Postcard Publishers

Publishers of Irish postcards have been many and varied. Major British and Continental publishers have used Irish themes to sell their wares. E. A. Schwardifeger and Co., London published postcards which sold in Ireland as part of an international market for postcards. H. Graham Glen of Wortley, Leeds had their cards printed in Germany as did many early postcard publishers. Raphael Tuck, London, Valentine's of London and Edinburgh, Rotary Photographic, The Carleton Publishing Co., London and The Philco Publishing Co., London all had their Irish division.

The list of Irish postcard publishers is myriad; and most firms published in a number of genres. In the first three decades of the twentieth century the main Irish publishers were Valentine's of Dublin and Dundee, Lawrence's of Dublin, Healy's of Dublin and Chas. L Reid of Dublin. Contemporary local publishers included Anthony, Photographers, Killarney, Gibbon's Fancy Warehouse, Westport, Walsh, Ballina, Glynns Fancy Goods Warehouse, Galway, P. Rohan, Stationer and Tobacconist, Yaughal, Irish Pictorial Card Co., Cork and Hurst and Co., Belfast.

Publishers of political postcards include all the major political parties on the island of Ireland, along with nearly every political faction over the last hundred years.

As the twentieth century wore on, the postcard market saw a number of competing publishers in Ireland. In the 1950's and 1960's established firms such as Guinness produced their own postcards but did not see themselves as mainstream publishers. Colour and aerial photography had now entered the scene. Firms such as Penman Cards, P C Colour Cards, Irish Printers Ltd., Cardwell, Real Ireland, Dollard and John Hinde were now competing for the market. John Hinde set up business in Dalkey, County Dublin in 1956 and focussed on producing high quality postcards and view cards for the Irish, United Kingdom and American markets. They have established themselves as the brand leader in the Irish postcard market, and continue to service the demand for printed images in the tourist sector.

In the twenty first century and despite the amazing advances in communications technology, the Irish postcard still has a niche and a role. From the era of the Carta Puist of the Irish Post Office, through the expansion of the colour photographic cards of Hinde and others, the postcard is still being used as a medium of advertisement and information. The National Library of Ireland's postcard invitation to the centenary James Joyce Exhibition, Adair Manor's postcard advertising their unique services and the Linen Hall Library's postcard invitation to the inauguration C S Lewis Collection all suggest a continued role for this supposedly ephemeral part of the printer's art.

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