Postcard Pillar 103



ISSUE 103 (June 2014)


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The Picture Postcard Monthly magazine from GB likes to print a picture in each issue of someone holding on of their magazines in some exotic location. The last issue featured the Souths at our Convention in Hastings !

Doug and Evie kindly donate their issues of the magazine to the Christchurch Philatelic Society postcard library.

Cover illustration: 

Dunedin Postcard by Alan Kilpatrick

This card shows a train just passed through a Dunedin railway crossing, and the horses and carts and pedestrians about to cross. The cart at left is "Lane & Co" and is loaded with soft drink. The goods sheds at left have all gone.

At the far right is the old over-bridge which crossed Cumberland St and has now been replaced. The card is addressed to "A Grant, Traffic Supt. Railways, Dunedin" who was based in the Goods Office shown, and had the first telephone line in Dunedin from his office to his home in High Street. The card has a plain back.

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New Zealand Postcard Society (Inc) Directory 

Patron   Geoff Potts
President                  Jeff Long
Vice-Presidents                              Laurence Eagle   
Diane McKoy
VP Research Bill Main
Secretary Jenny Long
Treasurer Ross Alexander
Sales Mgr/Auctioneer Chris Rabey
Editors Jeff & Jenny Long
Committee Geoff Potts
John Eccles
Bruce Isted
Leo Haks
Glenn Reddiex

Life Members    Yvonne Coles, William Main, Geoff Potts, Chris Rabey, Doug South, Evie South, Ray Staal, Diane McKoy

Correspondence: all enquiries should be made by email to the Secretary, or by post to  P O Box 20, Wakefield, Nelson 7052.

The Society website is

The Postcard Pillar magazine is produced four times a year under the editorship of Jeff Long and Jenny Long. Contributions are very welcome at any time - please email or post to Jeff Long.

This issue of the Postcard Pillar includes significant contributions from Diane McKoy, Robert Duns, Ross Alexander, Bruce Isted and Stan Goodwin.

Membership of the Society can be obtained by sending a cheque payable to N.Z. Postcard Society Inc to the Secretary, with your name, address, telephone number, email address and collecting interests.

If payable, a subscription notice is enclosed with this edition of the Postcard Pillar. Please pay promptly. The subscription for the 2013-2014 year, for a NZ individual or family member is $45, or $50 for an overseas member, in each case reduced by $5 if paid by September 30.


1 Doug & Evie South
2 Directory
3 Convention Information
4 - 5 Obituary Barry Cash
5 Niue - Safari
6 - 9 H G Talbot, photographer - Stan Goodwin
10 - 13 Cafe Continental Sumner - Robert Duns
13 1940 Centennial Exhibition - Trev Terry
14 - 17 Cigarette Collecting on Postcards - Bruce Isted
18 - 27 Tanner Brothers Ltd Postcards - Diane McCoy
28 - 29 Hocken: An Interesting Postcard - Ross Alexander
30 Provincetown - Ross Alexander

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Society News and Snippets

2014 NZ Postcard Society Convention

This year’s Convention and Collectables Fair is at Hamilton Gardens in Hamilton on Sept 6-7. Use Hamilton Gardens Gate 2 entrance. The Committee has recommended Ventura Inn and Suites as the preferred accommodation, so make sure you mention you are from the NZ Postcard Society to receive a 10% discount. Continental breakfast, Auckland Herald and Wifi are all free, and there is a nice meeting space in the foyer. It is an easy five minute walk to the middle of town. We can arrange a meal on the Friday evening at The Bank bar & brasserie, which has great food and all mains are just $20. Browsers secondhand bookshop is just along the road and is open until 9.30pm most nights!

The Hamilton Gardens venue is a bit of a hike from just about anywhere, so we will arrange transport when we see who arrives with cars! We have a nice room (the Rotary Lounge) on the Saturday meeting with an adjacent kitchen, and there is a very nice café 50 metres away where we can have lunch in a room of our own with a lovely outlook over the lake. From personal experience, your President knows there is plenty of choice, including GF and vegetarian options.

After the AGM there will the option of visiting a collector who has two villas full of Victoriana ! There is a charge for this visit, but it is very worthwhile.

We have arranged our own room at the Lonestar at 185 Victoria Street on the Saturday night. Again, there is plenty to chose from, including for those who prefer GF or vegetarian options. Alan Craig has kindly agreed to give us a talk on a New Zealander who served in the Boer War.

Sunday will be busy with our Collectables Fair in the Exhibition Room at the Gardens. Members will have ‘first look’ from 8.30 until 10am. So far, five dealers have signed up to attend.

There are direct flights to Hamilton from Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, and Hamilton is close enough for many of our North Island members to drive, so we are hoping for a turnout of at least 40! Further details about the weekend are on the flyer with this posting of the Postcard Pillar. See you there.

World War One Centenary 2014 to 2018 – and the Postcard Society

The Editors are still seeking articles for the August special edition of the Postcard Pillar on World War One. If you are able to contribute, even snippets, that would be great!


There are two opportunities to exhibit your postcards coming up.

The first is Adelaide Stampex 2014. Exhibits must be between 2 and 8 frames in length. Further details can be found at Entry forms and front pages MUST be sent to Sue Vernall at 90 Campbell St, Karori, Wellington 6012 or emailed to Sue at Entries close on June 30.

The second opportunity is at the Baypex 2014 Stamp Show to be held Taradale (near Napier) from November 14-16. You can enter 1-2 frames or 3-8 frames. Further details can be found at  Entries close on June 30. The entry form can be found in the ‘Exhibition Bulletins’ section of the website. You should plan to attend even if you are not exhibiting, so you can view the stamp and postcard exhibits on display and, of course, visit the dealers.

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Obituary for Barry Cash - by William Main


It seems both Barry and I shared an affinity in certain interests which pointed both of us in the right direction and formulated in a friendship which lasted for many years. It all began when I was teaching art at the Wellington Technical College, an institution which had already given me a start in life with classes in drawing, painting and sculpture. In 1958, I secured a teaching appointment at my old College and began taking classes. As well as senior art, my timetable involved high school pupils, which in 1961 included a boy who showed great potential. His name was Barry Cash.

Years later I opened a gallery in Ghuznee Street calling it Exposures. It was situated along the road from a stationer who did odd jobs for me. In 1987 I put out a tender for a book I’d written called In Stereo. After deliberation I accepted the quote I obtained from the above and began to build up an understanding with the staff in the printing department.

One individual who lingered in my memory at the time, was a young man with his long hair held back with a rubber band - yes you’ve guessed it! His name was Barry Cash. During his lunch breaks, Barry came to visit me in my gallery which specialised in exhibiting photographers folios, but also carried old cameras and equipment in my office which were for sale. As well as this, I know he put his name down to join a group of individuals who came together in the early 1990s to form the Photographic Collector’s Association of New Zealand - PCANZ. Our first National gathering was held in Newtown in 1992 at the premises of the NZ Centre for Photography.

While my connection with PCANZ centred round the individuals involved in early New Zealand photography, Barry’s interests at the time were centred on Vest Pocket Kodak, a small but very fascinating camera that was universally acknowledged. Then in the late 1990s there came a big change for both of us. I closed my gallery and took up an appointment with the Centre for Photography, while Barry left the printing trade to open a shop at the top of Cuba Street which sold retro crockery and cameras. In short, we both became engaged in things we liked doing for the first time in our lives, with job satisfaction making up for restricted incomes. All this gradually led to a vast sharing of information through our association with PCANZ forming a bond which we both enjoyed immensely through collecting photographic memorabilia.

Barry’s shift from Cuba Street to Riddiford Street in Newtown also signalled another important development. This was using computers to copy and render 19th century photographs superbly using ink jet technology - a skill which he quickly perfected and combined with his deep understanding of the tonalities that were inherent in collodion photography and albumen printing paper.  He deployed these skills by scanning old photos for a series of print runs from originals in his collection which he’d seen advertised on the internet. These he published and sold for framing. To this he added captions that were well researched and stylishly presented underneath each image. To my joy, I became the beneficiary through his generosity and was able to share in his enjoyment and pleasure whenever a new series came along.

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Scanning the work of our 19th century photographers climaxed when he became focussed on the work of J. D. Wrigglesworth, researching him in great detail and finding out more about him that was previously known. Then came the most momentous decision he’d ever made. In February 2009 he launched into establishing Once Again Images - an internet photo library. Before I was able to grasp what he had achieved, it was up and running, capping off a massive amount of work to set it up and proceed into the business of supplying prints from his collection for historians, publishers and collectors.

While all this was going on, he began to feel the effect of solvents which he’d inhaled in the course of his work as a printer. This coupled with a persistent heart problem began to dominate and curtail his activities over the last couple of years.

We will all miss Barry immensely and hope the memories we share and express about him whenever they are brought to light will remind us of his intuition and love for collodion photography. I’m sure his friends and scholars will continue to recall and admire his contribution to this specialised chapter in New Zealand’s photographic history will give his wife Lucille and his family pride of his industry and intuition for years to come.

Early Postcards of Niue - by Safari

Niue is a coral island of 258sk about 480k east of Tonga. Now in free association with New Zealand, with an administration centre of Alofi, it has an open roadstead resulting in vessels anchoring offshore with cargo brought alongside by lighters.

It was declared a British protectorate in April 1900 and was transferred to New Zealand control on 11 June 1901. There was considerable local resentment at attempts to incorporate Niue into the Cook Islands, so the island was recognised as a New Zealand dependency from 1902.  New Zealand stamps were over printed Niue until the first Niue issue in 1920. In 1932 a similar issue was made inscribed Niue and Cook Islands as on the postcard.

Niue is a difficult country for collecting postcards. My earliest example is postmarked ‘Niue 4AP32’ on a ½d SG55 and shows Alofi, Niue Island.. There is no indication of the publisher, and the card is an unused divided back. The second card was postmarked in May 1953 and shows the reef surrounding Niue Island from Alofi the main village.

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Henry George Talbot - by Stan Goodwin

Henry George Talbot was an early King Country photographer based at Matiere, Taumaranui and Ohakune.

Records list his birth as 12 July 1884 in Christchurch, and his parents as James and Hannah who were store keepers. While there is no information at this stage regarding his early life, he was the eighth of nine births in the family.

In 1905/06 the ‘South Christchurch’ Electoral Roll lists his address as 150 Moorhouse Avenue and his occupation as painter. The next indicator of his presence is the 1911 Electoral Roll where he is listed at Taumaranui, again as a painter and would be aged 27 years. It is apparent he must have developed an interest in photography, starting perhaps as a hobby.

A panoramic view of Manunui near Taumaranui, appears to be the first known photo he developed. A close inspection of the photo reveals it would be taken in 1912.



Tom Moore’s mail coach travelling through Matiere in 1912

At Matiere, an outlying emerging township, he set up as a photographer, probably part time. Later he moved back to Taumaranui perhaps deciding to set up full time.

He obviously concentrated on rural areas, going to early farm houses. At this stage roads were largely undeveloped especially in the back blocks, and would have necessitated travelling by horse and gig. Based at Taumaranui, he visited the nearby towns of Owhango and Kakahi as well as the numerous sawmills and logging operations out in the bush. The large number of men involved in the industry would have assured extra sales.

Fortunately he used a rubber stamp on the back of his cardboard mounted photos which he modified each time he moved, or circumstances changed. While based in Taumaranui in 1913 he engaged a partner which would indicate his business was doing well. However his move to Ohakune by 1914 might have indicated a downturn in business, or perhaps more opportunities in another rural town.

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Horse tram at Owhango

At this stage we can only contemplate how many photos Talbot might have taken, as the cross section in the accompanying table demonstrates.

Thanks to ‘Ancestry’ new information to hand, reveals another element to his life. The 1914 ‘Bay of Plenty-Tauranga’  Electoral Roll includes his name with his address as ‘Te Waikato Sanatorium’ Cambridge’ - photographer. Perhaps this indicates he may have contacted TB. (Tuberculosus)

The Government established the first open air Sanatorium at the foot of Maungakawa hill in 1903. Cambridge at this stage had already acquired the reputation as a resort for TB sufferers. It was stated that the climate was much drier in Cambridge than in most parts of the North Island.

During World War One (1914-1918) ‘Te Waikato’ filled a desperate need in the Waikato to convalescent servicemen. To simplify administration, the Cambridge Sanatorium (100 beds) was restricted to male patients, and the Otaki Santorium (34 beds) to female patients.

The inclusion of his name with the same details in the 1919 Electoral Rolls reveals that he had possibly spent several years in convalescence.

However in 1923 at age 39 he was married to Louisa Hutcherson aged 40 at Christchurch. They had no children.

By 1928 with Henry again listed as a painter, they had dual addresses with Louisa listed as 16 Newcastle St and Henry as 426 Barbardos St, however by 1935 they were both at 18 Buffon St, Waltham, where they remained for the rest of their lives.

Henry died in July 1948 aged 64 yrs and Louisa died in November 1973 at age 87.

Editors Note:

Note that these images are photographs rather than postcards, but the editors thought the research was important enough to record.

Stan Goodwin has worked with Ron Cooke, a local historian, on photographs from this area. In the 1980s Ron started publishing small booklets on local history called 'Roll Back The Years,’ followed by local district histories. He subsequently started N Z Memories.

He has an amazing archive collection of photos, and fortunately as the original 'Taumarunui Press’ papers survived, a priceless record of events. The Press started in1906. The papers up to about 1935 have been sent to Wellington to be digitised for 'Papers Past’ (note from Stan)

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Photo by Talbot – labelled by Stan Goodwin as Matiere School

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H G TALBOT (photographer)


  Information on Reverse Caption Estimated Date of Image
Panoramic View,  Manunui 1912
Saleyards,  Matiere 1912
Royal Mail Coach Matiere 1912
Matiere Sawmill 1912
Cascade Falls, Otunui 1913
Goodwin House, Otunui 1913
White House, Otunui 1913
Brickworks, Ohura  
Carsons Sawmill, Owhango  
State Sawmill No 1, Kakahi  
Horse Team on Bridge, Owhango  
Sawmill, Owhango  
Sawmill (unknown), Owhango  
Adsett & Manning Sawmill, Owhango  
Beaumonts Railway Hotel, Owhango  
Matai Sawmill, Owhango  
Wagon at Owhango, Owhango  
Adsett & Manning Sawmill, Owhango  
Strettons Boarding House, Kakahi  
Wilsons Grain Store, Rangataua 1913 Nov
Owhango School, Owhango 1913/14       
Ward House, Raetihi 1914
School Fancy Dress Ball, Ohakune 1913
Bush Scene - Mugridge's, Ohakune 1914
Bush Scene - Bennnett & Punch Raetihi 1914

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Café Continental, Sumner Christchurch; Advertising Cards - by Robert Duns

The Café Continental has appeared on many postcards – some are of the building from various angles, by several photographers, and others show it in the wider views of the area.  The short life of the building assists in determining the dates of many of the views shown.

The building, the largest in Sumner; was four storeys high, had 43 bedrooms and a first floor tearooms, which had sea views over the sand hills. There was a fruit shop on the left of the ground floor.

The building of the Café was financed by the Café Continental Co, and cost £8000 and a further £2000 to furnish. It was opened on 1 September 1906 (just before the 1906 Exhibition opened). The major shareholder was Mr M S Ridley, who had a business in the city.

The building caught fire in the early hours of 13 June 1909. No one was injured and no lives were lost, but the 15 guests (nine adults and six children) lost all of their belongings. There were 6 maids and 2 men in the building at the time. Mr Ridley was in Melbourne at the time of the fire.

The Advertsing Cards.

Mr Ridley used postcards to promote the business, by adding various overprints:

Card  A

The earliest that I have is an undivided back, with a message on the reverse that would have been considered risqué at the time (what sort of an establishment was he promoting?). The imprint was applied by Smith & Anthony Limited, printers, Christchurch.  “S & A Ltd” is in the bottom right just under the figure with the dog. The card is nearly double the thickness of a normal postcard.

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Card/Overprint B

The next series of cards were those of the J G Lamb series, printed by Smith & Anthony Limited.

These bear the same overprint, but with the addition of the tariff at the foot.



Used 27 February 1907


 Used 3 April 1907

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Card/Overprint C

An additional overprint in red gives details of luggage transport, from the city to Sumner.


This card has the same view as card B number 1 on the reverse but the date is unreadable.

The Ridley & Sons premises in the city are shown in the card below.


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Enlarged scan of above card, showing Ridley’s premises

It is likely that the bulk stock of these cards would have been kept on the Café Continental premises, and thus destroyed in the fire.

Details of any further cards would be appreciated by the author.

Thanks to Laurence Eagle for the scans of cards B 1 & 2, and to Kelvin Young for the FGR card of High Street.

Note from Trev Terry

The excellent item in the last Issue on the Centennial postcards took me back to the opening day. I was working in the head office of the Health Dept. Government departments closed at midday (with a skeleton staff remaining on duty) so staff could attend the opening.

The NZ Railway pavilion had a working exhibit described as the most exact and complete model ever constructed. There was even a size 23 lever all electric interlocking machine to control all train movements. Enclosed is a copy of the envelope cover and Card No1 showing part of the exhibit.


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Cigarette Card Collecting On Postcards - by Bruce Isted

I have another postcard collecting interest besides my main themes of: Wanganui, Postmen, Postboxes, Postal Transport. It is postcards that show a comical scene relating to cigarette card collecting. I’ve had an interest in collecting such cards for the last 30 years. I joined the Cartophilic Society of NZ in 1987, was editor of their newsletter Cardlines 1996-2009, and was elected Life Member in 2010.


Divided back, postally used 12 Aug 1916, MOB

The birthplace of the cigarette card was in United States of America sometime in the late 1870s. The cards were included in the various brands of packets of cigarettes and were first intended to act as a stiffener for the flimsy packets, but soon were to become a promoter of sales. One side of the card usually advertised a particular tobacco brand and on the other side of the card was a picture. Before long the concept had been developed into the distribution of a series of cards which would encourage the smoker to continue using that particular brand.

At a time when the average family could not afford books, and as photographs did not appear in newspapers until about 20 years later, these cards represented an outstanding record of the times. Card sizes ranged from the most common or standard size of 37 x 67mm up to A4 size. Card sets were usually  12, 24, 25 or 50, but sets with 100 cards or more were also issued. These cards were issued in the millions for just a single series.

Cigarette card collecting was at its peak in NZ around the mid-1920s and continued for about 15 years. The small pictures (some produced in colour, others in black & white) depicted: actresses, beauties, ships, trains, motorcars, animals, flora and fauna, sportsmen and women, flags, soldiers and many other subjects. They were given away free - one card in each packet of cigarettes, cigars and tobacco.


Divided back, postally used 16 April 1912, MOB

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Some of the New Zealand tobacco firms were:

  • WD & HO Wills (advertising “Green/Yellow Three Castles” & “Vice Regal” & “Capstan” brand of cigarettes) they being the most prolific issuer of card series in NZ
  • John Player and Sons (“Player” cigarettes)
  • Ardath Tobacco Company (“State Express” cigarettes);
  • Lambert & Butler (“Varsity” cigarettes)

A cigarette card collection is often dubbed as “a poor man’s encyclopedia”. Mainly as a result of paper shortages during World War II, production of cigarette cards was halted in 1940, bringing to a close the golden age of cigarette cards.


Five different cigarette card series (showing fronts & backs) that are among my favourites:

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1. (Top left card in 1st & 2nd illustrations above): Wix (UK) 1936 Henry A series (set of 25 cigarette cards - postcard size) - Actually all the Henry cards are among my favourite sets but it is the postcard size cards that top the list. The humour and the clever colourful cartoon sketches really appeal to me. What better tonic than look at these cards to produce a laugh or at the very least, a smile!

2. (Top middle card in 1st & 2nd illustrations above): Dukes (USA) 1889 Postage Stamps (set of 50 cig. cards)

I particularly like this cigarette card set because of my interest in stamp collecting and mail delivery. My occupation (last 20 years) has been as a Postie, so naturally this theme features strongly in my collection.

3. (Top right card in 1st & 2nd illustrations above): W D & HO Wills (UK Tobacco Co) 1907 Time & Money In Different Countries (set of 50 cigarette cards) I like the clear design of the cards which feature several themes. They also remind me of the many places that I have travelled to (mainly during my OE).

4. (Bottom left card in 1st & bottom right card in 2nd illustrations above): John Player & Sons (UK Tobacco Co.) 1939 Cycling (set of 50 cigarette cards) – I do a lot of cycling (approx 200km a week on my postie job), so this set has special meaning.

5. (Bottom right card in 1st & bottom middle card in 2nd illustrations above): John Player & Sons (UK) 1936 Cats (set of 24 large cigarette cards) – Cats are my most favourite pets. This series of cards are surely the best “cat” set ever issued (although unlike dogs, there are in fact very few card sets that feature cats).

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Divided back, not postally used but has MOB

Readers who have an interest in Cigarette/Trade card collecting should visit:

This is the website of the Cartophilic Society of NZ Inc; formed 1975 & currently has around 140 members.


Divided back, not postally used, MOB


Divided back, unused, no MOB

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Early Sales in New Zealand of Tanner Bros Ltd. Postcards - by Diane McKoy with assistance from Alan Jackson

(see the appendix to this article for a timeline of the development of the firm)

Early sales probably depended on Frank Tanner alone, and, because of the poor roads and rail systems at the time, a lot would have been done by mail, sending samples etc., as shown on the 1905 card, and also, later, many cards were sent advertising Special Offers. Once the company was established and became and incorporated he seems to have left the sales to others.

Later when Victor Joseph Tanner took over as a “commercial traveller”, with Frank Duncan and William Chambers, roads, rail and shipping connections would have been improving and they would have moved more easily around the country.


An early card dated 14th August 1905, before the firm became an incorporated company in 1908.

“F.T. Series. No.493 MAWHERA QUAY. GREYMOUTH”,  printed in Saxony, with photo by N.Z. Tourist Department. (Tanner Bros. were early distributors of F.T. Postcards).  The reverse of the card (see below) seems to have been written by Frank N Tanner.  There is no indication of who the card was given to.  

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Reverse of postcard above  - Message:“Advanced sampleStock shortly landing. Shall I send you 1,000 assorted on arrival?  ”Stamp:  FRANK N. TANNER, RUSSELL TERRACE, WELLINGTON. Dated by hand:14/8/05”
From 1906 until 1909, Victor Tanner and Frank Duncan were doing all the visiting to customers.   They did not seem to have any set areas or customers as they both covered all the country.   Visits to retailers seems to have been restricted to the major centres that were accessible by sea or short distances by road from Wellington as the rail link and road access to the middle of both islands was very restricted or did not exist in the early 1900.

William Francis Chambers joined the company as a representative around 1909. He may have replaced Victor who possibly took over management. William Chambers and Frank Duncan often competed in photography competitions winning many prizes. Their photos were probably used by Tanner Bros. for their postcards. Tanner Bros. often did not acknowledge name the photographer on the postcards they published.

One postcard posted from Newmarket on the 9th January 1911 is for a visit by William Chambers to call on a customer at Onehunga on or about the 9th-15th of January. He could have visited them the same day or the following week. They seemed to allow themselves plenty of flexibility with times.

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The following card was posted in Timaru by Frank Duncan, on behalf of the firm of Frank N Tanner, and postmarked on the 6th October 1906, organizing a visit to Dunedin “on or about October 11th”.   He probably would have also travelled by ship for this appointment.  (Jeff Long collection)

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This postcard is for a visit by Victor Tanner in 1909, to the same ladies visited by Frank Duncan in the previous card. The firm is now Tanner Bros. Ltd.



This postcard, featuring Victor Tanner  September 1909 (from Alan Jackson’s card featured in the 100th Postcard Pillar), was posted in Christchurch on 29th September, for an appointment in Dunedin on the 30th September, so Victor would have sent his South Island appointments from there, as he would have a better idea of the time it would take.

He has only allowed one day, so he would probably have travelled by ship, at the time the quickest method of transport to Dunedin.

In March that year he had been at appointments in Auckland, so he probably went home to Wellington before travelling by ship to Christchurch.

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A sample of one of the different styles of postcard with special offers printed on the back.   This one is printed in Saxony so probably pre WW1.   (Alan. Jackson collection)

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Postcard dated 5th February 1926, a printed back on a real photo titled: “One of our Sample Rooms, Tanner Bros Ltd, Wellington” No.2819 of the Tanner Bros Ltd. Maoriland Photographic Series.


The firm is now under the management of Edwin Tanner. The image shows lots of their other souvenirs for the Tourist Trade. This is possibly Tanner Bros. showroom at 4th Floor, 13 Willeston Street, Wellington.

Road and rail connections would have greatly improved by 1925, so it would not have taken very long to get from Wellington to Marton.


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The earliest card showing William Francis Chambers as a representative is 1909 and he was still working for them in 1925.  (I note that some of the small verses on Tanner Bros. New Zealand greeting style cards have the initials W.F.C.). Appointments with customers would have been made after calculating how long it took to get from one town to another or perhaps more than one customer in the same town and how much time was spent with each customer. I wonder if the customers looked at all the samples or just the new ones, otherwise the representative would have been there a considerable time?

Frank Tanner later moved to live in England and probably took care of the publishing of cards in the U.K. after WW1, as publishing in Germany was no longer an option. He was the oldest of four brothers. Henry (the next eldest) resided in Buenos Aires and the two younger brothers Edwin and Victor (the youngest) managed the Tanner Bros Company in the earlier years.

A 1925 advice card, posted in Wellington from Victor J. Tanner calling on a customer in Lyttleton, is rather curious as it is shown that he lived in Auckland from 1914 and later in Tauranga.

There is also a card dated 1928, from Edwin F. Tanner advising “Supplementary Trip.   Stock & Indent Samples”. Visiting Dunedin on or about 25th June.   This Edwin Francis Tanner, son of Edwin Arthur Tanner (who died in 1934). He must have joined the company as a representative.

Victor Joseph Tanner became a T/Major (Temporary Major) in WW11 and was personally awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry by General Bernard Freyberg in Italy 1944.


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Tanner Bros. A Basic Timeline 1903-1929 by Diane McCoy with help from Alan Jackson

(From information to hand)


(Possibly earlier) Listed in Wises P.O. Guide – Frank N. Tanner, Fancy goods importer, Russell Terrace, Wellington.   Edwin Arthur Tanner, Fancy Goods, 39a Riddiford Street Wellington.


Sample Postcard. Dated 14-8-1905.  Handwritten and hand stamped Frank N. Tanner.

Not postally used. Possibly sent in envelope.

From address: Russell Terrace, Wellington


Advice card from Frank N. Tanner (Printed signature). Introducing Mr. F Duncan. Posted in Timaru 6th October for appointment in Dunedin on or about the 11th October.

Advice card from Frank N. Tanner (Printed signature) advising a visit from Mr. V.J. Tanner.  Posted in Wellington 8th November for appointment in Christchurch on or about 12th November.

Both from Company address:  11 Kings Chambers, Wellington


Advice card with Frank N. Tanner over stamped TANNER BROS., advising visit from Mr. V.J. Tanner.   Posted on 21st December for appointment in Auckland on or about 6th January.

From Company address:  11 Kings Chambers, Wellington


Advice card dated May with printed signature TANNER BROS. LTD.   Advising visit of Mr. F. Duncan to Auckland with Pictorial Postcards and Christmas cards, asking customer to contact him at his hostel.

Printed addressed postcards sent out dated 9th January offering “Our 1908 Bargain! One Month Only, 2d Colored N.Z. Cards,200 varieties, 42/- Per 1000 Nett”.

TANNER BROS. LTD BECOME AN INCORPORATED COMPANY 10th FEBRUARY.   Principal shareholders Victor Joseph Tanner and Edwin Arthur Tanner.

Company Address:  Kings Chambers (no number)


Advice card dated 28th January posted in Wellington, advising visit of Mr.  W. F. (William Francis) Chambers to Eketahuna on or about 6th February.   (Hand writing on card by Victor Tanner)

From company address:  32 Kings Chambers, Wellington

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Advice card posted in Wellington dated 3rd March, advising visit of Mr. V.J. Tanner to Ponsonby Auckland on or about 11th March.

No company address on cards from this date.

Advice card posted from Christchurch on 29th September 1909 to Dunedin, (no longer starting “Dear Sir” as all above), stating simply - “Our Mr. V.J. Tanner is looking forward to seeing you about 30th September”.   (Card featured on front and inside of 100th Postcard Pillar.   If this is a photo of Victor Joseph Tanner he would have been approximately 26 years old).


Registered Office 32-34 Kings Chambers, cnr. Willis & Harbour Streets, Wellington.   Shareholders:  Frank Nicholas Tanner, Edwin Arthur Tanner, Victor Joseph Tanner, Emma Susannah Tanner Widow (Their Mother), Frank Duncan, a barrister and an accountant.

Letterhead states – Publishers and Importers, The F.T. Series Postcards, Christmas cards, Birthday cards, Wedding cards, Condolence cards, Wreath cards.

Company Secretary - Robert Innes


Advice card posted from Newmarket to Onehunga on 9th January, advising visit about 9th-15th January of Mr. W. F. Chambers.


Address – 4th Floor, 13 Willeston Street, Wellington



Letterhead states – Publishers & Importers of Postcards, Christmas Cards, Tourist Novelties.

November 27th F. Duncan comes 2nd in Photography contest at the Hawera Show for Best Photograph – Seascape or Marine.   W.F. Chambers wins 1st for – Any study for amateurs.

Printed postcards sent out offering prices for “New Year Postcards” also “1914 Calendars”.   All of the back covered with printed offers.   (Possibly sent in envelope)


Victor J. Tanner now living in Auckland.   Listed as - Indent Agent, Woodford Road Mt. Eden.

William Francis Chambers, listed as Traveller, residing at 50 Waitoa Road, Kilburnie, Wellington.

Wanganui 25th June, Frank Duncan wins photography first prize – Landscape. Mr. W.F Chambers 2nd Prize – Seascape or Marine.

Printed cards offering special prices for postcards, dated - 1/7/14 “until 15th July only” Sentimental and Mottoes etc., and 1-8-14 “N.Z. View Postcards”.


Frank Duncan leaves Wellington and starts up his own business in Auckland

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Arthur J. Iles (Postcard Photographer) of Rotorua sued Tanner Bros. for damages.    He had ordered 5000 copies of albums of photographic views through V.J. Tanner, commercial traveller, in February 1914 which were not delivered due to a mistake in calculating prices.   Tanner Bros. said that V.J. Tanner had no authority to make a binding contract on their behalf.   The magistrate upheld this view and held that the order for the albums was simply an offer and did not constitute an agreement.   The appeal was dismissed.


Management and ownership taken over by Edwin Arthur Tanner.  Frank N. Tanner now resident in England.




Advice card posted from Wellington on 14th September to Lyttleton, advising visit of Victor J. Tanner (Had he moved back to Wellington?), on or about 24th September.   Card has meter stamp issued to Tanner Bros. (This is the only card to hand with this meter stamp).


Advice card (Real photo postcard showing part of Tanner Bros. showroom) posted from Wellington 5th February to Marton, advising visit of Mr. W.F. Chambers on or about 8th February.   (This is the first advice card filled in entirely by a Typewriter.  Some special offer cards from 1908 had typed addresses).


Advice card stating “Supplementary Trip.   Stock & Indent Samples.”.    Posted from Wellington on 19th June advising visit of Edwin F. Tanner on or about 25th June to Dunedin.   This is Edwin Francis Tanner, son of Edwin Arthur Tanner who died in 1934.


Obituary in Evening Post, dated 3rd August reporting the death of Emma S. Tanner (one of the early shareholders).

Leaving 4 sons - Frank (eldest) England, Henry (2nd eldest) Buenos Aires, Edwin, Victor (Youngest) Tanner Bros

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Hocken: An Interesting Postcard - by Ross Alexander

I received this postcard recently from my friend Jim Howie in Dundee, Scotland.  An interesting Australian postcard dated 1904 showing an aborigine climbing a tree in search of a bee's nest.

The text reveals an association with New Zealand history.

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The sender is G Hocken, almost certainly Gladys Hocken, the daughter of avid collector Dr Thomas Hocken, who donated his private collection to the University of Otago in trust for the New Zealand public.  This is known as the Hocken Library,   a research library, historical archive and art gallery based in Dunedin.

In August 1901, the Hocken family left for their long overseas trip to England via Japan and the East, returning to Dunedin in 1904. Gladys' diary of the ‘world tour’ is full of petulant school-girl observations: weather, men, everything is boring. This is reflected in the text of the postcard.

"We have got as far as here now (Hobart, Tasmania) and leave in a few weeks for Dunedin.  Father is still busy hunting up old records, but beyond this there is nothing else to do. Stayed six weeks in Melbourne, but don't like the place much. We all send our kindest regards and hope you are well. Yours  G. Hocken."

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The addressee is General Robley in London, England. Major General Horatio Gordon Robley (28 June 1840 – 29 October 1930) was a soldier, artist and collector of Mokomokai and antiquities.

Robley arrived in New Zealand in 1864, and took his troops to Tauranga to join General Cameron's forces attacking Pukehinahina, also known as Gate Pā. His talent at sketching contributed to the campaign immediately, as he made a sketch with such accuracy of the inland view to the south-west that the troops were able to outflank the enemy's position.


He remained at Tauranga for 19 months until the beginning of 1866 during which time he continued drawing. He completed a series of detailed sketches of the Māori defences at Pukehinahina, Māori wounded, surrenders and other scenes of the time. He continued his interest in tattooing and completed accurate sketches of the tattoo designs of the wounded and dead. Several of these scenes were later reproduced in the Illustrated London News.

His regiment was withdrawn from Tauranga early in 1866, and sailed from Auckland arriving back in England  on 28 June 1866.

Continuing with writing after his retirement, he returned to his interest in tattoos and wrote two books relating to his time in New Zealand, Moko or Maori Tattooing in 1896 and Pounamu: Notes on New Zealand Greenstone. In the first book, as well as demonstrating and explaining the art of Māori tattooing, he also wrote chapters on the dried tattooed heads or Mokomokai.

Robley decided to acquire as many examples of Mokomokai as possible, and at length built up a unique collection of 35 heads. In 1908 he offered them to the New Zealand Government for £1,000; his offer, however, was refused. Later, with the exception of the five best examples which Robley retained, the collection was purchased by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, for the equivalent £1,250.

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Provincetown - by Ross Alexander

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An example from the golden age of postcards in the early 1900's - a shop dedicated to selling postcards in Provincetown.

Provincetown is a New England town located at the extreme tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the United States. A small coastal  resort town with a year-round population of just under 3,000, it now has a summer tourist population of as high as 60,000.  Obviously a good number to support the sale of postcards!

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