Southampton’s foremost publisher of Edwardian and early 20th century postcards was born in 1842 in Braemar, Scotland. In his twenties he moved to London to set up as a professional photographer. In 1882 he transferred his business to Southampton, initially with premises in Bedford Place but later at 57-61 Cromwell Road in Banister Park.

In the 1890s he contributed photographs to local guide books and magazines, building up a large stock of images on which he drew for the postcards he began to produce in 1901. Initially his postcards were printed in black and white, but from 1903 he issued a series lithographed by the Leipzig firm of C. G. Roder, who added delicate and realistic colour to his work. From 1911 Stuart was obliged, because of increased competition, to use cheaper methods of production with cruder colours, and the outbreak of World War One ended his connection with the Leipzig firm. His subsequent cards varied in quality.

Stuart published about 2,500 cards, half of them of Southampton and Hampshire subjects. They are highly regarded by modern collectors and can command several pounds each. Many of his photographs have been reproduced in books and are now quite familiar to those with an interest in local history.

Stuart died in 1923 and was buried in the Old Cemetery, where a pink granite memorial to him can still be seen.

Tudor House

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A Stuart coloured postcard, c.1905

The Arcade

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A Stuart coloured postcard, c.1905

Further reading:

'Francis Godolphin Osborne Stuart,' by A G K Leonard in FOSOC Newsletter, no. 43, Jan-Mar 2014. (HS/lu)

External links:


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