John Walker & Co
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About the publisher


John Walker & Company


John Walker & Co was a London manufacturer and publisher of books, atlases, stationery, albums, leather goods and postcards. They published a wide range of postcard types including view-cards, military regiments, cricket players, comic cards and political cartoons. Their most notable series was the Geographical Series which showed a finely drawn map with a pictorial insert, an example of which is shown below. They did not produce any Tasmanian cards in this series.


John Walker’s postcards were manufactured by the engravers and map makers J.Bartholomew & Co. who were a long-established Scottish company.  




About the Postcards


The Tasmanian cards published by John Walker & Co fall into two other series. The first is the Vignette Series, which are black and white cards with a vignette image printed by halftone. These cards are in exactly the same style, including the back layout, as cards they published of UK subjects. The second series, which I have called the Wide Series, have full width images, but have an identical back to the Vignette series. Both series can be identified as John Walker productions by the logo, an anchor in red separating the words POST and CARD.


Both series of cards have an undivided back, which was the post office requirement in Tasmania until 1905.  There are only a few usage dates on the cards I have; a few are 1903, one is a late usage of 1908.


The images on the cards are the standard scenes on early Tasmanian cards.  About half of the Vignette series cards have the image identified as by Sirius, which is a pseudonym of Charles Gruncell. Gruncell was a schoolmaster and photographer in Hobart.


While all the cards were clearly manufactured by John Walker & Co, some bear the name of businesses in Hobart as the publisher; Mrs. J. Nolan, Bookseller, Hobart; T.L. Hood, Bookseller, Hobart and, for the Wide series, W.R. Propsting, Hobart.  Presumably these were customers who ordered cards in their own name for advertising purposes.