Postcard Pillar 106



ISSUE 106 (March 2015)

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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
Webmasters Bruce King
Ross Alexander
Committee Geoff Potts
John Eccles
Bruce Isted
Leo Haks
Glenn Reddiex.
Jenny Banfield

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 July 1 2014 - June 30 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  2014.

Postcard Pillar Issue 106

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 image on the cover is a photo which did actually appear on a postcard. See article by William Main on pages 7-10.

Included are significant research articles on Muir and Moodie from William Main and E.A Phillips from Donal Duthie.

We also welcome the article from 'new contributor' Denise Rosenfeldt.

1 Directory
2 Society News and Snippets
3 - 6 Novelty Postcards by Bruce Isted
7 - 10 Dunedin Under Snow Muir and Moodie’s first topical postcard by William Main
11 – 16 The Life and Times of E.A. Phillips, Photographer  by Donal Duthie
17 - 18 Toc H, the National War Memorial and the Xth Commonwealth Games  by Denise Rosenfeldt
19 – 21 Representative’s Call Cards  by Safari
22 – 26 George Pye Combie 1882-1917 & James William Permin 1880-1921,  by William Main

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Society News and Snippets

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 organised.

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.

Book for sale – Postcards of Hawke’s 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 still available for $68 post paid within NZ from John Paston, P O Box 93, Bay View, Hawke’s Bay 4149


The next national-level exhibition is in Sydney, Australia, from April 16-19 2015. A number of our members have entered postcard exhibits, so we wish them luck. The Postcard Pillar has also been entered in the Literature class; fingers crossed for an encouraging result!

The next New Zealand national exhibition is the Capital Stamp Show 2015. It is being held in Wellington on October 23-25 this year.

There are special classes for postcard entries, either 1 – 2 frames (16 or 32 pages) or 3 – 8 frames (48 to 124 pages). There is plenty of information about exhibiting postcards on the Postcard Society website. Details about the exhibition can be found at It will be well worth a visit to see the material on display and to visit the dealers, of course!


Are you interested in any of the following?

  • Finding out how better to research information on your cards
  • Displaying your postcards more effectively at local meetings
  • Exhibiting your postcards at formal exhibitions

Two seminars are being planned – one for Christchurch and a repeat in the Wellington region sometime in May. The dates have not been set yet, but if you are interested then please email  and he will provide details when the dates and venues are organised.

These are some of the topics that will be covered;

  • How to research your postcards
  • Where to look for postcards to add to your collection
  • Technical information about cards
  • How to select a topic
  • How to write up your material for exhibit or display

Give this some thought – it is interesting to find out more about your own cards, and show other people your collection – and even more interesting to see what other collectors are doing.

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Novelty Postcards by Bruce Isted

Apart from my previously mentioned postcard collecting themes, which all have appeared in Postcard Pillar over the last 20 years, I can now add yet another one, novelty postcards. For many years I’ve been fascinated by the many various types of postcards that fall into this strong collecting category. Novelty cards are those which do something, or have things attached to them, or which deviate in any way from the usual. Original publishers vied with each other to produce exotic and unusual cards.

The great majority of novelty postcards on sale here in Edwardian times were manufactured abroad without any modification for the New Zealand market, but a significant number of local publishers also produced cards. This article attempts to describe some of the main categories of novelty postcards.

Appliqué: A novelty postcard which has material applied to the surface to form the image, such as dried flowers, feathered birds/hats, glass eyes, glitter cards, lace, materials (described more fully below), mirror cards, real hair, sand pictures and seeds.

These cards were popular with everyone but the Post Office, which, challenged with the task of delivering them, sometimes charged a higher postage rate for doing so (the early 1900s in Great Britain it was generally 1½-2d; probably from mid-1900 there was only a single postcard rate).


APPLIQUÉ (Dried Flowers), Anon. NZ c1910s, divided back, unused.    


APPLIQUÉ (Seeds), Anon. GB c1905-1913, divided back, MOB PU.    

Composite Sets: A composite set of postcards is a series which, when assembled together, forms a single picture. Think in terms of collage but with rectangles. There are horizontal sets displaying hares or horses running, and rectangular sets displaying artists’ depictions of notable figures or events (examples include Joan of Arc, Jesus Christ, and so on). Composite postcard sets were often purchased as a novelty gift for children.

The postcards were sent one at a time to the recipient who would gradually assemble the full picture. Today it can be difficult to find complete sets and prices can extend into the hundreds of dollars for some examples.

(Editors’ Note: See instalment cards featured in Issue 96 pp15-17)

Hold To Light: Exhibitions, Father Christmas, flames, Gruss Aus, Greetings, large letter/date cards. These novelty postcards have a die cut or transparent area designed to allow the transmission of light through parts of the image to create a lit up effect when the card is held to a light source. Typical subjects include night scenes with the windows of buildings that light up, although there are also many more elaborate styles.

Materials: Aluminium, celluloid, copper, leather, panel cards, peat, rice paper, and wood. These types of novelty postcards are rather interesting to collect compared to the normal cardboard stock.

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MATERIALS: Copper.  Kopper Card Co, Utah, USA. c1990s, divided back. Anon.


Wood with hand-painted image.  Regina, Sask., Canada pre-1905, unused.


Celluloid.  Anon. GB 1905-10, divided back MOB, not PU.


PULL OUT.  WR&S Scotland c1900-1905 undivided back, MOB, postally unused.

This card has a three-way collecting interest for me and poses a problem as to which collection I should keep it in. Wanganui? Postman? Novelty?

Pull-Out: Animals, artist signed, beer bottles, buses, cats, comic, dogs, fortune telling, mail vans, motor cars, postmen, teddy bears, town views/multi-view fronts and trams. These are perhaps the most common type of novelty postcard. They have an attached pouch containing a concertina strip of pull-out images. Open the container to extend the strip of miniature images. The better cards present the pouch as an integral part of the design; as postmen’s sacks, suitcases or motorcar luggage, as seaside creatures and so on.

Mechanical: Blow up, heat activated, invisible pictures, lever change, moveable hats, perfumed, push-out models, squeakers and wagging tails. These novelty postcards have some moving parts; there are numerous types: cards with levers or tabs to change part of the displayed image; cards with thumbwheels which, when rotated, update the display of a calendar or clock; gramophone record postcards (the extraordinary thing about these cards is that, although they can actually be played at the old ‘78’ speed, the material used for the discs closely resembles the modern substances used today!) Also squeakers are popular - they have an embedded mechanical device that 'squeaks' when the card is pressed; typically these cards depict animals.

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MECHANICAL:  Thumbwheel. Anon GB c1905-1910s divided back, MOB.


Gramophone. Auld Lang Syne. Raphael Tuck c1905-10, divided back, postally unused.

Miscellaneous: Bas relief, jig-saw puzzle cards, stamp montage, shapes, three dimensional and stereoscopic. Bas relief is a postcard to touch and feel. The image on the card has a heavily raised surface giving it a sculptured feel. Usually the images are of Royalty or Edwardian actresses and other 'familiar' celebrities of the era. When you run your finger over the surface, you will feel the contours of their faces, hair, and bodies. The effect is more pronounced than on embossed cards. It was a patented process.

Jig-saw puzzle cards were popular, although they are not easy to come across now complete with all their pieces.

A distinctive modern type of novelty (3-D) has a laminated prismatic-ribbed plastic surface which presents two different scenes depending on the angle at which it is held.

Stereoscopic postcards, with two virtually identical scenes side by side, were designed to be viewed through a hand-held stereoscope viewer to produce a three-dimensional effect. Prominent publishers in NZ were Radcliffe & Stewart (real photos) and Robert Mahan of Oamaru.


PRISM: F J  Warren England c1990. divided back. unused

Size: Bookmarks, folded, giant, midget and panorama. Bookmark postcards are typically that shape/size (1¾ x 5½ inches) and they usually show art types, actors/actresses and Egyptian scenes. Folded cards often open to show a surprise – a bird which pops out at the viewer of a Christmas paper chain. The contents of these folded cards are skilfully cut and creased to open up as the card is opened, and to fold flat again when the card is closed. There were also giant postcards (typically three to four times the regular size – 8½ x 12 inches), midget (or miniature) postcards were half the usual 3½ x 5½ inch postcards. They frequently featured actors/actresses of the Edwardian era and were a popular novelty at that time. Additionally panorama postcards (9¾ x 4 inches) were published, usually by The Photochrom Company. All these above mentioned ‘size’ cards were sent by ‘Book Post’ for ½d, provided the sender’s name and address only were written on the address side.

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SIZE Folded. Anonymous Great Britain, printed in Germany c1905-1911, divided back, MOB, postally used

This is one of my favourites because when it is unfolded, a Christmas die-cut paper chain appears and the colours are still so vibrant.

Transparencies: Angels, continental subjects, greetings, exhibitions, Great Britain views, meteor, puzzle types. They are more sophisticated than Hold to Lights. Holding the card to the light reveals a variety of surprises. Charming colours may appear on what seemed a dull card, or a whole new picture may be exposed or additional figures seen.

One good aspect of collecting in this ‘Novelty’ area is that prices do not move much and they are relatively cheap; eg between $2-10. However some of the more spectacular cards can cost in excess of $20, especially if they have are a popular thematic subject as well.

The novelty postcards shown here are a small selection of some of my favourites in my collection. I am sure there are more types out there to collect. It is a never ending but enjoyable hobby!


APPLIQUÉ. Real Hair. Anon. France c 1905-10. Divided back, postally unused


  • Collecting Picture Postcards In Colour 1894-1914, William Duval & Valerie Monahan, 1982
  • Picture Postcards of the Golden Age A Collectors Guide, Toine and Valmai Holt, 1971
  • Picture Postcard Values 2003, P & D Smith, 2003
  • Wish You Were Here – The Story of New Zealand Postcards, William Main & Alan Jackson, 2004

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Dunedin Under Snow Muir & Moodie’s First Topical Postcard? - by William Main


Recently I’ve been mulling over Muir & Moodie postcards in my collection and the role they played in establishing standards, which at the time, I believe, equalled anything in the world. Currently postcards by this firm are being closely examined in a series of articles in the New Zealand Postcard Society’s journal The Postcard Pillar.

Over the years I’ve acquired a good working knowledge of this firm’s development from its foundation in the 1860s by the Burton Brothers. My involvement in this area of research began in the early 1970s, when I was busy selecting images for my first book, Wellington Through a Victorian Lens. As a result I developed a great respect for the Burton Brothers and their business of supplying scenic photographs of New Zealand for the public in large albums.

When Alfred Burton finally retired in 1897, the business was taken over by Thomas Muir and George Moodie, two employees who expanded its potential by extending their operation on a national basis, with agencies and outlets in some of our major towns and cities. A good example of this was in Christchurch with Craig & Co. which proudly displayed Muir & Moodie’s products with a large advertising sign on top of their building which could be viewed by passers-by in Colombo Street.

These and other commercial ventures over the years kept Muir & Moodie’s image firmly focused in the public’s mind until the business was shut down 1915 with both senior partners going their separate ways.

For the next twenty five years, the Burton Bros./Muir & Moodie collection of negatives were proving something of an encumbrance in the Exchange Building where they were stored, until the Dominion Museum in Wellington acquired money from the Government to ship them to Wellington. A tricky operation, considering their fragile nature, and antiquity which in some instances stretched back to the 1860s.

After some years in limbo in Wellington, their fate took a turn for the better, when a journalist on the Evening Post wrote an article which described how these negative had been poorly treated for lack of specialised care and treatment. Whether or not this led to what follows is unclear, but in 1980 the Postal History Society of New Zealand put out a publication called Bros Burton and Muir & Moodie of Dunedin: Their photographs and postcards by Alan Jackson, who is presently involved in a research project on Muir and Moodie for the New Zealand Postcard Society.

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Assisting this gradual change of fortune and recognition, Burton Bros. received considerable notoriety in 1981 in the form of a full length feature film called Pictures, which although it did nothing to highlight Muir & Moodie’s contributions to the collection, did at least lead to an acknowledgement of their input. This acknowledgement inevitably drew attention to Thomas Muir who was despatched by Burton to cover the aftermath of the Tarawera Eruption with a series of photographs in 1885, and to George Moodie’s magnificent contribution with his expedition into the Southern Alps with a large format camera in 1893.

Which brings me to the postcard which initiated this article.

Muir & Moodie’s postcard Dunedin under snow, is not what you might describe today as a dramatic depiction of a city under snow! To a large extent this is due of course, to the size of the image on the card. Details in an image this small are a decided challenge but more than adequate for general consumption! Here was an image that recorded the city under snow which was obviously intended as a topical event. Considering the fact there is nothing that sets it apart from others in this series, Dunedin under snow - July 31 - 98 would have been admired as something of a novelty when it was released on the market towards the end of 1901.

Despite that, it immediately takes on significant importance. Its topicality surely puts it head and shoulders over others in this scenic view series, putting it in a photo-reportage category along with Burton’s series of his 1885 tour of the King Country, or even George Moodie’s 1893 expedition into the Southern Alps armed with a camera taking 45 x 35cm glass plate negatives.

While photographers might not have expected any extra praise or adulation over the technical challenges these reportage views pose, the trend to get out there and obtain them was a milestone in every respect, and to my mind, has stood the test of time.

Then again, M&M weren’t lacking when it came to capturing special occasions especially when it required coverage of a Royal tour with the Duke & Duchess of York’s visit to New Zealand in 1901. Their solitary presentation on this occasion was a postcard of the massed Maori tribes presenting a war dance that was staged for the Royal visitors in Rotorua. This view has for me, all the appearance of being nothing more than a raw reportage shot by a free-lance photographer.


If Moodie did indeed travel North to cover this event and ended up with a very uninspiring view of this occasion - as depicted with this postcard - he proceeded to more than make up for it with a simply stunning image called “In the Ngawhas”, which in my opinion, richly repaid all costs and expenses involved in his attendance in this region with an excellently staged photograph which I will never tire of viewing and happily nominate as my desert island image!

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The photograph used in this postcard is shown on the front cover

About this time with the interests of the firm uppermost in his mind, Moodie set off to London where he managed to establish connections with important agencies that benefitted the firm immensely with Ross lenses and other cinematic products which gave M&M considerable status and recognition which would have served them well with the impending Christchurch International Exhibition that was only a few years away in 1906. On top of this, they presented themselves exceptionally well with a spectacular series of postcards that were designed especially for this important occasion.

So from a conservative beginning with Dunedin under snow, it seems M&M now had a far more spectacular objectives in mind with the ‘postage stamp series’ that not only bedazzled the public, but bewildered the postal authorities with a layout that employed an arrangement of postage stamps positioned in a decorative arch over a hundred different New Zealand views.


Contrary to all the pomp and ceremony of this international event, M&M continued to have a somewhat ambivalent attitude of catering for topical events.

By pure chance the firm happened to be present during the sinking of the cruise ship s.s.Waikare in the summer of 1910, when it struck an uncharted rock in Doubtful Sound. Surely a golden opportunity for them to swing into action and cover this event with on the spot scenes through George Moodie who was the official photographer for this summer cruise?

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The outcome was a hastily produced series of postcards that was put on sale within days of the event. These were followed up by a similar gesture by the London Bookstall which depicted a series of the Waikare slowly rolling over on its side and disappearing beneath the water in the Sound. While for most purposes, M&M’s first response to this disaster was adequate, there was no follow-up with the publication of a booklet, which I’m sure would have been something of a best seller beyond all doubt!


Wreck of SS Waikare, Dusky Sound NZ.  Group of passengers after beaching of steamer. Protected 1/4/10 Muir and Moodie.

While I doubt if anything I’ve stated in this article will have any effect on the status or feelings towards this firm and its production of postcards, it should at least pose a question regarding the way M&M were slow to respond and adjust their thinking towards a novelty that went onto engulf the world.

To conclude, I’d like to draw attention to the message from the sender of Dunedin under snow, who signed herself ‘Meg’ and added a comment to her friend which reads While I doubt if anything I’ve stated in this article will have any effect on the status or feelings towards this firm and its production of postcards, it should at least pose a question regarding the way M&M were slow to respond and adjust their thinking towards a novelty that went onto engulf the world.

“Un-federated but yet firm friends” - a message which it seems reflects the feelings of some New Zealanders who thought a lot about the invitation to join the Australian interstate amalgamation which occurred in 1901.

One final query! Look closely at the image side of the card. Note the lightly traced diagonal blue pencil line across the face of the card!

Was it made by some grumpy postal employee expressing their personal feelings during its transmission through the system - or merely an emotive and very indignant gesture regarding the sender’s opinions by a former postcard collector! I leave this unanswered and open for debate!

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The Life and Times of E.A. Phillips, Photographer - by Donal Duthie

Edward Arthur Phillips was born in Dunedin on 13th February 1882. He was one of six children born to William Thomas Phillips and his wife Hughina Phillips, nee McMillan.

It would seem that Edward and at least two of his brothers briefly attended the George St Primary School in Dunedin. Unfortunately, conventional schooling abruptly ended in early 1894. On the 24th of February the Otago Daily Times reported on proceedings at the Dunedin Police Court. Under the heading of ‘Mischievous Boys’ the paper gave an account of two young boys, Edward and Henry Phillips who had been caught stoning ducks in the Water of Leith.

The ducks were the property of Mr James Wilson. On the bench were H.S. Fish and M. Fraer J.P.s, who said something must be done to put a stop to such acts of wanton mischievousness. They added that the State provided a good education for the youth of the colony, and the accused should have learned that the property of other people must be respected. Edward Phillips, aged 12, pleaded guilty and was fined 5 shillings plus 5 shillings costs. His brother Henry Phillips, aged 11, pleaded not guilty and was not fined. The bench warned both boys they were liable to six months imprisonment, and that next time they would be sent to gaol without the option of a fine.


The Otago Daily Times had another report a little over one month later. Back in the Dunedin Police Court again, Edward Phillips, 12 years, Henry Phillips, 10 years, were joined by their younger brother Alfred Phillips, 8 years. They were brought before the court for being children within the meaning of the Industrial Schools Act. Their father and mother, being in indigent circumstances, were unable to care for the three boys. The children were committed to the Industrial School to be brought up in the Church of England religion.

It would seem that the parents had been unable to pay the 10 shilling fine for stoning the ducks. Consequently, the three sons were all sent to the Caversham Industrial School which made them ‘Wards of State’. Another son, William, had died young, leaving just two daughters, Rose and Mary-Marjorie at home with the parents.

The Caversham Industrial School, 1869 – 1927, had a grim reputation. It was managed by the Police Department with the object of moral, physical and mental training of children. Most of the children were either orphans, or from parents who were unable to provide the basic necessities of upbringing, or they were children who had committed offences not sufficiently gross to cause them to be sent to a reformatory.

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The School was renowned for overcrowding. When it opened in 1869 it held 47 children, but by 1876 the number had risen to 166, and at its peak in 1914 there were over 300 children. In 1886 the School was responsible for 539 children, but at that time only 141 lived in. Some 183 were boarded out, 27 were ‘licensed to friends’, whatever that meant, and a further 188 were in service. Those over 12 years could take up trade apprenticeships, and once they were 14 years old they became eligible for farm work for the boys, or domestic duties for the girls.

In ‘Brief Biographies of Dunedin Photographers’ the author, Hardwicke Knight says Edward Arthur Phillips was a ward of state and it was likely that he worked for a flax mill manager, Mr J.C. Thomson of Thomson’s Crossing near Winton, Southland. Perhaps the Caversham Industrial School had boarded out Ted Phillips to Mr Thomson, and perhaps the Industrial School also arranged for an apprenticeship in photography with the Burton Bros who were probably the largest publisher of postcards in the Colony.

In his memoirs “Some Experiences of a ‘Shadow Catcher’ 1898 – 1959” Ted Phillips said, “I was barely 16 when I first smelled photographic chemicals. Some old lady gave me a box camera and a packet of plates.” Phillips then recalled, “I was apprenticed to Burton Bros. who were ‘big shot’ photographers in Dunedin in the early days. I started at 2/6 per week and walked to work to save my tram fares, eventually serving the prescribed time and finishing up with 30 shillings per week.”

There is no indication of how long the photographic apprenticeship was with Burton Bros. lasted, but having completed that, Phillips said he started off in partnership with a man named Fred Lee from Melbourne and as ‘Phillips and Lee’, they travelled Otago and Southland on pushbikes. He says they took group photographs, and at the Bluff Regatta on New Years Day they took dozens of photographs and made £26 odd. This must have been real ‘seat of the pants’ photography. It would have been tough work with a heavy camera in the back pack, pedalling the unsealed roads. The Hocken Library said that Philips and Lee took photographs of sawmills, flax mills and logging teams in Southland.

Phillips gives a colourful account of nude bathing in the rivers. He said that Fred would dive off the top rail of a bridge, and they did not know about bathing suits and just dried themselves on their shirts. Lee returned to Melbourne, which left Ted Phillips without a camera, so he managed to ‘intrigue’ his brother Henry into a partnership. Between them they had £15. They called on a Dunedin camera maker and bought a half plate camera made of New Zealand Honeysuckle (Rewa rewa). A long progress through Papers Past looking for Phillips Bros in Dunedin, produced few results. On 21 September 1904 the Otago Witness had two photographs, both accredited to Phillips Bros.

Between 1905 and 1909, while the Phillips Bros were based in Invercargill, the Otago Witness used their photographs on the front page more than thirty times. Sometimes Phillips Bros photos occupied a whole page consisting of about ten photos. The subjects covered many aspects of a developing province and ranged from the opening of new railway lines to an Invercargill motor race for thirteen cars in 1908, as well as staff photos in new dairy factories and flax mills. One Phillips Bros photo that seems out of place, is of the Government steamer SS “Hinemoa” unloading stores at Farewell Spit in 1907. This seems a long way from Invercargill.

Ted Phillips gives a philosophical view on the early Phillips Bros years, he says “We were known as Phillips Bros, and did quite good business, but I am well satisfied that the best business and the most is got by hustling and going after it. Some of the young photographers of today see how so and so is doing big business, and buy a costly bit of equipment. They do not know too much about it and have very little experience; consequently they, or some of them, do not last long.” Not how we would put it these days, but the message is clear.

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In 1906 Ted Phillips married Jean (Jane) Russell Aitken who came from Malta Street, Roslyn, Dunedin. She was 21, Ted was 24. Although little is heard about her, it is assumed that Ted and Jane lived together at a variety of addresses until her death in 1957. Ted and Jane had no children.

There is an advertisement in the Otago Daily Times for 26th January 1907 that says, “Phillips Bros Photographers, late of Dunedin, have purchased the Esk St. Studio in Invercargill recently carried on by the late Mr Karl Gerstonkorn.” Having obtained a studio, the brothers would now be in a position to create studio portraits of Invercargill citizens as well as the press photos.

By April of that same year, 1907, there is another advertisement for Phillips Bros in the Esk St Studio stating that E. A. Phillips was Principal. Probably the Phillips brothers had parted company at this stage. That Ted and Henry Phillips had come to a parting of the ways, becomes clear when, from rural Southland, it was announced as an item of news in the Otautau Standard that on the 24th of November 1908, the Alma Studio in Otautau, with Henry Phillips as Principal, which had been operating for six months, would be closing in one week and then shifting to Invercargill. Clearly, the brothers were running separate studios.


Otautau Standard 28/4/1908


Otautau Standard 27/4/1909

From the Otago Witness 2nd January 1908 there is an account of an Invercargill fire. “A fire occurred about 11 o’clock last night in a block of buildings in Dee St. occupied by Neil (herbalist), Phillips (photographer) and Bacon (umbrella maker). It started in Phillips premises and, though the brigade quickly got it under control, the studio was gutted. Phillips’ stock was insured for £250, but he estimates his loss at £110 above this. The fire is ascribed to the ashes from a fire in Phillips living room having been blown out of the grate.” The Phillips referred to in the fire report, is Henry Phillips brother of, E.A. Phillips. It would seem that, just over one month after leaving Otautau, the new Alma Studio in Invercargill, was in ruins following the fire.

However the damage can’t have been too bad, because just over one year later, Henry Phillips reopened the Alma Studio in the same premises. On the 23rd May 1909, the Otautau Standard ran both a press story and an advertisement to say the Alma Studio was re-opening in Neil’s buildings on the corner of Dee and Spey Streets, Invercargill. This fully equipped studio comprised eleven rooms and Henry Phillips was both Operator and Principal. This studio was just two blocks away from the Phillips Bros Studio at Esk St, with E.A. (Ted) Phillips as Principal. Both Phillips brothers were now competing for clients and perhaps not the best of friends.

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On the 14th of May 1910, the Wellington Evening Post had copy on yet another Invercargill fire. “Fire broke out in a two story wooden building in Dee St, occupied by E.A. Philips photographer. Damage amounted to £100. The fire was caused by a gas jet burning in a cupboard.” All of which makes you wonder if there was any suspicion of foul play associated with the fires.

Then on 3rd of August 1911, The Otago Witness brought the dreaded news, that the estate of E.A. Phillips of Invercargill would be wound up in bankruptcy. Charles B Rout, the Official Assignee describes the “Business of E.A. Phillips of Invercargill as a Going Concern.” and then lists his photographic equipment including cameras, field and studio, along with with backdrops and the enlarging and retouching rooms - all for sale. Charles Rout even has the nerve to say that it was a “Sound business with lease at low rental.” Everything was up for tender.  It must have been a bitter pill, and it is no wonder Ted Phillips reduced his Invercargill days to one sentence in his memoirs.

However in spite of fire and bankruptcy, at some stage, while he was in Invercargill, Ted Phillips had the honour of appointments with two Governor’s General, Lord Plunket and Lord Islington. From then on he used the title ‘By Special Appointment’ in newspaper advertisements. It has not been established if this title was officially granted or if Ted just ‘took it up’. It has been said that E.A. Phillips was the only New Zealand photographer to have obtained the royal vice-regal warrant. However, it has been noted that other photographers have also claimed the title.

Phillips’ own notes say that he sold out in Invercargill in 1912, and went to the North island for a few years, being in business in Palmerston North 1912–1913 then Whangerei for a while and later opened a business Rotorua and Cambridge until WW1 broke out when he sold and left for the south again.

Tracing the movements of Phillips and his wife through the North Island by way of Papers Past and the electoral roll shows a slightly different version from the one he gave. There seemed to be no trace of them in Palmerston North, Whangarei or Rotorua in the pre war years. In 1914, Edward Phillips photographer, and his wife, Jean Russell Phillips of Victoria Street Cambridge, are recorded on the electoral roll and on the 4th of January 1915, there was an advertisement in the Waikato Times for The Bridal Studio in Cambridge with E.A. Phillips as the photographer.

On the 13th of April of 1915, the Pukekoe and Waiuku Times carried a small news item. “Mr E.A. Phillips, late of Rotorua and Invercargill, who has the distinction of having acted as vice-regal photographer, has commenced business in King Street, Pukekoe. Mr Phillips is a skilled artist in his profession and he can be relied upon to give entire satisfaction to his patrons.” This item was followed by one of the ‘Vice Regal’ advertisements.

The next reference is back in the electoral roll for 1919, where Edward Arthur Philips and Jean Russell Phillips are living at Lochiel, Southland and Edward’s occupation is “Dairyman.” Lochiel happens to be just down the road from Thomson’s Crossing where Phillips had worked in his youth. Perhaps they just needed a change from photography.

At about the same time that Ted Phillips left Invercargill so did his brother Henry. On the 5th of August 1912, Henry placed an advertisement in the Bruce Herald saying that H. Phillips, late of Phillips Bros., had opened a studio in Milton. Then in September 1912, the Herald said Henry had received an offer to join an expedition seeking gold from the wreck of the General Grant on Auckland Island. Whether he went is not known. However, in 1916 when he was a photographer in Main Street, Gore, Henry joined the New Zealand troops and went to war. He was tragically killed in action in France in May 1918, having given as next of kin, his younger brother, Alfred Mark Phillips who was a farmer near Tauranga.

In Brief Biographies, Hardwicke Knight quotes a Mrs L McCulloch nee McNaught, who says it was late 1922 when E.A. Phillips arrived in Winton. She worked for him through to 1928 when he went back to Dunedin. Mrs McCulloch also says Mrs Phillips did the D & P (Developing and Printing?), McCulloch did the secretarial work, and a junior was being trained to do re touching. Hardwicke Knight ended by describing in detail how, “Vice Regal Studio” was in gold lettering on the fanlight over the door which opened on the stairway to the Winton studio and residence on the upper floor.

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From 1922, Ted Phillips regularly placed an advertisement in the Otautau Standard. The advertisement proudly displayed the Vice Regal crest with rampant lion and unicorn. On both sides of the crest it stated the patronage of Their Excellencies the Lords Plunket, Islington and Liverpool. Under the crest it said that E.A. Phillips photographer will visit Otautau every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Ted Phillips was now running a studio in the town of Otautau where his brother Henry had the Alma Studio some fifteen years before. At the same time as the visits to Otautau, E.A. Phillips’ main enterprise was the Vice Regal Studio back in nearby Winton.


Otautau Standard 5/9/1927

Hardwicke Knight talks of a Kodak Cirkut panoramic camera that Phillips used. The format of these panoramic cameras produced a photograph 4 ½ or 5 inches deep by anything up to 36 inches long.

He also said that Phillips was sometimes careless about levelling the camera, and when taking groups failed to arrange them in a curve at an equal radius from the camera. Also, the quality of his work was uneven and he was a ‘take it or leave it’ photographer when people complained about what they were supplied with.

Phillips was back in Dunedin in 1936 with a studio on the corner of King and Howe Streets, where he did press, panorama, aerial and commercial photography. He also advertised himself as a flashlight specialist.

Philips said he opened a studio at 262 George St Dunedin, in 1949 which was eventually taken over by Hurst and Palmer. Presumably this was when he retired in 1959 as he noted in the title of his memoires. This makes almost 60 years of photographic work as noted in his Otago Daily Times obituary.

The obituary also said Ted Phillips was predeceased by his first wife and survived by his second wife. He had married Miss Molly Frogatt, sometime after 1957.

My particular interest in Ted Phillips arose because I have been an admirer of his Stewart Island postcards. In my opinion they are the very best of Stewart Island cards. As I accumulated biographical notes on Phillips, I was always hoping to find something about his Stewart Island days. However the only items were two sentences from Hardwicke Knight, he says, “Philips was a frequent visitor to Stewart Island and made many photographs for tourist promotion. He took his panorama camera there in 1936.”

I think that the Stewart Island postcards would not have brought in very much money for Phillips. Probably they were just a small sideline to his other photographic work such as advertising, press and most importantly, studio and wedding photos for the residents of Otago and Southland. However, I have a strong impression that he loved making the Stewart Island cards even if they only brought in ‘pin money’.

It seemed clear to me that Ted Phillips really enjoyed his times at Stewart Island otherwise he would not have kept returning. If you only look at his photographs of the Stewart Island ferries, it is clear that Ted Philips had many visits over a considerable period of time, at least twenty, perhaps thirty years. All the Stewart Island residents would have known Ted Phillips as a ‘regular’ and greeted him accordingly. I feel sure that he would have made many friends and would have lots of stories about the Island and the Islanders. Phillips probably knew George Turner, a resident of Stewart Island who also produced Stewart Island postcards through the 1920’s and 30’s.

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All the Stewart Island boarding houses feature in his cards. He probably stayed at the largest which was ‘Ferndale House’, owned and managed by Mrs Hicks. ‘Ferndale’ was famous for the home grown potatoes and fresh blue cod on the table every night.


Thomson’s “Greenvale House” Halfmoon Bay Stewart Island NZ.  No 808 E.A. Phillips photo

The postcards show that he travelled on numerous launches and visited some remote corners. He would have personally known the owners of all the boats.

It is certain that he lugged his heavy camera along muddy corduroy bush tracks and sat with it in tiny rowing boats while being transferred from tourist launches to remote beaches. On sandy beaches, he and his wife would have shared sandwiches from the ‘Ferndale’ hamper with fellow tourists and probably with the local wekas as well.

Somewhere he would have had a temporary darkroom, perhaps in a cupboard or wardrobe back at his boarding house.

Having researched his story to the time of his retirement and then his death, I wanted to see if I could date some of the E.A. Phillips postcards, but all that is another story.

Thanks to:

  • Otago Daily Times. Obituary. Mr E.A. Phillips 9/7/1966
  • Postcard Pillar. Issue 47 April 1999. ‘Some Experiences of a Shadow Catcher. 1898 – 1959’ by Ted Philips 1959.
  • Knight Hardwicke. Brief Biographies of Dunedin Photographers. Hardwicke Albion Press 1980.
  • Papers Past.
  • The Hocken Library, Dunedin.

 Page 17

Toc H, the National War Memorial and the Xth Commonwealth Games - by Denise Rosenfeldt

My first postcard exhibit is of views of New Zealand’s National War Memorial, which is the carillon in Wellington.  It is situated in the suburb of Mt Cook, in front of the building which was once the national museum, now the Massey University campus.  I only have two postcards showing the carillon before the museum was built.  They have both been used as souvenirs certifying that the holder has been to the top of the tower in 1933.  One of them also has a rubber stamp depicting an oil lamp.


I had never taken much notice of the rubber stamp until I recently acquired a programme of a Pre Commonwealth Games Track and Field Meet held on 20 January 1974 for my Games collection.  This meet was presented by the Bank of New Zealand and Toc H Athletic Club.  Throughout the programme booklet is the same oil lamp symbol that is on the back of the carillon postcard. Further investigation reveals that the ‘Lamp of Maintenance’ is the symbol of the international organisation Toc H.

Toc H is an international charity and membership movement that emerged from a soldiers' club in Poperinge, Belgium during World War I.  Toc H is an abbreviation for Talbot House, a rest and recreation centre in Poperinge for soldiers.  So why is the Toc H symbol on the back of the postcard?

A search through the Papers Past website found an article in the Evening Post on 22 September 1932 – “TOC H AND CAMPANILE, The secretary of the Newton Group of “Toc H” (Mr. Roger Walpole) has written to the National War Memorial Carillon Society offering the services of its members for the purpose of keeping the Campanile and approaches clean and tidy.  The chairman of the society stated that the offer was very much appreciated, especially as it was made spontaneously.  He thought it was a happy form of expressing in practical form the movement’s motto of “service”.  As it happened, there was a need for the attention of a caretaker, especially in respect of the main steps and water fountains facing Buckle Street.”

So, I deduce that Toc H handed out the postcards to people who had climbed up the tower. At the date on my postcards, entry in to the campanile was free.  So did the postcards get sold to people as a souvenir or were they given away?  Could you buy them and use them postally?  I have only seen my two that are not postally used.  The one with the Toc H lamp has no photographer, distributor or printer.  The other is by J.W. Jones.

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On 6 December 1934, there appeared a notice in the Evening Post from the Carillon Society that from the next day a charge of 6d per adult would be charged for inspection of the clavier chamber and bells.  This was to provide some revenue for the society towards maintenance and the playing of the bells.

I wonder if this included a souvenir such as a postcard to confirm you had been to the top.  The citizens of Wellington would not have been amused at this charge as they had raised the money from public subscription to buy the bells and had raised 50% of the money towards the art gallery and museum being built behind it.  However there appears to be no letters to the editor printed from outraged readers.

By ANZAC day 2015, the carillon will be part of the transformed National Memorial Park, the government’s contribution towards the centennial of World War I.

Let’s hope there will be some new postcards available showing this tribute to all those who served in wars.


Wanganui Chronicle Thursday August 17th 1911  Papers Past (excerpts from editorial)

The Picture Postcard.

“It is not a case for a light sentence” said Mr Bishop S. M. at Christchurch last Saturday, when giving a month’s imprisonment to a seller of indecent postcards. Though these cards were sold on the train to two plain-clothes policemen, it should serve as a warning to some of the places of business in the cities and towns of New Zealand who would appear to venture as near to the penalty of the law as it appears safe for them to do.

Ten years ago it has become a pleasant and novel reminder for the tourist to write a card from the top of Mt. Pelatus in Switzerland or St. Mark’s Square in Venice. Ere long, almost every nook and cranny almost of the civilised world had reduced its sights of historic or scenic interest to pictures about four inches broad. Some of these cards are exquisite specimens of the artist’s handwork, the printer’s art, or the photographer’s taste. In the albums of our homes they are a delightful possession and of great educational value.

It is with the greatest regret that we behold this fine art prostituted and perverted, for the sake of sordid gain, by unscrupulous people into an instrument of evil.

It is enough to waken any patriot’s wrath to know that dwellers by the ‘long wash of Australasian seas’ are ever likely to be subjected to the nauseous experience of beholding the vomiting up in literature and pictorial representation of the worst passions of the worst creatures of the worst cities.”

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Representative’s Call Cards - by Safari

Not long after the formal introduction of postcards in Austria in October 1869, it was found they provided an excellent method of giving advance warning of a proposed call. In NZ, our first postcard was on sale in November 1876 and the overseas pattern was soon followed. Especially during the closing decades of the 1880s, the NZPO postal cards were an economical and quick means of mail conveyance. An efficient mail service had been established through a country-wide network of Post Offices, with reliable backup in the form of railway and shipping services.

This article gives an outline of some of the various types used and their development, with the cards described in chronological order.



Above is an early example mailed in December 1889 on behalf of W. Gregg & Co. of Dunedin. There are earlier versions of his call cards from other sources, but this was selected to demonstrate that research can uncover interesting historical background which can be easily expanded.



Above is my next choice of a pre-printed Auckland 1890 card for D. J. Bloom overwritten with a query indicating an early dealer of postage stamps, B. H. Keesing.

The card below for Arthur H. Nathan, the well known Auckland merchant in 1892, has a view of their Auckland premises, and is the first pictorial postcard I have noted for New Zealand.



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The card below, for Kearns, Wilson & Co., Dunedin, posted in 1892, demonstrates an early connection with the Ceylon tea trade.



Below, a commercial, privately printed card for R. Waghorn, Dunedin 1899. This required an adhesive postage stamp, and in this instance a ½d Mt Cook, not really valid for non-greeting cards. This card concerns a planned representative’s visit to nearby Milton – with not much warning.



Taking advantage of a pre-printed NZPO ½d King Edward, the card below was posted at Taihape in January 1912 by representatives of Wellington’s Robert Martin Ltd.



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Below is a proposed call from a representative of A.G.Healing posted on 1/2/1917 from Palmerston North to Blenheim, with a pictorial scene from Japan.



All these cards from the 1880s onwards, merely touch on a subject which it is thought has not featured before. Each organisation adopted various ways of broadcasting their ventures, leaving us with an interesting legacy of information.

Such cards are no longer in use, yielding to modern technology.

It was interesting to see, in the June 2014 Issue of the Postcard Pillar, examples of 1906, 1909 and 1926 cards from Tanner Bros. Ltd., all with images as would be anticipated from this organisation.

Postcard Censorship on the Isle of Man - submitted by Julie Cunningham

Postcard censorship existed on the Isle of Man up until 1987. It would seem that seaside resorts and saucy postcards go together!

Way back in the ‘Naughty Nineties’ the job of censoring postcards was done by the Church of England.

From 1933, a censorship committee of three people was charged with ensuring cards were publicly acceptable.


Postcard manufacturers were required to submit new cards to be approved for sale – in triplicate – to a three person committee – and all decisions had to be unanimous!

The committee apparently took a fairly liberal view – honeymoon couples, fat ladies, hen-pecked husbands were all fair game, but not swearing or making fun of the clergy.

And, according to Jim Caine, a member of the last committee, the committee took its job seriously, that is, after the members had stopped laughing.

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George Pye Crombie 1882-1917 & James William Permin 1880-1921 - by William Main

How I came to be associated with their photographs through a collection of glass plate negatives from a rubbish dump.

The background to this article began after I started corresponding with fellow collector-author Hardwicke Knight in the early 1970s when we were both engaged in writing books about early New Zealand photographers. Amazingly we’d both recently obtained a selection of glass plate negatives that had been consigned to a rubbish tip in Mosgiel! Between us we had hundreds of quarter and half plate images, including some stereoscopic views. At the time, neither of us had any idea who was responsible for these images, or how they ended up being consigned to a land fill.

Following the publication of my book called Wellington Through a Victorian Lens in 1973, I started collecting early New Zealand photographs in earnest, by attending auctions and seeking out additions to my collection from antique dealers. One of my prime acquisitions in the mid 1980s was a beautiful oak chest which contained about 150 New Zealand views, including some which incredibly matched up with my Mosgiel negatives. At first, I was very tentative about using them in any of my publications without a better understanding of how they came into being. This hesitancy was finally resolved when I discovered an article in an illustrated weekly called the New Zealand Graphic dated the 3rd of March 1907. This announced a promotional campaign which was launched by the proprietors to expand their subscriber base and stated . . .

‘Having noted the returning popularity of the Stereoscope and the increasing demand for local stereoscopic views, we’ve decided to make a special offer of a free stereoscope which will amuse yourself, your friends and educate your children’. 

From this point onwards, the Graphic issued three stereoscopic views on a sheet of lightweight card with perforations that enabled the cards to be separated and placed in a stereoscope for viewing. At the time, New Zealand was well supplied with illustrated weeklies like Auckland’s Weekly News, Wellington’s Free Lance, Christchurch’s Illustrated Press and Dunedin’s Otago Witness. All had the centre section of their respective publications devoted to photographs of local and international events printed on art-paper as opposed to the text which was printed on newsprint. No wonder the owners of the Graphic thought they had a winner when they anticipated the positive impact this novelty would have on their subscribers.

Stereoscopic photography wasn’t new. It first made its appearance in the 1850s and became a very popular form of home entertainment for the well-to-do. However, within a decade or so it had run its course with stories depicted by actors in a photographer’s studio illustrating historic and moralistic enactments in sequenced sets for Victorian families which cost a half a crown for a set of three cards. Gradually this entertainment fell from favour only to be revived toward the end of the 19th century when the mass production of images in a printing press replaced real-photo prints.

The Graphic’s selection of stereoscopic views were supplied by photographers who covered views of New Zealand from the North Cape to the Bluff, with some featuring special series like gold mining in Thames. When they finally ceased production in 1913, over 600 stereoscopic views had been produced and distributed to subscribers or through sales over the counter by news-agents. As a series they give a very good insight into Edwardian society, with a mix of topics by amateur and professional photographers.

The Graphic’s method of securing submissions occurred during a period when camera clubs and photographic societies were very active in New Zealand.  When a group of photographers came together to form the Dunedin Photographic Society, it attracted a two talented amateurs who were extremely keen to promote their work before picture editors with submissions. They were George Pye Crombie and James William Permin.

Crombie was born in Edinburgh in 1880, and moved to Dunedin with his family towards the end of the century where his father set up a tailoring business. Permin, on the other hand, was born in Dunedin in 1882 and educated at the Union Street School where he was nominated as Dux before going onto Otago Boys High School. He started his working life as a clerk with an Insurance Company, eventually rising to become General Manager.

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It did not take long for Crombie and Permin to make themselves known in the Dunedin Photographic Society in the 1900s by participating in field trips organised by the Society to various locations that ranged far and wide in the summer months. These culminated with a trip to Christchurch during the 1906-07 International Exhibition, which included a visit to Professor Bickerton’s estate at Wainoni, which Permin duly captured with a series of views.

As well as these trips to interesting locations, both were very active in entering photo competitions which were very popular with camera members for those who welcomed the challenge of comparing skills against others at a higher level. In this capacity, both Crombie and Permin submitted work for an Inter-Colonial competition in Sydney in 1911, where they both ended by winning several guineas in prize money. As a footnote to all this, Permin went onto initiating a stereoscopic branch of the Royal Photographic Society in New Zealand, a task that would have required a lot of negotiating and careful planning. As well as all these photographic activities they both were very active in sending off work to photo editors of illustrated weeklies, like the Graphic.

Early in 1910 Crombie travelled to Sydney where he’d booked a passage on the S.S.Orvieto to Europe. While we can’t determine when he returned, it seems he did not come back until he had completed tours of England, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. When a study of his stereoscopic submissions to the Graphic is made, at least 150 of his views came from his excursion overseas. When all of this is taken into account, it naturally leads one to speculate that he may have even entered into some form of contract with the Graphic prior to his departure with some guaranteed remuneration coming his way for this very demanding venture.

On his return to Dunedin, Crombie tendered his resignation to the Dunedin Photographic Society. This may have been brought about because of his fathers’ tailoring business, as well recruiting drives for World War One. After some deliberation, he volunteered for service in the Otago Rifles in 1916 where his enlistment papers describe his occupation as ‘Cutter’- an expression where fabric is set out in layers by a skilled operator and cut in segments to a chalked pattern. A year later, the Otago Witness reported his death in at the Ypres Salient in 1917. From this it is assumed his family arranged for his friend Permin to take over their son’s photographic effects which naturally included all his negatives. Sadly, Permin did not live long enough to benefit from his friends estate, failing to survive a surgical operation for a duodenal ulcer in 1921.

After pondering my portion of the Crombie/Permin collection of negatives for several of years, I finally got around to writing an article for the Otago Daily Times in 1983 with the thought that this might put me in touch with family and friends. As a direct result of this featured supplementary layout, I received two letters. The first stated that the collection of negatives were in the care of a teacher who kept them until the 1970s when a rented house he was living in was sold to a new owner. The other came from a woman who at first wasn’t altogether sure if her family had been involved in the prints I supplied for publication. Her reason for writing centred around the young girl in the daisy field whose profile bore a resemblance to an aunt who had just died aged 84, an important factor which, as far as I was concerned. After all this memory prodding, it eventually led to her discovering several medals which the family possessed that Crombie won at various photo competitions.

In more recent times, Crombie’s talents were again brought to light with one of his prints being included in a 2006 publication called Into the Light by David Eggleton, who is acknowledged as one of the country’s leading authorities on the visual arts. He attributes a photograph by Crombie showing a woman standing on a path in a forested glade as having been taken three years after Crombie’s death - an editorial slip-up which I’m sure will do no serious harm to Crombie’s position in this anthology of New Zealand photography. Just to have him selected from a period which has been almost totally ignored by photo historians for so long is wonderful despite the dating mishap.

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Which brings me to what I consider was a wonderful Edwardian hiatus in the spring of 1909 (?) when Crombie and Permin arranged a photo session in Warrington, just north of Dunedin. For this they invited family members to act as models in a field where daisies were in full bloom. When I used a photo from this series in my article for the Otago Daily Times, it not only brought me into contact with a family member, but demonstrated beyond all doubt that there is a growing respect for those who cherish and respect the work of our early photographers. Of all the articles I have written over the years, this captivating view in the ODT won many plaudits for giving due attention to some of our talented photographers from the past. See footnote.

Some time after this article first appeared, I began to think seriously about seeing my Mosgiel tip negatives saved for future generations. All of my concerns in this direction came into the reckoning as Hardwicke concluded a deal with the Museum of New Zealand, to purchase his antiquarian book collection, which also involved photo albums and his share of the Crombie/Permin negatives. This of course prompted me to ponder my own position in this matter. All was finally resolved in 1998 when I decided to follow Hardwicke’s lead and negotiated the sale of my collection to MONZ.

To explain the six stereoscopic views accompanying this article by Crombie and Permin.

The sepia views in the first two cards are actual photographic prints which Crombie and Permin would have supplied to the Graphic’s illustrations editor.  


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Page 26


The other stereoscopic pairs are how they appeared after being printed for distribution with the weekly edition of the Graphic. Every week, three stereographic images would be printed on a sheet of light-weight card inserted with the weekly for its subscribers. These were separated from one another with perforated indentations.

Viewing usually took place by inserting them in a stereoscope to get the full effect of the 3rd dimension. It is possible to view them without a stereoscope and still get a three dimensional effect with some patient ocular practise.


The four postcards accompanying this issue of the Postcard Pillar, come from an edition which was produced in 1986 as part of my gallery’s promotion in Wellington. To my knowledge, they remain the only commercially produced postcards ever featured by these photographers. Prior to this, their only other outlet for their work came in the form of a weekly publication called the New Zealand Graphic where their stereographic studies were distributed gratis to subscribers. By my calculations something in the vicinity of 200 paired stereoscopic images were issued in this fashion on a weekly basis from 1907 - 1913. It is therefore with some pleasure I am in a position to share my good fortune with fellow members of the New Zealand Postcard Society by distributing four postcards from this 1986 edition.

(See page 23, Issue 100 for Bill Main’s firm Exposures which produced these cards.)



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