W. P. Hartley’s Advertising Post Cards.

It is not often we get any reliable information on the quantities of post cards used at exhibitions. Some three years ago I exchanged some information with Nick Hartley the grandson of the founder who was doing a history of the firm, and he was able to give me some information regarding their post cards.

On 27 August 1923 Messrs Clark & Sherwell of Northampton had their photographer at the Aintree Works taking 46-48 B/W photographs of the interior and exterior, as well as the pottery and the fruit farm in Bedfordshire. 24 of these were chosen for publication and on 1 September 2 million were ordered. Some of these were used at the Bristol Grocers Exhibition. A further 5 million were ordered at 8/6 per thousand on 6 February 1924 which included seven new cards, five of which were taken in Seville.

At the same time 3 million colour post cards were ordered from Kingsway Press Ltd., at 12/- per thousand, which were reproductions of the Marmalade and Preserves show cards. So for Wembley 8 million cards were ordered plus what was left from the first 2 million after some were used at the Bristol Exhibition. The operation cost them 4775 for 10 million post cards, and remembering that in the good old days there were 240 pennies in a pound, this works out at nearly 9 cards for a penny.

One card in my collection has the message "We have come up to the British Industries Fair today, and I bagged this card off a stand." unfortunately it’s not postally used so the year is not known. Of course not all of the cards would have been used at exhibitions. Post cards played a large part in the advertising of firms products, and Hartley’s would have made some of their cards available to their customers, who in turn would have used them for advertising purposes. Another Hartley card in my collection was sent by a grocer H. Brown & Son of Hellifield to notify a customer that his son F. Brown would be calling ‘when your order will be esteemed a favour’, this card was used in July 1928.

© Exhibition Study Group 2003