Sussex Postcard Co.


Robertsbridge High Street

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Hastings. In 1907 at 17 Stone Street, later at 4 Earl Street. This firm produced a series of rather indifferent black and white halftone cards of Northiam and Brede that have a white border at the base, with "Sussex Postcard Co.]" printed on the left, followed by a centralised caption, and "[Hastings." on the right. Several 1905 postmarks have been seen on the Northiam cards and 1906 postmarks on Brede cards. A coloured card of the Six Bells Pub at Northiam was also issued (a 1906 postmark has been seen). Of identical design are some hand-tinted cards of Sedlescombe (a 1905 postmark is recorded). By 1907 the print quality had improved and instead of "[Hastings." the cards are marked on the right "[17 Stone Street, Hastings". Subjects include the Corporation Waterworks at Brede and the main street in Robertsbridge (1907 postmark seen). The name "Hood" appears at the bottom left of some pictures.

Albert Shoesmith was manager of the Sussex Post Card Co. by 1908, but whether he founded the firm has not been established.

In addition to the halftone cards, the firm marketed some rather better quality collotype cards with pictures occupying the full front of the cards. Those of Beckley were printed in Bavaria. The backs of the cards and also the captions (all in capitals) on the front are printed in red. A 1913 postmark has been seen. A card of Cripps Corner with a 1909 postmark has a black caption (with capitals at the start of words followed by lower case) and a black back.

An unconvincing coloured halftone (printed in Saxony) shows Old London Road in Hastings. As with the Beckley cards the picture occupies the entire front. The photograph appears to have been taken in winter even though the colourist has dabbed the trees in bright green!

Although the Sussex Post Card Co. produced many printed cards, it also issued real photographic cards. A sepia card with a white border shows the Drumhead Service in Alexandra Park, Hastings in 1907. Of much higher quality are some real photographic cards (for example of Ecclesbourne Glen and Hastings Beach) that also have white borders and are labelled on the back "The Sussex Post Card Co., 4 Earl Street, Hastings", which was the address of Albert Shoesmith and the Sussex Photographic Co. Another real photograhic card marked "Earl Street" on the back, which is a general view of Hastings, carries the same number (21) and almost the same photograph as a Shoesmith real photograhic card with a 1909 postmark.

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