CLICK ON THE IMAGES FOR AN EXPANDED VIEW
ISSUE 109 (December 2015)
New Zealand Postcard Society (Inc.) Directory
|VP Research||Bill Mainfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Sales Mgr/Auctioneer||Chris Rabeyemail@example.com|
|Editors||Jeff & Jenny Longfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Life Members: Yvonne Coles, William Main, Geoff Potts, Chris Rabey, Doug South, Evie South, Ray Staal, Diane McKoy.
Correspondence: all enquiries should be made to the Secretary (email address above), or by post to P.O. Box 20, Wakefield, Nelson 7052.
The Society Website is www.postcard.org.nz
The Postcard Pillar magazine is produced four times a year under the editorship of Jeff and Jenny Long. Contributions are very welcome at any time - please email to Jeff Long, or post to the Society P.O. Box
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 2015 - June 30 2016 year for a NZ individual or family member is $45, or $50 for an overseas member.
Postcard Pillar Issue 109
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 images on the cover relate to a detailed article by Michel Roland on postcard production.
This issue includes significant research articles by Michel Roland, William Main & Derek Pocock.
|2||Society News and Snippets|
|3 - 5||Convention Report by Bruce Isted|
|6 - 8||Early Samoan Postcards by Safari|
|9 - 19||Picture Postcard Production by Michel Roland M.A.P.|
|20 - 22||The Lipton Tea Cards by Derek Pocock|
|23 - 26||NZ Government Department of Tourist and Health Resorts, and the National Publicity Studios (Part Two) by William Main|
|27 - 28||Wanganui New Harbour Dredge Kaione by Geoff Potts|
|29 - 30||Moa Flat Floods, March 1913 by Jeff Long, cards from Alan Kilpatrick|
Society News and Snippets
The Capital Stamp Show 2015
This show has now come and gone. Good to see a number of our members exhibiting and/or attending. There were good numbers of postcards to peruse in the display stands, and also at the dealers’ boxes.
Members who exhibited received the following awards:
Jenny Long - A Study of NZ Postcards, 8 frames, 95 points, Large Gold
Evie South - A Passage “The Marlborough Sounds” , 8 frames, 88 points, Gold
Ann Still - A Postcard View of Early Nelson & District, 6 frames, 87 points, Gold
Jenny Long - Estuary to Esplanade: The Sumner Coast, 3 frames, 84 points, Large Vermeil
Jeff Long - The Franz Josef Glacier & Township, 3 frames, 84 points, Large Vermeil
Pauline Schwartz - “Central” – Otago’s Heart of Gold , 5 frames, 73 points, Large Silver
Lindsay Chitty - Ruhleben Civil Internment Camp,Germany, 1 frame, 81 points, Large Vermeil
Jillian Williams - A Mountain from any Angle, 1 frame, 74 points, Large Silver
John Paston (ed) - The Postcards of Hawkes Bay, literature, 80, Large Vermeil, Prize
In addition, Jenny Long was the winner of the Postcard Grand Award.
NZ Postcard Society wins medals at the Capital Stamp Show
Both the Postcard Pillar and the Society website were entered in the Literature part of the Capital Stamp Show 2015.
The NZPS website was the only website to be awarded a medal – 76 points, a Vermeil medal
The Postcard Pillar was awarded 83 points, a Large Vermeil medal.
These are significant awards, so all our contributors can bask in the glory!!
A reminder that there are now three significant postcard publications available:
John Paston’s book The Postcards of Hawkes Bay is available by contacting John at P O Box 93, Bay View, Hawkes Bay 4149.
Post Marks: The Way We Were – Early N Z Postcards 1897-1922 by Leo Haks, Colleen Dallimore and Alan Jackson is available at most bookshops, as is Glenn Reddiex’s book “Just to Let You Know I’m Still Alive” about First World War Postcards.
All three are excellent books, and very reasonably priced.
2016 NZ Postcard Society Convention, Wanganui. Sept 10-11
This event will be held at Heritage House in the centre of Wanganui, so mark this in your new calendar now!
The Chas Lilley Award for the last year
The award is for the best contribution (best researched or most interesting article) to the Postcard Pillar.
This year’s award went to Jeff Briggs for his article in Issue 107 Daily Mail War Postcards. Congratulations Jeff!
Honourable mention also went to
The Life & Times of E A Phillips in issue 106 by Donal Duthie
The NZ in ANZAC, in Issue 103, again by Jeff Briggs
Early N Z Real Photo Postcards in issue 105 by Leo Haks
Novelty Postcards in issue 106 by Bruce Isted
The Editors are naturally seeking further contributions from all of these authors, as well as other members!!
2015 New Zealand Postcard Society Annual Convention, Christchurch - by Bruce Isted
From 11-13th September, I joined about 50 (a great attendance number!) members for the NZ Postcard Society Annual Convention in Christchurch. To kick-start the occasion, on Friday 11th about 20 of us had an informal get-together meal and drinks at The Red Bowl, a Chinese Restaurant. A delicious 10 course banquet meal was enjoyed by all. No doubt some of talk was about the prospect of acquiring postcards!
The Philatelic Centre at 67 Mandeville Street, Riccarton was the venue for the weekend. Saturday 12th 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:
Robert Duns – Sea Cadet/sailor Bradley and his 1960s postcards re his overseas voyages.
Robert Livingston – Historic Bridges over the Waikato River in Hamilton
Geoff Potts – Kaione Dredge
Anthony Fryer – The fishwives of Edinburgh
Eric Diamond – Summary of his walk from Bluff to Cape Reinga via the East Coast
Tony Goddard - Raphael Tuck & Sons postcard boxed collection
Leo Haks – Raphael Tuck & Sons wooden 4 drawer cabinet
Barry Hancox – Postcards depicting NZ Motels c1960-80s + early NZ Horticultural Catalogues
Sue Claridge – WW1 Heroine – Miss Edith Cavell
Robert Rush – early Muir & Moodie postcards and the list project
Len Roberts – The Forth Bridge, Edinburgh
Two Book Launches: Glenn Reddiex with Just to Let You Know I am Still Alive; and Leo Haks & Colleen Dallimore & Alan Jackson with Post Marks
Jenny Banfield – NZ hospitals on postcards
Anthony Fryer – Edinburgh postcard
Jeff Long – Franz Josef glacier social exhibit, + photographer James Ring, Moa Flat postcards
At 4pm the AGM began and was dealt with efficiency and little fuss. There were two changes of officers and one Committee member stood down. Glenn Reddiex is the new President, and Evie South is the new Secretary. Please read the enclosed President’s & Treasurer’s Reports and AGM Minutes. The Chas Lilley Annual Memorial award for the best contribution to Postcard Pillar during 2014-15 was awarded to Jeff Briggs for his article ‘Daily Mail War Postcards’ (Issue 107).
In the evening the majority of us attended an enjoyable meal and drinks at the Philatelic Centre. Catering was done by Culinary Capers. Guest entertainers were Kathleen & Scott Campbell who presented a Magic Lantern Show – a travel back in time to the Victorian Era. Before and after this, plenty of chit-chat and card talk, etc took place.
Sunday 13th September was the Collectables Fair Day. Members took advantage of the pre-public session (8.30-10am) to acquire postcards for their collections from the vast stocks of eight dealers (2 North Island dealers and 6 South Island dealers): John Eccles (Wellington), Tony Grant (Wellington), Doug & Evie South (Nelson), Len Roberts (Nelson), Steven McLachlan (Christchurch), Gary Tavendale (Christchurch), Don White (Dunedin), Alan Kilpatrick (Dunedin).It was estimated that up to 100 members of the public attended from 10am-4pm. Fortunately the weather was perfect on Sunday. The event was advertised in the newspapers and numerous flyers were put up at prominent places in Christchurch.
Several people brought in postcards to be valued by the Society expert, Doug South. They ranged from small bundles of postcards to larger ones and a couple of small collections in albums. 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 eight dealers – without them the Convention would be almost a non-event. Also let us not forgot those that helped in organising, promoting, setting up, cleaning, catering, etc.
Next years the Convention is in Wanganui, a historic provincial town on the west coast of North Island.
Early Samoan Postcards - by Safari
Samoa today is divided into two areas; Western Samoa and American Samoa.
Western Samoa consists of two large islands; Upolo, with the capital of Apia, and Savai’i, plus some smaller islands. The total area is some 2,900 square kilometres. The islands are located about 3,700 kilometres southwest of Hawai’i, and 2,900 kilometres northeast of Auckland. Western Samoa is now independent.
American Samoa is made up of six islands, with the main island being Tutuila, with the capital Pago Pago. The total area is 196 square kilometres, and is about 3,700 southwest of Honolulu, and 2,575 kilometres northeast of New Zealand. It uses US currency.
In 1899 there was an agreement between Britain, U.S.A. and Germany that Germany would annexe Western Samoa, and the U.S.A. would exercise sovereignty over Eastern (now American) Samoa as a territory under naval control. Before this, the whole areas was independent.
From a collectors point of view, before the breakup in 1899, there were two postal options available within Western Samoa, both centred in Apia.
a - The John Davis regime. Cards in the early period were outlined by Don Mee in Issue 102 of the Postcard Pillar of February 2014. The earliest noted card was dated 22nd Feb 1899.
b - The German-operated agency post office which used Reichpost stamps cancelled by an “APIA KaiserlDeutsche Postagentur” cancellation, until the philatelic changeover to German colony status in 1901.
The earliest picture postcard I have noted was postmarked 29.3.98 to Germany ‘Kind Greetings from Apia’ and was part of a series published in Hamburg.
Shown is a card from the agency posted 28.12.99 and addressed to Berlin.
In those days the same types of picture postcards were available for use at both postal centres.
Congratulations to all contributors to the Postcard Pillar and the Website
The New Zealand Postcard Society had two entries in Literature class at the Capital Stamp Show in Wellington.
This is the medal awarded to every exhibitor, and the Secretary will hold the medals in the Society archives.
Congratulations to all contributors for your efforts, and a thankyou from the readers for all your informative articles.
This medal is for you, so keep the articles flowing!!
Picture Postcard Production - by Michel Roland
Member of the Australian Philatelic Order (MAP)
Many picture postcard collectors have enjoyed long years in the hobby, sharing the passion they have for their collections with others, and yet have not questioned how their little treasures were produced. Some of you who have exhibited may have been puzzled by the judges’ negative comments with regard to the judging criterion “Knowledge of the cards”.
This simply means that the understanding of card production techniques is not evident in the exhibit or is missing altogether. This is unfortunately arising because of a lack of published information, or perhaps that the information has not been “translated” into their exhibit.
Many books, profusely illustrated, will guide you through the genesis of picture postcards from their humble beginning following the introduction of postal cards as a writing vehicle. Other topics such as artists, publishers, printers and trademarks are often covered, along with categories of collecting interests (topographical, topical, advertising, humour ...) and sometimes help with dating your picture postcards. However, in my extensive cartophilic library only a few authors have touched on the challenging subject of printing techniques and processes.
Understanding your cards is not the same as knowing your cards. You may know which cards will be attractive to the viewers, which ones are rare (not necessarily expensive), which ones are expensive (usually due to high demand or vendors’ perception), which ones are not to be included because of their poor condition, and which ones are relevant to your subject. This will help you earn marks in treatment and coverage, rarity and condition – but not necessarily in knowledge of the cards as far as “how were they printed?” is concerned. However, let it be said that several factors (other than the physical printing of the cards) are at play under the heading “cards knowledge”.
Only the basic printing techniques will be addressed in this short article. The paper on which the printing takes place is not part of this article. I refer interested collectors to specialist postal stationery (postal cards with imprinted stamps) handbooks that study such topics as paper texture and shades.
The printing techniques are classified according to the position of the image relative to the surface of the printing block or plate:
- Recess is where the image to be printed is sunk below the printing surface
- Lithography is where the image is at the same level as the printing surface
- Letterpress is where the image to be printed stands above the printing surface
1 Photographic process
Standing cabinet photography and direct print from glass plates became popular in the 1870s. At first called bromide portraiture by indoor studios, it graduated to real photography by outdoor pioneer photographers.
Photographically coloured printing was not commercially available until the advent of the autochrome system in 1907. Previously all tinting/colouring was done by hand in studios employing semi-skilled lowly paid female employees. [Figures 1.1 A & 1.1 B]
1.2 “Offset lithography”
Most modern cards are printed by high-volume offset lithography that depends on photographic processes. The stones have been replaced by flexible aluminium, polyester, mylar or paper printing plates covered with a photo sensitive emulsion. A photographic negative of the desired image is placed in contact with the emulsion, and the plate is exposed to ultraviolet light. After development, the emulsion shows a reverse of the negative image called a positive (which is an exact duplicate of the original). The plate is affixed to a cylinder on the print press and printing can begin.
2 Photo-mechanical process
2.1 Half-tone block (sometimes known as letterpress halftone)
Although photography produces a perfect image with tonal intensity, the shading cannot be directly achieved on a sensitised plate. The image would show as black or white.
Shading is achieved by converting the photographic image into minuscule dots. The size and closeness of the dots produce the intensity and shading of the picture. The conversion process to dots is achieved by taking the photographic image through a small mesh (similar to a microscopic sieve) commonly known as half-tone screen.
The screen varies from about 65 dpi (dots per inch) for a coarse screen to about 150 dpi for a fine screen. In modern times, the dot-matrix printer of your computer can print a resolution of 600dpi but basically the process is the same. Most picture postcards produced until 1904 involved the use of the half-tone block.
The half-tone block is the result of using the combination of the screen with any of the three traditional printing methods. [Figures 2.1 A, 2.1 B, 2.1 C & 2.1 D]
Figure 2.1B (part scan of 2.1A above)
Figure 2.1D (part scan of 2.1C below)
Figure 2.2B (scan of part of card above)
2.2 Four-colour process
Early last century the printing technique was photo-mechanically improved to allow the use of the four-colour process. The combination of yellow, red, blue and black gives the illusion of full colour printing.
The image is photographed through coloured filters on the camera which separated the four colours in turn and (as in half-tones) converted the picture in a series of coloured dots.
The size of the coloured dots and their proximity or overlapping gives the illusion of tone and colour. [Figures 2.2 A & 2.2 B above]
3 Printing techniques
3.1 Recess (Intaglio/Gravure)
Recess processes were generally those used to produce the early picture postcards, but the time and expenses limited their uses until the development of the popular, convenient and practicable lithographic methods made them largely redundant.
3.1.1 Line drawing: lines are scratched directly on the printing plate. [Figure 3.1.1]
3.1.2 Engraving: lines are sometimes reinforced/aided by chemical erosion (etching). The resulting printing block is known as a line block. [Figure 3.1.2]
Shading in this process is achieved by cross-hatching, by varying the spacing between the lines, stippling, and drawing lines of different lengths.
3.1.3 Photogravure is the process whereby a photographic image has been retouched by engraving methods.
The term lithography comes from the ancient Greek words for “stone” (lithos) and “to write” (graphos).
Lithography was invented in 1796 by Bavarian Alois Senefelder (who predicted in his 1819 book that multicolour lithography would soon be used to reproduce paintings) and by the mid-1800s, artists were drawing their picture on specially coated paper and the image transferred to the printing stone by direct contact, one colour at a time.
Beautiful soft pastel colours were usually achieved this way.
Lithography works on the chemical principle of mutual repulsion of water and oil. The areas of the stone to receive ink are said to be hydrophobic (water hater) and those not to be printed are said to be hydrophilic (water lover). The use of the words “water” and “oil” is a little simplistic. The hydrophilic surface is caused by a mixture of water and Gum Arabic with a weak solution of nitric acid that penetrates the surface of the stone and creates areas that will repel printing inks. These inks are mixtures of linseed oil and varnish loaded with various mineral pigments (i.e. the tints/colours).
It is useful to remember that lithographic printing was widely used before the invention of the camera and thus was popular until then, even before the golden days of picture postcards
In general the term photolithography refers to the combination of half-tone screens and lithographic printing. [Figures 3.2.1 A &3.2.1 B]
Figure 3.2.1 B
The term chromolithography refers to the ability to print in varying colours rather than just half-tones. All three printing techniques can be done with colour.
Chromolithography had several advantages over other forms of colour printing. First, it could be used for large images; secondly, several images could be transferred to a single stone from a master image; thirdly, and probably the most important, the methods used for drawing on stone made possible a wide difference of tonal effects.
Initially chromolithography (invented in 1837 by Frenchman Godefroy Engelmann) involved drawing solid areas of colour or hatched lines by means of a greasy ink on polished stones or in various tones by means of greasy crayons on grained stones. With the advent of commercial use of powered lithographic printing machines from the 1860s, only polished stones could be used. This meant that crayon work had to be abandoned in the interest of economy and speed. It was replaced by varied forms of stippling done by hand initially and from the mid-1880s by the use of mechanically produced tints.
The real skill in chromolithography was the separation of colour components of an image so that each could be drawn on a separate stone to produce the desired effect. Basic pictures could be produced by as little as four stones. The early chromolithographs are recognized by the richness of tone and colour, partly due to the amount of ink that could be carried by the lithographic stone, and partly from the fact that the layers of ink were superimposed on one another rather than absorbed by the paper. The richness was enhanced by the fact that the colours were specially chosen to meet the particular needs of the image being reproduced. At the cheaper end of the market was the production of greeting cards, picture postcards, labels and posters as well as many children books.
What came next was necessarily a compromise in quality for the sake of economy. As you are aware, there are only three primary colours, yellow, red and blue. Around 1874, German Joseph Albert devised a practical method of producing an adequate colour range along this principle and the three-colour process evolved.
From the beginning of the 20th century, pure chromolithography was very gradually replaced by the photo-mechanical processes. It is not uncommon to find cards that combine the two approaches on the same print. A photographic half-tone (monochrome) provided the tonal structure and chromolithography the local colour. [Figures 3.2.2 A & 3.2.2 B]
Figure 3.2.2 A
Figure 3.2.2 B
Collotype is a photochemical lithographic process that produces a result almost as good as direct photographic printing on plates. The process does not use the half-tone screen (hence there are no visible dots on the card).
Light is passed through a photographic negative onto a printing plate coated with gelatine. During the photochemical treatment, the gelatine reticulates (dries in wrinkles) according to the intensity of the light reaching it and forms a finely granulated surface. The full spectrum of tonal intensity of the original photograph can be achieved by the reticulation process as the printing is done directly from the gelatine-coated plate.
Like any other lithographic process, grease and water (that repel each other) are involved. The plate is actually a water-absorbent block (usually limestone). The non-printing areas of the coated block are wetted and thus repel the greasy ink. The dry printing areas of the block hold the ink in proportion to their degree of reticulation. Slight differences may occur from card to card during the print run according to the amount of ink held by the gelatine.
Collotype printing was not widely carried out in Australia/New Zealand due to climatic conditions. [Figures 3.2 A, 3.2 B ]
Figure 3.2 A
Figure 3.2 A (scan of part of card)
Figure 3.2 B
Figure 3.2 B (scan of part of card above)
Cards bearing a simple design or text-only could be produced cheaply in large quantities, but the cost of preparing printing plates was prohibitive for small print runs.
Silk postcards are not printed, they are manufactured. They originated around 1903, either woven by Stevens or Grant, or embroidered in Germany or Switzerland. The Great War created a cottage industry, mainly in France.
The embroiderers were supplied with long strips of silk 120 mm x 1900 mm. The strip of silk mesh was starched by the workers to give it the tautness needed. Once finished, the long strip of 25 designs was sent to the finishing factories. The cut-to-size silk design was pasted between a printed back and an embossed frame. [Figure 4]
“Picture Postcards in Australia 1898 - 1920” - David COOK (1985)
“The Encyclopedia of Antique Postcards” - Susan BROWN NICHOLSON (1994)
“A History of Postcards” - Martin WILLOUGHBY (1992)
“The Picture Postcard and its Origins” - Frank STAFF (1966)
“Picture Postcards” - Marian KLAMKIN (1973)
“The Book of Postcard Collecting” - Thomas E RANGE (1980)
“History of Silk Postcards” - C RADLEY (1975)
“Picture Postcards of the Golden Age” - Tonie & Valmai HOLT (1971)
“Collecting Postcards” - William DUVAL & Valerie MONAHAN (1978)
“Collecting Postcards 1914 -1930” - Valerie MONAHAN (1980)
“Pictures in the Post - The story of the picture postcard” - Richard CARLINE (1959)
- Some references, for example graphicsatlas.org, classify collotype printing as a photomechanical process, rather than photochemical as in Michel’s article. This is due to differences in the way writers on a complex topic structure their classification of printing methods. Either way, collotype is a two-step process of getting a photographic image onto a postcard by using a negative to create a plate from which to print.
- Note that this article does not deal with the Real Photo method of producing postcards as used in the early twentieth century. This may be the subject of a future article.
A note from Leo Haks
It is now five years since an open letter of my intention to compile a substantial book on early New Zealand Postcards was published in Postcard Pillar 90. Colleen and I would like to express our gratitude to you for enthusiastically following the creation of ‘Post Marks’ from those beginnings in 2010.
Several aspects of the original book concept, like title, publisher, size and design have changed along the way. The double spread formula has remained however, generally with four related postcards on a fairly wide range of subjects. Almost all of the subjects I mentioned in that article have found their way into the finished product.
My ‘Kiwi’ partner, Colleen Dallimore and I thought we could combine most of the skills necessary to make this a good joint project and asked Alan Jackson if he would contribute an article on the history of the NZ Picture Postcard. Alan agreed and, in addition he became a major contributor of postcards in the process.
My special gratitude goes to the members of the Postcard Society who reacted to my request for subject specific cards. Some 20 members have one or more of their cards in the book. Sadly, many more cards were offered than we were able to utilise.
It was humbling to see several collectors sending their cards without even knowing me. I scanned and returned their cards upon receipt. Others invited me into their homes to make selections there.
We hope the book will be widely appreciated and that it may assist the NZ Postcard Society in promoting new interest in the collecting of local material.
The Lipton Tea Cards - by Derek Pocock
The very comprehensive article on the Lipton Tea series in the English magazine Picture Postcard Monthly of September 2002 (p. 23/4) listed the titles of the three sets of cards issued by Lipton’s as promotion of their product. I suspect the cards were given away as freebies or in exchange for some number of tokens on the packets sold. The author, Mark Bailey, in his checklist gave 3 sub series – two printed by Photochrome and a third set by C.W. Faulkner.
The first listed as sub series A gave 8 titles. It can now be stated that there are 10 cards in this set:
A1 Plucking Tea on Bunyan Estate Ceylon
A2 Tea Factory Bunyan Estate Ceylon
A3 Pooprassie Tea Factory Ceylon
A4 Tea Wagons Ceylon
A5 Tea in Transit to Wharf
A6 Leymastotte Tea Estate Ceylon
A7 Leymastotte Tea Factory Ceylon
A8 Leymastotte Tea Factory Ceylon (v)
As originally given, to which can be added to make a set of 10
A9 Roll Call Dambatenne Estate Ceylon
A10 Tea leaving Dambatenne Factory Ceylon
Series B, also printed by Photochrome Co. Ltd of Tunbridge Wells, listed 9 titles and correctly assumed that there were 12. Another point to this set is that the cards are available in two styles namely with or without the postage rates (Inland foreign 1d.) in the stamp box.
To list the full set therefore:
B1 View on Ceylon Tea Estate – same as A1
B2 View on Ceylon Tea Estate as A2
B3 View on Ceylon Tea Estate as A3
B4 View on Ceylon Tea Estate as A4
B5 View on Ceylon Tea Estate (Staff in front of Factory) As A 9*
B6 View on Ceylon Tea Estate (A Factory and Workers) as A 10*
B7 View on Ceylon Tea Estate (Bullocks being bathed ) New
B8 Packing Tea in Ceylon. New
B9 View on Ceylon Tea Estate (Leymastotte Tea Factory). (v) as A8
B10 View on Ceylon Tea Estate as A7
B11 View on Ceylon Tea Estate as A5
B12 View on Ceylon Tea Estate as A6
*Not previously recorded for set A
Finally there is the set of 12 as listed by Mark Bailey, but given here again for completeness whilst also retaining the numbering originally given by Mr. Bailey
C1 Shipping Tea Ceylon
C2 Street Scene Colombo
C3 Grand Oriental Hotel Colombo
C4 Maddema Mills Colombo
C5 The landing Jetty Colombo
C6 Loading Bullock Carts Dambatenne Factory Ceylon
C7 Tea arriving at foot of aerial Ropeway Ceylon
C8 Plucking tea Dambatenne Estate Ceylon
C9 Muster of Coolies Monerakande Estate Ceylon
C10 Loading Elephant Eadella Tea Estate Ceylon
C11Weighing the Plucked Tea Ceylon
C12 Natives at Play Ceylon Tea Estate.
It is my firm belief that these cards never went to Ceylon. All postally used examples are either from the UK or Canada where presumably there was a similar promotion of Lipton’s tea.
Mark Bailey’s excellent article forms a fine background to these cards and some of them can be seen enlarged on the walls of the Tea Museum in London.
For a comprehensive story of the life of Sir Thomas Lipton there is a book called ‘The King’s Grocer’ with much information about his sportsmanship in the several challenges he sponsored to try and win the America’s Cup but without success.
B7 View on Ceylon Tea Estate (Bullocks being bathed )
B8 Packing Tea in Ceylon
A5 Tea in Transit to Wharf
A7 Leymastotte Tea Factory Ceylon
Corrections to Jeff Briggs article Issue 107
Page 26 - last word in second last paragraph should be ‘trenches’ not ‘tranches’
Page 37 - line 4 should read ‘only seem to appear in series with a Hindu Arabic number’
Page 41 - the quote that commences in line 1 with ‘ portray’ ends in line 2 ‘…interesting insight to life at the front’
Page 42 - third line second last paragraph should read ‘Hindu Arabic and Roman symbol series’
Jeff says he was between computers and his usual methods of editing didn’t work. We all know the feeling!
NZ Government Department of Tourist and Health Resorts, and the National Publicity Studios (Part Two) - by William Main
This article describes the final phase of the National Publicity Studios’ involvement in producing postcards. My selection illustrates this period with postcards that demonstrate the hustle and bustle of our four main cities in the years after the Second World War. Two of these real photo cards have colour applied using stencils and dyes. None have any message or written comment on the reverse, indicating that the role of postcards in bearing a message was no longer considered its primary function in more modern times.
Post Office Dunedin 6016
In 1990 I closed my photography gallery in Wellington and took up an appointment with the N.Z. Centre for Photography, an organisation that was the brain-child of group of photographers headed by Brian Brake.
Hotel St. George & Catholic Cathedral N.Z
Initially my role saw me in charge of a three drawer steel filing cabinet that was full of the aftermath of a fund raising scheme called Focus on New Zealand, a chair and typewriter, all of which were in rented rooms in a building which recently had been vacated by Communicate New Zealand, the short lived re-branded version of the National Publicity Studios. Within the space of three months, it entirely vacated the building I occupied in my capacity as a sole employee of the N.Z. Centre for Photography!
Before I arrived on the scene, their extensive collections of photographs which stretched back to 1901 had been put in storage while various Government departments were being courted to consider responsibility for their care and attention. After a year or two of indecision, National Archives accepted the responsibility and took care of the collection.
Looking up Queen Street Auckland N.Z 6528
After a year of free rental for acting in a sort of caretaking role for the building we were in, I moved into new premises at Inverlochy Place, where I worked for several years looking after the Centre for Photography’s interests, and took up a membership with the New Zealand Postcard Society Inc. Since then I have acquired over 200 National Publicity Studios real photo postcards dating from the late 1930s to the mid-1950s.
I don’t think for one moment that the role of National Publicity Studios and their marketing of their cards both before and after the Second World War in 1939-1945 will be understood without a more detailed study of the Studios files in National Archives. However, while admitting my limitations regarding my knowledge of their role over the years, I’m happy to comment about their series of postcards, and to share what I’ve gleaned from former employees, based on my assessment of the National Publicity Studios and their paramount objective of promoting New Zealand to the world as a tourist attraction in the South Pacific.
Because they were a Government concern in a commercial environment, the N.P.S. always operated under some political duress, being criticised by firms who argued their livelihood was being threatened by a government activity - at least, that is what I have surmised from fellow collectors and former members of the organisation! Although this is a legitimate point of view, it seems ridiculous to assume that the release of N.P.S. postcards onto the market could ever threaten companies of long standing who were established commercially in the trade from its inception at the beginning of the century.
While the N.P.S. postcards may have dominated tourist meccas like Rotorua and the alpine environment of the Southern Alps with views which I don’t think anyone would criticise, and despite the possibility that something as trivial as a series of postcards with plain backs might be a serious cause for concern, the over-riding objective was simply to promote New Zealand. Side-stepping their very basic presentation, it didn’t seem to diminish their popularity with at least one sender (of a card in my collection) who took the trouble to tell the recipient that his six penny purchase at Woolworths in Auckland in 1946 was well spent!
Maori Carver at Work, N.Z. 4326
No matter the vagaries of supply and demand in troubled times, the N.P.S. postcards were very good value for money when everything is taken into account, with editions being produced by semi-mechanical development, a menial task traditionally allocated to junior assistants. As well as all this being done in a dark and confined space, the principal feature which one must applaud was the hand-inscribed chisel pen caption inscribed on bottom of the selvedge area. A delicate touch which added a very unique feature if ever there was one!
On top of all this was the labour intensive washing, drying, sorting and packing to be done for various retail outlets around the country. All this hand-crafted production cost the buyer sixpence each, which could not compete with images that were prepared by photo engravers who transferred the photographic image onto a metal plate that was photo-etched and mounted onto a wooden block for editions in the thousand and, for added value, could be coloured and retailed for threepence each. Nonetheless, it seems that even with staffing shortages during war-time production, the output figures kept everyone happy, especially Members of Parliament who controlled the purse-string for these services and other Government enterprises.
This brings us to the way images were being acquired by despatching photographers to key locations - keeping in mind seasonal interests with calendar topics like harvesting and winter snow scenes along with a restricted and censored survey of wartime mass production methods.
For a start, maintaining the collection of stock views was an ongoing process, with the Tourist Bureaux building up an enormous photographic archive from 1901-2, sometimes commissioning photographers to act as seasonal stand-bys in various localities.
Not all of its financial resources were concentrated on black and white half-plate images. Years ago, following some cursory investigations into the N.P.S. files at National Archives, I was amazed to discover that annual reports to Parliament revealed a very strong preference for experienced cinematographers to join their staff in Wellington!
Cathedral Square, Christchurch N.Z. 6489
The first indication I had of employing a photographer with some recognised standing in the community was revealed when I chanced upon an issue of the Australian Photo Review dated April 1925, which described Francis Ernest Tomlinson (1864-1944), who it seems had just joined the permanent staff of the N.P.S. staff. Tomlinson was known to me previously through the issue of series of postcards as far back as 1903.
While the N.P.S. policies of establishing a comprehensive selection New Zealand scenic views has still to be clearly defined, it seems at this stage to have been based on two things. Namely, to approach established photographers to acquire a collection from their existing views, as demonstrated by the acquisition of a series of Southern Alps views by another well-noted Wellington photographer Thomas Pringle (1858 - 1931). This allowed them to acquire an excellent collection of photos of key tourist attractions and contributed greatly to the excellent standards they set themselves at the beginning of their involvement in this trade.
Also, after the war, the N.P.S. went through a period when they concentrated on obtaining stock views by sending photographers to upgrade their holdings of images of various tourist destinations. At the same time, other Government Departments began employing their own photographers to keep a pictorial record of wider New Zealand accomplishments with Departments like the Railways, and Ministry of Works employing the full time services of their own photographers. I don’t know if these appointments throughout the State Services ever led to an interdepartmental exchange of images.
To market this wonderful resource and to test their true potential, the N.P.S. began to market their postcard series through chain store outlets like Woolworths in the postwar period, competing openly with printed selections of cards in colourful envelopes and folders from firms like Tanner Couch and Dawson’s. To their great credit, the standard product of the N.P.S. real photo postcard trade remained supreme to the end with chisel pen captions for every real photo being placed on sale to the general public. Well, not entirely, as some show metal type-set credits which I’m sure puts them well into the 1950s. Two of these have colour added using stencils.
Wanganui New Harbour Dredge Kaione - by Geoff Potts
“Kaione” or in English, the Sand Eater, was the name selected by the Wanganui Harbour Board for the new state of the art dredge built by Messrs Fleming and Ferguson at Paisley, near Glasgow, Scotland.
Kaione’s specifications were a steam dredge of 830.41 gross tons, 347.28 net tons, 190.35 feet long, 35.3 feet wide with a 15.9 feet draught, with 4 sets of engines, her speed when fully loaded was 8 knots. The Kaione had a hopper capacity of 600 cubic yards and an estimated daily output of 3,000 cubic yards that meant 5 dumping trips per day on one shift per day. The estimated cost per yard was 2/4d.
The cost of the dredge to the Harbour Board was to cost £33,335 which included supervision and delivery to Wanganui.
In July 1916 the builders in Scotland told the Harbour Board that there was no immediate prospect of the new dredge leaving for Wanganui because “it was not desirable to carry out the trials of the dredge unless the vessel was ready to sail immediately”. The builders did not favour sending the ship via either the Cape to Fremantle or Panama routes, the latter being reported closed. Insurance of £120 was to be paid to insure the dredge against Zeppelins, a precaution necessary after German air raids in Scotland. Further delays occurred because of the danger of German submarines during this 1st World War period.
During 1918 the British Admiralty leased the Kaione for £250 per month. The arrangement stipulated for her to be delivered to Wanganui after twelve months work. At the same time Admiralty stated that Kaione satisfactorily passed trials on the Clyde earlier in the month.
On the 8th March 1919 the Kaione left England on her long-delayed journey via the Suez Canal. On 18th July 1919 the Wanganui Harbour Board received advice that Kaione had arrived at Newcastle, where coal would be loaded before sailing for Wellington. She arrived 28th July 1919.
The Wanganui Chronicle reported on 6th September 1919 as “a red letter day”. Kaione was to arrive next Saturday afternoon, the event “keenly anticipated”.
Early in the morning the dredge reached the roadstead to wait the time for her official entry into port which was timed for 2.30pm. The weather conditions were excellent and the attendance could be counted in thousands. During the afternoon the Queen Alexander Band enlivened the occasion with a musical programme.
Members of the Harbour Board went out over the bar on one of the lighters, and the Kaione, with another lighter astern, turned for port. The scene was picturesque with the wharf and other vantage points were crowded with sightseers, while the shipping made a display of bunting. In the vicinity of the wharf several launches and a native canoe, manned by a crew from Putiki, took part in the welcome.
Under the guiding hand of the harbour master, Captain P. McIntyre, the dredge steamed in against the ebb tide and moored beside the wharf. Kaione’s colours were grey hull with a yellow black topped funnel.
At seven minutes past ten o’clock on Tuesday September 23rd 1919 the “Sand Eater” ate its first breakfast and marked the beginning of a new era. At the very outset she proved herself a glutton. Scarcely had she turned her nose downstream when she began to swallow her “grimy porridge” at the rate of tons per minute and within quarter of an hour she was headed towards the ocean discharging eight hundred tons of sand and silt.
Kaione remained idle for 2 years until 1922 when work commenced dredging the swinging basin. In 1923 she worked throughout the year under considerable difficulties owing to congestion of shipping at Castlecliff. Good progress was made deepening berths alongside the wharf and the swinging basin. A total of 127,170 tons of clay and silt were removed from October to December 1924.
In order to decrease the serious loss of time through the vessel not being able to work the entrance at all times, a discharge pipe berth was installed at the dump wharf and the material pumped into the sea across the south spit. Subsequently (in November 1925) the pipeline was moved to a berth at the wreck of the Te Anau where dredgings were pumped to the Harbour Board low-lying land between Gilberts soap works and Abbot.
Kaione was chartered to Wellington Harbour board in 1926. She completed her charter and returned to Wanganui in August 1928. After this charter various avenues were explored with the object of selling the vessel, but without success.
Tragedy struck Kaione during preparations for charter to Nelson Harbour Board. On 27th March 1929 one man was killed and two others seriously injured in an explosion. Joseph Cable, the chief engineer aged 57, died. Duncan McKinnon, the second engineer, and William McKeogh, a greaser, were both hospitalised. McKinnon subsequently died of his injuries. Kaione left for Nelson Harbour Board Charter 10th April 1929.
Subsequent charters were arranged in 1932 for hire to New Plymouth and Napier Ports. Upon her completion of charter to Napier Harbour Boards on 11th October 1932 she was placed out of commission.
Kaione was placed on the patent slip Wellington in March 1937 and put through her special survey, the hull being drill tested. A large amount of work was necessary due to the vessel being laid up since 1933. On her return to Wanganui she was employed dredging from 15th April to 26th July.
From 1945 Dr. Watts Shipping Register records that registration of Kaione transferred to Port of Brisbane thus ending a colourful chapter in Wanganui’s shipping history.
Moa Flat Floods, March 1913 - by Jeff Long, cards from Alan Kilpatrick
Moa Flat is located in Central Otago, 40 minutes northeast of Alexandra, on State Highway 85 between Dunback and Millers Flat, near Ettrick.
The settlement sprang up following the discovery of gold in 1863, and the hotel was no doubt well patronised by the miners.
Apart from a restored stone cottage from the early days and the Moa Creek cemetery, there is not much else left today apart from stone walls. The grasslands and unusual rocky tors make it an attractive place to visit.
The March 28 1913 edition of the Otago Daily Times (available on-line at Papers Past) records in great detail the heavy flooding which took place throughout Otago and Southland.
The South Express train was held up, there were numerous washouts affecting both road and rail throughout the region, and the southern lakes rose dramatically. The Mt Cook hostel was flooded, the Oreti River was flowing through the township of Lumsden, access to the Cold Lakes was cut off, all gold sluicing work ceased as the water races had to be diverted, hundreds of sheep were washed down the rivers, and the Clutha River rose two feet in as many hours.
There is no report specifically about Moa Flat, probably because it was just a small isolated settlement, but these postcards certainly show the impact of the heavy rains. The most likely problem stream was the south branch of the Benger Burn.
The cards are identified as being of Moa Flat by the message on the reverse “This is the old Moa Flat Hotel at Ettrick. You will remember it with the Benger in flood”
The cards were probably private postcards as there is no attribution to photographer or publisher on the front or reverse.
William Henry Bickerton - by Jeff Long
Bickerton, a professional photographer from Silverstream in Wellington, was based at Trentham, and was enlisted in the B reserves.