Thomas Nelson and Son postcards

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Thomas Nelson and Son, a business still in existence today, was an important publisher of postcards in the early years of the 20th century, as the new means of communication gained rapidly in popularity. These cards are part of a set of superb paintings of Jersey.

It is difficult to be certain of when they were painted, and it is not known who the artist was. It appears unlikely that they were commissioned specially for their cards by the publisher.

Most of them exhibit a fair degree of artistic licence, but on the assumption that the first image below of St Aubin is reasonably accurate, it can be dated between 1870 and 1884. The first date is the year the railway from St Helier to the new terminus alongside St Aubin's Harbour opened, and the second is when the line was extended to La Moye, and ultimately La Corbiere. In the painting a train is shown approaching the station, but there is no sign of a track circling the terminus on the seaward side and emerging to cross the road on the other side, which was how trains reached the extension to La Moye.

Some of these cards were never posted, and were cut from the publisher's original printed sheets to go on sale in 2018. Those which were posted bear 1905 postmarks - ten years after the first known date for a postcard sent from Jersey. So it seems that there was a gap of some 20 years, or more, between the pictures being posted and their first use as postcards

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