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Warner Gothard Postcards

Warner Gothard of Barnsley started his photographic portrait business in the second half of the nineteenth century but the famous montage postcards they published from 1905 onwards were actually accredited to his sons who had the idea of recording unique and interesting incidents and events from Royal Visits to Mining Disasters. The postcards were never numbered but can be indexed by date. Warner Gothard also published portraits and other topographical and social history postcards but they are mostly ignored in favour of the special montage postcards they produced.

The early montage postcards recorded events around the local Barnsley area and they obviously became very popular. The only problem was waiting for local incidents and events of interest to occur so they could publish the next postcard. The only way they could expand on a very successful business model would be to publish postcards of national interest. Based in Yorkshire caused a problem of how to get to a new disaster or accident to record and photograph the scene in another part of the Country within hours of it happening. The only way they could have done this would have been to use agents who could collect all the information and photographs needed to create another postcard masterpiece.

Completing this task would have been far from straight forward. Having to visit the immediate family of a recently deceased individual to ask permission to use a photograph they could publish needed a delicate and high level of understanding and expertise. Wedding photographs and family portraits were used when necessary though the content would not always be available immediately. Many designs were altered, even very slightly from the original when new photographs or information came to light.

Warner Gothard montage postcards have been very collectable for many years and will continue to do so. They will always bring a premium because of their popularity and rarity when offered for sale though there are postcards more common than others. With slight deviations from original designs and no official records listing the exact number and details published it may be fair to assume that others are still to be discovered either waiting to be found in a dark attic or from a private collection. It is possible that this website could uncover a hidden gem of it's own just through collectors and historians sharing information.

This website is not to be deemed as anything official nor do I cast myself as an authority on Warner Gothard postcards. I am simply a collector who, like many others have been captivated by their design and the story they tell and want to learn more. This website will evolve over time as new images and information are collected from various sources. I would like it to be a celebration of the work they accomplished over 100-years ago which still captures the imagination to this day.

We welcome anyone to provide information and images if they wish to share them so they can be enjoyed by others. I would especially like to thank Brian Lund for his assistance and support he has provided. Feel free to use the contact page if you have any knowledge or images you would like to contribute. I also welcome your feedback on the website so if you have any comments or ideas that could improve the website please let me know.

If your are a collector or looking to start collecting Warner Gothard Events and disaster postcards then please check out the postcards for sale page on this website.

Mark Fynn

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