Postcards in Stapled Books with Counterfoils.

by

Bill Tonkin

 

            Postcards were not only sold singly or in packets of six or twelve, but were also sold in books of twelve stapled at the edge of the counterfoil. The books measured from 8¼" to 8½" x 3½" with the counterfoil taking up 2¾" to 3" of this. As well as showing a miniature view of the postcard, there was also room for the writer to record details of whom the card was sent to and the date, etc. The counterfoils and view were in B/W even if the postcard was coloured. The postcard was either perforated or rouletted (a row of short slits) to make it easier to tear away from the counterfoil, which remained as a stub in the book. The rouletting used by Valentine’s for the White City postcards, as measured by a stamp perforation gauge is 12¾, while if the means of separating or tearing out the postcard was by perforation holes, then these measured 11. Both of these measurements represent the number of holes or slits in 2cm, which is the standard method of measuring the number of perforation holes on stamps.

 

            While the majority of books were rouletted, this was not a very efficient way of providing a means of tearing out cards without damage, and the perforated system gave a much cleaner ‘tear’. At least one series of cards are known to have come from a rouletted book, and when a further run was printed, changed from rouletting to perforation holes.

 

            The complete books are not often seen, and one exploded book is known with one page missing. The postcards themselves are easily identified as the left edge of the postcard has a rough edge where it has been torn out of the book. In the case of vertical cards the rough edge is along the top of the card. It is from studying single postcards that the following lists have been compiled.

 

            It is possible that not all the books contained twelve cards as there were only six ‘Night Effect’ cards, this will not be resolved until a book of cards turns up. It is this set of six cards that is known both rouletted and perforated.


            The last time Mike Perkins was down he spotted a Franco-British Exhibition postcard with both the top and bottom edges rouletted. At first this would lead one to assume that it came from a pane with a card above it and a card below it, in other words a pane of three cards. so far I have found four different postcards with the top and bottom edge rouletted, and again this would lead one to think that if there were four such panes, which would give a total of twelve cards this is what one would expect. Now the surprising thing is that since then, after going through thousands of Valentine’s cards I have been unable to find a single card with just the top or just the bottom rouletted. So perhaps they did not come from a book of cards, but instead came from a letter card type folded pack, where they were all joined together like a concertina. I think this must be the case as the sides are smooth

 

 

This illustration shows part of the postcard and the counterfoil. It is interesting

to note that in the book of coloured postcards from which this illustration came

Valentine’s slipped up and used a miniature view different to the full sized card.

When Valentine’s published the book with B/W postcards this was corrected.

 

            If any readers have any booklets of postcards then I should be glad to hear from them with details of the contents. I know they should exist for the Franco-British Exhibition, the Great White City, and the Japan-British Exhibition, from finding cards with the rough left edge, also I have details of two Franco-British Exhibition books. This style of presenting cards in a book form was not restricted to the White City, as topographical books are known for many areas. One book is known for the British Empire Exhibition published by Schweppes, and publishers were still producing books of postcards in 1951 for the Festival of Britain.

 

            For the Italian Exhibition at Earl’s Court in 1904 an unknown publisher produced six cards in three panes of two one above the other, but again I have never seen the complete book, only the cards with perforated edges.

 

List of Valentine’s Postcards from Books with the left edge

perforated or rouletted.

 

            Titles with numbers in brackets, are where the number is known but does not appear on the card. Titles with ‘N.n.’ are for views that were never allocated numbers. The lists have been classified as Book No. 1, Book No. 2, etc. but the books were not in fact numbered, and with the exception of books No. 1 and No. 4, the lists have been compiled from loose cards. It would have
been possible to make an educated guess as to what the missing cards were in books No. 2 to No. 6, but I have only listed what is actually in existence.

 

Book No. 1. Franco-British Exhibition. In this book the miniature view of the Stadium on the counterfoil is different to the view on the postcard.

            Coloured postcards with a red ‘FB seal’ back, rouletted on left edge. An exploded book with one card and counterfoil missing is known, it was probably No. 178 Entrance to Irish Village. (Ballymaclinton) as this card is known with a rouletted left edge.

                        N.n.                 Stadium.

                        112                  Court of Honour.

                        (115)                French Applied Arts Palace.

                        117                  Palace of Women’s Work.

                        132                  Canadian Scenic Railway.

                        163                  British Applied Arts Palace.

                        178                  Entrance to Irish Village. (Ballymaclinton)

                        194                  Grand Restaurant.

                        (217)                Court of Honour.

                        220                  In Elite Gardens.

                        233                  India.

                        243                  Fine Art Palace and Lagoon.

 

Book No. 2. Franco-British Exhibition.

            Coloured postcards with a dark grey ‘FB seal’ back, rouletted on left edge.

                        112                  Court of Honour.

                        (115)                French Applied Arts Palace.

                        132                  Canadian Scenic Railway.

                        194                  Grand Restaurant.

                        217                  Court of Honour.

                        220                  In Elite Gardens.

                        233                  India.

                        243                  Fine Art Palace and Lagoon.

 

Book No. 3. Franco-British Exhibition.

            Coloured postcards with a black ‘FB seal’ back, rouletted on left edge.

                        194                  Grand Restaurant.

 

Book No. 4. Franco-British Exhibition. Dark green cover with ‘Franco-British Exhibition, London, 1908. 12 Official View Postcards with Counterfoils. Price 1/- net.’ At the moment this is the only complete book known, in fact even this has one card missing, but fortunately the counterfoil remains in the book. In this book the miniature view of the Stadium on the counterfoil has been replaced with one to match the postcard.

            B/W litho postcards with a black ‘Famous Throughout the World’ back, rouletted on left edge.

                        N.n.                 Stadium.

                        (112)                Court of Honour.

                        (115)                French Applied Arts Palace.

                        (117)                Palace of Women’s Work.

                        (132)                Canadian Scenic Railway.

                        (163)                British Applied Arts Palace.

                        (178)                Entrance to Irish Village. (Ballymaclinton)

                        (194)                Grand Restaurant.

                        (217)                Court of Honour. (Title in two lines at top left. A card is also known                                                  with a rouletted edge with the title at top right)

                        (220)                In Elite Gardens.

                        (233)                India.

                        (243)                Fine Art Palace and Lagoon.


Book No. 5. Franco-British Exhibition.

            B/W litho postcards with a grey ‘Famous Throughout the World’ back, rouletted on left edge.

                        (112)                Court of Honour.

                        (117)                Palace of Women’s Work.

                        (220)                In Elite Gardens.

 

Book No. 6. Franco-British Exhibition.

            B/W litho postcards with a dark grey ‘FB seal’ back, rouletted on left edge.

                        112                  Court of Honour.

                        (217)                Court of Honour.

 

Book No. 7. Franco-British Exhibition.

            B/W photogravure postcards with a black ‘Famous Throughout the World’ back, rouletted on the left edge. This series of six cards were published in both styles, and are known both rouletted and perforated.

                        191                  Court of Honour Night Effect.

                        210                  Court of Honour Night Effect.

                        214                  Court of Honour Night Effect.

                        215                  Court of Honour Night Effect.

                        239                  British Applied Arts Palace Night Effect.

                        284                  Court of Honour Night Effect.    Vert left. (rough edge at top)

 

Book No. 8. Franco-British Exhibition.

            B/W photogravure postcards with a black ‘Famous Throughout the World’ back, perforated on left edge.

                        191                  Court of Honour Night Effect.

                        210                  Court of Honour Night Effect.

                        214                  Court of Honour Night Effect.

                        284                  Court of Honour Night Effect.    Vert left. (rough edge at top)

 

Book No. 9. The Great White City.

            Coloured postcards with a red ‘JV seal’ back, rouletted on left edge.

                        N.n.                 Western Lagoon.

                        208                  Palace of Music.    Vert left (rough edge at top)

                        270                  A Busy Day in Court of Arts.

                        302                  Wood Lane Entrance.

                        308                  Avenue of Progress.

                        336                  Machinery Hall (French Section)

                        338                  Court of Progress.

                        (369)                View from Flip-Flap.

                        372                  Elite Gardens.

 

Book No. 10. The Great White City.

            Coloured postcards with a grey ‘JV seal’ back, rouletted on left edge.

                        586                  Scottish Village Post Office.

 

Book No. 11. The Great White City.

            B/W litho postcards with a black ‘Famous Throughout the World’ Franco-British Exhibition back, rouletted on left edge.

                        (132)                Scenic Railway.

 

Book No. 12. Japan-British Exhibition.

            Coloured postcards with a grey-green ‘Lion and Rising Sun’ back, rouletted on left edge.

                        549                  Imperial Tower.

                        566                  Flip-Flap.


Letter card No. 13. Franco-British Exhibition.

            Coloured postcards with a red ‘FB seal’ back, rouletted on the top and bottom edges.

                        N.n.                 View from Flip-Flap.

                        132                  Scenic Railway.

                        220                  Elite Gardens.

                        281                  Congress Hall from Gardens.

 

   © Exhibition Study Group 1999

 

    Index