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V - PUBLISHERS
Valentine’s Co. Ltd. (Valentine & Sons) 1825-1963
A major Publisher of views. The Valentine Company, a lithographic printing firm, was founded in 1825 in Dundee, Scotland by John Valentine. His son James became an early pioneer of photography and by the 1860’s his work was being reproduced by the Valentine Company as prints and stereo-views. After James’ death in 1879 his two sons, George Dobson and William Dobson took over the Company, but in 1884 George moved to New Zealand where he became a landscape photographer. In 1880 Valentine began producing Christmas cards and by 1896 they began printing postcards. Up until 1882 they had only published views of Scotland, but they began expanding into other tourist markets especially after their postcard business took off. Other offices opened in Jamaica, Medeira, Norway, Tangier, Canada, and New York. They produced a great range of view-cards that were mostly printed in Scotland in tinted halftone lithography or issued as real photo cards. In addition they produced a vast array of other products that held photographic images. All interests outside of Great Britain were sold in 1923. By 1929 they had given up their photo portraiture work to concentrate solely on postcard production. But they did not anticipate the public’s growing demand for color cards and by the 1950’s their business was suffering. In return they put most of their efforts into greeting cards. They were purchased by John Waddington & Co. in 1963, which passed on to Hallmark Cards in 1980. Dundee operations closed in 1994. Their cards are numbered on the front in hand, which sometimes makes the figures illegible.
In the 1890’s until 1902 most cards were printed in black & white collotype with undivided backs. By the 1900’s they were producing a great number of views of Great Britain labeled as the Valentine Series. These came in a number of variations including collotype cards that were hand colored, printed in various monochromatic colors and printed with tints. They were mostly numbers in series of four to five digits. Their color cards had a distinctively dull look to them for though they were printed in tinted lithography, dots were printed in fawn instead of the typical yellow used by other printers.
While most of Valentine’s cards were photo based landscapes, they also produced an Artotype series in the early 1900’s that reproduced artist drawn illustrations. These were more brightly colored than their typical cards because they were produced through tricolor printing.
Their Mezzograph series was produced as a tinted collotype, only here the collotype was in blue, which gives these cards a heavy and mannered look.
In these same years they produced a series of color and black & white moonlit views, a card series depicting Edinburg in paintings, greeting cards, real photo cards, and a series of views in sepia called Selectypes. An XL series was also produced for sepia toned real photo cards.
After the First World War, Valentine produced a wide variety of view cards in addition to their Artotypes with many brand names. Carbo-type and Silveresque cards were printed in black & white line block halftones to simulate photographs, while Carbotone cards were printed in sepia. Also in sepia was their Photo-gravure series.
Real photo bromide cards were made under the names Bromotype and Bromotone, and a series of Glossy view-cards with an embossed frame were issued under the Crystoleum Series name. Valentine also made a number of etching reproductions in these post war years.
Photo-Brown cards were printed in duotone using two halftone screens. They have the look of toned real photos.
Valentine continued to produced a number of illustrated cards on a variety of subjects as well. These cards however were printed as tinted halftones utilizing the same pallet as their landscapes. They look much duller than cards of the Artotype series. Valentine also made a number of etching reproductions in these post war years.
Colourtone cards were issued in the 1930’s and printed at tinted halftones. They continue using lithographic dots of fawn rather than yellow, and their blues and reds tend to be distinct. They are distinguished by thick Tartan patterned borders with symbolic elements added.
Carbo Colour cards from the 1930’s also came with Tartan borders but many were also printed with plain white borders. They were printed as tinted halftones, often with ben day patterns added. Yellow replaced Valentine’s traditional use of fawn colored lithographic dots, yielding brighter colors. Even so there is little optical blending, and these cards often have the look of being hand colored.
Borderless artist signed cards were made throughout the 1940’s and 50’s with the tricolor process and issued under the Art Colour name. Though printed with an RYB pallet, these cards retain a distinct RGB look.
Another type of borderless artist signed card were issued in the 1950’s and printed under the Valesque name. These cards were alsp printed through the tricolor process like the Art Colour cards, but here black is added and the hues easily blended to create more optical colors.
By the 1940’s the changes in printing technology ushered in a new series of card types with it. New color view-cards came out under the name Valchrome and hand colored collotypes were issued as Collo Colour, while black & white and sepia cards were produced in gravure under the name Velvette Gravure. They also produced a series of Aerial cards and of folding cards called Mail Novelties. But by the 1950’s more emphasis was put into the production of greeting cards as their popularity outpaced that of postcards. Their last black & white postcard was printed in 1967.
A number of view-cards of Ireland were published out of their office in Dublin. While they generally have the same printed appearance as those depicting scenes from England and carry the Valentine name, they were printed in tinted collotype and their logo is completely unique.
Another set of Irish view-cards were issued by Valentine in Dublin that have decorative borders filled with clover. These cards have the normal Valentine logo on them and were printed in Scotland in tinted halftone.
Valentine Publishing Co., PTY., Ltd. 1923-1963
While Valentine’s closed most of its overseas branches in 1923, this company continued to publish and distribute their postcards in addition to playing cards and tourist guides. Their cards were printed in Great Britain in tinted halftone but they bare little resemblance to the traditional Valentine card. These cards were not numbered. In addition they published real photo cards with many of them issued in large sets. They also accepted contracts for cards from many other Australian publishers.
An earlier set of view-cards depicting Australian scenes can be found under the name of Valentine & Sons Publishing Company of Melbourne. These cards were also printed in Great Britain in tinted halftone lithography but they more closely resemble those marketed back in England. These cards are numbered and carry a V.G. prefix.
Valentine & Sons Co. (1907-1909)
The New York branch for Valentine’s of Dundee, Scotland. Another office later opened in Boston, Massachusetts. Published view-cards depicting scenes throughout the Country. While many of these cards were printed in the United States in their later years, they have the exact same distinct look of the tinted halftones that were printed in Great Britain. All cards are numbered and have a three digit prefix and a three digit suffix. In 1909 they merged with the Hugh C. Leighton Company of Portland, Maine to become Leighton and Valentine.
Valentine & Sons Publishing Co. (1907-1923)
The Canadian office for Valentine’s of Dundee, Scotland. They published souvenir books, greeting cards and view-cards of Canadian scenery in sets numbered with a three digit prefix and a three digit suffix. These tinted halftone and collotype cards were printed in Great Britain. Valentine sold their Canadian branch in 1923.
Valentine Black Co., Ltd. (1922-1933)
Published view-cards of Canada. They used a number of different printers, some in the United States.
Formed by the merger of the Leighton & Valentine Company with the Souvenir Post Card Company. They published tinted halftone view-cards in line block that were printed in the United States.
While their later white border cards retained the usual limited pallet, these cards have an entirely different look. There is much more emphasis on the details that are printed in black rather than the color overprinting.
Valley Publishing Co. 1951-1970’s
This firm was set up in Bridgeport, Connecticut by Helen Cullinham to publish the color photographs of Block Island taken by Louis Dormand as postcards. The company would follow Cullinhan as she moved to Block Island, but when she established a second residence on west Side Road she changed the firm’s name to West Side Studio. In all 46 different view-cards were produced, which were the first color postcards of the Island. Three of the earliest cards list Helen Cullinham as the publisher. Production ceased in the late 1960’s and in the early 1970’s the rights to these images was sold to the Star Department Store who republished some under their own name.
Publishers who produced sets of postcards in offset lithography reproducing watercolor views of New York City by Marcus A. Van Der Hope.
Van Ornum Colorprint Co. (1908-1921)
A publisher of unusually tinted halftone view-cards, mostly depicting scenes of southern California.
A. A. Van Tine & Co. (1895-1920)
Ashly Abraham Van Tine was a prominent New York merchant who left for San Francisco in 1866 where he soon became involved in importing goods from Japan and China. After many trips to Asia he opened Vantine’s, the Oriental Store back in New York. He became the leading distributor of Asian art and goods, including postcards, and responsible for much of this style’s impact on America. He retired in 1887 passing the family business down to his daughters. In addition to publishing hand colored collotype cards depicting his own store, Vantine’ placed their own business ads and notices on the back of many postcards that were printed in Japan.
J. Velten (1899-1940’s)
A fine art publisher that produced about 550 different chromolithographic view-cards drawn by well known artists such as Heinrich Kley, Karl Mutter, and Manuel Wielandt. His early cards were printed by E. Nister and G.W. Seitz, but after a legal dispute he switched to Wolfrum & Hauptmann. These cards were very popular in their day and saw many reprintings into the hundreds of thousands. They also produced real photo postcards in their latter years.
J.F. van de Ven (1875-1922)
This book publisher and seller began producing postcards as they became popular. Most are either finely printed artist signed cards in chromolithography or view-cards in sepia.
Enrico Verdesi (1925-1960)
A publisher of books, maps, guides, and monochrome postcards in collotype. The dramatic lighting effects on their darkly printed high contrast cards is reminiscent of mannerist painting.
J.B. Verhoeven (1908-1927)
Published local view-cards including a number of rich night scenes printed in tinted collotype.
Fr. Vester & Co. 1881-
This curio shop once owned by Frederic Vester was purchased at the turn of the 20th century by a group of Millenniumists that moved in to Palestine from the United States, where they banded together to form a commune that became known as the American Colony in Jerusalem. Elijah Meyers had been an early photographer of this group but the Coloney’s photo operations did not begin in earnest until 1898 when Kaiser Wilhem II’s visit to Jerusalem was documented. Lewis Larsson, Lars Lind, John Whiting, Frank Baldwin, and Eric Matson were the primary photographers who sold their work to tourists out of the Colony’s new shop, with some in the form of printed postcards. Because of their philanthropic work they were trusted by the Ottoman authorities and allowed to photograph life in Palestine though out the First World War.
Vickery & Hill Publishing Co. 1879-1942
A large publishing house founded by P.O. Vickery and Dr. John Fremont Hill. They began producing mail order catalogs and went on to publish Hearth & Home Magazine. By 1900 Hill had been elected Governor of Maine but it did not interfere with his company branching out into the publication of postcards. These tinted halftone images depicted many far away scenes.
Vienna Post Card Co. (1913)
A publisher of local view-cards in a bright blue monotone collotype. They seem to have specialized in scenes from the Bronx.
Alexander Vincents (1909)
Published artist signed postcards and local views through tricolor printing. Vincents also produced a number of real photo cards.
Visual Panographics 1964-
This firm was set up by the Crowle Corporation for the specific purpose of manufacturing parallax stereograms. This work utilized a rigid PVC lenticulating sheet to create a 3-D effect, which was first licensed and then purchased from the Topan Printing Company in Japan. This process was used for magazine covers, advertising, baseball cards, packaging, and for postcards under the brand name xograph. When Xographs were first introduced they were seen as the wave of the future but they were just a fad. Though their popularity has waned, they are still produced as novelties. Unfortunately the plastic on many of their early cards has has yellowed and curled.
John C. Voigt Post Card Co. (1908-1910)’s)
Published monochrome, black & white, hand colored and tinted halftone view-cards of New Jersey. Their cards were printed in Germany.
P.F. Volland & Co. 1906-1950’s
Founded by Paul Frederick Volland to publish and print books, calendars, and greeting cards, they were producing postcards by 1907. Best known for their children’s books, notably the Raggedy Ann series. They employed many well known artists to illustrate their books and greeting cards, and produce sets of artist signed motto and view-cards. Their most notable view sets issued in 1914 are those of Chicago by Miles W. Sater and New York City by Rachael Robinson Elmer under the Art Lover”s series name. Volland was one of the few companies to use Arts & Crafts style graphics on many of their cards. In 1919 Paul Volland was murdered in his office over a contractual dispute. His son Gordon took over the firm, and after merging with Gerlach-Barklow they moved to Joliet, IL in the early 1920’s.
Arnold Vollenweider 1891-1937)
A Swiss photographer who learned the craft from his father Moritz Vollenweider. After visiting Algers, Arnold and his brother Paul moved there to open a photo studio where they became well known for images of the Algerian landscape and types. After five years Paul left to open his own studio. Very early on Arnold began to turn many of his images into black & white, hand colored, and printed color cards as well as real photo postcards. Some of the early cards have unusual shaped borders. Arnold was a member of the Swiss Photographers Association from 1913 to 1914.
J. Vondrak (1920’s)
This photo studio published postcards as black & white collotypes.
Atelier Graphique H. Vontobel (1949-1957)
Printer of brightly colored gravure view-cards with a very matte finish, many of which depict scenes the United States.
Vouga & Co. (1908-1928)
A publisher of real photo cards and fine artist signed postcards in chromolithography. They merged with Photoglob in 1928.