A vast number of businesses and photographers produced their own postcards over the years and to simplify things I have only included the major players below. The list is a work in progress.
Page updated 29/8/2017
Click on images to enlarge.
Aerial Real Photo cards. 1960s…b+w and colour views.
Left to right: Donegal card posted 1967. Enniscorthy Castle. Limerick city centre.
Unusual, interesting but, in the main, unattractive views of places around Ireland.
Allen, David & Son
Dublin & Belfast
American News Company, The
New York, London & Leipzig.
An Post – Ireland’s Post Office
Not a major publisher of postcards but every now and then produce something interesting.
Above: One of a set issued by An Post in 1988 to celebrate the Dublin Millennium.
Left to right: One of a set of Irish post boxes published in 2014 – note the Royal cypher of King Edward VII. Right: a card featuring the Cork & Muskerry Railway which was part of a set of four commemorating Irish narrow gauge railways issued in 1995.
Above: Two pre-paid St.Patrick’s Day cards from 1988.
Killarney. Photographer and Publisher.
Passage West, Co.Cork.
Bamforth & Co.Ltd., (1870-1980s)
Best known for their saucy seaside postcards, the company also produced a wide range of topographical cards. The firm went out of business in the 1980s and their stock was taken over by the firm of ETW Dennis of Scarborough. When this company itself folded in 2000 the Bamforth & Co. name, stock and image rights were taken over by Leeds business man , Ian Wallace, who has since relaunched the company.
History: Bamforth & Co. Wikipedia
Bardeleben von, F (1905-1910)
New York & Germany
A publisher of colour collotype postcards depicting national views of the United States and of the United Kingdom. They produced a notable set of historic monotone views of New York City. Their cards were printed in Germany. Ref: Metrocard.
Barton, Harvey & Co.Ltd., (1885-1960)
One of the more long lived British postcard publishers, Harvey Barton & Son existed as a going concern between 1885 and 1960. Harvey Barton was a landscape photographer of some repute, one time president of the Bristol Camera Society. The company initially published its own hand coloured images of the landscape of south-west of England and later graduated to producing art reproductions. The company also published postcards under the Vistasound label – a novel idea which was a set of picture postcards that could be played as 45rpm records which were manufactured by the Hardy Record Manufacturing Company of London. Ref: http://www.postcardmania.co.uk/postcard-publishers/harvey-barton-son/
Browne & Nolan
Above: One of a series titled ‘Dublin Horse Show Sketches‘ by R.Fagan. Published circa 1903/04 they are much sought after by collectors.
Burkart, Arthur & Co.Ltd.,
Dominion House, Bartholomew Close, London EC.1.
Left to right: the “Great Southern Hotel“, Waterville, Co.Kerry; the “Lake Hotel“, Killarney, Co.Kerry and the MGWR Hotel Mallaranny, Co.Mayo.
Left to right: “The Dining Room, Salthill, Monkstown, Co.Dublin” and a view painted a stone’s throw from the hotel looking northwards across Dublin Bay.
Above: “The New Hotel, Killarney” is one of the scarcer hotel cards and I was happy to pick it up on eBay last week for €8.90
Burkart’s seemed to have specialised in cards for hotels throughout the U.K and “Jotter” Walter Hayward Young was their artist of choice. He painted all the main railway hotels in the west of Ireland as well as a number of fine views around Dublin Bay. Interior views of the hotels were also produced and some of these are very popular with collectors today.
The company’s photo archive is available at the National Library of Ireland.
The Cardall collection is comprised of b&w postcards and their corresponding negatives of towns, cities and villages in the Republic of Ireland.
The collection contains 5,000 negatives dating from the 1940’s – 1960’s.
Approximately 400 towns are featured, the number of views per town varies considerably. Images depict the major landmarks in each town – castles, churches, scenic landscapes, street scenes, people, automobiles, advertising signs and shop fronts. The majority of postcards also contain a caption, identifying the images’ location and major points of interest.
14 Kenilworth Lane West, Harold’s Cross, Dublin.6.
Harcourt Street, Dublin.
An artist studio established in 1923 by Gertrude M. Grew that produced a wide variety of items including jewellery, enameled metalwork, stencilled fabric, hand painted woodwork, calendars, prints, and postcards.
Card by Margaret (Daisy) O’Keefe – MOK initials bottom right of picture. She joined the studio in 1924 having been a student of the Metropolitan School of Art, Dublin.
Another unusual card from Cluna Studios postally used in 1948.
Cards seem to date from 1940/50 and carry the wording published by CTC Ltd., for the Irish Tourist Association. Printed in Eire. Mainly uninspiring Sepia Tone cards.
The Irish Tourist Association was a semi-official body established after independence to promote Ireland as a distinctive and different destination to the UK. Circa 1939 it started to receive recognition and some funding from the new State. Eventually morphing in the Bord Failte – The Irish Tourist Board.
The cards are poor fare indeed but are probably all that could be afforded in those austere times.
Dennis, E.T. W & Sons
London & Scarborough.
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 www.webber-postcard.me.uk
Above three cards from the ‘Irish Country Life‘ series.
Dickson, A E Ltd.,
Dixon (J Arthur) Ltd.,
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 here: http://woottonbridgeiow.org.uk/jadixon.php
‘Bantry Harbour & Bay’ – Ireland 6625 – p.u in 1978.
Dollard Printinghouse Dublin Ltd,.
Dublin. Printworks were on Wellington Quay. Printers & Publishers – active 1960s.
Still exists as a printed packaging manufacturer.
Eagle Photography, John
Eyeries, Beara, Co. Cork
Tel: (027) 74275 or (087) 969 3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Irish Lighthouse Series (96) cards and various other West Cork topographical cards.
Eason & Son Ltd.
Dublin & Belfast
Left to right: Dublin Horse Show c.1910. British Military Manoeuvres at Rush 1905. An Irish Horse Fair by John Carey.
Above: Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin – from the uninspiring range of cards produced by Eason & Son in the 1970s.
The company’s photo archive is available at the National Library of Ireland.
The images in the collection were created for the Irish postcard trade by Eason & Son. The collection consists of 4,000 negatives dating from 1900-1940 and they are accessible through an index to the collection, which is arranged by county.
Eyre & 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.
“Serpent Lake, Gap of Dunloe” from the Woodbury series – No.3844. Quite nice but I was fooled by the realistic oil finish into thinking that it was actually hand-painted as opposed to a copy of a painting – back on eBay tonight!
F. Frankel & Co. 1904-1916
A publisher of comic and view-cards depicting scenes throughout Great Britain & Ireland. Some of these German made hand coloured halftone postcards were issued under the Star Series name.
Francis Frith & Co.,
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 started publishing postcards, becoming one the largest postcard publishers in the country.
The company closed in 1970 and their collection was purchased by Rothman’s tobacco company. In 1976 the collection was relaunched, and was purchased by John Buck in 1977 and run as an independent business.
The Francis Frith Collection www.francisfrith.com contains over 365,000 photographs from around Britain, taken between 1860 and 1970, covering over 7,000 towns and villages.
Geological Survey of Ireland
Beggars Bush, Haddington Road, Dublin.4.
Amongst other things discovered in their shop is this interesting series of postcards featuring the work of Victorian Irish artist George Victor Du Noyer (1817-1869). The cards – six in number – are still available from the GSI shop at just 40 cents each.
Carboniferous Limestones near Kanturk, Co. Cork; and Old Red Sandstone for Devil’s Punch Bowl, Mangerton, Co. Kerry.
Gordon & Co.
14 Waterloo Park, Belfast
No dates on the first two cards but the Ballycastle one was postally used in August 1954.
Guy & Co,Ltd.,
All three cards above were printed in Britain.
Hanover Stationery Company Co.Ltd.
20 Hanover Quay, Dublin.2.
Another company that seems to have fallen off the grid and I haven’t been able to find anything online.
Left to right: An Autumn Scene and Glen Bay and Head, Glencolmcille, Co.Donegal.
Hartmann, Frederick (1902-1909)
45 Farringdon Street, London
A publisher of postcards as fine tinted halftones. While most of his cards covered views from all over Great Britain, he also produced cards on various other subjects many of which were artist signed. In addition to having his cards printed in Saxony, he imported many glamour cards from the Continent as well. He was the British distributor of postcards for Trenkler & Company. Hartmann was a strong advocate of the divided back postcard and was instrumental to its establishment in England. Hartmann may have issued the world’s first divided back card.
Left to right: A somewhat smoggy view of Enniskerry, Co.Wicklow and a ghostly (?) scene on Royal Avenue, Belfast.
Dame Street, Dublin
An early view of “The Golfer’s Hotel”, Sutton – nr.Howth, Co.Dublin. Originally built in 1897 the hotel still exists today albeit greatly expanded and renamed “The Marine Hotel”.
Hildesheimer, S & Co., Ltd.,
London and Manchester
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.
More information than you could shake a big stick at: www.johnhindecollection.com
Hurst & Co,.
‘The Fine Art Series’
Irish Insight Postcards Limited
Crescent Road, Rogerstown, Rush, Co.Dublin
A family business established by Gerry Price. Photographer: Peter Zoeller.
Company wound up in 2007.
Irish Pictorial Card Co., The
9 & 10 Maylor Street, Cork
Above: The Father Mathew Memorial Tower at Dunkettle, Co.Cork. Built as a memorial to the famous temperance priest, the tower was constructed during the Great Famine and completed in 1846. It survives today incorporated into a sympathetic luxury home – complete with wine cellar!
Above: an interesting trade order card for the company purchased on eBay last week. Surprisingly it’s of rather poor quality, but perhaps the company used reject production runs for order cards?
North Street, Belfast
Above: The Battle of the Boyne July 1690, showing the Williamite troops going into action led by King William III. The Duke of Schomberg was mortally wounded when leading the Enniskillen Horse. Presumably it is the Duke receiving attention in the right foreground?
Not postally used so no date.
Joyce Ltd., Margaret
Took over Valentine’s Irish business….
Hastings, Sussex, England.
Founded by Fred Judge in 1902 and still in business today as Judge Sampson Limited.
An interesting background article about Judges here.
Above: Two cards dating from 1932/39 – At Maam Cross, Connemara and By Lough Corrib, Oughterard . More details on how to date Judges’ postcards shortly.
Above: Donaghadee Harbour, Co.Down – a favourite subject for artists. The first of this type of card by Judges that I’ve come across, but presumably there are more in the series.
As I thought, there were loads of similar cards by Judges but they are fairly hard to find these days. Click here for Judges postcard library.
Lawrence & Sons Ltd., William
Sackville Street, Dublin.
Period of main activity 1860-1920.
The company’s enormous (40,000+ glass negatives) photo archive is available at the National Library of Ireland.
An unusual Lawrence (Glenoe Village, Co.Antrim) which appears to have been published by somebody else using their photograph, or was it published by Lawrence’s and overprinted for the local firm? Anyway, it’s an interesting card showing the end of the thatched roof era in rural Ireland.
Leprechaun Publishers Ltd (Ireland)
Left to right: Blarney Castle, Co.Cork – No.55. in the ‘Leprechaun‘ Series; O’Connell Street, Dublin – No.68 – postally used in June 1961.
With a name like Leprechaun Publishers, I was sorely tempted not to list them but their cards are better than the company’s name would suggest. More information as I discover it.
Dun Laoghaire Industrial Estate, Pottery Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co.Dublin
Contemporary art card publisher.
London and North Western Railway Company
The LNWR was an English railway company that operated between 1846 and 1922. As well as trains the company ran passenger ships from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire (Kingstown), Dublin and Greenore, and Fleetwood to Belfast, they also carried the Mail between the two countries. The company had extensive tourist interests in Ireland including hotels at Dublin (Nth.Wall) and Greenore, the port of Greenore and the Dundalk, Newry & Greenore Railway. They published postcards of their trains, ships and scenery – especially Co.Kerry and Co.Wicklow.
Much, if not all. of their publicity material including postcard printing was undertaken by McCorquodale & Co. Ltd. of Newton-le-Willows.
Further information here.
McCaw, Stevenson & Orr Ltd.,
Belfast and London.
Misch & Stock
Art Publishers, 1&3 Cripplegate Street, Golden Lane, London E.C.
The firm of Misch & Stock began their postcard production in 1903. Two years later the name was changed to Misch & Co., when Stock retired. As fine art publishers, the quality of production was absolutely outstanding and well suited to the reproduction of paintings on postcards. Their three bells logo is very distinctive.………
Needless to say that all the above views are Irish rather than Welsh!
Dublin and Belfast.
O’Connor & Co, Fergus
Fergus O’Connor was a Dublin publisher, who published Sean O’Casey’s early writings and produced nationalist postcards and related material. Following the 1916 Easter Rising he was imprisoned in Lewes prison.
Above: A rather pleasing view of the neo-classical road frontage of Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) railway station designed by the famous architect John Skipton Mulvany.
Above: A more traditional ethnic card produced for the tourist market.
True Colour series. Printed in Ireland by Mt.Salus Press. 1960s and 1970s.
Philco Publishing Co. (1906-1934)
1-6 Holborn Place, London.
A publisher of many different types of artist signed cards and photo based view-cards and photogravures. Most cards were printed in Germany.
Photochrom Co., Ltd.
London & Tunbridge Wells
Founded in Tunbridge Wells in 1896 produced greetings cards and guide books. They began publishing postcards in 1903 mainly using the Swiss Photochrom process. They also produced sepia-tone and hand tinted cards. The company appears to have ceased trading by the 1950s.
Above: the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge nr.Ballintoy, Co.Antrim in its original and truly scary incarnation as published in the ‘Granno Series‘.
Poole, A H & Co., Ltd.
Real Ireland Design Ltd.,
Established in 1979. ‘Real Ireland‘ photo range. Photographer: Liam Blake.
These days the company is based in Kilcoole, Co.Wicklow and produces a range of calendars and other photo related products. www.realireland.ie
Left to right: ‘Amphibious Bicycle – Ireland‘; and ‘Anna Livia‘ aka ‘The Floozie in the Jacuzzi’ when in its original location on O’Connell Street.
Regent Fine Art Co. Ltd., (F.F.A)
Blackpool postcards and saucy seaside stuff on eBay.
Reis, Chas L & Co.,
Dublin & Belfast – early 20th century. Later cards also show Glasgow.
Left to right: “High Street and Albert Memorial, Belfast” – printed in Germany.
Ritchie & Sons, William Ltd., (W.R. & S.)
London & Edinburgh.
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 Great Britain and Ireland, mainly under the ‘Reliable Series’ brand name. They appear to have ceased trading in 1928.
Salmon, J. Ltd.,
Sevenoaks, Kent, England.
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.
Scholastic Production Company
Belfast – possibly based on the fourth floor of Riddels Buildings, Riddels Arcade (from 47a Donegall Place to Fountain Street) – photo below.
Produced a wide range of Art and Real photo postcards in the 1930/50s period. The company was wound-up on the 16/12/1955. The numbering of their cards was very erratic, with some cards carrying no numbers, some repeating numbers already used for unrelated cards….
Judging from my research to date the company seem to have concentrated their emphasis on cards featuring Ulster, and east Ulster at that, but I have found a couple from County Galway and even one from the Isle of Man.
“Blarney Castle” by Maurice Wilks – No.1005. A rare southern card from Scholastic.
The Art cards are really quite exquisite and many different artists were used, most of whom are as difficult as Scholastic to find any biographical information about. Maurice Canning Wilks (above) and Olive Whitmore are two of the better known names amongst the artists but there’s little enough even about these two.
As of February 2017 I still haven’t managed to contact anybody that knows anything about Scholastic, but as it is my main interest I will endeavour to persevere!
Left to right: ‘A Peaceful Bay in Ireland‘ and ‘There is No Place Like Home‘ – no artist credited on either card.
Above: ‘A Typical Irish Cottage’ – my latest Scholastic Productions (?) purchase. I am presuming that SP Co. is the same firm.
Above: ‘The Hills of Donegal’ a black and white card in the same vein.
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’. Many of the Irish cards were photographs of more obscure, off the beaten track locations, rather than traditional tourist destinations.
Fair Day at Kenmare – a vintage color rotogravure postcard.
Longford – far off the tourist trail and an unlikely picture for a postcard.
Card published as a premium for readers of Shurey’s Publications, which included inexpensive novels and magazines.
Readers could collect cards and earn prizes. The address side of this card mentions “FOX HUNTING” as one of the clues and/or prizes in the GREAT PRIZE COMPETITION from the “Dainty” novels series.
Cards printed by Delittle, Fenwick, & Co., York, England.
Stehli Freres (1902-1995)
The Stehli brothers were important printers of art books and fine prints. They also produced many high quality postcards in color photogravure. They were especially known for their artist signed cards of views and of animals. Stehli Freres was purchased by Rosenstiel’s in 1995.
Irish artist Maurice Wilks supplied paintings for their postcards.
Stewart & Woolf (1900-1940s)
8-9 Charles Street, London
Above: an interesting early card of the iconic Kenmare Suspension Bridge in Co.Kerry.
Above: Some of their very distinctive, and sought after, silhouette cards which were printed in Bavaria and overprinted with a metallic finish.
Tallon, James (?)
38 Grafton Street, Dublin
Tuck, Raphael & Sons Ltd.,
In 1866 by 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.
A very useful site for those looking for more information is the Tuck Database http://tuckdb.org/
Valentine & Sons Ltd., Dundee and London
Dundee and London.
Much of the company’s Irish photo archive is available at the National Library of Ireland. Some 3,700 negatives but less than 10% digitised so far.
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.
Any observations about the date of the above card would be welcome. The front image suggests 1950s but the back seems more recent.
While the company still seems to exist, they are in with another firm – Judges. However, both firms now seem to print cards for people rather than their own range. www.whiteholme.com
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.
Printed in Saxony.
Left an ‘Artlette‘ series card posted 1909 and right an unused ‘Milton‘ series card of TCD.
Founded by Evelyn Wrench in 1900 in 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 subjects included views from around the United Kingdom, 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.
Some cards printed in Saxony.
Don’t forget to click on images to enlarge!