Monday, 25 July 2016

More of "Our Belles" from Tuck & Sons in 1908 and a bit of commercial sharp practice

Now as every good advertiser knows when you have a winning formula you don’t throw it away quickly.

So when Tuck and Son hit on the idea of issuing picture postcards with pin ups purporting to come from a chosen town or city they pretty much milked it dry.

And over a century and a bit later their Manchester card has proved successful all over again.

When I posted  OF ALL THE GIRLS 'TIS NICE TO MEET MANCHESTER GIRLS ARE HARD TO BEAT” with its six young “belles” and a picture of the Town Hall it was seen by nearly 300 people in the first few days and was posted on around the world.

London Bridge
Now it never occurred to me at the time to explore just how many other similar cards they issued and when I did even I was surprised.

The series seems to have taken in 271 and covered all our major cities and towns and extended to the U.S.A.

Each “bevy of belles” was accompanied by a small photograph of a prominent building, landmark or beauty spot and each also came with its own little rhyme which pretty much followed the Manchester pattern which I suppose didn’t over challenge the copywriters.

That said I remain impressed with their ability to turn in a line on the likes of Ifracombe, Llandudno and Aberystwyth.

But perhaps I am setting their stall too high, for many of the rhymes were the same and sadly many of “our belles” turn up again and again having posed in London, Newcastle, Denver, and New Orleans.

But then I doubt that the discerning postcard purchaser of Dublin was ever likely to study at Lawrence University in Appleton Wisconsin or for that matter  make regular visits to the Court House in Newberry, South Carolina only to discover his "belles" appeared elsewhere.

But all I suppose is fair in the world of the Edwardian pin up post card and the little picture of the building, landmark or beauty spot has a period interest.

Pictures; all from the series “our Belles marked by Tuck & Sons, circa 1908, courtesy of Tuck DB,

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