Worldwide Directory of publishers, photographers and artists
This directory is based on my collection of undivided-back post cards. For the creation of a picture postcard, three roles are essential:
- an artist (painter, draughtsman, graphic artist, photographer);
- a printer (printing house, polygraphic or photographic institution); and
- a publisher (to bring the other two together and provide finance).
Two, or even all three, of these functions were often concentrated in a single company or person so that it is often difficult to classify a company or individual according to professional affiliation. I include anyone whose details are integral to the card.
My aim is to identify publishers, printers and artists, particularly where this is not clear from the mark on the card and to give a short biography in each case where this is possible. In selecting biographical material, I have focussed on the period when undivided backs were being published.
Many of those featured in the directory are retailers or others whose only contribution was to commission cards bearing their names. A few retailers, particularly chandlers, who added their details by rubber stamp or the like are also included here.
Almost all the information is from the internet. I have credited a lot of sources but should mention a small number that are particularly useful. Each of the following is pre-eminent in the area from which it originates:
USA www.metropostcard.com [offline in October 2022]
UK Picture Postcards and their Publishers Anthony Byatt (1978 Golden Age Postcard Books);
The entries in the directory take the following form:
Name of Business or Individual
- identifying wording on my card
- and on a second card
Information about the individual or business.
- Entries are listed alphabetically according to the surnames of individuals or the principals of unincorporated businesses bearing their names for example N.J.Abbott & Son is listed under a;
- Incorporated businesses are listed alphabetically according to the first word of the company name for example Harvey Barton and Son Limited is listed under h;
- Business names that do not reflect the name of the principals are listed alphabetically according to the first word of the business name disregarding The, for example The Albertype Company is listed under a; and Hotel, for example Hotel Bella Vista is listed under b.
- Pre-fixes of surnames such as van and von are taken into account in alphabetical listing so that, for example, van Stalle is listed under v rather than s.
I have restricted each entry in the Directory to a scan of one card. Where there is another excellent card, I will put it on this page.
This guide to initials and logos will help you identify the publishers artists and photographers in the Directory.
A history should tell the double story of the historical past and the historian’s research. Some of the entries have alternative suggestions and, where I have drawn a complete blank, the card features on the Unsolved page. Any help will be appreciated.
At the foot of each page you will find facilities to translate and to search this site.
German: Adressseite ungeteilt; French: dos simple
The Terminology page will help you translate some of the relevant terms between English, German, French, Italian and Spanish.
A little history…
In the beginning, there were no postcards. Only letters. Read more here
If you have any corrections or further information about any of the entries in the directory, I will be glad to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a good deal of family history on this site and I am particularly keen to hear from the descendants of those featured in the directory.
The images of postcards are my own scans. Non-commercial use is allowed with the credit: