Richard Gee
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About the publisher


Richard Gee was a Launceston stationer and bookseller who published postcards of Tasmanian view from 1904 to 1907.

Richard Gee was in business in Launceston from 1872 until 1907. Born in Ireland, he arrived in Launceston with his parents in 1864. He started business as a bookseller and stationer in a small shop in Charles Street in 1872, and built up to a large business which included pianos and organs. Later he purchased a building on the corner of Charles and Patterson Streets, which he demolished and erected a building called Gee’s Block.  He became a large property owner and retired from business in 1907.

Richard Gee was prominent in business, acting on the boards of institutions such as the Launceston General hospital and as a director of companies including the Tasmanian Insurance Co. He was active in politics, was an alderman of Launceston City Council, and Mayor of the Council in 1914.  He died in 1943.  (Note 1).

When Richard Gee commenced selling postcards in 1904, he advertised “a complete assortment of postcards, illustrating the beauty spots of Tasmania” as shown in his advertisement in the Daily Telegraph (Launceston) 12 January 1904 (figured below). The advertisement listed 36 different real photographic views, at 4/6d the set, as well as 12 views in black and white, referring to his collotype printed cards.  He published another half a dozen series of cards, both coloured and b&w up to 1907; these are now rare and poorly known.

When Richard Gee retired from business in 1907, his business was broken up. Two of his employees took over the stationary area, and his bookselling interests were continued by another company. One of his employees was Selwyn Cox, who had been  Manager of his stationery department from 1895 until 1905. When Cox left Richard Gee’s employment he established his own stationary business, and went on to be a further publisher of Tasmanian postcards.  It seems likely that Selwyn Cox was the moving force behind the Richard Gee postcard publishing effort or at least learnt the postcard business there.