ISSUE 105 (December 2014)


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New Zealand Postcard Society (Inc.) Directory

Patron Geoff Potts
President Jeff Long
Vice-Presidents Barry Longstaffe
Diane McKoy
VP Research Bill Main
Secretary Gerard Morris
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, Gladys Goodall.

Correspondence:  all enquiries should be made 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.

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.

The Subscription for the 2014 - 2015 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.

Postcard Pillar Issue 105

Issues of the Postcard Pillar will now be printed entirely in full colour - enjoy!

Thanks to those who sent in articles, images or snippets. Keep sending them in, preferably in electronic format, but it is perfectly fine if this is not possible. The philosophy of the Editors is to get your words, images and research out to the membership of the Society.

The portraits on the cover are from Bill Main, with postcards from the article, and Jeff Long.

Included are significant research articles on Muir and Moodie from Alan Jackson and the group of Muir and Moodie researchers, and from Leo Haks on Lankshear’s early real photo postcards.

We also welcome the article from ‘new contributor’ Royce Wiles.

1 Directory
2 Society News and Snippets
3 - 5 Convention Report - Bruce Isted
6 Marshlands Military Camp – Doug South
7 – 17 Muir and Moodies Earliest Cards - Alan Jackson
18 - 20 Opalette Messages - Donal Duthie
21 – 22 Valentine's Postcards - William Main
23 – 29 Early New Zealand Real Photo Postcards  - Leo Haks
30 – 33 Herbert Smales and his Postcards of Matamata - Royce Wiles
34 An Exhibition at Massey University - Stanley Fraser

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Society News and Snippets

Generous Donation from William Main

Facing an Era is a selection of portraits on postcards of New Zealanders from all walks of life. The book accompanied an exhibition of the postcards which travelled round various centres in New Zealand. Bill has donated copies of this book to members of the NZ Postcard Society and it is included in Issue 105. The Society is grateful for Bill’s support – enjoy the book.

2015 NZ Postcard Society Convention

Yes, this is already planned for the weekend of Sept 12/13 2015 at the Philatelic Centre, 67 Mandeville St, Riccarton, Christchurch. Best put this in your diary now!

The programme on Saturday includes displays by members of items of interest, and other collecting interests they may have, followed by the AGM at 4.00pm. The dinner menu is already set, and Saturday night entertainment organized.

Sunday will be busy with our Collectables Fair. Members will have ‘first look’ from 8.30 until 10am. A number of dealers have already expressed interest in attending, including some who you don’t normally see.

The Postcards of Frederick Henry Gradwell (FHG)

Doug South and Stan Goodwin have contributed lists of this postcard photographer. Details have been provided for postcard numbers 4, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 19, 22, 24, 25, 29, 34, 45, 46, 55, 75, 100, 104, 130, 134, 136, 139 and 141.

If you have further numbers able to be recorded, please provide information to  Apparently the Taupo Museum has a number of photos and postcards taken by Gradwell – perhaps a member could visit?

 Results from Postcard Challenge held in Adelaide

Only South Australia, Western Australia and New Zealand provided entries, and our team came a close third. Congratulations to Ann Still, Yvonne Benson, Donna Stenhouse and Jenny Banfield.

Jenny received a special prize for best novice entry.

Book for sale – Postcards of Hawkes Bay edited by John Paston


This has been jointly published by John Paston and ‘Safari’, members of NZPS. The book is 232 pages of A4 in full colour. It covers the province from early cards through to modern, including advertising and comic cards.

The book includes picture postcards of Napier and the port, Hastings with Art Deco cards from both cities, the provinces with Havelock North and towns to the south, and then north to Wairoa, Waikaremoana and the Mahia Peninsular. It includes advertising cards, recreational activities in the early 1900’s, disasters both natural and man-made, comic cards covering the province and a section on greetings cards.

The book is offered for sale at $60 through BAYPEX with profits going towards supporting the exhibition. The brochure and order form are available on the BAYPEX website .

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The 2014 New Zealand Postcard Society Convention in Hamilton - by Bruce Isted

From 5-7th September, I joined about 38 NZPCS members and some spouses/partners for the NZ Postcard Society Annual Convention in Hamilton. On Friday 5th about 25 of us had an informal get-together meal and drinks at The Bank Bar & Brasserie. A great way to kick-start the weekend.

Hamilton Gardens Pavilion was the venue for the weekend. Saturday 6th September was a members’ only day which started at 9am, firstly with registration, morning tea and chit-chat. At 9.30am the President Jeff Long welcomed everybody and announced some housekeeping details. From 9.45am-4pm (excluding a one hour lunch break and afternoon tea) we had member’s presentations (many were accompanied with displays/exhibits) as follows:

At 4pm the AGM began and was dealt with efficiently and little fuss. There were a couple of changes to some office positions plus a new committee member was elected. Please read the President’s & Treasurer’s Reports and AGM Minutes on the Website. The Chas Lilley Annual Memorial award for the best contribution to Postcard Pillar during 2013-14 was awarded to Gary Davies for his article ‘Offensive to Everyone’ (Issue 101). Just after 5pm, a group of us drove to Jim Stuart’s Victorian Villa (a nice rural location in Hamilton) for a tour of his residence which was packed full of all sorts of antiques and collectables. Jim used to be in the restaurant/cooking business and was interested in antiques. He began purchasing many desirable items back then and is still acquiring items!

In the evening the majority of us attended an enjoyable meal and drinks at the Lone Star in Hamilton CBD. It was great to have a separate room from the public. Guest speaker Alan Craig spoke to us before and after dinner about the life of soldier Edward Harris 1877-1924. His talk was illustrated by a display of photos, philatelic items and ephemera. Alan also had several rare NZ 6 and 12 view montage postcards and is after one more postcard to fill a page.

Sunday 7th September was the Collectables Fair Day. Members took advantage of the pre-public session to acquire postcards for their collections from the vast stocks of five dealers: John Eccles (Eccles Stamps & Coins) of Wellington, Kevin George on behalf of Tony Grant (ACW-NZ) of Wellington, Sylvie & Joe Lewis of Tauranga, Eric Diamond of Hamilton, David Bevan (Eastamps) of Auckland.

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It was estimated that about 100 members of the public attended from 10am-4pm. Fortunately the weather was perfect on Sunday, which meant many people who were enjoying the day at Hamilton Gardens popped in. The event was advertised in the newspapers and numerous flyers were put up at prominent places in Hamilton (thanks to member Eric Diamond for spreading the flyers around).

Several people brought in postcards to be valued by myself or Jeff Long. They ranged from small bundles to larger ones and a couple of small collections in albums. I didn’t see any large accumulations of postcard albums brought in to be valued or sold. There were no rare postcards, and only a few were noted as being ‘sought after’; most were common. Very few postcards were sold to the dealers present as most people wanted to keep their postcards because they had been in the family for years and thought of them as family heirlooms.

Special thanks must go to all those who attended and supported the event. It was great to have five dealers, many of them with new stock. Also thanks to Robert Livingston of Hamilton for organising the display boards, taking care of the security of the venue, and to Eric Diamond of Hamilton for advertising/promoting the event, plus Jeff and Jenny Long for doing the preliminary programme.

Next year the Annual Convention is in Christchurch.

Photos taken at the 2014 New Zealand Postcard Society Annual Convention in Hamilton

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Dinner at The Bank Bar & Brasserie on Friday night

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Saturday night dinner at the Lone Star with guest speaker Alan Craig

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Diane McKoy receives the runner up award for the Chas Lilley Memorial Award for the best article in the Postcard Pillar in the previous year for her article in Issue 103 on Early Sales in New Zealand of Tanner Bros Ltd. Postcards. (with assistance from Alan Jackson)

Presented by Norman Banfield.

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Some of the members who gave presentations on Saturday morning – an interesting time for everyone!

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News from the Website - by Ross Alexander and Bruce King

Changes are coming to the Website:

Auction 52 is now loaded with some images in Members Only. This was a trial to get it set up - we will load more images for the next auction

Being developed:

  1. Classified are coming to the website - in the public section for maximum exposure
  2. Dealers - longer term adds
  3. Members - small classified

This is intended to provide a service and an income stream to cover the costs of the website.

  1. Where am I? - Do you have a postcard that you cannot identify - location/subject matter?

You can display it here and readers will be able to comment.

  1. Articles for the website - We are looking for short articles from members, especially those who do not contribute to the Postcard Pillar along the lines of My Favourite Postcard/Postcards or Photographer. This will not necessarily need to have a lot of text or research - just why it is a favourite with a small amount of background as to the publisher/image etc. The intention is to display these for a month or so and then archive them.

Marshlands Military Camp 1912 - by Doug South

Postcard Pillar 104 included an article on the Marshland Military Camp of 1912 with a postcard by photographer J. J. Cameron.

However, a correction needs to be made. This image was not taken at Marshlands Christchurch but taken at Marshlands Blenheim. The reasons for this are as follows:

  1. The camp at Marshlands Christchurch was on the April 4th - 12th 1912 was attended by the No 1 Field Company, NZ Engineers, Canterbury Infantry Brigade Signal Company, totalling eight officers and 172 men. There were no Nelson units present. (Marlborough came under Nelson military area for training). No camp was held there in 1913
  2. On May 10th – 18th 1912 the 10th Nelson Mounted Rifles (two squadrons) made up of 13 officers and 195 men had an annual camp at Marshlands, Blenheim. In 1913 the camp was once again held at Marshlands, Blenheim May 5th – 17th and was made up of the following units: the 10th (Nelson) Mounted Rifles (A, B, C & D squadrons, band & Maxim gun section) ten officers & 170 men. In reserve were three Officers and one man. Total numbers at Camp were 13 Officers and 191 men. These camps were held on the Chaytor property who gave the land for this use without cost.
  3. J. Cameron was a Blenheim photographer and at this period all images seen of his are of the Marlborough area. Refer to article in Postcard Pillar 104 re Cameron’s history.

Marshlands Blenheim is located on the Wairau floodplain 11 km north-east of Blenheim and immediately south of the Wairau River diversion channel. The name reflects the once swampy nature of the Terrain. The Chaytor family have owned land at Marshlands since 1880. Edward Chaytor was a military commander of New Zealand forces in Egypt and Palestine in the First World War.


  1. Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Marlborough Places.
  2. Defence Forces of New Zealand (Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces for the period 28th July 1911 to 27th June 1912)
  3. Defence Forces of New Zealand(Report of the General Officer Commanding the Forces for the period 28th June 1912 to 20th June 1913)

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Muir & Moodie’s Earliest Postcards - by Alan Jackson

For several years, a dedicated band of collectors have been interested in the idea of producing a comprehensive listing of the cards published by Muir & Moodie of Dunedin. This enterprise, however, is fraught with difficulties.

A condensed version of Burton Bros. / Muir & Moodie’s photographic catalogue was provided at the end of the 1985 monograph “Burton Bros. and Muir & Moodie of Dunedin: Their Photographs and Postcards”. This listing was arranged (a) geographically and (b) thematically, and, for each category, gave ranges of catalogue numbers taken from the firm’s manuscript record books. But this was just a listing of the photographic negative numbers. Only a proportion of these images were later published on postcards (from 1901).

Moreover, the same image on a postcard often appeared in many different formats and printing styles over the years. These changes were frequently accompanied by changes in caption for the same image. To complicate things further, errors of numbering also occurred in some editions.

If Muir & Moodie ever did keep a comprehensive record of their postcard output, it did not survive the winding up of the company in 1916. So, collectors today effectively have to recreate a list from scratch, based on their own observations. This is a gargantuan task and will inevitably require the collaboration of many different collectors over a long period. Mike Cooke in England has made a brave start by compiling a digital listing of cards either held in his collection or reported to him.

One conundrum that is immediately apparent in making such a list is deciding what level of detail to include. Should every subtle change in each printed edition be described? Collectors, of course, are free to collect, if they wish, every small printing variant of the same image on postcard.

But the context in which these variants originally appeared needs to be borne in mind. When Muir & Moodie were dealing with their European (usually German) printers in the years before about 1908 (when they progressively began to switch to “real photo” type production here in New Zealand), the firm basically supplied four things when placing an order:

1) The photographic prints from which the postcard images were to be reproduced,

2) A hand-written version of the desired caption for each image (which was not always interpreted correctly by the printer),

3) The general printing style required, and,

4) The size of the print run required (usually a minimum of 500 cards of each image). For each order, the printing type and format was set up anew by the printer.

So the many variants we see today on postcards incorporating the same image are largely due to the printer, not Muir & Moodie themselves. Bearing all this in mind, a really detailed listing of Muir & Moodie postcards can probably only ever be a work in progress. But that is unlikely to discourage the dedicated from trying to compile such a list!

My own particular interest in this area has revolved around the idea of trying to work out which were the earliest formats of Muir & Moodie postcards, and in approximately which sequence they appeared. I have been engaged on this enterprise off and on for well over ten years. By prevailing on other interested collectors to provide scans of relevant cards in their collections and by recording earliest postmark dates, I have now reached the stage where I feel reasonably confident about publishing a provisional listing of types, covering approximately the first three years of Muir & Moodie postcard production (1901-1903).

In bringing this project to some sort of fruition, I have been greatly helped by my old friend Robert Rush (a convert to postcards!), who became interested in my original scheme of types and then enthusiastically proceeded to develop this into a detailed digital list. This was not an easy task. A brief summary only of each type (A to I) is provided in this article, along with an illustration of a typical card. The detailed listing will be published separately.

A few comments need to be made about the general arrangement of this list. First of all, it is confined to the very earliest styles of Muir & Moodie cards. It specifically excludes what became the normal style of card from about 1904 - that is, “undivided back” cards with catalogue number before the caption and image covering most of the non-address side. By extension, it also does not concern itself with subsequent “divided back” cards (which are the type of Muir & Moodie card we most frequently see). Ideally, this initial listing could later be extended to cover all “undivided back” issues (and eventually the “divided back” ones as well). But we wanted to start with a project we could practicably manage!

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The earliest Muir & Moodie cards (which we call “Type A”) had all printing (both text and small vignette image) on one side, with the back entirely blank. There was a space below the image to write the address and a dotted box indicating where the stamp was to be placed. The back was for any message. This type was printed on card stock of two different colours: (a) blue, (b) cream (met with much more frequently). The card stock used was probably a decision of the printer and otherwise not significant. Type A cards do not bear any record numbers. The experiment with blue card was not repeated after this printing.

All subsequent early types (Types B to I) have printing on both sides. The image is now much larger and occupies most of one side (sometimes two different images occupy this space), with a caption (usually red, printed by letterpress, and un-numbered) below. A small unprinted border area could be used for a short message. The image (as in Type A) is normally printed (by the collotype process) in sepia or black.

Type E is a variant of type D, with artificial colouring added on top of the sepia base. The other side of the card was now for the address only, with “New Zealand Post Card” heading, stamp box, and Muir & Moodie’s publishing details all printed in black.

Type G is exceptional in this list of early printings in that it is the only type that bears a number. This number appears in a small square box at upper left, printed in the same red colour as the caption. Numbers in this series that we have seen run from 1 to 221 (there is also a “6039” which we believe is an aberration from the considerably later printing). These numbers are not the original Burton Bros.  photographic catalogue numbers. This Type G series appears to have been an early experiment by Muir & Moodie to keep track, in a sequential list, of which images they used for their postcards (and perhaps to facilitate communication with the German printers). However, they appear to have quickly (within a year?) abandoned this scheme, and later (from about 1904) began using the original Burton Bros. catalogue numbers to identify the postcard images. This they continued to do as a matter of course for many years. Incidentally, there exist some later “undivided back” printings of some of the Maori images from the “G” series but with the same number shown within a large circle. These are outside the scope of the present list.

We have arranged the order of our Types A to I roughly on the basis of the earliest postmark we have so far recorded for each type. If earlier dates are reported as a result of this study, we may need to rearrange our sequence of types.

We would of course welcome any additions at all to our (provisional) list of images / captions (even if you have only a single addition to make). Ideally, for any new item, we would like to receive a clear scan of both sides. As the differences between the various types require some study, the subtleties may defeat some readers. So if you are unsure whether a card you have is additional to our list, please send a scan anyway, and we will let you know. Sometimes, even if a card is recorded, the message on your example may provide valuable information, - for example, a manuscript message date which is earlier than our recorded postmark date. All is grist to the mill!

Occasionally one meets early New Zealand postcards in very similar format and printing style to early Muir & Moodie issues but bearing no publisher’s details. We believe these are the product of another publisher (or publishers) as yet unidentified. It is not surprising such similarities exist, because the same German or Austrian printers could well have been used by more than one early New Zealand postcard publisher. In general, Muir & Moodie were very particular about ensuring their name appeared on all their postcards, so an early undivided back postcard without their name on it is almost certainly not a card published by them.

We hope other collectors will become as interested in contributing to this project as we are. We are sure that much of the story remains to be discovered.

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Finally, we offer a cautionary note. If you should have in your collection an early card that is additional to our listing, do not immediately assume it must be rarer that those that we do list! All of those early cards are scarce in our experience, and for that reason those we have not yet seen are not necessarily any scarcer than those we have. We just haven’t seen your card until you showed it to us!

These early cards appear to be widely dispersed around the world, and even if you are prepared to put a lot of effort into looking for them over a long period, they are not easy to acquire, especially in good condition. There were few postcard collectors in New Zealand before 1904, and many of the early cards appear to have been sent overseas at the time, either to relatives abroad or in exchanges between collectors. These collectors were often members of international exchange clubs, which flourished in this period.

I wish to acknowledge the help I have received with this project over the years from the following collectors; Bill Main, Leo Haks, Simon Crawford, Mike Cooke and Yvonne Benson. Thank you one and all.

And a special thank you to my collaborator, Robert Rush, who has done so much to prepare the work for publication.

Editors Note:

The research for this article includes a list of these early Muir and Moodie cards, which will not be reproduced in the Postcard Pillar, but will be loaded to the Members Only section of the NZPS website and will also be available in hardcopy. Details will be in the next Postcard Pillar and the web. This is the first stage of a larger research project, extending the list of Muir and Moodie cards beyond these early types.

Type A 


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Type B 

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Type C

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Type D

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Type E


Layout (a) for reverse of card shown below



Layout (b) for back of card

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Type F

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Type G

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Type H

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Type I


Layout (a) for reverse of card shown above


Layout (b) for back of card

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‘Opalettes’ and Messages - by Donal Duthie

I have always admired postcards from the F. T. Opalette Series. Fergusson and Taylor usually noted the photographer and it is my guess that these photographers all used glass plate negatives for the very distinct clear photos. The oval photos suit the size of the card and the ‘Opalettes’ have a nice ‘picture frame’ around them.

The scenes depicted covered New Zealand from North Cape to Stewart Island. These cards would appeal to any topographic collector from Edwardian times right through to the present day.

For some time I had been buying a few ‘Opalettes’ here and there and then I noted that several of these cards had the same distinct way of applying the penny postage stamp. The stamp had been folded so that half covered the reverse message side and the other half was on the front pictorial side. A quick look revealed the same hand writing and the same address for the receiver on each card.

I then started out looking for more of the ‘Opalettes’ with the same way of applying the postage stamp. I found several more and they were from different dealers showing that the original collection had been widely dispersed. I eventually bought eleven of the ‘Opalettes with the folded stamp.


A postcard reverse sent by Elsa from Nelson 8/7/10. This is number 3 from that same date. The other half of the stamp shows top right.

On reading the messages, I could see that the sender, “Elsa” was posting from Nelson and had dated each card. My first one is from 29/11/1909 and the last one is 8/7/1910. They were all addressed to Miss J.K (Jean) Stutterd, Wynyard, Tasmania.

Noting the way they were dated and numbered, it can be seen that Elsa sent off batches of cards, usually three at a time to her friend Jean. This method enabled Elsa to send an extended message through three cards, and perhaps more importantly, it allowed Jean to have more cards for her collection.

Of my eleven cards, I have two complete sets of three, dated 2/5/10 and 8/6/10.  The messages are interesting, in that they show both women had a keen interest in collecting postcards. It would seem likely that they first came in contact through a ‘Pen Pal’ scheme.

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One card dated 8/7/10 shows the two ladies’ enthusiasm and says,

“Dear Jean,

Your two lots of p.c.s arrived safely and many thanks for them. I am thinking of getting an album just for Tasmanian views as I have a quite a nice collection of them. I always look forward to your cards. I hope to exchange with you for quite a long while; of course providing you will. Do you know it is four years next month since we first began.”

This message from Elsa clearly goes on to the next card, but that is one I haven’t been able to find.

One series of three cards sent on 2/5/10 are interesting, and are shown below. The fronts show three really good Stewart Island photos all by Chas Segers.

The message starts on postcard one (F.T. Opalette Series 1277),


“Dear Jean,

Many thanks for your last pc.s. In the green border ones I have the Gawler Falls, Lobster Creek and two of the Leven River, but I don’t mind as they are so very pretty. Stewart Island is situated to the south of this island and I believe the chief industry is fishing.

Best love Elsa”

The second card (F.T. Opalette Series 1280) reads

“Have you ever seen pc.s half the size of an ordinary card?

At the back of one of my books there are pages specially prepared for them but I have been able to get only a very few here and I was wondering if they were procurable in Tasmania.

I may say that when I bought the book I didn’t notice this.

Kind regards Elsa”


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The third card (F.T. Opalette Series 1278) finishes

“Kind regards and best wishes Elsa.”

It would be very interesting to know just what happened to Elsa’s books and also just how Jean’s cards ended up with several different dealers in New Zealand.

I guess we will never know.


 An Interesting Postcard - by Yvonne Coles & Brian McClintock


This is a card Yvonne picked up at the Convention in Hamilton.

It shows a group of women from the Shetland Islands “rooing’ sheep!

A search of the Concise Oxford and Chambers Dictionaries failed to provide information. However a search on Google provided the answer - they are plucking wool from live sheep.

Apparently this is a natural process and does not hurt the sheep, which are a primitive breed that naturally shed their wool at certain times of the year.

Without human intervention, the sheep would rub the wool off on rocks, trees and other similar surfaces in their environment.

Because this is a rather time-consuming process, and people wanted to shear their sheep all at once, the ‘rooing’ gene has been bred out of modern sheep (and the dictionaries).

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Valentine’s Postcards - by William Main

In the 1980s, I wrote several articles for the International Journal History of Photography. One of these featured the Scottish photographer George Dobson Valentine, 1852-1890, who came to New Zealand in 1884 for health reasons and having settled into his new environment, began recording a selection of scenic views before succumbing to tuberculosis. Since then there has been a well researched book on him published by Craig Potton in 2004 ISBN 1-877333-12-3, written by Ken Hall, a former student of mine from my Wellington Polytechnic days.

My interest in Valentine has never diminished and although New Zealand photo collectors rate his scenic views highly, I have always been amazed to learn that the Scottish firm founded by his father James Valentine, never issued any of his son’s Antipodean views. Even more remarkable is the fact that two years after his death in 1890 the company despatched one of their photographers to our shores to obtain a representative selection of views for their vast international catalogue which had agencies dotted all over the world.

The most logical explanation for this situation is that for some reason or other, George Dobson Valentine worked independently while he was based in New Zealand, selling albums of his studies through an Auckland bookseller, so we can’t be critical of the parent company in Dundee. However, it is clear that they dearly wanted to make amends for their omission when J. S. Powell arrived in New Zealand.

I first came into contact with the work of Powell in the mid 1990s, when I struck up a correspondence with a friend in England who, like me, was interested in Magic Lanterns. During one of our exchanges of slides, he informed me he’d bought some New Zealand photographs mounted on light cardboard at a fair - did I want them?


When they arrived, I was pleased to note a view of Wellington which I’d never seen before. This was a whole plate study taken from the top of Vivian Street where it meets the southern end of The Terrace. The original owner had framed the photo on its support with fine ruling-pen lines and added a very neatly written title “Te Aro Wellington. N. Z. 18306 JV” and then dated it 1894 in the right hand comer. It is the only original print by J S. Powell that I have seen. However, that is not the end of Mr Powell and his activities in New Zealand.

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Towards the end of the 1990s, I joined the NZ Postcard Society and began attending fairs where dealers had their stock of cards for sale. It was here that I became familiar with territory covered by Mr Powell in New Zealand. These were predominantly views of mountains and lakes with a very strong representation of Maori studies in monochrome and colour. The earliest post-marked card I have is dated 27 March 1903.


While I have hopes that I will be able to extend the number of Valentine postcards that come my way in the fullness of time, I’m conscious that when they turn up they will be mainly scenic native bush, river, lakes and fjords, cunningly avoiding views of towns which date very quickly in the postcard trade.

So I’m glad of my 1894 view of Wellington, knowing full well that a view like this would never have made the selection process for export trade.

As far as I’ve been able to determine, Valentine’s postcards were still being sold locally for many years either under their own branded name, or by Smithyman and Maingay (S.M. &M).

Smithyman and Maingay were involved in a series of cards which may have been made from negatives made by George Dobson Valentine, who died in Auckland in 1890. We know Valentine was associated with the  Auckland publisher Chapman just before his death. To date I’ve been unable to prove if there was any connection with Chapman and the S. M. & Co. Series. Later on, Powell’s photo coverage of NZ was published under the parent company’s imprint in Great Britain. They are all coloured editions.

The coloured card I’ve chosen from my collection has a divided back, with an edition number and the initials JV in a circle superimposed on the image in the bottom left hand corner. Sometime prior to these being released for sale, Valentines sold some of their New Zealand views to Smithyman and Maingay who issued them with undivided backs.


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Early NZ Real Photo Postcards - by Leo Haks

Looking at postcards I hadn’t seen for a while, I came upon a card I only vaguely remembered. Taking it in hand I felt an unevenness, which turned out to be the edges of a small photograph of an unnamed Maori Chief pasted onto the postcard.

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On closer observation, I realised this was an original gelatine silver print photograph and not a photo-mechanical one, as was the case for most of this type of postcard.

The card was in good condition and had been sent from Wellington to Hungary in March 1902.

The photograph is very clear, but as Bill Main noted, it had been smudged by a Post Office cancellation on arrival in Hungary. Someone must have been concerned by the disfigurement caused by the cancel and rubbed the ink of the surface of the photograph.

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My excitement got the better of me so I phoned Alan Jackson and told him about my find. ‘I may also have one of these cards somewhere’ Alan responded, and promised he would look for and send me a copy of it.

Two days later, Alan’s card arrived. It looked similar at first but there are differences.

The front of my card included: “New Zealand Post Card”, the writing instructions, space for a postage stamp, a decorative border in the Art Nouveau style to the left side, with space made available for the pasting of a small photograph. The title of the image is placed below the border. The back of the card was blank save for the message written on it.

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The front of Alan’s card carried a photograph of two Maori children, set in a decorative border and a hand written message. It was different in that the formal details, including space for the postage stamp, were printed on the back of the card with space left for the address.

This card was sent to Waikari, Canterbury. On the address side was the Imprint “Lankshear, Printer, Wellington.”

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Serendipitously, I found another Lankshear card on-line soon after the discovery. This card had the title, “Normanby Cascade, Wanganui River” and Frank Denton as the photographer.

On the back is printed “Lankshear, Printer.” This card had not been posted.

I asked Bill Main’s opinion on this card since he had recently written an article in Postcard Pillar Issue 101 on NZ postcards from a later period with pasted photographs on them.

In his conclusion, Bill wrote that he had been collecting this type of postcard, but that all of the photographs on his 39 cards were printed by a photo-mechanical process.

Since no card of the Lankshear production was in Bill’s collection, I donated the Wanganui card to him.

Upon receipt, Bill examined the Wanganui card and was pleased to see that the picture on that card was definitely a real photograph.

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In the meantime I had sent Simon Crawford a copy of my first card and commented that these cards seemed rare and early. Simon replied saying he had two such cards in his collection and kindly sent them to me to scan for publication. Both cards included real photographs; one of “Wellington, from the North” which had been posted in 17 August 1901, the other, “Wellington Wharf” was posted in 1902. The day is the 30th but the month is unclear.

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Simon Crawford’s Lankshear postcard, “Wellington from the North” is shown at left. The reverse of the card is shown below.



Simon Crawford’s Lankshear postcard, “Wellington Wharf” shown at left. The reverse of the card is shown on the next page.

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Alan Jackson had been aware that the card he owns had a real photograph pasted on it. Neither Simon nor I had realised that ours were of the same type, which points to the fact that not all cards we purchase receive the attention they require.

Just recently Jeff Long sent me a scan of yet another Lankshear postcard, this time with a portrait of a Maori woman on it. Jeff had shown my card at a monthly meeting of the Christchurch Philatelic Society and Stephen Jones, one the people there, sent Jeff a scan of a similar Lankshear postcard. The amazing thing about this last postcard is that it was addressed to Robert Blau in Budapest, Hungary, whereas my card was addressed to Oskar Blau, at the same address. What is more, they are both postmarked Wellington, 22 March 1902 at 12.45.


Stephen Jones’ Lankshear postcard.


The card that started Leo’s research, showing the ink removed from the photograph. (shown at the beginning of  the article)

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In conclusion: Simon Crawford’s card of “Wellington, from the North” may well be the earliest recorded NZ picture postcard carrying a real photograph. It is postmarked 17 August 1901.

The most recent Lankshear postcard I have found is shown below. It is from the ‘second edition’ so to speak, since details such as ‘New Zealand Post Card’ and other information are printed on the back. In summary we have identified four stylistic variations in the printing layout, from a total of seven cards. All presumably were printed by Lankshear Printers of Wellington within a two year time frame.

We may expect that someone else will come forward with other cards in this series.


With thanks to Alan Jackson, Bill Main, Simon Crawford, Jeff Long and Stephen Jones for their contribution to this article, and to Colleen Dallimore for making it readable.

Postscript by Alan Jackson.

Lankshear was not the only early producer in Wellington of postcards with small appliqué photographs.

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I have card with the imprint G.W. Dutton, 60 Willis Street. Wellington, with a small appliqué sepia photograph of “The Remarkables, L. Wakatipu.” There is an index number before the caption on the print but it is impossible to make it out. All printing on this card is on the same side as the photograph. It was posted at Wellington on 6 September 1902, to England. The sender, in his message on the back, refers to a ‘set’ of these cards.

We can safely say that these cards by Lankshear and Dutton are among the earliest privately produced pictorial postcards published in New Zealand, and are the forerunners of the later (non-appliqué) type of real photo postcards we are familiar with.

Lankshear and Dutton were pioneer postcard / publishers but my impression is that they produced very few postcards in total and they were not active in this field after 1903. Sales may not have been good because the method of production was comparatively expensive.

It is clear that these cards are rare (even though little appreciated till now!) We would be very interested to hear of any other cards of this type.



Diane McKoy sent this scan of a postcard, almost identical to the card featured on the cover of Issue 103.

This postcard shows the train coming towards the camera.

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Herbert W. Smales (1874-1939) and the “Smales’ series” of Matamata postcards - by Royce Wiles

Herbert W. (William) Smales (1874-1939) may not be well-known to postcard collectors, but this storekeeper, farmer, stationer and salesman published (through Frank Duncan & Company of Auckland) a series of local postcards relating to the developing settlement of Matamata in the Waikato. “Smales’ series” of black and white photographic postcards probably date from the late-1910s to the early-1920s.

The rarely seen series of at least eleven cards is, as yet, not fully documented. I am presenting this, necessarily incomplete, compilation of information in the hope of receiving  help from other postcard collectors who may be able to fill the gaps in the sequence of this series. After recounting a skeleton account of the publisher’s life I will list and illustrate the examples known to me so far.


Herbert W. Smales was born in Finchly, London, England on 15 June 1874. By 1896, Herbert had somehow made the transition to New Zealand and, aged just 22, gave his occupation for the electoral rolls as “storekeeper” in Matata (24 kilometres from Whakatane). He then moved to the Coromandel and in 1900 was a storekeeper in the same area. The following year he married Elizabeth Heriot (or Harriet) Floyd (1872-1955) and together they had five children born between 1903 and 1907.

By 1911 William had returned as a storekeeper to Whakatane but soon after that seemed to take up farming in Cambridge where he was to stay for the next decade and a half, his residence being given as “Highgate” on Thornton Road. In the following years Herbert was mentioned in the local newspapers as providing musical entertainment in a mock court (held to raise funds) in July 1915. Herbert was also a reservist in the New Zealand army in 1917 and continued to give his household address in Cambridge.

In 1919 he was appointed as a Justice of the Peace in Matamata, and this appears to be about the time he organised the printing of the series of postcards which is my main reason for tracing information about his life. It seems he was running a stationery store in Matamata and living there at least some of the time; for example, he was a foundation member of the reformed Matamata Hunt Club which got going again after a recess for World War I.

In July 1927 the Smales’ house in Cambridge was completely destroyed by fire, but with no loss of life. We know this because in February 1928 William Smales was declared bankrupt, owing some £300. He mentioned that he has been “farmer, a stationer, a showman and a motor salesman … [and been] casually employed by the Public Works Department.” He owned three sections in the area but had been unable to sell them. The fire and losses in business meant he could no longer pay the interest on money borrowed.[2]

After the bankruptcy the family moved north to Auckland (by this time Herbert is 52), and while he kept working, the nature of his recorded employment changed to salesman and manager.

He lived in Auckland East but after a bit more than a decade passed away aged 65  on 16 July 1939. His ashes were scattered at Waikumete Cemetery where his occupation recorded in cemetery records is “retired stationer”. We have to assume this information was provided by his widow and that it shows us how William himself would have chosen to indicate his profession.[3]

[1][1] This “bare bones” account is based on information drawn from various New Zealand electoral rolls and genealogical indexes found through So far no image of William or his wife has turned up. See also

[1] Papers Past website, New Zealand Herald, 8 February 1928,  Page 14.


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The Smales’ series of Matamata postcards (est. late-1910s to early-1920s)

The ballot for land in Matamata occurred in 1904, and the town began to grow as a support centre for local dairying. Matamata was not a major tourist destination like Te Aroha or even Okoriore and so these Matamata cards may not have been widely circulated or even printed in large numbers. They turn up rather infrequently on the market. So far I have seen examples of only five of the series (numbers 1, 6, 9, 10, 11). I am hopeful other collectors may have copies of cards from this series and can share information and scans. Please contact me at

Smale series 1: Railway station Matamata. One copy known with a pencil annotation on the back “19 March 1919” suggesting it was perhaps purchased on that day. There is no indication which train this might be, however the position of the luggage van suggests this one is headed south so perhaps it is the train arriving from Auckland around 3 o’clock in the afternoon (with road connections advertised in newspapers to Tauranga costing from £1 to £1/10/0 each way).


Smale Series 1: Railway Station, Matamata

Smales’ series 6: Note the slight change to the series name.


Smales' series 6: Tower Road, Matamata (renamed Broadway in 1929)

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Broadway, the main street of Matamata was known as Tower Road until 1929. The road was unsealed and, as evidenced by the horse in the image, there was still a role for horses in local transportation. There are other hitching posts for horses and what seems to be a water trough to the left. We can see the Kia Ora tea rooms, a bootmaker’s shope and a billiards hall.

Smales’ series 9:  Glaxo Factory, Matamata.  This large factory producing “Glaxo” or milk powder, was opened in Matamata on 24th April 1917. The  postcard shows the buildings from the railway line. The site is currently a petrol station with State Highway 27 in front of it. The factory cost approximately £20,000 to build. Newspaper reports of the opening say 600 people attended.


Smales' series 9: Glaxo Factory, Matamata (opened 1917)

Smales’ series 10: Arawa Street, Matamata [looking south]  Three businesses in the first building on the left are Wickett’s (drapers  and clothiers), a Stationer’s Hall and Buckley’s (business type unknown as yet). At the end of the street can be seen the “Plantation” of trees planted near the railway station (completed in 1886). Many of the trees survive today as a major visual asset to the town and a functional windbreak protecting from winds from the south-west.


Smales' series 10: Arawa Street, Matamata, looking south

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Smales’ series 11: Arawa Street, Matamata (looking north). The saddlery (first building on the right) houses “E. Jones, maker” which advertised locally at the time as having branches in Hamilton, Morrinsville, Ngaruawahia and Paeroa from at least 1909 onwards (e.g. see Papers past website Ohinemuri gazette, Volume XX, Issue 2573, 19 November 1909, Page 4).


Smales' series 11: Arawa Street, Matamata, looking north

Power poles are visible,  but it is not clear if there are lines strung on them yet, however the poles may have gone up before the power was connected from the Thames Valley Electric Power board in November 1921. The first business sign visible is Finnerty and Darby, a land agent.

Corrections to Issue 104 - ANZACS at War Article

The Kiwi was cut into the chalk face at Sling Camp in 1919, not 1916 as stated in the article (page 8). The letters ‘N.Z.’ were added later.  The image is of Sling Camp taken from the gate, by Fred Wright of Andover c. 1919. (Note from Gerard Morris)

HMNZT Athenic (troop ship 72) cannot have left NZ in December 1916 and arrived in Plymouth by 3 March 1916!! It actually arrived in Plymouth 3 March 1917. (note from Ray  Staal).


Comment on card shown in article in Issue 103

Page 15 of Issue 103 shows the cigarete card illustrated at left.

There is a mistake on the card itself. It reads “When noon at Greenwich 11 hours 39 minutes fast New Zealand”  -  in fact it should read “11 hours 30 minutes fast” Although the time was calculated from the observatory in Wellington, it was based on the Meridian at 172º 30´ west of Greenwich which bisects Christchurch, close to the western end of the airport. In January 1946, an additional half hour was permanently added, making NZ 12 hours ahead of GMT.


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An Exhibition at Massey University - by Stanley Fraser

The historical photographic exhibition was held from August 25th to September 21st at the Massey University Library.  It featured a range of postcards, photographs, stereographs and other historical items from around New Zealand.  It was also supplemented with books from the Library’s Bagnall Collection.

The photographs were divided into themes North Island, South Island, Hawkes Bay, Ruapehu, Wanganui, Manawatu and NZ Railways. In total there were over 70 images on display from Whangarei to Westport, with cards from Tauranga, New Plymouth, Rotorua, Hamilton, Napier, Picton, Nelson and Queenstown.

A small number of originals were in display, with the majority printed out in colour, and yes my printing budget was lean for a while. I was fortunate to have coverage from local media.

For a while I had noticed two large display cabinets that were not being used. I enquired to a staff member and from there the ball started rolling. Librarians Maree and Bridget were instrumental with organising banners and sourcing appropriate books to complement the display.

Recently I was donated a number of cards from around the country, with a number featuring the Manawatu. With this in mind, I wanted to be able to share these with the wider community and to also promote our hobby.

Our patron, Geoff Potts, visited the display and has shared his thoughts: “Congratulations to Stanley Fraser for a terrific effort with the Historic Photographic Display we recently viewed at the Massey University library facilities”

Photographers (and Publishers) in the Display Included:

F.G. Radcliffe (Duncan)                                 Burton Bros/Muir and Moodie

Talbot                                                              National Publicity Studios

A.P. Bates (Sanatorium Card)                        W. Beattie

PPL Hastings                                                 Aldersley

Denton                                                                        Tanner Bros

A Talbalt (Ferguson Taylor)                            Hawley

  1. Carr S.C. Smith

Antwerp (Verbeeck & Cle)

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I would like to thank everyone for their support from the Society. Also a special mention to Maree and Bridget from Massey University. Without their help the exhibition would not have been possible.

If you have any questions or comments please email me at or call 063574321.

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