It seems that many of the small merchants who were early to take advantage of the postcard craze were booksellers or stationers or those already selling souvenirs or perhaps all of the above. For them it was an easy fit and postcards seemed to be a logical extension of the existing business lines. At least that seems to be the case in Charlottetown where firms such as Taylor’s Bookstore, Haszard and Moore, Maddigan, and Carter’s all had cards produced under their names.
Things appear to have been a little different in Summerside. In the Prince County capital druggists and drugstores were the ones to cater to the postcard enthusiasts with local products. Perhaps in the smaller community the pharmacies served then (as they often do today) as mini-departmental stores carrying a variety of small goods in addition to the medical supplies which formed the core of their activities.
Of course many of the national publishers such as Warwick & Rutter, Pugh, Stedman, and Valentine all had postcard images of Summerside and the surrounding communities and these would have been available from a variety of sellers in the town. However some of the merchants in Summerside also placed orders with publishers in Ontario and elsewhere and had cards published under merchant’s names with cards identified either as “published by” or published for.”
P.N. Enman was a Summerside druggist. In 1904 he took over control of a firm that had been founded in 1881 and accordingly was one of the oldest pharmacies in Prince County. The Enman name continued to be carried by a Summerside drug store for decades after Enman’s death in 1931. Percy Enman was also involved in the Summerside Improvement and Tourist Association and served in 1904 as the chair of the organization’s Tourist Committee. He probably recognized the value of postcards as tourism advertising. Enman appears to have been a customer of the Nerlich Company of Toronto because the postcards published for Enman and bearing his name also carry the Nerlich wordmark. While I have found only three cards of this type it is likely that a number of other images exist.
P.D. Enman Cards – click on any card to enlarge
Methodist Church, Summerside, P.E.I. – published for P.D. Enman, Druggest card # 732 H/21
Summer Street, Summerside P.E.I. – published for P.D. Enman, Druggist card # 732 A/25
Lighthouse, Summerside Harbor, P.E.I. – published for P.D Enman, Druggist card # 732 A/22
Enman was not alone in having postcards printed by Nerlich. The Red Cross Drug Store was in operation during the same period. It was operated by the McLellan family until 1915 when J.E. Gallant, formerly of Tignish purchased the business. Most of the Red Cross Drug Store cards carry the Nerlich logo while several cards for which the publisher is not identified were published for M. J. McLellan or Mrs. M.J. McLellan.
Red Cross Drug Store & McLellan cards – click on any card to enlarge
One of the Natives, Richmond near Summerside, P.E.I. – published for Red Cross Drug Store. card # A370 – Culhane Collection
Arguably the largest producer of postcards on Prince Edward Island was Carter and Company. Hundreds of different cards from the beginning of the postcard era into the 1960s bear the name of the company which was active for more than a century. Carter & Co. (more often than not abbreviated to C. & Co.) appears on many of the cards, others are unidentified as to publisher but contain clues and have a striking similarity to those that are.
Collectors love numbered series because they can more easily identify items they are lacking and the numbers can give a sense of completeness to a run of cards. Carter and Co. cards provide a more difficult cataloguing challenge. Only by amassing information and sharing it among card aficionados can one hope to get a sense of the range of cards. Carter cards appear as a number of different types, not identified on the cards as a series, but rather differentiated by style of the cards.
One of the earliest of the several styles is what I have chosen to call the “Red Letter Cards”.
These cards have the title in red ink with the lettering in block capitals. They also have a characteristic colour palette most noticeable in the sky colour which is almost invariably a light aquamarine shade. The series includes both landscape and portrait formats and the title can appear on either the top or bottom of the card. The card title seems always to contain the name of the province as “P.E. Island”.
The back of the cards in this series is in a standard format identified as a divided back “Souvenir Mailing Card”. The name “C. & Co.” appears on the bottom left of the card.
A slight variation of the card appears as “The Crown Series” printed just under the word “Mailing” on the card back. This sub-series has “Published for C. & Co, Ltd.” on the left side of the card. Several of these cards are in the Red Letter series but most of those in the White Letter run (see below) bear the Crown Series mark.
The Carter Red Letter cards are usually identified as to location but several are more generic with titles such as “Hay-making”, “Pastoral Scene”, or “Morning Dip” – perhaps the Island’s first nudie card.
In early cards the words printer and publisher were often used interchangeably. While Carter and Co. had many lines of business, being a printer was not one of them. George Carter had emerged as one of Charlottetown’s leading seedsmen by the mid 1890s and before the end of the century was operating as a bookseller and stationer as well.
With the development of tourism on the Island Carter developed a sideline in souvenirs and as early as 1903 was advertising postcards for sale. A few years later advertisements would boast that the company has a stock of 500,000 cards on order. Carter’s served as a wholesale distributor for several lines of goods including souvenirs and postcards which continued to be distributed through the firm into the 1970s and later. Although specializing in later years in stationery and office supplies the stock in trade for Carter and Co. for much of the twentieth century was what was, at the time, termed “smallwares”
One of the largest wholesale distributors of smallwares in Canada was the Toronto firm of Nerlich and Company and much of the Carter stock may have come from them. This large firm had been founded in 1858 and continued in business for more than a century. The impressive building that housed the company at 146 Front Street in Toronto still stands.
Nerlich & Co. also were in the postcard business. Their cards have a distinctive Souvenir Mailing Card back with a wordmark with an intertwined N & C. in the same location on the card as the Carter crown series cards.
It is worth noting that the Nerlich cards state “Published by” rather than “Published for” as in the case of the Carter Crown Series cards. The face of the Nerlich cards also include the same design elements and colour palette as seen on the Carter cards. Nerlich cards are relative common for Ontario and a large collection exists for western Canada. Initially I believed that no cards of P.E.I. bore the Nerlich wordmark, but I have since received information to the contrary. [see addendum following example images below] Nerlich had salesmen across the country and wholesale links with manufactures in Japan and Germany. Many pre WW I postcards came from German printers and at least one Nerlich card (from an Ontario location) bears the words “Printed in Germany.” There does not appear to have been any published research to date on Nerlich’s postcard operations in spite of the fact that they were a major producer.
I think there is little doubt that the Carter Red Letter series came as a Prince Edward Island variation of the Nerlich and Co. card output.
There is a related sub-series of Carter cards which carry the Nerlich-type back and other characteristics except that the lettering is in a slightly different typeface and in white letters instead of red.
A selection of Red Letter postcards appears below. Click on any card to begin slide show. For an illustrated catalogue of the 39 Red Letter and 4 White letter known cards in this series click here. As always I would be pleased to learn of any images which might be added to the listings.
Typical Red Letter Card – “New Hillsborough Bridge, Charlottetown, P.E.. Island”
2 August 2017 – In my initial posting I stated that no examples of P.E.I. images with the Nerlich wordmark were known to exist. Phil Culhane, a collector from Ottawa has proven me wrong and sent along scans of two Nerlich card with the same images as Carter cards.
The Provincial Building has the same image as a Carter card except the title of the card is on the bottom rather than the top and the title includes the word Canada. The Fort Edward card is exactly the same as the Carter example.
The back of the card is the standard Nerlich design with wordmark and the phrase “Published by Nerlich & Co. Toronto, Canada.” Since then a number of other Nerlich cards published for P.E.I. card sellers have also been located. See the posting titled Drugs…. and Postcards
The obvious question following from this discovery is how many more Nerlich cards of P.E.I. are out there?
As a city, Charlottetown looks south. The town was built to face the harbour and as the ground gently rose to the few modest hills given grand names by country estates such as Mount Edward and Sidmount the well-planned street pattern began to break up. In the ideal of Charles Morris’ plan the town lots were edged by a common and then, further out, the royalty which was a band of country lots. Perhaps it was envisioned that each of the 500 town lots would also have a 12 acre royalty lot to provide for crops and grazing for the town residents. The system soon broke down as there was ample space within the slow-growing town for gardens and pastures. The colonial officials sold off the common and royalty lots and farms were created at the edge of the town. When the City of Charlottetown was incorporated in 1855 it was comprised of the Town and Common. The royalty was beyond the fringe.
Almost all postcards of the Edwardian era follow the harbour based approach. If there is a an overall view from the tall building the view is toward the harbour. This is the case for a Haszard and Moore postcard showing the view from the Colonial Building noted in an earlier posting. But there was an exception. One tall building was located in the north part of the City. Prince Street School, built by the Methodists, was a four-story structure which peered out over the residential area.
This rare double card published by Valentine & Sons shows the view to the north as the city bleeds out into the countryside. The school was built in the northern part of the Common and the view goes beyond the city limits. The vista runs from the Newlands Estate in the west to St. Avards in the east.
The left half of the card shows a cluster of houses, many still standing, at the north end of Prince Street. Malpeque Road can be traced extending out past St. Dunstan’s College, whose brick mass is seen squatting on the horizon.
This no-man’s land of mainly modest houses, tiny lots and narrow streets was Gaytown. It had been settled by those who sought the lower costs and lower taxes outside the city limit which ran just to the north of Gerald Street. Businesses sprang up along Malpeque Road and Allen Street. The area acquired its name when J.J. Gay, who had a market garden and nursery in Pownal moved to the area in the 1890s to better serve his town customers both at the downtown market and directly from the nursery. Gaytown became a neighbourhood and then a community. Although administratively linked to the Village of Spring Park it had an identity all its own. By the 1930s the area had a number of sports teams playing hockey, baseball soccer and volleyball. The newspapers mentioned the Gaytown Rovers, Gaytown Ramblers, and Gaytown Hawks. The fields at the edge of the community included the grounds of the Charlottetown Athletic Association near Allen Street.
The right half of the card looks out from the school roof to the grounds of the experimental farm with its thicket of woods around Ravenwood and Ardgowan. Many of the houses on Gerald and School Street (now Walthen Drive) are still standing. A hint of industrialization can be spotted by the presence of oil tanks bordering the P.E.I. Railway line as it headed out of the city.
As the area outside the city grew so did the problems. Without the benefits of municipal water and sewage systems and dependant for the most part on Charlottetown for fire protection the area was seen as a health and safety risk. As late as the 1950s there was still a public well at Spring Park. In 1957 the Village of Spring Park amalgamated with Charlottetown and became ward 6 of the city. Parkdale continued on its own for several more years.
Although in common use well into the 1950s the name “Gaytown” has all but disappeared. While other neighbourhoods such as Brighton and Parkdale are still identifiers only a one block long street – Gay Avenue, where the nursery was located – remains to remind us of the settlement.
A postcard depicting the fields of the experimental farm which almost accidentally captured the view of rooftops may be the only view we have of a vanished community.
During the golden age of postcards national printers, publishers and distributors blanketed the country with penny images. National firms such as Valentine, Stedman, and Warwick & Rutter made sure they had postcards from every province and territory. But there were scores, or perhaps hundreds, of others who got in on the game at a local level. On Prince Edward Island firms such as Haszard & Moore and Carter & Company had an easily understandable link to the cards; the former as a printer and publisher and the latter as a stationer. However there were also less obvious connections and some merchants gave posts cards a whirl even though it may have been somewhat removed from their core business. Until recently these local publishers or distributors have attracted little attention from collectors and it is difficult to find information about them.
One such businessman on Prince Edward Island was Richard F. Maddigan. Born in 1867 Maddigan worked in the grocery business with W. Grant and Company in Charlottetown and in 1900 he took over the operation on the west side of Queen Street between Dorchester and Sydney streets changing the business name to R.F. Maddigan and Co. He operated a conventional grocery business but by 1906 had branched out into the manufacture of “Temperance Beverages” (soft drinks) and advertised that he could supply “everything required for fitting out saloons.” The following year he took over the rival Ferris and Frederickson Aereated Water Business. Today bottles from both of these companies are greatly sought by collectors.
Four years later an advertisement appeared suggesting thatMaddigan had once again expanded his interests. Directed at country post offices and stores he advertised that he had 80 varieties of cards available. Richard Maddigan had gone into the postcard business. It is not clear if the 80 varieties referred only to view cards or to other cards which might have been comical or topical in nature. I have been able to identify about 25 cards with the Maddigan name and there are no doubt others about. I would be interested in hearing of other Maddigan titles. The cards show images from a number of different Island communities.
Maddigan seems to have purchased his cards from a variety of suppliers. Many of the images appear on cards identified with other publishers and in several cases these names appear on the cards along with that of Maddigan.
The card backs indicate at least 5 different designs appear suggesting a variety of printers/publishers were used. One of the more common of the designs has a unique card number in the format XXX-XX on the lower right bottom edge of the card back which may give a clue as to the printer. The same card backs and number system are found on cards from the Pugh Manufacturing Company, recently the subject of new information on the Toronto Postcard Club site. Some other cards are noted as “Printed in Great Britain”, others are from printers in Saxony. Because of the variety of images and printers and lack of consistency in type faces on the card captions it is difficult to identify a typical “Maddigan card”. Images of a number of cards bearing the Maddigan imprint are shown below to illustrate the design and colour ranges. Click on any image in enlarge. A more complete catalogue of known Maddigan cards can be found here.
St. Dunstan’s Cathedral
Post Office Summerside
Market and Post Office, Charlottetown
Prince County Hospital, Summerside
Montague Black Fox Co. Ranch, Montague
Montague River, P.E.I.
Kent Street, Charlottetown
Blue Fox Ranch, Montague
S.S. Harland at Victoria
After the postcard boom died away there is no indication that Maddigan continued in the card business. He no doubt eventually sold off his stock and returned to concentration on the grocery lines. Richard Maddigan died on 24 February 1928 and by the end of April the shop fittings and equipment in his store had been auctioned off.
Note: The Toronto Post Card Club web site has a number histories of Canadian postcard publishers as well as checklists of cards from some of them.
The building of the Charles B. Chappell designed Stamper Building at the south-east corner of Queen and Richmond Streets in Charlottetown created vantage point overlooking the prosperous businesses which looked east onto Queen Square. A series of postcard images showing the street scene reveal changes on the street over a period of ten or so years. They also tell us a lot about what postcards do and do not show and how sometimes all that exists is not to be seen.
All of the images are from the roof of the Stamper Building looking north up Queen Street toward the 1888 City Hall with its impressive bell tower. However, in the previous statement “all” should really read “both” as close examination of the cards, although they are from five different publishers, shows they actually share only two photographic images. What is the earliest of the series is a card printed in Belgium for Taylor’s Book Store in Charlottetown.
Looking at details we can date this card as being from an image before 1909. That year the Fancy Grocery store of Jenkins and Sons on the north-west corner of Queen and Grafton Streets was demolished and was replaced by the columned façade of the Bank of Commerce, which had recently bought out the Merchants Bank of Prince Edward Island. Prominent in the foreground of the picture is a telephone or electrical pole with dozens of insulators. The wires, for the most part, have been re-touched out of existence. The buildings fronting the square are almost all three-story brick structures. There is one exception – next to Weeks “People’s Store” a 19th century wooden building still remains. On the right of the card the shadow cast by the W.C. Harris designed Market Building falls on market square.
The same image is the basis of the card from Charlottetown stationers Carter & Company. But this card has little of the quality evident in the first.
Re-touched almost to the point of becoming merely a sketch of the scene, its photograph origins are obscured to the extreme. The subtle details of the storefronts and signage are blurred. The utility pole has disappeared as has the shadow of the market building, replaced by the retoucher by a green sward surrounded by a neat hedge. Although the figures on the street, including a horse-drawn “sloven” in the middle of Queen Street, have been allowed to remain, they have almost become stick figures. In a clumsy but easily missed detail the sign of Haszard’s Bookstore on the building to the right to the sole wooden structure has been changed from the original in the photograph to read “Carter & Co. Ltd.” The overall result is a card showing a poorly coloured sterile streetscape devoid of shadows and details. North of Grafton Street the lack of detail is even more noticible.
A card from Toronto’s Pugh Manufacturing Company looks at first glance to be merely a copy but it is a different and later image although also taken from the top of the Stamper building. The chief difference is the 1909 Bank of Commerce which has replaced the wooden building on the corner of Queen and Grafton Streets.
But that is not the only change. S.A. MacDonald’s store with its distinctive arched second-story show window has taken the place of the wooden store. Streetlight standards line the western side of the street. In this photo even some of the wiring of utility poles seems to have been left in although the large pole in the centre of the card has either been re-purposed or decapitated.
A fourth card, like many cards of the period has neither a publisher or printer identified and being unused does not even have a postmark to date it although it clearly is the same image as the one used in the Pugh card shown above.
It is more closely cropped on all sides. The offending utility pole has been re-touched out of existence but a festive line of seven flags has been added in a patriotic flourish.
The final card is from Raphael Tuck and Sons, an English firm that had been appointed official printers to Queen Victoria. The firm’s cards were printed in Germany and the output included both photographic images and a wide variety of artistic cards.
The publishing quality of the Tuck cards is extremely high with subtle colouration. Yet this card too has been altered from the original. In this case it is not the addition of flags that is most evident but the complete removal of every utility pole in the photograph giving the appearance of a broad street unspoiled by poles, wires, or other defacing 20th century street furniture.
After the Great War Queen Street continued to be a popular scene for postcards, several of which were from the Stamper’s Corner vantage point. While there was little change in the buildings lining the streets the horses, carts and slovens were soon replaced with automobiles and trucks.
These cards are a reminder that much of what we see has been “improved” in the printing process and that postcards, like all documentation, should be viewed with a critical eye.
For several years in the late 19th and early 20th century Haszard and Moore was a landmark in Charlottetown. The printing company and bookstore occupied a prime location on the north side of Grafton Street facing Queen Square, an area called “Sunnyside.” Besides books and magazines the firm handled what were referred to as “notions” and had a stock of toys, gifts and souvenirs. They also did plain and fancy printing and had a number of books to their credit. When the postcard fad hit at the turn of the century Haszard and Moore was well-positioned to extend their stock to cover the new souvenir item. But as a printing firm the company had a significant advantage over their local competitors. They could produce their own cards instead of relying on out-of-province printers such as Warwick & Rutter, McCoy Printing or W.G. MacFarlane.
One of the big differences between early post cards and those produced later is what is called the “undivided back.” In these cards the entire back of the card was devoted to the stamp and the address. No messages were allowed. They had to appear on the face of the card. If the image occupied the whole face there was no room for correspondence so many of the early publishers left all or a part of the face of the card blank, either by having a smaller image or by dedicating a strip at the bottom of the card for a very short message. In 1902 Great Britain began to allow “divided back” cards on which half of the space could be occupied by the message and the other half for the address. The move was quickly followed by France and Germany and in December 1903 the Canadian postal regulations were amended to allow for the divided back. It was not authorized in the United States until 1907. This division continues to this day. However, undivided back cards continued to be published after 1903 and it cannot entirely be relied on for dating. It is not known when the Haszard and Moore cards were published.
The Haszard and Moore cards appear to be unique in that they also included a second image on the address side of the card. In the case of all the cards I have seen this is a photo of the Colonial Building from the south-east.
The P.E.I. Public Archives and Records Office holds a collection of six un-posted Haszard and Moore cards. This may represent the entire series and I would welcome information about any similar cards. The cards have several interesting features. The scenes on the cards appear in different formats; an oval for Fairholm and rectangles of differing sizes for the other images. Unlike many card series there are a variety of type faces identifying the several views on the cards. On all of the cards save one the name of the publisher (Haszard and Moore Printers and Stationers, Charlottetown) appears on the lower right face of the card.
On the Haszard and Moore cards there is an additional element. As well as a scenic photograph there are vignettes on the upper right face each card. A wordmark, “Souvenir of Prince Edward Island” is used on the Fairholm and beach scene cards and a version in a different type face on the Post Office card. A stylized crest in green appears on both the Great George Street and Boer memorial card and a blue crest with supporters on the Queen Square card. This introduces an interesting cataloguing dilemma. One large thematic area in postcard collecting is the “patriotic postcard.” Mike Smith has written the standard text on the subject and he defines “patriotic postcards” as postcards containing one or more of the following attributes: – a Canadian serviceman, military theme or symbol – a patriotic verse or slogan – a prominently displayed Canadian symbol etc. – a Canadian or provincial flag etc. – a famous Canadian event (e.g. Québec’s tercentenary celebrations) – a prominent Canadian political figure. It is probable that not all of these vignettes would fit into the patriotic category and therefore what was clearly published as a single series is artificially divided. Click to enlarge.
Appears on Fairholm and Shore Scene cards
Appears on Great Geroge Street and Boer memorial cards
Appears on Queen Square card
Appears on Post Offce card
The images themselves are not uncommon and several of them appear on P.E.I. cards from a number of publishers. A gallery of Haszard and Moore undivided back cards appears below. Click on any card for larger images.
“Fairholm”, A Prince Street Residence, Charlottetown. PARO Accession 3999 item 1
Post Office, Provincial Paliament and Law Courts, Charlottetown. PARO Accession 3999 item 2
North Side of Queens Square. PARO Accession 3999 item 3
Great George Street. PARO Accession 3999 item 4
South African War Memorial. PARO Accession 3999 item 5
Summer Scene. PARO Accession 3999 item 6
These cards are of high quality but it seems that Haszard and Moore did not continue in the post card publishing business. Their imprint appears on a number of coloured cards but they appear identical with cards from larger off-Island publishers. Haszard and Moore continued in business until 1912 when they were succeeded by Maritime Stationers at the Grafton Street address.
The lack of publishing information makes attribution difficult for Canadian postcards. The problem is compounded for those publishers and printers from small communities which may have had a very limited selection and small press runs. These Haszard and Moore cards merely lift a small corner of the curtain.
All cards from the P.E.I. Public Archives and Records Office.
The Dunk River wanders through the woodlands and farmlands of Prince Edward Island a few miles east of Summerside. It was named in 1765 by surveyor Samuel Holland for George Montagu Dunk, Earl of Halifax. At the beginning of the 20th century it was the province’s leading trout stream and its pastoral appearance made it an ideal subject for postcard photographers. While there are images of the Dunk from several publishers including Valentine & Sons and a number of the uncredited images were copied and re-copied it seems to have been the ideal subject for W.S. Louson and several cards show his particular style. Louson’s work which was published by the Toronto firm of Warwick Bros & Rutter depicts a sympathy with the tamed landscape of a largely agricultural province but contains an element of wistfulness for a wilderness largely absent.
In the later 19th century trout fishing emerged as a sporting activity suitable for men and women alike and in Louson’s work, as in that of his fellow Warwick & Rutter photographer William Cumming the idealized locations for the activity are featured. Louson especially liked to use the brooks and streams of Prince Edward Island in his pictures.
Warwick & Rutter card # 2621 bearing the title “Angler’s Joy Dunk River P.E.I.” shows a single fisherman on the bank of the slowly flowing river framed by a tree trunk and backed by a forest grove. Like so many of the postcards of the period the colours added by the publisher are invented and in some cases are far from reality but still give magical sense to the scene. There are several editions of the card with slightly different wording and placement of information. The image is one that pre-dates the Island’s tourism department use of the slogan “the gentle Island” but might well have been used as a scene typical of the province. There are many locations on the Dunk which look the same today as they did in the early 1900s when the photograph was taken. However siltation from heavy agricultural use and forest clearing has had a negative impact on the fish population as has a number of instances of fish-kills from farm pesticides.
What then to make of another Warwick & Rutter card from the Dunk? Although my copy is slighty cropped it is clear that it bears the same number and title. In this card, which may indeed depict the same river the background is of newly cleared land and split-rail fences making it more of a pioneer landscape. What is more puzzling however is the figure in the foreground. Notwithstanding the “Angler’s Joy” title the main figure is not a fisherman but the silhouette of a hunter, his gun cradled under his arm and ready for action. Is this an attempt to broaden the appeal of Prince Edward for sportsmen or to suggest that trout are so numerous that they can be shot easily? More likely it simply an error, either a mis-labeled “Hunters Paradise” card to bracket the fishing image or, more likely, simply the insertion of the wrong image in a re-publication of the card. Absent a change of title and another catalogue number I lean toward the latter explanation.
Several other Dunk River images appear below from both the Warwick & Rutter listings and those of other publishers. It is worth noting that in at least one case, the image of the two women fishing, the image has been “borrowed” from another location and re-labelled as the Dunk. The original image is a W&R card #1828 located at Souris, P.E.I.
Fisherman’s Paradise. Warwick & Rutter #1851
Dunk River Prince Edward Island, Valentine & Sons #100921
Dunk River Bridge near Smmerside P.E.I.
Dunk River Near Summerside, P.E.I.
Dunk River Bridge, P.E.I. – PEI Museum & Heritage Foundation Collection
Dunk River the Famous Trout Stream near Summerside, P.E.I.