Next TPC meeting Sat. April 27th about Winnipeg philatelist & philosopher O. Kendall and ‘The Hobbyist’.
Upcoming show calendar.
I have a Saint John NB card from the series numbered (24), again to the left of the caption, “Suspension Bridge, St. John, N.B.” It is postmarked 2 Feb 1906. In my opinion, the number on the cards can only be a card number within a series of, at least, fifty cards.
Yes, I agree. It seems to be a rather scarce series. I have nos. 6, 30 and 50 — keep looking for more but they don’t show up often.
Yes, I agree. It seems to be a rather scarce series. I have nos. 6, 30 and 50 — keep looking for more but they don’t show up often. (Andrew Cunningham)
I wonder if the omission of punctuation has anything to do with the other popular from of communication from the period. Telegraph messages were usually charged for by the word and in some cases charge was made for punctuation as evidenced hence the use of “stop” for a period. Short communication such as used on postcards may have adopted a terse style related, not to cost, but to space available.
Yes that’s possible – an interesting idea. I suppose one would have to compare actual full-length letters from the period to see whether this tendency is in evidence there as well.
Further to the above I should have noted that the link to the BC map page takes one only to the general area. To look at the specific area under discussion search for “Mount Barrington” and then look south east to find a broad flood plain. You can then toggle back and forth between the topo map and the aerial photo of the area. Another topo map of the same area can be found at http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/dmf-viewer/?siteid=5628311639164388216 but IU was not able to find a way to zoom in on that version.
That’s odd. It may leave a cookie or something once you’ve looked at it once because, for me, it takes me to the area, with the locations being easily recognizable if you have the map I included in the article as reference.
Your observations as regards the method of trestle building are spot on. What is interesting is there were dedicated ore cars used to transport the spoil/soil to fill up the trestle and provide a firm base for the final road bed. On PEI this method was frequently used for small gullies and streams but in those cases the earth was loaded on to flatcars and the engine pulled a wooden plow along the length of the train shoving the earth off the cars on both sides. While you have the technology right I have a great deal of difficulty with the locational analysis. Mount Barrington and the Barrington River are north of the Stikine River near Telegraph Creek. How an engine (however small) and railcars were transported to the site is beyond imagining although there was service of small steamboats on the first 200 miles or so of the Stikine. Telegraph Creek was not even connected to another community by road until well into the 20th century. An earlier delivery of railway equipment would have been a noteworthy accomplishment. Examining the aerial photos of the area there appears to be no other evidence of any sort of rail line or improved corridor with which the supposed embankment would connect. The BC topographical map found at http://apps.gov.bc.ca/pub/dmf-viewer/?siteid=5628311639164388216 shows that the visible slash on the surface is located on level ground within the valley bottom or flood plain and no trestle or embankment would be necessary even if there was a rail line. A BC mines exploration report for the Mount Barrington area dated 1968 fails to mention any prior exploitation of mineral resources and notes only an abandoned trail accessible only by 4 wheel drive vehicles. If a track bed had existed in the area it is probable it would have been noted. Unfortunately your link to a “topographic map” brings up an aerial photo which does not contain the “Iron Road” notation you mention. Perhaps it is a wrong link? However the location could be a red herring and I think the key may be in the location name. While “Barrington” could possibly be interpreted from the photo I think there could be other locations beginning with “Ba??”. I don’t think there are enough letters to spell Barrington. Finally it seems beyond belief that there would be a photograph from back of beyond BC, which would be turned into a postcard sent from Chatham Ontario in 1911. While it was certainly common for postcards to be mailed some distance from the location pictured, the distance from, and remoteness of the suggested location make it extremely unlikely. I think a different name but one a little nearer Chatham would be more likely. Given that this was an period of railway expansion both in Ontario and in the development of transcontinental routes there should be a number of possibilities. Finally, the name may be a barrier to identification as it might have been a temporary one long lost or abandoned as a place name. Once the embankment was finished the site might no longer have warranted a name at all and the location may simply have had the moniker ” Mile 37 on the Upper Rubber Boot Branch Line.” However this is a fascinating exercise. The answer is out there somewhere.
The “Iron Road” label took me a little while to find again, but it’s at the Mapcarta link (in the article) if you switch the view to “Map” (the little blue-and-white flag icon in the upper left corner. The name “Iron Road” and the fact that the road is so straight are both at least somewhat suggestive of this having once been a bed for a railway. The map also shows what looks like a symbol for an embankment on either side of the Iron Road in exactly the spot in question, as well as showing a contour line that would suggest at least a mild elevation at the west end of the (hypothesized) embankment. If it is an embankment, it looks consistent with the size one might expect, given the image on the card.
Exactly why a trestle would be required at that exact spot was something that also seemed to me to be a weak spot in my otherwise airtight case (well, not quite airtight!). But that looks to me like an embankment symbol on the topo map, which is a lot more evidence than I expected to find a century later.
Anyway, thanks for the analysis. It could be somewhere else, for sure. Anything is possible – I’ve not been to Barrington River to check and it doesn’t seem from looking for photos on line that very many people have! It looks like the sort of spot that it would be wonderful to find oneself at but probably not so wonderful a place to have to try to get to.
Although postcards did tend to be posted in proximity to the scene depicted, there is no reason in principle that any card couldn’t have been mailed from anywhere – and one does sometimes see such mailings. All it would have taken in this case is for some guy working on this mine site to send a pile of them to his mom in Chatham and for her to grab one of them a couple years later when she was hunting around for a postcard to send a note to her friend in Pontiac. So that aspect of it I’m not so concerned about.
Thanks for your contribution to the mystery. We’ll see what the verdict of history turns out to be…
Has anyone ever tried to track down what became of the original negatives and photographs for the Valentine and Sons images of Canada? I would assume that the ones showing eastern Canada would have ended up in Percy Black’s possession? Has anyone ever tried to research what happened to Percy Black’s collection after his company, Valentine Black, closed?
Hi Marc, Not that I’ve heard of but it wouldn’t surprise me if someone has tried this (or to do the same thing with the Edy family – I forget Edy’s first name – in Winnipeg). We’ll see if there are any responses. (Andrew Cunningham)
Hello everyone , My first thoughts when I saw the airplane is it was a photo of Amelia Earhart . I think the photo was taken of the two women , not the airplane . Emilia Earhart was in Callander Ont in April 1937 to see the Dionne quints . She supposedly drove from Toronto ,is this her hitching a ride back to T.O or the US . Could make sense why this picture was taken .Only my thoughts, I love a GOOD mystery .
I am surprised that your google search did not turn up Great Barrington in Massachusetts, USA.
Well now, that wouldn’t have done for the postcard since Gt. Barrington is on the “Housatonic” River (as I of course knew long before Googling it 8 seconds ago — as a former Bay Stater myself … ).
Was wanting to know if a post card that my father in- law had of Prime Minster Winston Churchill is a collectors item? It is in excellent shape. How would I find out? There is no hand writing on the back. On the back it says Published by permission of the Prime Minster. by the Photochrom Co. Ltd. London & Tunbridge Wells.
Of course to a postcard collector just about any postcard has value! Even if it’s ‘new’, the stamps often appeal to beginning philatelists. We hear that seniors’ residences are using the views for cognitive therapy too. Often a way to see how others value a certain types of postcard is to look on Ebay. When I searched for ‘Photochrom Co. Ltd. London & Tunbridge Wells’, there are quite a few for sale from around $3.00 to under $10.00. As for Sir Winston, a postcard with his likeness also seems to sell in that range. Perhaps giving this postcard to some sort of history related organization would be a place for it? or a history teacher at a school.
Do you know the dates or history of “THE CANADIAN POST CARD CO. Ltd Toronto 3” ?
The Ontario Archives web site show it as c. 1910 to c 1950 – but it may be still operating under a different name.
My family(Miners’ Bay Lodge) purchased many cards from them over the years and one that shows the above listing was definitely ordered in 1967.
Wonderful information Thanks
Is there a general brief history of the CANADIAN POST CARD COMPANY LTD. TORONTO?
Not that we know of, but perhaps someone reading this will have some information.
there are in fact U.S. examples as well. WECV is a christian radio station in Tennessee and the spirit one website points to the Yukon U.S. someone else posted another photo claiming it was Victoria BC??? just like children posing on ponies is ubiquitous so it seems was posing in tiny airplanes.
Hello I have 7 postcards from 1910 all have the copyright Canada by Canadian postcard Co Toronto. They have been in my family for many years and were given to my parents after a family friend passed away. The pictures on the front of the cards are all scenes of either giant rabbits/hares either being chased by men in cars or have been caught and being carried on a pole. A giant corn on the cob being on a wagon being pulled by 2 horses. giant potatoes also on a cart being pulled by horses and a man sitting on top of one. Huge watermelon being sawn into slices by 2 men. A house being lifted by large pumpkin and lastly 2 men in a boat fishing huge fish. I’m not able currently to take photos but was looking for some information on these on the back of some are a stamp on the reverse which says the office of divisional car foreman May 19th 1910 NORTH BAY Ont any help with any information would be great
Those are known as “exaggeration” postcards and were fairly popular around 1910. Exaggeration cards are recognized as a collecting area, especially by U.S. collectors (a little more than in Canada because they were all, or almost all, made in the U.S.).
Another visitor to our site was asking us about them a few years ago — he seemed to know about them and noted that the Canadian Postcard Co. series were “taken from images by William H. Martin from Ottawa, Kansas, USA. I believe these cards were first released in 1910 and continued for some time.” So in reality they were imported from the U.S. and imprinted by the Canadian Postcard Co. with Canadian town names or other information and sold here.
There are many varieties and they aren’t usually too expensive if you want to collect some more!
Congratulations. This is a very interesting and informative website. I am doing some research for the penitentiary museum here in Kingston, Ontario and wondered if anyone in your club might happen to have a postcard of ‘G Company’ of the 21st Battalion Overseas Regiment taken in Kingston on Nov. 21, 1914? Here is a low resolution scan of one as found on the 21st CEF website http://21stbattalion.ca/photosdg/g_company_1914.jpg
We need to locate a higher res version in an attempt to identify one of our fallen penitentiary officers who was in that regiment in WW 1. Apparently the original that was scanned for the website has been lost. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Howdy, from May (Brown County), Texas, USA – I went to an Estate Auction this week (7/17/18)- a widow’s estate who lived in Brownwood, Texas – She had been a Baptist Missionary and died at 104 years of age. I bought a box of “junk”, mainly for a pretty antique bowl I wanted. However, it came with a bunch of old postcards. Some were written on and some have never been used. I would like to mail these to your Club with the hopes that someone there will be able to organize and keep these old post cards – some are really old – some may be good for your auctions/fundraiser. I have done some searching online and I don’t know of any Post Card Collectors here in Texas – there might be some, but they don’t pop up, so I’m sending these your way – some may be valuable — I don’t know, but I’d rather see someone benefit or enjoy these cards rather than just throw them away. Thank you for helping to keep the memory of old times, historical buildings and old places alive thru these post cards. With Kindest Regards, Valerie Kelton, May, TX
Thanks for the offer, Valerie, but if the subject matter of the postcards is American they are really better to stay in the USA. Here is a list of postcard clubs in the USA and other. I suggest that you connect with some of these which are representative of the subject matter. If the cards are Canadian, by all means we will find them a home. Our mailing address in on our ‘contact’ page.
Hello, I am looking for postcards of Quebec … of the following cities Beauharnois, Melocheville, St-Timothée, Valleyfield and all the maps of the photographer Élie Gendron..I pay $ 100 for Melocheville cards with black band signed Élie Gendron or E.G and $ 35 and up for Beauharnois cards by Élie Gendron or E.G..thanks you!
A really interesting observation. I went through just a couple categories and found the same thing, but many of my duplicates are “sky only” and “sky with clouds”. The clouds are clearly “painted” in – in one card the clouds look like they’ve been painted by Gaugin. Valentine has a ton of variations (and I just collect Toronto!) – I’ve counted 45 of them just on the face of cards – black and white, sepia etc. I’ve never counted the different backs of the cards, nor, until now, the clouds.
I think “geeky” and “deltiologist” are a bit redundant, don’t you?
It’s not just Valentine & Sons that have this variety of skyline change, but many other publishers do the same. I often thought it was perhaps due to the cost of the stencils. They were expensive to cut, as was the material used to make them and they would have different dye cutters producing the stencils, thus the difference. It would be more cost effective to have a variety of skylines to fit many types/style of cards.
I have 23 of the 24 original series set no. 2 “Representative Canadian Railway Type Post Cards. I am missing J.McGarvey freight conductor, toronto in the original packaging.
I would like to know the value of these.
You are probably referring to “The Canadian Pacific Railway Employee Sketches” by artist Kathleen Shackleton. In a recent Club auction we sold several at about $10. per postcard. To a railway enthusiast, a complete set might be worth a premium for the complete set.
Hello. I recently discovered an album full of old postcards. The problem is the album is one of those horrible ‘magnetic page’ albums so popular in the 1970s. Is there a safe way to remove the cards from the album as they are stuck very firmly? Thanks in Advance
What did we do before the internet?! This seems like a good solution – floss them off. Hope it works for you! goodlifeorganizing
What Carl said. In my PEI collection, there are often 3+ different skies for the same scene – I had presumed this artistic license was national in nature.
1. Old Mohawk Road, Brantford, Ont. Divided back postcard published for S. H. Knox & Co. Card is postmarked July 4, 1908
(“Canal Drive, Brantford, Canada”)Stedman
Andrew – Your earlier article on not so petty thievery between rival PC producers helped me out a great deal. Contrast these two above. And not just the variant sky covers.
The “Old Indian Bridge, Brantford, Canada” viewed at CardCow.com is the bridge seen in both PCs at the Canal’s vanishing point. Old Mohawk Road shows 9 vertical posts rising above the bridge’s deck, only 4 on Canal Drive. Yet Old Mohawk was either cropped and enlarged or snapped a very few feet closer to the bridge. Why such a difference in the post count then?
There are two opposing directions of highlights on the trees and the utility pole in the right mid-ground. Both the “Corners” informal beach platform, stairs or ramp down the embankment, and house on the extreme left horizon above were cropped out. Compare Stedman’s “River Road, Brantford” (also available at City of Brantford Heritage website) where the tree highlights are in unison with each other.
The bicycle leaning against the utility pole is vanished in Old Mohawk.
The high cirrus clouds on Canal Drive look real(istic). Those on Old Mohawk do not.
And we haven’t even mentioned the different reproduction techniques obvious between the pair for essentially the identical scene otherwise.
What do you think?
The shadow of the X shaped crossing sign in the centre foreground is partial in the upper image and more complete in the lower image, suggesting a subtly different cropping of the image as well.
Thanks! I hadn’t noticed that. The “cropping” might just be an artifact of how the sheets of cards were cut after printing. I’m not 100% sure, though.
It does sometimes seem that no two postcards, like no two snowflakes, are alike!
Very common in the Maritime’s versions of Valentines cards.
In my Halifax collection, many identical scenes can have 3-4 different ‘skies.’
Interesting! I will have to look into this more closely.
hello there my name is Bernie and I recently got about 20 postcards all Canadian cities and range from 1942 to 1947, so my question is? is there a site that can help me categorize them.ty
On our web-site, in the FAQ tab there are comments about postcard valuations that may give you some insights. As well, a wander through EBay looking at the actual bids for a similar postcard is educational. We would classify postcards from the 1940s as ‘modern’ – despite being over 70years old. And while American, the MetroPostcard.com web-site postcard history commentary is a close enough to the evolution of postcards in Canada as well.
I have a question about Rumsey cards I hope someone can answer. The back of their cards in your history is the one I am familiar with. Their business name is printed on the left side of the card and their reference number is found in the bottom right-hand corner of the card back.
I have found identical views in both colours as these views but without their name anywhere on the card and a completely different reference number in the stamp box.
Were these Rumsey cards? Were they purchased by someone else who printed them in this new way?
Ignore my previous post. I have found the answer. In one of their series, the one I call the “Private Postcard Series” there are cards with a “patriotic” stamp over. In the case of London, Ontario cards the stamp reads “We All Say London”.
The post mentions “as well as several series of patriotic postcards”. Can you help with images or any information on any patriotic card by Rumsey? I note that none are listed in Mike Smith’s book.
An illustrated catalogue of Rumsey & Co. cards with P.E.I. images can be found at
I just checked my collection and it turns out that I also have no (6) which is “Highland View Hospital, Amherst, N.S.”, so it appears that there was a series of at least 50 cards in this style. (Andrew)
Perhaps not so rare after all. I have a series of PEI cards published by P.D. Ayer of Moncton, all of which have the Private Mailing Card label. I will send a scan directly to you as it is not clear how images can be appended to REPLYS.
Thanks — We’ve posted the images you sent at the end of the post. Very interesting!
I just spotted another Black Printing card with the coloured back – “Cape Tormentine Breakwater” from a private collection on-line
This time there is no number on the front.
I am interested in the “(50)” to the left of the title on the card. If this is a card number it suggests that Black Printing had an extensive series of cards at this early date. On the other hand the number may have some other meaning such as the size of the press run. Any collectors of Black Printing who could shed some light on the matter?
I would like to solicit the assistance of any members with Rumsey or P.E.I. collections. I am compiling a catalogue of early (pre WWI)Rumsey cards of P.E.I. and have identified 25-30 cards. Gaps in the known series suggest there may upwards of 20 additional cards. The Rumsey cards have number in the stamp box and there appear to be there are two main series of P.E.I. cards in the form 253?? and 480?? My current problem is that I have four cards where the number is unreadable owing to a stamp on the card. If anyone has unstamped copies of any of the following Rumsey cards I would appreciate learning what the number may be:
Charlottetown Harbour P.E. Island
Market Square, Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Queen Street, Charlottetown, P.E.I. [monotone]
Birds Eye View from the Post Office, Summerside, P.E.I.
With regard to the latter card there are actually two cards with the identical title – the one I am seeking information about is not card #48028. My guess is it is probably either 48027 of 48029.
It is my intention to add the Rumsey information to my on-line illustrated catalogue of P.E.I cards found at https://straitpost.wordpress.com/publisher-lists/
I have found a card by the International Stationery Co. of Picton that’s in colour – looks like water colour but it’s original to the card. This is the first ISC card I’ve ever seen that’s colour, at least for Toronto. Do any of you have ISCs in colour?
Interesting. We’ll see if anyone out there has other International Stationery cards of this kind.
Byron Harmon Photographer and Postcard Publisher published Postcards overprinted on Enida Olives cards as well as having Enida Olive publish cards with his name only but using clearly the Enida Olive format. I have seen at least 52 cards in my Byron Harmon Collection.
I am working on a book to illustrate all the Byron Harmon Cards. I have about 325 pages so far. I have just scanned another 800 cards not in my collection.
That’s very interesting. Thanks for the information. We have Byron Harmon collectors in our club as you likely know. Keep us updated on the progress of your book!https://torontopostcardclub.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php#comments-form
I have also found one in my mother in laws photos and thought I would research where it came from. It is a 1934 Vancouver Spirit of Childhood postcard and the background is a bit different than the others that I have seen posted so it does seem to back up the idea that the prop was moved around from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Thanks for starting this post, it made it easy for me to find out a bit about the stories and photos that I am putting into a book I am making of her memories.
Mr. Rumsey was the manager of W. F. Mcgregor of leather postcard fame in Toronto according to Might’s 1908 Toronto Directory. When Mcgregor went out of business in 1908 along with the failure of MacFarlane, Herr Rumsey appears on the scene as a publisher. It is notable that Bill Rumsey lived at 1528 Queen W in Toronto, the address of his postcard company.
Re: Gold frame postcards by Toronto publishers
MacFarlane was first out of the block in early 1908 [see his ad in the Bookseller & Stationer], the others followed later in 1908 and continued into 1909.
MacFarlane may seem to be late to the game because of fewer samples, but keep in mind that his company went under in late 1908, hence seemingly fewer cards from him.
I twigged to your article while researching something else, and this hit came up.
I look forward to getting the issue – hopefully soon. Card Talk has come a long way in 30 years since I first joined the Club and started getting it.Hopefully,many more years ahead for the Club and Newsletter.
I can tell you,as I live in the province,that Saskatchewan no longer wants to be known strictly as a “Wheat Province”. Oil production began in the late 1940s and we are on our way at taking the industry away from Alberta! Mining for Potash,which began in the early 1960s is also a huge business operation here. Just over half the population of Saskatchewan live in Saskatoon and Regina (and Moose Jaw -which is close-by to Regina)now so there’s probably many who don’t even know what living on a farm or even a small town is like. Collect those postcards of combine farming from the 1970s & 1980s because someday THEY will be the antique collectibles !
“dead one” is an Edwardian slang phrase meaning
“A dull, ineffective person; dull tool (1904+)” according to
The Dictionary of American Slang. I have a small collection of postcards from the same era that all use the phrase, they are all wonderfully strange.
Thank you very much for your reply – that reference gets us much closer to the meaning of what is certainly a very strange postcard image.
Great article. Thank you. Of particular interest to me was figure 4.- as this house was owned by by my uncle prior to its purchase by the Unitarian Church.
Thanks for doing this research. It is great to have this background knowledge about the Rumsey cards in my collection!
I am wondering if anyone is doing work on Pugh Manufacturing? The company seems to have been very busy. For Prince Edward Island alone I have identified more than 60 pre-WW1 cards and the numbering sequence suggests there are at least 75 with a high probability of a lot more. If anyone can help interpret the numbering sequence, usually in the format XXX-XX I would be most appreciative. There doesn’t seem to be a specific number for a province or a city – I have several sequences for Charlottetown for example. I have just posted a revised illustrated catalogue of the P.E.I. cards that I am aware of at
Of you can simple search for “Straitpost” and drill down from there. I would be interested in learning of additional PEI Pugh series or the titles of the missing cards in the listing.
Thanks for your question, Harry. We will see if anyone is doing work on Pugh Manufacturing beyond the limited information in our publisher biography. The first three digits in the numbering series would likely have represented a specific “order” from a retailer or wholesaler in PEI. If there were repeated orders, there would presumably have been various numeric designations that wouldn’t be consecutive because other non-PEI orders would have been fulfilled in the meantime.
I’ve come to recognize that most publishers weren’t engaged in a grand, patriotic program of printing up postcards of the whole country, after which they hoped to sell what they’d produced. Rather, a company like Pugh was principally an order-taker or middleman that would receive submitted photos (e.g. of PEI scenes) and then send them off to the printers in Germany (typically) to have postcards made from them. Once received, the finished cards would be dispatched by Pugh to the local distributor or retailer for sale. Some companies were probably more active and actually did send photographers out to take photos — e.g. I’d expect Valentine & Sons mostly worked in that way. It’s all guesswork, of course. (Andrew Cunningham, Editor, Card Talk)
Great Pugh catalogue, by the way! If everyone else can do that for their region, we’ll be all set.
We have an old paper bag made by J.C.Wilson paper Co Montreal Showing an advert. For WM.Simpson & son ,dealer in Dry Goods at Ethel Ont. With a picture of a Steam train arriving at the store and a large group of people waiting on Simpson ‘s freight in black sketch . We would like to know what year this may have been produced and any other information. The paper bag was used as a back to a picture .
Good question. Paper bags were a major product line for J.C. Wilson in the 1890s but we will have to see whether anyone else reading this knows more about the exact span of time over which the company manufactured them (or whether anyone is familiar with the advertisement you describe). Ethel is in Grey County, west of Listowel.
Suggest getting in touch with Patty Brown who has done extensive research on this company. Her contact information can be found on this web-site http://www.quebecgenweb.com/~qcmtl-w/WilsonJC.html
May these be purchased?
The postcards themselves are from the author’s collection, so not them obviously, but if you wanted a copy of one or more images that would likely be possible.
In regards to the Halifax Explosion cards mentioned, there were at least 27 Novelty Mfg. cards produced and also at least 32 by Cox Bros. These #’s reflect the findings of Ken MacDonald that he published in his catalogue “Postcards of Halifax Regional Municipality (First Edition)”.
Also of note regarding the Novelty Mfg. cards that were copyrighted by Underwood & Underwood, they are some of the only known postcard photographs taken by prolific Halifax photographer Wallace R. MacAskill. He did sign a few real photo cards but only a very few. He is however suspected of having contributed greatly to Halifax’s body of postcard images, especially for MacLachlan Studios.
Thanks for the information, which is exactly what we were hoping to find. We’re more than open to a follow-up article if anyone out there wants to write one up! Otherwise I’ll just put a note in the next CT.
MacAskill’s story sounds similar to that of Winnipeg’s Lewis Foote, who is the iconic local photographer of the first half of the 20th century while having only a handful of lithographed and real photo postcards to his name (that we know of). It’s always a thrill to find one.
I have visited your page twice and enjoyed reading some of your detailed articles.
While I no longer remember when I acquired my first vintage postcard, I
did belong to the Vancouver and Saint John, N.B. clubs for a time in the mid-1980s.
Currently I web-publish THE LOST VALLEY BLOG which explores the history of
Saint John, New Brunswick [290 articles so far]. Frequently I employ cards as illustrations
as they are often the only evidence of vanished streetscapes, industries, landmarks etc.
The current article “A Penny Worth of History” (May 8, 2017) describes Bruce ERB,
an accountant who was a very serious philatelist, and who took his postcard exchanges
very seriously. I published a sampling from an exchange he did with an advanced
collector in Portugal from 1914-15, and I feel certain other knowledgeable postcard
historians will have encountered Erb’s mailings. If any of you can add to the story
I would be happy to append your remarks to the article.
Googling “The Lost Valley Blog” will be sufficient to find my web publication.
Ron Jack in B.C.
The second instalment of the article is now web-published.
It is entitled “ISAAC ERB – The Postcard King”, and I do feel that
with these two articles I have broken new ground. There is certainly more to
discover. Our work is collaborative as well as cumulative, which is why I
invite comments from card experts in your Club. It would help to learn, for
instance, the purchase prices or contractual arrangement between firms
like Valentine and Sons, and Canadian photographers.
Again, the articles are easily found by Googling THE LOST VALLEY BLOG
Ron Jack, Blog Author and Publisher.
The blog is very interesting. There is definitely a lot there that would interest postcard collectors. I have the thick Saint John card with the door and accordion-style fold out images that you mention in your post 291. It’s an example of a Warwick Bros. & Rutter “Series 59” card (according to the numbering in the WB&R guide book). Those cards appear to have been produced by the Rotograph Co. of New York (and marketed by Warwick Bros. in Canada). There are eight known Canadian cards of this type, of which three are from New Brunswick – Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton.
I haven’t heard anything about purchase prices or contractual arrangements, although I would expect that some of that information is out there somewhere — perhaps you will receive a response as a result of this posting. If you’re able to attribute common Valentine & Sons or other postcard images to Erb or anyone else, please keep us informed.
You might want to give some thought to joining our club so you can get our magazine 3x per year — we have members from nearly every province so it by no means just a Toronto thing.
Inspired by the recent publication on the TPC site of very useful and interesting histories of smaller postcard publishers I have added a number of pages to my StraitPost site to include capsule histories and checklists of several P.E.I. publishers (although retailers or distributors may be the more accurate term). These pages include histories of several small firms whose name appears as publishers on P.E.I. cards as well as illustrated checklists for those firms and for P.E.I. cards from national publishers such as Pugh and Warwick Bros. & Rutter. The pages can be found at https://straitpost.wordpress.com/publisher-lists/
Both the histories and lists are works in progress and I am interested in any information which can correct errors or add to the completeness of the records. The companies included to date are: R.F. Maddigan, Taylor’s Book Store, Pugh Manufacturing, and Warwick Bros. and Rutter with work continuing on the Charlottetown firms Haszard and Moore, and Carter and Company
PS – On the prairies, there were grain elevators in the majority of villages and towns, so even the smallest place will usually have BEVs taken from an impressive height.
Hi! Sorry for any confusion. It is a bird’s eye view. The story is that I discovered the newspaper clipping, which mentioned 4 bird’s eye views (BEVs) in the series. I have most of the cards myself, including the other 3 BEVs, but there are some that I know only as titles on Wayne and Philip’s master list. When I saw that the clipping referred to a BEV from Calgary, I assumed that it must be an entirely new card because there wasn’t anything on the list entitled “Bird’s eye view of Calgary” or anything similar (the other 3 BEVs do have such titles). But now that I’ve actually seen the above card “in the flesh”, I realize that it is the BEV in question. I just didn’t figure that out on the basis of the title alone – I think I assumed it would be a picture of some cattle at a market. So — the moral of the somewhat uninteresting story — the “Calgary BEV” referred to in the clipping isn’t the elusive Card #36 at all. It was just one of the ones on the list of 35 that I hadn’t seen.
Great to see more information about the Canadian Postcard Publisher histories. There are probably scores, if not hundreds of local, regional and national publishers out there and additional information about them is most welcome. Lots of confusion still about differences between publishers and printers and in some sources the terms seem to be used interchangeably.
I am curious as to why this would not be classified as a “bird’s eye view”. I am not familiar with Calgary at the time but the photo seems to be from a high vantage point. What buildings would have been in the City at the time which would have the height to give this view? Given the aerial technology at the time I suspect that most birds eye views were from steeples, towers or high vantage points. If so, how is this different?
Hi, I’m looking for an old postcard. I have seen one listed on ebay but had been sold. The card I’m looking for is of St Mungo’s Presbyterian Church in Cushing Quebec.
The best we can do is to leave your query here and see if anyone can help you out. Otherwise, you can visit a sale and try your luck and/or follow eBay and other sale sites such as Delcampe.net – another copy may eventually come up.
great information THANKS..
I just found a pic of my father and his brother, in Vancouver around 1930, in one of these planes. My mother (age 90 and a wealth of info), said a man hauled the plane around neighbourhoods taking pics of kids and of course charging the parents for prints. It is a great photo and I am happy to have found it and to have read more about the plane on this post! The boys are maybe age 8 and 6. My mother’s sister remembers a horse, but never a plane.
Thanks, to you and your mom and aunt, for the direct memories of the way these postcards were made. That confirms what we had guessed must have been the case. Few kids in the 1930s (even today) wouldn’t have wanted to climb into in one of these planes, so the business had potential!
Nicely done, I am one of the lucky ones that has collected these cards over the years, me and my family worked for the hotel company back in the day, and my father use to work with some of the employees that were on some of the cards.
Great stuff, thank you.
Mario TPC member
I am looking for cards showing scenes from St.Charles (outskirts of Winnipeg) Manitoba. Can anyone help? thanks much.. email@example.com
I have a postcard of mom and aunt in the 1934 vancouver plane as well as an earlier postcard without a year but say “Miss Vancouver” and “Spirit of Youth” same plane. Just wondering what year this one might be
Not really sure — it would be very likely to have come from the1930-1934 period, but it’s hard to say for certain. Can you send an image? (I didn’t see one with your note).
Photographers would go door to door, often with a prop, maybe a pony, but in this case, an airplane. Dress up the kids, put them in the plane, out front of the house – a postcard and prints or whatever for a precious depression dollar. This is my educated guess as to what we are seeing.
I’m sure some company in western Canada had a few planes made up and sent out their photographers to canvas the suburban neighbourhoods for a few years until the novelty wore off.
This is actually pretty cool. What kid in the 30s wouldn’t want a picture in an airplane like that?
Maybe the kids out west weren’t as impressed with ponies, but I remember them coming around here in Ontario. Not to mention, an airplane won’t sh*t on your lawn!
Yes, that makes a lot of sense — I’m quite certain you must be correct. It explains why they were always out on the sidewalk, which seemed too improbable to be coincidence. It also explains why the scenes have the air of an “event”, which might not have been the case if the kids were playing in a plane they played in every day. Thanks for your reply!
My relative is a collector of old Brandon Manitoba post cards and has written many articles on Brandon’s history.I am interested in knowing of any cards and what cards there are- can you Help? Thank you so much!
I have not heard of this phenomenon. Perhaps TPC members in Vancouver, Calgary, etc. could search their local newspaper databases. In the meantime, there is another PC of this genre for sale on etsy: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/453802438/the-spirit-of-childhood-vancouver-1934
We were in touch with the aviation history society about this, and while one of their members had a couple of additional examples, he hadn’t researched it much further. However, he did point out that it wouldn’t have been uncommon for plans for home-made “planes” to be found in widely-read woodworking and home craftsman magazines. However, that still doesn’t quite account for the concentration of these images in, and (to my knowledge thus far) only in, western Canada. Perhaps more will come of it as more people see the blog post. (It isn’t exactly common to find photo postcards of 1930s-era children playing with toys or models — the fact that there are so many showing this exact item suggests that there is more to the story and that the creation of such images was being encouraged by someone for some unknown reason). — Andrew
Hi Andrew: The unknown city in the RPPC (“which city is this?”) is Guelph. The PC is a popular shot of the 1908 Old Home Week here.
Thanks for your help, Cameron. I’d since seen a reference to the image and its origin — on your blog? — but hadn’t yet updated the post. Guelph it is! — Andrew
I am a view Pioneer post card and folder collector. 1) Does anyone have any info or images of a Wirths Folder (1898) made of a Canadian City? Wirths Folders were made in the USA (1898-1903) and a 1956 book says that some Canadian examples exist.
2) any info on which Canadian (Toronto?)printer printed the Epworth or Victorian Expo Postcards of 1897? Thanks
I have a lot of postcards I would like to find a new home for — but they are neither Torontonian nor vintage (though they may be in 50 years). In my travels in Europe and South America in the 1970’s and 80’s I collected postcards instead of taking pictures. Consequently I have two card file drawers full of cards (one, France and Italy; the other The Rest of the World). Is anyone interested in taking them off my hands or suggesting another way of passing them on? Thanks for any response.
My late father … was born in Toronto in 1917. Among his papers is a postcard, made in Canada, where the picture is a black and white photo of a young boy, about 4 years old. He certainly resembles my father as a boy, but nothing is printed on the postcard that it is my father. Was it a practice in those days to have a postcard made of one’s children? Or perhaps my grandparents were struck by the picture’s likeness to their little son. Is there a website where I could search postcards of children? Can you help? Thank you.
Hi Lorraine. Thanks for the question. It was indeed a common practice to have postcards made in this way. Most photography studios offered postcard prints and there would also be itinerant photographers who would produce “real photo” portrait postcards at fairs or at the beach or anywhere that people congregated. Countless millions of postcards of this type would have been produced worldwide between 1900 and about 1930, after which time the practice became rarer as people increasingly tended to take their own family photos rather than rely on professional photographers. If the image on the postcard looks like your father as a boy, it very probably is just that.
I’m not sure about smoking but the PC may have something to do with negative reactions to the adoption of cars. That would explain why the two dead people are motoring, at a time when it was still reserved largely for the well-to-do. See http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/murder-machines/
I am looking to buy a postcard of St Joseph’s hospital in downtown Toronto. I was born there in 1955. Also any photos of Old Toronto, Zorra St in particular. Thank you so much.
I have been looking for clear pages for 12 x 12 scrapbooking albums that fit standard post cards… has anyone seen such a thing??? Thanks!
You might want to check out Print File products. They’re archival and come in an assortment of styles and sizes.
BLK 46-4M AND 55-4M work nicely for postcards. You can buy them at Downtown Camera.
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.
I am looking for postcards of certain Canadian cities and towns, as well as early aviation, to do with first flight mail deliveries in the 1920s and 30s. Any assistance would be most appreciated.
IN REGARDS TO MYSTERY POSTCARD #1, I BELIEVE THE AIRCRAFT IS PRE-1938, NC DENOTES AMERICAN COMMERCIAL REGISTRATION. IT IS POSSIBLY A MAIL PLANE FROM A U.S. CITY, MAYBE A FIRST FLIGHT FROM ? TO SUDBURY. I’LL CHECK FURTHER AS TO FIRST FKIGHT DELIVERIES TO SUDBURY FROM AMERICA IN THE 1930s THEREABOUTS. DAVE H.
Is there a checklist for Canadian Post Card Company’s real photo exaggerated postcards taken from images by William H. Martin from Ottawa, Kansas, USA. I believe these cards were first released in 1910 and continued for some time. Any help would be appreciated.
George Schnitzer Jr.
Just a question, if I may: Did this company ever make wooden jigsaw puzzles? I have one here titled “Valentine’s Coronation Plywood Jigsaw.” On the side – but the text is kind of ruined – it looks like “Valentine and Sons, Dundee & Lon …” – probably London. Thanks for your help.
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
Does anyone know where I can find an archive of postcards produced by Constable Picture Postcards of Canada? My great grand father is said to be featured on one around 1902. He won the world Ploughing Championship. Thank you.
I am a recent member of the club and most recently attended my first Post Card Show at the Japanese Cultural Center. I had a great time, and came out with a lot of cards for my collection, new contacts, some great stories and stiff neck !
I collect Toronto RPPC, Toronto Photographs and ephemera pre 1960. However I am also looking for help in locating post cards produced in Romania from 1960-1980 by a photographer by the name of Tibor Lowy.
If anyone knows of collectors of Romanian post cards from this time period, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to meeting fellow members at the upcoming meeting in April.
All the best,
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.
I have recently been collecting postcards to do with Weston, Ontario for the benefit of the Weston Historical Society. I’m aware of Weston postcards at least as early as 1904 and as late as 1966. Many of these postcards appear to be parts of sets. In some instances the sets appear to be local, and in other instances the Weston postcards seem to be part of a broader set. Does anyone know how many sets of Weston postcards were produced?
Collecting and doing research on postcards produced by the Winnipeg Photo Company of Napinka. Can anyone help me out?
I collect UNESCO World Heritage Site postcards, and I’m in the USA. I’m missing some Canadian sites for my collection, and I’m wondering if you have ideas about where I might find them.
SGang Gwaay: Skung Gwaii Island too (Anthony Island), in the South of Queen Charlotte Islands in the Gwaii Haanas Natonalpark (British Columbia)
Wood Buffalo National Park (Alberta and Northwest Territories)
Miguasha National Park (Paleontologist Park)
Thank you, Judy
I would like to know how collectors catalogue post cards ? And what the best method for storing post cards is.
As I have some very old cards is there is a way to value the collection? Or is it a market drive force for value ?
As I am completely new to this subject any help and advice would be useful.
Good questions! Where to start. Probably the quickest way to learn is to connect with other collectors through a postcard club or postcard show. We list Canadian clubs on the ‘connections’ pages of this web-site and there is a show calendar page too.
As for storage, most of us keep our postcards in binders in archival binder pages with 4 to a page so that both the view side and the stamp side can be seen. You can get (with difficulty in Canada) archival quality plastic as well as regular plastic sleeves in various configurations. See the FAQ page for sources of these supplies. Another method is in a shoe-box or similar, or boxes such as the dealers use. This has the disadvantage of not being acid free storage and the postcard edges may be damaged by flipping through them to find a particular one.
The cataloging question has as many answers as there collectors, I suspect. Some just have a razor sharp memory. Filing by roughly the geography of the street/building is common. A larger collection might warrant a detailed Excel list with the card’s title, publisher, a general description of the view/subject for example. Dealers keep their inventory by country/province (state)/county/ town or topic (animals, Easter, bridges etc.) Some collectors collect a series for which the manufacturer/publishers numbers on the cards is the basis of their system.
As to valuations, look at our FAQ page for our insights. Yes, it’s market driven to some extent. The card has to find a collector who wants it and who wants to pay for it. A collector may pass on a $2.00 card that doesn’t speak to them but will jump on something special that’s $20.00 or more. The condition of the card affects the price as does its scarcity. Some like the time stamp of the cancellation, others prefer a pristine item. On the other hand, postal history buffs often look for unusual postmarks and stamps on old postcards. In the world of deltiology, the ‘real photo’ postcard of a known subject is the most prized. Modern ‘chromes’ are inexpensive today but 50 years from now may be highly collectible because fewer seem to be kept. And of course, as with all vintage items, the value to a collector is what they feel it’s worth as an addition to their collection.
I am also trying to date a postcard showing a monument in Québec City, which was manufactured by The Post Card & Greeting Card Co. Ltd of Toronto. I know my postcard has been published after 1908, but any information about the company’s dates of activity whould be appreciated!
I have an extensive collection of vintage Napanee Ontario postcards, but a couple I know of which I would I’m lacking (probably more). One is reasonably common, but I haven’t been able to win in auction “Covered Bridge – Napanee”. The other, I have only seen electronically “On the River – Napanee Ontario” Here’s a link to the later. Cut and past into your browser
Can anybody help me out?
I am looking for old and new postcards of the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu region which includes: St. John, Iberville, St-Luc, L’Acadie, St-Blaise, St-Paul-de-l’île-aux-Noix, Lacolle, Noyan and Napierville. If you have any, please get in touch.
I’m looking for old printed Cards of Montreal Militias, from 1837-68., 3rd Brigade 1st Battalion “The Montreal Light Infantry”. Also known as No. 3 Fire Brigade “Protector”. You can contact me at http://www.wwii.ca/index.php go to the Forums I’m the MOD leave Message. Any bread crumbs would be appreciated.
I have a small collection of the Northern Navigation sailor boy cards
and wonder if there is a listing of known cards in this series.
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.
I’m trying to get an unused colour postcard of “Le Parc des Champs de Bataille” (Battlefield Park, Quebec) published by Les editions Lumen, no. C.P. 48031. I’m in England so any help to point me in the right direction would be much appreciated!
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.
I am looking for a copy of the Ridgetown Golf Club postcard, probably from the 1930’s. It shows a man putting and some women golfers. In the backgound is the clubhouse.
Guess I’ll join in on the questions. I have “Silversheen” postcard titled Piccadilly Circus, London. I have searched but not found any information or have seen this postcard or any others like it. Is this something that the Valentine’s did frequently? How can I find a value on it?
Thanks for your time!
im inquiring about a number of postcards that my parents have from the first world war they were like love letters to my fathers mom they are from france some are just handpainted pictures and others are hand stitched things like flowers the union jack and such are they of any value besides sentemental
Thank you for your interest in the Toronto Postcard Club. I believe that the ‘hand stitched’ postcards that you describe are what we deltiologits call ‘silks’. If you Google ‘silks postcards’, you will find several sites that describe their history and how they were made.
As to monetary value, put ‘silks’ into the search engine of a postcard auction site (Bidstart.com, Ebay.com, Playle.com) and you will get a good idea. These are retail prices and the value to a postcard dealer would be less to allow for their mark-up. Of course the condition of the postcard is also a factor in it’s value. Finally, some collectors prefer that the cards are unused, in pristine condition, others would rather that they have some indication of their era by a dated message, or a postal cancellation.
The hand-painted pictures are harder to judge. ‘Artist signed postcards’ do have a following but I think that unless the artist is widely known in the postcard world (Clapsaddle is one) that they tend to be less sought after therefore of lesser value. An indication of the value of your cards might be better determined by the manufacturer as noted on the reverse, or the date it was sent.
We have many links to postcard information and auction sites on our web-site, I suggest that you continue your research through these web-sites.
I’m looking for a postcard of Malvern (Scarborough) Ontario. The photo is of the intersection of Sheppard Avenue and Markham Road. It looks like a tiny little country lane. On the left of the photo is the Cowan’s Store and on the right is the Calendar’s Hotel / Standard Bank (this was once my family’s home). If someone could help me locate this card I would be grateful and I would be prepared to pay good money for one. A few photos of the house can be found here –> http://www.flickr.com/photos/sew_luvli/sets/72157604496979128/ The most distinctive feature of the house is the cross and circle medallion which sits just below the peak of the roof on the North side of the house.
If you have one of these cards for sale please email me at email@example.com
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!
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)
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 ??
I am studying Shell Oil Co emblem ‘Scallop’ on postcards and covers (both sides) any country any era including ex Canada. Has any one any availability or information especially cards I believe C.1937/8 from countries outside Canada to Canadian destinations I gather these organised by Shell Co, Canada?
My maternal grandmother is descended from this line of Warwicks who had a foundry in Leeds (Joseph Warwick & Co) before emigrating to Canada.
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
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.
I recently made a Postcard Collection database template for Bento 3 (Mac users only) that is now available free through their template collection. I also am working on a Postcard Purchase database template, and before the Mac arrived kept my database in an ACT database that I designed with custom fields. I am a huge fan of keeping things simple and making things work without hassles, so hope someone out there can use the template.
Would love to hear from anyone that downloaded and used my template and am interested in all comments / critiques, with a view to making it better later on.
Hi . I am looking for any postcards or paper from Drumbo ontario and area. This is in oxford county ontario.Other towns im interested in this area are Princeton , Plattsville, Wolverton, Washington, Richwood, Bright, Innerkip,Gobals. Thanks
Years ago, I used to be an avid collector, and a member of the TPC. On the occassion of the 10th Anniversary of the Toronto Post Card Club in 1977 I produced a video dedicated to the activities of our club. Some of you may have a copy of this CD.
I want to invite you to view it on YouTube, where is appears under the heading The Toronto Post Card Club, 10th Anniversary. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkxbSuWAmPQ&feature=related
There are 6 segments posted there, and you will see most of our old club founding members there. I am releasing it in commemoration of our past president Wilf Cowin.
Please come & reminisce.
Upper Canada College, Toronto, Canada
My interest area is small, but as a former student, I am collecting memorabilia- history, school crest, postcards about the life and times of the college. I have a collection of postcards, but would like to know more about them, and learn if I am missing any. I would appreciate any help and assistance anyone is willing to provide. Sincerely.. Stephen Burkart 905-847-7699
I am looking for a specific postcard: a mint (unused) 1932? THE CANADA SEPIA SCENES #354 – Street Scene, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I would very much appreciate it if you could direct me to someone who has the card, or can tell me where I may find one. I can be reached at: brianmoir at telus.net Thanks!
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