Warwick Bros. & Rutter


ALBERTA 040 revWarwick Bros & Rutter published over 7,024 picture postcards during what is known as “The Golden Age of Postcards” (1901-1913). Their business premises 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.

In 2001, the Toronto Postcard Club archivist had catalogued 6,488 of the Warwick Bros & Rutter postcards known at the time as follows;

B. C. – 301 Alberta – 223 Saskatchewan – 200 Manitoba – 273
Ontario – 3,370 Quebec – 323 New Brunswick – 567 Nova Scotia – 809 P. E. I. -146 Newfoundland – 23
Yukon – 17 Rocky Mountains – 21 Western Canada – 39 Miscellaneous – 166
Alaska (pre-statehood) -2 U.S.A. (Rochester?) – 1 Bermuda – 2 Mexico – 5

Family History
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 Bros & Rutter Limited. The Story of a Business 1848-1923”
The Warwick Bros. & Rutter Postcard Gems 1903 – 1912
The Toronto Reference Library digital archive of Warwick postcards

TPC list of Warwick and Rutter postcards


  1. Regarding the comment above from David F. Rhodes. My Great Grandmother was Nellie Murphy, who married George R. Warwick, of Toronto, (my Great Grandfather), whom I remember. I would like to find out your lineage with Denis Murphy. To anyone else who reads this, I would like to learn more about the Warwick family. Also any info or old ephemera on William Warwick, and Warwick Bros. & Rutter. Thanks.

  2. Donna Bonaccorso

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Hello!
    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

  6. 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)

  7. Hello,

    I am looking for a postcard and info therof,published by Warwick Bro’s & Rutter Publishing Limited, Toronto, entitled ” General View Stellarton N.S.” …published for Cameron’s Drug Store (Medical Hall) 243 … Does anyone have information on this since I am the present owner of the drug store but have never in my search came across the name Cameron ??


  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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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