Frederick Hartmann

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Gloucester Cathedral, Frederick Hartmann postcard, sent 1907

Frederick Hartmann was a London-based postcard publisher, active in the UK from about 1902 to 1909. He was a leading proponent of the "divided back" style, key to its success in England, and may have produced the first divided back card in the world.[1][2]

Hartmann was based at 45 Farringdon Street, London, and had his cards printed in Saxony (now Germany), which was quite common at the time, due to there being a more advanced printing industry there. Hartmann imported glamour cards from continental Europe and was the distributor in the UK for Trenkler & Company postcards.[2][3]

In 1907, Hartmann was in partnership with Christian Linck of 13 Werter Road, Putney, and they were trading as "F. Hartmann", fine art publishers, at 45 Farringdon Street. Hartmann was living at 5 Bloomsbury Street. It appears that the business was bankrupt in 1907, and that Linck was also bankrupt on his own account, and that dividends were paid out until 1909.[4][5][6]

Christian Linck was born in Germany in 1858/59, was a naturalised British subject, and in 1901 was head clerk for an indigo merchant.[7] Linck was naturalised in 1894, and lived at 13 Werter Road from at least 1892 to at least 1906.[8]

In Jennifer Speake's 2014 Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia, Hartmann is given sole credit for the divided back.[3]

Up to 1902, the back of the postcard could only display the address, and a message had to be squeezed into any margin(s) around the image itself. In 1902, the British postal authorities were the first to allow the now-standard divided back. Other countries quickly followed, although the US quite late in 1907.[3]

F. Hartmann was no longer in business in 1909, and the remaining stock was being sold off by the postcard printer John Thridgould of 14-22 Sidney Street, off Commercial Road East.[9]


  1. ^ "Frederick Hartmann - Person - National Portrait Gallery". 26 December 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b Alan Petrulis. "MetroPostcard List of Postcard Publishers H p1". Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Jennifer Speake (12 May 2014). Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 979. ISBN 978-1-135-45663-4. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  4. ^ "The London Gazette : NOTICES OF DIVIDENDS" (PDF). Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  5. ^ "The London Gazette : NOTICES OF DIVIDENDS" (PDF). Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  6. ^ "The London Gazette : NOTICES OF DIVIDENDS" (PDF). Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 March 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "The London Gazette : NOTICES OF DIVIDENDS" (PDF). Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Thridgould Postcard Printers". Hertfordshire Genealogy. Retrieved 1 March 2017.