Hertfordshire Postcard Artists, Photographers, Publishers, etc.


Crown Publishing Ltd, St Albans, 1908/9


Crown Publishing Co, St ALbans, Karaktus 27 - Milkman  

Who was Karaktus?

The highly distinctive comic cards illustrated here were published by The Crown Publishing Co., St Albans, and were sold nationally in 1908/9. They are numbered from 1 to 30 (the highest number I have so far identified). There was no later series.

The pseudonym "Karaktus" almost certainly relates to the First century Chieften, Caractacus, head of the Catuvellauni tribe, which included the area where St Albans is now - suggesting that the name was chosen because it had a link with St Albans.

Karaktus Post Card No 3, Crown Publishing Co., St Albans, Herts, 1909


Karaktus Post Card - St Albans - Deer Dear


Karaktus Post Card No 23, Crown Publishing Co., St Albans, Herts, 1909 - Bachelors wish

The following additional groups of cards have been identified

"Crown" Postcards - Series 1 - Some Signed "F S"

"Crown" Postcards - Series 2 - All Unsigned

Crown Publishing Co., St Albans, Herts

"Crown" Postcards - Series 3 - All Unsigned

Having spent some 15 years working on the view cards of Hertfordshire I decided I would try and find out more about this short lived St Albans Company, and the artists "Karaktus." This lead to a search for "F S" - who produced a large number of cards in the period 1906-7 in association with another short-lived company - the London View Company Ltd. The research revealed a complex network of companies and the evidence collected very strongly suggests that "F S" was a very prolific post card artist called Fred Spurgin, and it was very likely that he was also responsible for the Karaktus cards.

To help me keep track of the cards I set up a working catalogue and I feel it would be useful to put the information online, even if only a small part of it relates to Hertfordshire. In effect I have set up a subsidiary section to the main site - accessed via the "F S" Home button or directly as www,hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk/FS.htm  The home page contains the story of my search and a contents list for the catalogue.



February 2018     Replace old page and link to F S Catalogue