While I haven’t made a point of collecting this series of private post cards used for business advertising in the late twentieth century, I find the series intriguing for the bold graphic design. The series is characterized by the use of pennants of various types as part of the card design. I haven’t seen a publisher’s attribution on cards of this series, but I’d be interested to know more if anyone has any further information.
This Canadian Cities Series card with one of the Toronto designs shows the text “Wishing You A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A happy new year.” on a ribbon along with sprigs of holly. This card is not postally used, although bearing a 1¢ Jubilee stamp, so the date is unknown, however it most likely dates to 1902.
This W.G. MacFarlane postcard series with Evangeline’s profile, showing “Cape Blomidon, near Wolfville, N.S.” The card was mailed from Wolfville on July 23, 1902 with a 1¢ QV stamps to Westport Point, Massachusetts, USA.
Below, the reverse of the card, with a July 24 receiver.
Another card from this unconfirmed publisher has been added to the listings of this series. The card was mailed from Quebec to France where it was received in 1902. Since one of the two stamps has been removed, the date the card was sent is not clear.
A new MacFarlane patriotic postcard series, number 9, showing the crest of Britsh Columbia, has been added.
A new unused W.G. MacFarlane Yukon patriotic card has been added, showing Indigenous basket venders.
Yet another variation of this series, this time with the entire front in red, other than the illustration. A previously unreported version of this card with the standard green decorative border, but with the words “Owen Sound” added, and a red inset image was previously added. The reverse, with the words “Souvenir Post Card” rather than “Private Post Card” is printed in red in this variation rather than green.
Some additional cards from McCoy Series 6 have been added.
A number of postcards from the Toronto Litho Co. Series 9 (as enumerated by Michael J. Smith in his The Canadian Patriotic & Heraldic Postcard Handbook 1897–1945 Volume II), have been added.
This Albertype postcard showing the Old Clock Tower and Citadel in Halifax is postmarked November 2, 1903 to Nelson, New Zealand, where it was received December 17 with a receiving cancel.
An addition of an Atkinson Bros. pioneer postcard showing an scene of Holy Trinity, Winnipeg Manitoba has been added to the site.
This example of a pioneer patriotic postcard shows a White Ensign flag on the face. The White Ensign was flown by British Royal Navy ships and shore establishments. The card bears the text ”Private Post Card” and a partially obscured “Stamp Here”, the same text was appeared in the patriotic postcard series made famous by J.C. Wilson & Company of Montreal. While this card appears to be a contemporary of that series with its blank back, the text is in a different font than that used by J.C. Wilson. This card has been postally used much later than its likely date of printing—it bears an Edward VII 1¢ stamp and has been mailed on September 2, 1906 to Danville, Illinois, USA, where it was received September 4th.
The McCoy listings have been expanded to include a page showing Series 11, the issue commemorating the coronation of King Edward VII in August 1902.
A new page has been added for Henry Garner - Living Picture Post Card Co. (abbreviated H.G.L.) of Leicester, England, who produced a range of postcards in the vicinity of Toronto, in addition to their cards from elsewhere in the world.
Real photo postcards began appearing early in the Twentieth Century in Canada, however, prior to the widespread use that came with the availability of affordable cameras for everyday use, professional photographers began producing images which were glued to the faces of printed postcards. A new page has been added to the site showing example of this type of card.
This Toronto Litho Co. Ltd. pioneer postcard from their Canadian Cities Series illustrating one of the two Quebec City designs has been mailed with a 2¢ QV Numeral stamp from Toronto on April 22, 1903 to Miss Nora von Fallot, at 56 Tsukiji, Tokyo, Japan with a Tokyo receiving cancel dated May 18, 1903, on the reverse.
The reverse of the card contains extensive social history, with the author, Carla, noting that last Wednesday she had seen Sir Oliver Mowat’s funeral procession, and that she attended the Diocese of Toronto Women’s Auxiliary meeting last week, where Miss Cartwright was elected 1st vice president.
A new example of Toronto Litho’s Montreal Victoria Bridge design has been added.
This is one of the earlier uses of this series, postally used from Toronto to New York on June 28, 1898. An interesting aspect of this card is that it bears the text “PRIVATE POST CARD” in a purple ink stamp on the face of the card. I’ve often wondered the sequence that Toronto Litho issued the version of the card with the same text printed on the card.
As a conjecture, this could be an example of the second design variation, the first being issued without the text, the second being issued with a rubber stamp of the text, and the third being with the printed text. As the printed text version is scarce, it could be that cards without the text soon became acceptable use through the postal service, and the added text was dropped.
In Allan Steinhart’s “The Postal History of the Post Card in Canada, 1878–1911. He writes that in January 1898, The Official Postal Guide set out the rules for private post cards to foreign destinations, stating:
“…the face should be reserved exclusively for the address and the superscription ‘Private Post Card’.”
While the USA, being the destination of this card, was not considered a foreign destination for the purposes of this regulation, the inclusion of the Private Post Card text on cards would allow a sender greater flexibility in choice of destination.
I’ve added a card from a Canadian View Card Company series previously not catalogued in Mike Smith’s The Canadian Patriotic & Heraldic Postcard Handbook1897–1945. This card is in a familiar CVCC format, but with the text “Greetings from Montreal”. The card has been postally used July 27, 1903, from Riviere Du Loup Stn East to New York.
The listing for W.G. MacFarlane’s patriotic postcard Series 8A & 8B, showing the crest of the Yukon, has been updated.
The listing for W.G. MacFarlane’s patriotic postcard Series 10, showing Manitoba’s provincial crest, has been expanded, with the addition of an unlisted card, shown at left.
This postcard by John Walker & Co Ltd. shows a scene of Montreal from Mount Royal, as well as a map of Montreal and its environs. The undiviided back card is not postally used.
W.G. MacFarlane’s Series 72, with a collection of pull-out scenes in a heavier card stock folder, have been updated to the current site format.
A new card from W.G. MacFarlane’s Series 79, as listed in Mike Smith’s The W.G. MacFarlane Picture Postcard Handbook 1902–1910
has been added to this site. The card has a very high level of printing quality, includes embossing, and was postally used in 1908.
This postally unused example of an early twentieth century postcard from John Walker & Co. Ltd. is no. 441, showing a map by J. Bartholomew & Co. with an illustration of Place D’Armes, Montreal.
I’ve added a wide range of updates to the site, adding a number of pages in the current site format and deprecating the older formatted pages.
The section on the postcards of The Province Publishing Coy. Ltd., and its successor, BC Print’g & Engr Corp. Ltd. have been updated to the new site format, and additional information added.
A new page for the cards of The Photochrom Company, the precursor of the Detroit Photographic Company, has been added, with some new material.
This Toronto Litho Canadian Cities Series pioneer postcard was mailed from St. John NB to Liverpool England in January 1902 and marked paid with a Liverpool Packet cancel. Clicking on the postcard image will take you to the Toronto Litho sub-site in a separate window.
This example of a Toronto Litho pioneer postcard from the Canadian Cities Series shows a late use of a 2¢ Jubilee stamp, no. 52, mailed March 22, 1904 to Sliema, Malta.
There is extensive correspondence on the reverse from H.B. Currie to a collector in Malta with whom he had been corresponding. H.B. Currie was a post office clerk in Walkerton in the 1901 census, living as a roomer in a local residence at the time. Born October 14, 1875, he would have been 28 years old when he mailed this card. Currie sought to sell the collector a map of Kimberly & Boshof, South Africa. The 2’ x 3’ map on canvas folded into pocket size, and was given to him by his brother who served in the Boer War.
A new card has been added to the patriotic postcards published by the Summerside Journal, and that section has been updated to the current website format.
This example of the McCoy Series 1 coin card has been overprinted by Victor E. Marentette & Son of Windsor, Ontario. The unusual feature of the card is that the card has scalloped edges, likely also added by Victor E. Marentette & Son. The card has been postally used from Windsor to Paris, France on May 28, 1906.
A new example of a Semple & Luke pioneer postcard back has been added, and the Semple & Luke listings updated to suit.
This patriotic W.G. MacFarlane postcard has been added to the site, along with a new Series 17 page, which illustrates cards from the City of Calgary.
This Toronto Litho Co. Ltd. pioneer postcard was mailed by the company’s president, William Stone, to Hotel de la Poste in Ghent, Belgium from the company’s headquarters at 680 King Street West in Toronto. It is postmarked with a Bathurst Street Toronto postmark dated October 10, 1899, and bears a 2 Map stamp as well as a “Too Late” cancellation. The card also bears a Gand October 24, 1899 receiving cancel. Stone writes:
“Dear Sir: Knowing your good Hotel by reputation, I take the liberty of asking you to kindly mail mean illustrated post card of your City. Hoping to pay you a visit in the near future. Yours sincerely,Wm. Stone”
This note by William Stone prompts the question, was Stone a postcard collector? Was this research into contemporary European postcard printing part of company business? Or was Stone just curious about a city he planned to visit?
I’ve updated the site by moving across the W.G. MacFarlane cards to the current site format. I’ll add some additional depth to this material in future updates.
The listing of Young Bros. patriotic postcards has been updated to the current site layout, and new material added.
A new page has been added to update the Atkinson Bros postcard listings to the newer site format, as well as some new material being added.
A new card from Series 8 by the Canadian View Card Co. has been added. This is a variation from the primary design, of which Mike Smith enumerates 3 other cards with the words “Greetings from Niagara Falls” above the flag. This card, with the image and text “Ice Mountain from Canada” has a similar design to one found in Series 3.
A postally used copy of W.J. Gage’s Soldiers of Canada in South Africa series has been added. This card was used in May 1901 to Levis.
I’ve added an update for P.D. Ayer & Co. to bring that publisher into the new site format, and to reconcile the numbering system to match revisions in Mike Smith’s listings in the second edition of his patriotic handbook.
A page showing the patriotic postcards of P. Cross, a Toronto publisher who issued a pair of series of cards about 1904 or 1905, has been added. One series featuring images overlaid over the Union Jack flag showing politicians running in the 1905 Ontario provincial election, while a second series using the same background overlaid by images from Muskoka’s Lake Joseph.
Another MacFarlane patriotic postcard has been added, this time from Series 9, with the BC crest, sent from Vancouver on July 20, 1904 to Tangier Morocco, with a Tangier receiver dated August 8.
A Series 14 MacFarlane patriotic postcard mailed in 1904 from Halifax to Sgt. Newcombe of the Royal Engineers in Bermuda has been added to the Foreign Destinations.
I’ve added a collection of pioneer patriotic postcards featuring the Soldiers of Canada in South Africa, which was published by W.J. Gage & Co. Limited of Toronto during Canada’s involvement during the Second Anglo-Boer War, often referred to as the Boer War.
I’ve migrated the former Toronto Litho subpages to the new web site format, and introduced some new material. Check out this link
to access that part of the site.
A second card by Turnbull’s Postals Series has been added. This card has been trimmed and the stamp removed. The card was sent from Guelph to France in June 1900, and shows St. George’s Church and River Speed.
A copy of a postcard published by The Province Publishing Coy. Ltd. showing a scene of a rustic bridge in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC has been added to the site. The card was postally used from Vancouver to Surrey, England in December of 1899.
I’ve updated the McCoy Printing Company listings of patriotic postcards to the updated site design, and added some additional material.
I’ve updated to the new site format the page listing many of the patriotic postcard series published by The Canadian View Card Company
, (CVCC) an early Toronto-based postcard publisher whose work included a wide variety of patriotic postcards, as well as adding some additional examples.
One of my favourite Albertype Company-based local publishers in Landahl’s Emporium
in Dawson, Yukon.
In Dawson, Yukon Territory, Harry Landahl established Landahl’s Emporium at 116 Second Avenue South in late 1904. This was followed by a relocation to 205 King Street into the former location of Smith’s Book Store in 1906. Landahl’s Emporium was the publisher of a wide variety of Dawson postcards printed by The Albertype Co. from about August 1905 through July 1913.
I’ve added seven more cards from Landahl’s Emporium
, including the card pictured here, to the collection. Some of the cards are postally used from one sender (circa 1906) who described the price of meat (“as high as $1.00 per pound” and “Mountain Sheep–which are frozen meat, brought from 50 to 75 cts per pound”) and furs (“These furs and heads are from up the Stewart river and are worth $5000, all belong to the Indian”)
This pioneer postcard is noted as one of “Turnbull’s Private Postals Series I”, showing St. George’s Square, the heart of the city of Guelph, Canada. It has been mailed to Lamastre, France on June 14, 1900, and has a Lamastre receiver dated June 25th.
The writer notes, on the reverse of the card, “The statue on the fountain represents “Industry”, and is quite an attraction for the City. It is situated on the expansion of the Main Street, named Wyndham Street, and is called St. George’s Square. The nearest building is the Post Office and the next is the Traders Bank”.
Another example of a pioneer postcard published by William Bryce has been added to the site, this one showing an image of Toronto Street, Toronto.
While these early cards published by William Bryce date to the late 19th century, William Bryce continued to issue postcards into the early 20th century, from his store at 489–491 Queen Street West in Toronto, 100 yards west of Spadina Avenue.
William Bryce, wholesale book publisher & stationer, also published a range of other material, as seen from the company’s other covers and postal stationery cards.
The Albertype Co., printers of postcards for a wide range of small town merchants who sought to have their own local postcards, have a separate subdomain on this site, albertype.vintagepostcards.ca
. I’ve just updated the design of that subdomain to reflect the design of the main site, providing a site that is responsive to the device (computer, phone or tablet), that is used, and delivering an optimized viewing experience. I’ll be adding more content over time, as I have a number of additional cards awaiting scanning & adding to the site.
This pioneer patriotic postcard “Sold by G.W. Thomson & Son” shows three vignettes of Goderich, Ontario—the Court House, Harbour & Driveway Near Town on the front of the card, and a large coloured maple leaf on the back, with the lyrics of The Maple Leaf Forever. In the 1903 Ontario Business Directory, GW Thomson was a local Goderich merchant who sold musical instruments.
From the 1910 Ontario Gazetteer, Goderich, with a population of about 4,632, was “a shipping port situated on the river Maitland at it’s confluence with Lake Huron, and on the terminus of the B&G line GTR, also of the CPR line, in Huron Co, of which it is the county seat. It has a good system of municipal waterworks, volunteer fire department and electric light, and is the location of very extensive salt works, has four mills, boiler and machine works and other industries high, separate and public schools, a public library of 3000 volumes, 2 public halls, 4 banks and 2 weekly newspapers, the Star and the Signal.” “Salt, livestock grain, flour, fish, lumber etc are shipped. Steamboats to all the lake ports call during navigation. Town owns waterworks & electric light plant. Stages daily to Lucknow, 22 miles northeast, and to Kintail 16 miles.
A third round of updates of Canadian postcards with overseas foreign destinations has been added. There are still a few more to add, but that’s all for now.
I’ve added some additional pages as a followup to the initial posting, with more to come.
I’ve begun migrating the section on Canadian postcards mailed to overseas foreign destinations to the current site format. I’d been unhappy with the options for displaying cards in the album style, as it didn’t allow for any additional information on the cards to be added to the gallery. I’ve now solved that issue with an added in tool that I think gives me what I was looking for.
I have migrated about half the contents of the previous pages in this section so far, however the balance should be quicker now that I have the new format worked out.
After a protracted hiatus, I’ve added a couple of real photo postcards showing scenes in the former village of Thistletown, now part of the City of Toronto. The first view looks west along Albion Road at the corner of Islington Avenue, showing the southwest corner of the intersection, where the Albion Hotel was located, G. Swift, Proprietor. A couple of customers appear to be entering the hotel, while it looks like George Swift stands in the doorway, watching the photographer.
The hotel was originally known as the Albion House, and had a large ballroom, above the adjoining shed, that was used for many community gatherings. The hotel was a popular place for farmers on their way to mills in Weston, so a large stable was erected on the northwest corner of the intersection capable of housing 100 horses. The shed can be seen at the extreme right of the image. Some farmers travelled from as far north as Collingwood, and would stay overnight at the hotel en route.
Later, the hotel was in decline, losing its liquor license, and then the ballroom was closed due to a sagging floor structure. The hotel was later renovated into a pair of houses.
The section on short paid markings has been updated to the new web site format, with some additional material added.