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The Crystal Palace 1854-1936 on Post Cards

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By Fred Peskett and Bill Tonkin

This is an in depth study of picture post cards of the Crystal Palace.

Compiling this survey proved to be a mammoth task, and it is one that can never be considered complete since there are so many variations of a single view on a post card by the large number of publishers and printers during the forty years from the introduction of the first picture post card in 1895 to the destruction in 1936.

A significant area that has been researched is of the view of the Palace taken from the bridge at the low level Railway Station. Probably more cards were published of this particular view than any other view in the history of the picture post card. Yet the number of photographs taken to produce this huge amount of post cards over the years has been found to be under a dozen, with prints from the some of the original negatives being sold around the post card publishing trade. One negative has been identified as being used by 65 different publishers, many of them anonymously, perhaps pirated. The first chapter deals with this subject in detail and is based on a study of many hundreds of post cards of this one view.

One problem was that several of the publishers used the same title on many different views of the Palace or the events which have taken place there, or even worse from a researchers point of view have published long series with no titles at all. These have been illustrated in this work and by numbering them 1, 2, 3 etc. to identify them, and with in some cases a text description added in order to clarify further. Hundreds of publishers are included and thousands of cards explained.

It quantifies the huge number of different images used by the publishers and shows that many of these representations were pirated from fellow publishers.

There are images of the Crystal Palace and peripheral buildings, events, the gardens, personalities and much more. Backs of cards are illustrated together with many strange peculiarities and variations created by publishers.

There is a cross referencing index to enable the reader to find cards of specific events.

Many extensive collections of Crystal Palace Postcards have been used to compile this significant reference work (including The Crystal Palace Foundation).

This is truly a book for Crystal Palace historians and postcard collectors alike.

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a picture book of Crystal Palace postcards. Considering the many thousands of different images produced it would not be possible. It is an in depth research study and collectors checklist. It shows hundreds of type variations, lists publishers and over 400 illustrations of fronts and back of cards

319 pages paperback