Hertfordshire Postcard Artists, Photographers, Publishers, etc.

Blum & Degen Ltd

Post Card Publishers

Old Herts


"F S" Project

Blum and Degen were pioneer post card publishers whose first known card were published in 1895. They covered a wide range of subjects, but only the company history and the Hertfordshire view cards are discussed on this page here, and they fall in a narrow date range. For some of the later comic cards see the "F S" Project.

The earliest I know of were standard sized cards with undivided backs, and while they do not carry the publisher's name they have a distinctive heading on the address side and leave white space for a message on the picture side. The cards are unnumbered and the earliest I have seen was posted in 1903. None of the ones I have seen are coloured.

The first divided back cards are similar. The had a smaller area for messages than for the address on the address side (labelled "Writing space for Inland use only"), and retained a smaller area of white space for messages on the picture side. Later the space on the address side was enlarged and white space vanished from the picture side. These card would have typically been produced about 1905. All cards were given a number, and some were coloured.

A distinctive trademark was introduced in 1905 and many "KROMO" series coloured views of Hertfordshire were issued. The company went bankrupt in October 1908 and there is no evidence of any further Hertfordshire KROMO cards being produced. Such cards would typically have been produced circa 1907.

In 1907 the company claimed to have a stock of ten million cards, but this high stock level lead to financial difficulties and in October 1908 the receiver was called in by Mr. Niven (see Klio Post Card Company).

Undivided Backs (circa 1903)


Version 1 (as shown) with smaller picture to leave room for message.. Back printed in black. Unnumbered.


Version 2 - as 1 but with wide message strip on picture side  and back printed in red.




The Abbey, St Albans


Version 1. Posted March 27, 1903




Market Place, Watford


Version 2. Posted June 12, 1903

Early Divided Backs (circa 1905)


Version 1 (as shown) with larger area for address

Picture has narrow "message strip"


Version 2 - very similar but equal area for message and address, no message area on picture side

  Version 3 - very similar to version 2 but coloured picture and green writing on back and "Postcard" one word.




London Orphan Asylum



Version 1. Posted December 1905




Queens Road, Watford


Version 1

3691     High Street, Watford  

Version 1

Same image as coloured # 8118

3986     Hadley Green, near Barnet   ?




Mount Pleasant

Lavender Field



Version 2. Posted July 29 1913


Market Place


  Version 3




High Street



Version 3. Posted 1907

Same image as uncoloured # 3691




St Peter's Street

St Albans


Version 3




Parish Church

East Barnet


Version 2. Posted September 23 1910






Version 2. Posted December 24 1912






Version 2, Posted 1914

Identical image to a Frith card


Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, post card


Knebworth House



Hermitage Road



Version 2. Not posted

Identical image to a Frith card - see An Interesting Pair




The Four Cross Roads



Version 2. Posted October 1905

(also known in colour)

No Number   watford-cassio-park-tree   Cassiobury Park, Watford, Posted 1905  

Version 2 Posted 1905


Kromo Series (circa 1907)


21545     River Lear & Lock, Ware   Posted 1908
21595   watford-cassio-mill-03   Old Mill, Cassiobury Park, Watford   Posted 1907
21640     Thorley Lock & River Stort  

 Posted 1908

21652   watford-market-02   Market Place, Watford  

Posted 1960 !

Also known uncoloured

22274     Cassiobury Park, Watford

[Grand Junction Canal]




  Waterfall, Grove Mill, Watford

Cassiobury Park


[More examples of Kromo cards, plus some information on different backs,  will be added]

Please tell me if you have any further information on Blum & Degan's cards in Hertfordshire - particularly if they are numbered and/or there is a date of posting.


September 2010


Page created.

February 2019


Prepared for Archive

December 2091   Linked to "F S" pages

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