’ve just discovered your discussion thread. I too think I’m a descendant of Joseph Warwick, the founder, through my maternal grandmother, Beatrice Warwick, and am keen to research further. All web info (inc “Rootsweb” chat too) has been most useful in trying to sort out mass of Warwicks in Montreal & Quebec but I’m still confused! Would love to hear more from you (esp Joan Rooney, Wendy and Janet Wilford) and swop what I know, if it will help.Many thanks for your input so far.

Comment from David F. Rhodes
Time: March 25, 2011, 9:39 am

My Great Grandfather, Denis Murphy, had a daughter named Nellie who married George R. Warwick of Toronto. I would love to know if they had children and any current relatives.

Comment from GFosdick
Time: November 15, 2010, 9:21 pm

Can you call to mind any articles that have passed by your desk over the years that might include details of the lives of Commercial Travelling Salesmen who worked for Wm. Warwick & Son?
I see from a series of Toronto City Directories that my Great Grandfather was employed as a “Traveller” for Wm. Warwick through the 1880s and early 1890s. (He seem to have switched to Copp Clark Publishing by the turn of the Century.) I know that “the family story” is that he traveled great distances and was away for extended periods of time. I am curious about the area (distances) that he may have covered and what kind of routine or frequency would be involved in covering such a market?
Thank you so much for any leads, insights, consideration you can offer!
Gillian Fosdick

Comment from Lauren Brown
Time: November 8, 2010, 10:03 pm

George Charles Warwick
Born: Sept 25th, 1894
Enlisted in the Canadian Field Artillery
Charles Ernest Warwick & Gertrude Emily Warwick (parents)
died April 9, 1918 (battle of vimy ridge)

Comment from Wendy
Time: May 24, 2010, 2:46 pm

Hi Joan

My maternal grandmother is descended from this line of Warwicks who had a foundry in Leeds (Joseph Warwick & Co) before emigrating to Canada.

Comment from Janet Wilford
Time: May 24, 2010, 9:00 am

I am also researching the Warwick family, my principal interest is Joseph Warwick ( born Montreal 1821) as I am a direct descendant.
I’d be interested in information from anyone collecting “Warwick” postcards

Comment from Joan Rooney
Time: April 9, 2010, 3:56 pm

I am researching the family of this William Warwick, and have learned that his parents were William Warwick, Sr. and Alice Chisholm who married at Christ Church Anglican, Montreal in 1836. I have more info on this Warwick family from Leeds,Yorkshire, who first started an Iron foundry in Montreal in 1817.

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