S. T. C. Photo


Swan Bridge over the Arun at Pulborough

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Publisher of some sepia-tinted real photographic cards of Pulborough, labelled "S. T. C. Photo" in the bottom right corners of the photographs. Only five different cards have been reported, numbered 11680 to 11684. Although further finds may be made, the total number of cards in the series is unlikely to have been more than about six or seven. 1916, 1917 and 1919 postmarks have been found.

"S. T. C." is likely to have been a local publisher, who employed a big national firm to print the cards. Presumably, it was this firm that gave the cards their impressively high serial numbers in order to distinguish them from the many cards that it was printing for publishers in other parts of the country.

No national firm called S. T. C. has been identified, and Kelly's 1915 and 1922 Sussex Directories make no mention of any Pulborough resident with the initials S. T. C. No member of the Corden family is known to have had these initials. The most probable explanation is that S. T. C. is an acronym for the Sussex Trading Co. Ltd., a firm of grocers, wine merchants, drapers, outfitters, furniture dealers and ironmongers, which had a shop in Lower Street in Pulborough, according to Kelly's 1915 Directory. The firm had ceased trading when the 1922 edition of the Directory was compiled. Its brief existence no doubt helps to explain the rarity of the cards.

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