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Who was "F S"

 

Cards by "F S"

This research started because I was interested in the identity of "Karaktus" and the Crown Publishing Company who published comic post cards in St Albans in about 1908. I discovered some slightly earlier "Crown Series" post cards which included some signed "F S" - who had also published cards for the London View Company which went bankrupt shortly before the Crown Publishing Company appeared.

 

This raised an interesting question. Was "F S" the founder of the Crown Publishing Company and if so could identifying "F S" help me to identify "Karaktus"? On ebay "F S" is sometime referred to as "Fred Stone" and sometimes to "Fred Spurgin" - but most sellers do not associate a name with "F S."

 

So I decided to try and find out about who "F S" was by finding out what he published and where. His publication pattern turned out to be very complex  - with a range of different post card companies printing his work, at least three different back on cards published in the United States, and other cards on plain backs. Some designs were printed by more than one publishers - sometime omitting his signature.

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

Bearing in mind the number of people who might use "F S" as a signature and who could have drawn comic post cards I will be discussing below arguments relating to the possible identity of the artist, and in the case of Fred Stone, which of the very many people with that name in the 1901 and 1911 censuses might have been the artist.

Links to detailed arguments to be added here