Britain’s Oldest Postcard Publisher Shuts Shop | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Britain’s Oldest Postcard Publisher Shuts Shop

A 1900s Edwardian postcard by Reg Maurice
(Alamy Stock Photo)

It is the end of the lane for Britain’s oldest postcard publisher J Salmon, which does not look like great news for the declining postcard industry. J Salmon’s postcard business printed at their Kent factory has a legacy of more than 100 years. However, the fifth-generation owners have informed their clients that the presses will cease operations by the end of 2017, and all remaining stock will be sold throughout 2018.

The publishers are known for their iconic postcards depicting the various shades of Britain. It was 1880 when the original J Salmon bought a printing business on Sevenoaks high street, and came out with a dozen black and white scenes of the town. The publishers broke into the big league when they commissioned artist AR Quinton in 1912. Quinton went on to produce 2,300 depictions of British life for them, until his demise in 1934. His use of watercolors, mellow colors, and attention to detail endeared him to the public, as did his masterful portrayal of Redruth, King’s Lynn, blushing milkmaids, pastoral pump houses, and scenic harbor towns. J Salmon set itself apart with merry postcards featuring beaches and waves, along with taglines like “Eat More Chips!” “Sun, Sand & Sea,” and “We’re Going Camping!” The publishers also commissioned comic artist Reg Maurice (who often went by the alias of Vera Paterson) to create postcards painted with amusingly plump children and funny captions as well as the traditional imagery of British towns.

People’s tendency to take shorter trips and rely on technology for storing their memories impacted their business negatively, notes The Guardian. However, postcards are not completely on their way out. People still want them, although more as decorative than functional items.

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