Card of the Day - 2021-12-14

O100-452 [tobacco : UK] Ogden "Royal Mail" (1909) 41/50
O100-452 [tobacco : UK] Ogden Ltd "Royal Mail" (1909) 41/50

This set is listed in our original Ogden`s Ltd Cartophilic Reference Book No.15 issued in 1949, under the item number of O/147 as “50 ROYAL MAIL. Fronts lithographed in colour. Backs in blue with descriptive text. Home issue, 1909. Similar series issued by Clarke. The series of the same title issued by Wills in Australia contains entirely different subjects.”

Wm Clarke & Son were founded in Cork in 1830, and then moved to Liverpool. In 1901 they joined up with the Imperial Tobacco Co. Ltd, and sold their former shops that were based in Ireland to Salmon and Gluckstein and A.I. Jones & Co, where Isidore Gluckstein was a director. However in 1923, when Customs barriers were imposed in Eire, Clarkes moved back to Ireland again. Sadly I have not been able to find out whether they were able to regain their former holdings.

The subject of this card, the “Christmas Traffic Supplementary Van” is fascinating, for it tells us that at Christmas “About four times the normal weight of mails has to be transported”. So what did they do? Well they called for cart drivers to help out for a few days, and “hundreds of private vehicles” were given a large ROYAL MAIL placard to display on the side of their vehicle, as shown here, whilst they carried this extra mail. And after they had done their duty, they returned to carrying their usual cargo.