Postcard Publishers

J B White

Dundee

Coloured Postcard History

Alastair White, grandson of the founder of J B White Ltd, ran J B White & Co from the 1960s and later founded Whiteholme (Publishers) Ltd.

Thank you to Alastair for giving me an insight into the production of coloured postcards in the 1940s.

Alastair writes:

Method 1

From late 1930s

"A run of regular (sepia) real photo cards would be subsequently 'hand coloured' by teams of ladies sitting at tables, applying dies to them via stencils and brushes.

I would guess that this started in the late 1930s, continuing until about the end of the war years when sepia became unfashionable;  then carrying on until the 1950s with black-and-white real photos providing the base.

The minimum run,  I recall was 1,000, compared with 250 in monochrome.  I believe that my father stumbled on this process by a chance encounter with a Frau Kraal, a German lady who was somehow involved.

Alastair White:  December 7, 2007

Method 2

From late 1940s

"We are in the late 1940s now.  Colour photography had not quite been properly invented and commercial letterpress colour printing was in its infancy.

A black and white print (retouched, either subtly or outrageously!) would be sent to a London studio for individual 'hand-colouring'.

From this one-off original, a set of four-colour blocks would be produced, and from them the finished colour postcards printed.  They are fairly awful, I think you will agree, but must have fulfilled something or other at the time.

The minimum run was 5,000, though we did not go into profit until the second 5,000 because of the high origination costs.

The artist, I remember went under the name of Godden-Kent Studios, in a street off Oxford Street, London, whose name escapes me.

Alastair White:  December 7, 2007

Update

Thank you to Peter Godden-Kent who wrote:

"I was interested to see mention, above, of my late uncle's studio.

Cecille Studios were in Rathbone Place, near Tottenham Court Road station, where my uncle Parry Godden-Kent spent a few years until the advent of TV advertising and other developments killed the market for his type of work and the business failed.

He had served throughout WWII in RAF Photographic Intelligence, in which he was placed not because he was a professional photographer but because he was a graduate of the Institute of Transport! - He said it was supposed that he would be well able to identify and analyse the various forms of transport captured in reconnaissance photographs."

Peter Godden-Kent:  June 26, 2009

 

Coloured Postcards

Examples

Method 1

From late-1930s

Original Sepia Postcard   (5.5 ins x 3.5 ins)

JB White postcard of the Scott Monument, Princes Street - sepia                                 JB White postcard of the the Floral Clock in West Princes Street Gardens - sepia

Final Coloured Postcard   (5.5 ins x 3.5 ins)

JB White postcard of the Scott Monument, Princes Street - sepia                                 JB White postcard of the the Floral Clock in West Princes Street Gardens - colour

Please click on the images above to enlarge them.

 

Coloured Postcards

Examples

Please click on the images below to enlarge them.

Method 2

From late-1940s

Original Retouched B+W Photo     (10 ins x 7.5 ins and 8 ins x 6.25 ins)

JB White - an original black and white photo used to produce a coloured postcard  -  The Scott Monument, Princes Street                   JB White - an original black and white photo used to produce a coloured postcard  -  Holyrrood Palace and Abbey

Hand-coloured Original Photo    (9.5 ins x 6.5 ins)

JB White - hand-coloured photo - an intermediate stage in producing a coloured postcard  -  The Scott Monument, Princes Street                  JB White - hand-coloured photo - an intermediate stage in producing a coloured postcard  -  Holyrrood Palace and Abbey

Final Colour Postcard    (5.75 ins x 4 ins)

JB White - A coloured postcard  -  The Scott Monument, Princes Street                                                     JB White - A coloured postcard  -  Holyrood Palace and Abbey

Please click on the images above to enlarge them.

 

 

J B White (Dundee)

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