Pioneer Postcards with Real Photos

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.

Toronto Litho from Toronto to Tokyo, 1903

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.

Toronto Litho Montreal early use

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.

The Province Publishing Coy.

Province Wharf Germany
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.

The Photochrom Company

Photochrom Niagara
A new page for the cards of The Photochrom Company, the precursor of the Detroit Photographic Company, has been added, with some new material.

Toronto Litho Brantford Paquebot

Toronto Litho Brantford Packet
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.

Semple & Luke

Semple For Liberty reverse
A new example of a Semple & Luke pioneer postcard back has been added, and the Semple & Luke listings updated to suit.

Toronto Litho president's mail to Belgium

Toronto Litho Toronto Too Late
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?

Atkinson Bros update

Atkinson Moose Jaw
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.

W.J. Gage Soldiers of Canada

Lt. Col Steele
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.

Toronto Litho Update

Toronto Litho Exhibition Type 2
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.

Turnbull's Postals Series

Turnbull Guelph
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.

The Province Publishing Coy Ltd.

Province Publishing Rustic Bridge
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.

Turnbull's Postals Series I

Guelph St George Square
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”.

William Bryce—Toronto Street

Bryce Toronto Street
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.

Hamilton Market Albertype
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, 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.

G.W. Thomson & Son

PPC Goderich Leaf
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.

PPC Goderich Leaf Back

The Province Publishing Coy. Ltd.

Province Ad 1
I’ve added several cards from The Province Publishing Coy. Ltd. and B.C. Printing & Engraving Corp. Ltd. of Vancouver. The B.C. Printing & Engr. Corp. Ltd. arose from a name change in 1899 from the The Province Publishing Coy. Ltd. Both of the The Province Publishing Coy. Ltd. were used for business advertising, with the backs printed with Mellon & Scott, Shipping, Financial & Insurance Brokers, 419 Cordova Street, Vancouver B.C.