The Real McCoy… Really?

I have recently been looking at the early Valentine and Sons view post cards of Prince Edward Island, especially the two series  that the company did for the Inter-Colonial and Prince Edward Island Railway which I explored in an earlier posting. A closer look at some of these cards has thrown up an interesting variant series (or perhaps two). 

Typical Valentine Black and White image but lacking the characteristic reference to the Inter-Colonial and Prince Edward Island Railway. The reference appears on neither the front nor the back of the card.

These monochrome cards have the white card-bottom stripe with the title but without the railway reference. However a bigger surprise is to be found on the card back.

McCoy Archambault back001
Card backs showing McCoy and Archambault overprints

These cards have an overprint of the publisher credit, in some case completely obscuring the “Valentine Series (Britain)” wording, but more frequently showing the Valentine information as well as that of another publisher. Most of the P.E.I. cards that I have found have the words “McCoy Printing Company, Moncton, N.B.”  as seen in the above illustration. In Mike Smith and William Angley’s 2010 volume McCoy Printing Company Picture Postcard Handbook 1900-1910, seven items are listed as McCoy cards using the Valentine image numbers which also appear in the railway series.  Several additional cards with this format have been found and it now appears that at least nine of the Valentine images appear with the McCoy overprint and it is probable that, as with the colour series, all ten of the cards appeared in this alternate format.  Use of Valentine images, complete with image numbers, by other publishers is not uncommon but this is a clear indication that Valentine may have actually been the publisher for some of these other series. 

What is somewhat surprising is that McCoy may not have been the only publisher which took advantage of these early Valentine cards. At least one card (again seen above) bears the words “R. Archambault, P.O. Box 108, Montreal”  In this case the wording appears on the back of the “Near Souris” card with Valentine image # 100,925, illustrated at the head of this posting     

I am not aware of any other P.E.I. cards with this Archambault imprint or credit. Was this a “one-off” or is there yet another ten-card series with the Valentine images out there somewhere?  Having looked only at P.E.I. cards it is difficult to state whether or not this publisher mixing and matching was common elsewhere. 

The impressive number of Valentine cards now has another collecting dimension as more variant series are identified.    

Author: sailstrait

I am an archivist, historian and small boat sailor. Over the years have built several small boats, the most recent of which was a Medway Skiff. Since 2011 I have been skipper of "Ebony", a 1982 Halman 20. I sail in Northumberland Strait between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Member of the Charlottetown Yacht Club, PEI Sailing Association and the Northumberland Strait Yachting Association. I have also an interest in the history of the Charlottetown Yacht Club, Charlottetown Harbour, Northumberland Strait and the vessels that have sailed there over the years.

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