NOSTALGIA: Rise of selfie leads to demise of oldest publisher of postcards

A J Salmon Postcard of HMS Victory

Britain’s oldest postcard publisher is closing after almost 140 years because of the rise of the selfie.

J Salmon, which has been a family-run business since it was founded, has announced that it proposes to publish its last traditional postcards – and calendars – in December.

A seocnd J Salmon postcard of HMS Victory

It blames shrinking markets and the huge increase in the popularity of social media for a dramatic decline in traditional holiday postcard sales.

Thanks to the arrival of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp sales have fallen from 20 million 25 years ago to about five million today – with increased competition from overseas printers and publishers.

Reader Simon Hart is mourning the loss of the firm as he was an avid collector.

He says: ‘I have happy memories of buying postcards and putting them in scrapbooks as a child.

Approaching Bartons Arch in 1936 is a D15 class engine on a Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour service. Bartons Arch was at the top of the gradient on Bartons Road to Emsworth Road, about a mile from Havant junction. The arch has since been demolished and replaced. The D15 class had the monopoly on the Portsmouth line until electrification in 1935. By then these locomotives were 25 years old. Designed by Dugald Drummond in 1912, they did sterling work until retired from service between 1951 and 1955. None has survived. The field on the right of the photograph has recently been built on. Picture: Barry Cox Collection

‘It is sad to realise that no J Salmon cards will be sold showing HMS Victory in her returned glory after the current restoration.’

And to mark the end of J Salmon he sent me two old cards from his collection showing Nelson’s flagship in all her pomp.

Heres a weird one from 1910, a photo taken on the green at Rowlands Castle. Does anyone know who or what a Belgravian was? Perhaps they are what were once called theatricals? We enlarged the photo and the Scotsman has a false beard. His uniform is not all that smart either with the middle buttons undone. Sitting second from the right is a man in what appears to be a woollen black mask and were sure the lady sitting fourth from the right is a man in drag. The sailors cap tallies tell us they are from HMS Excellent, HMS Venerable and HMS Venus. The sailors tally second from the left we cant distinguish. The man second from the left seated has an OXO advertising board by his side. They were out for the day in Rowlands Castle and the photo was taken with them posing on the green with Redhill Road behind them. The photographer was Thomas Humphries of 65, Guildford Road, Fratton, Portsmouth. (Ralph Cousins Collection)

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