About Francis Frith and our company - The Postcard Years
About Francis Frith and our Company
The Postcard Years
"Having a wonderful time - Wish you were here...!""
After Francis Frith’s death in 1898 his photographic record of
Britain was continued into the 20th century by his sons and later a
grandson. However, by 1902 the Post Office approved the use of
postcards with a divided back so that the address and message could
be on one face and a full-size illustration on the other. F
Frith & Co were in the vanguard of postcard development, and
from then on the company became postcard publishers, the
introduction of which greatly increased the demand for photographs
of scenic views, street scenes and architectural subjects. It is this
production for which F Frith & Co is most commonly remembered
nowadays; for much of the 20th century the Frith company was the
market leader in this field.
A photographer’s small beach booth can be seen in the background,
right, of this view – probably belonging to the photographer who
took this shot.
By 1939 there was no one in the Frith family in a position to run the
business, so Arthur Frederick Sergeant joined F Frith & Co as its
managing director. He had a wealth of experience in the business,
having started his own Lilywhite postcard company which he ran for
many years before joining the Raphael Tuck postcard company as its
managing director. After the Second World War Mr A F Sergeant was
joined in the business by his two sons, Frederick and Trevor; they
in turn became managing directors of the company on their father’s
death in 1959 and continued to run it successfully.
This view shows an unbelievably empty stretch of the
M1 motorway soon after it was opened on November 9th 1959. Many
people found it something of a culture shock; the six glistening
lanes of asphalt were viewed as a tourist attraction, and crowds
of sightseers flocked to admire them on the Sunday after the
opening – some of them even picnicked on the approach roads!