Publishers: "Gale & Polden"

Artists: C. Crombie & G. M. Payne

The printing firm of Gale and Polden were founded in the 1860's and began publishing postcards in 1901, continuing until the company closed in 1959. They published a wide range of post cards and  are best known for their post cards of military subjects. The general history of the company is described on Wikipedia and there is a detailed account of their post card publishing in Picture Postcards and their Publishers by Anthony Byatt (Golden Age Postcard Books, 1978).

The company is of interest here because it published cards by "Fred Stone" in 1905 and its name appears as publisher on at least six of the "F S" sets in 1906/7. At about the same time they were publishing many other attractive comic cards by other artists.

Some Gale & Polden Military Cards

The King's Royal Rifle Corps


The humours of Bisley

The Competitors must lie prone

Royal Garrison Artillery

The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

The company's earliest comic postcards appeared in 1904 and the following artists were involved.


I was detained

Signed F? Cock   Wellington Series   1904


Sale or exchange. Gentleman having no further use for an extravagent wife will sell or exchange for anything useful


Signed Ted S   Wellington Series

13 September 1905


I 'll wait for you

Signed F? Cock   Wellington Series



Travelling Backwards by Chas Crombie

This card by Charles Crombie, is one of a popular set, copyright Perrier, which was widely posted in 1907 as "Motoring Series by Chas Crombie" or "Reliable Series" or with the publisher names The Philco Publishing Co or Gale & Polden.  This suggests that the company was buying in other comic cards, and not just those by "F S".


At the same time Charles Crombie was producing cards for Valentines for sale in both the UK and the USA, as the following examples show.

The husband and how to train them

Valentine Series

January 1906

The husband and how to train them

Valentine series - Souvenir


[Golf series] Rule XVII

Bee Logo back - USA

March 1908

  • Gilbert Morris Payne - Started as a regular artist for the company in or before 1906, producing many interesting sets.

Gilbert Morris (Bertie) Payne was born in Cardiff in 1879 and moved to London in 1901 where he was employed by Amalgamated Press - his work (published in several Newspapers of the day) became extra-ordinarily successful and popular as a result of which he was commissioned by publishers Gale & Polden Ltd to produce various Series of Comic Postcards reflecting aspects of Edwardian Social Behaviour or based upon life in the Royal Navy and British Army between the Boer and First World Wars. He died in 1947.

Dont's for Sweethearts (unsigned)


[also with O. Flammger, Post Card Publisher, London E C]


Dont's for Sweethearts (unsigned)

Nelson Series - posted 30 August 1906

Dont's for Sweethearts by G M Payne

Nelson Series - posted 5 March 1907

Cards by "Fred Stone" & "F S"

Fred Stone appear to have previously produced cards for Henry Moss & Co but in 1905/6/7 produced cards for Gale and Polden in their Nelson and Wellington series, the backs showing the appropriate logo. He sometimes simply signed his cards "F S."

Other known Nursery Rhyme, etc, titles:

Where are you going to my little maid

Twinkle, twinkle, little star

Froggy would a wooing go

He won't be happy till he gets it

Mary had a little lamb

Wellington Series - October 1905

Little Jack Horner, Sat in a corner

Wellington Series - January 1905

The smile that won't come off

Wellington series

Alas My poor brother 

Signed "F S"

The Nelson Series [also Wellington Series]

12 September 1906

A Fool and his money is soon Parted

Signed "F S"

The Nelson Series

It is ill to awaken Sleeping dogs

Signed "F Stone"

The Nelson Series

  • "F S"  also published many sets of cards starting in 1906. Most of these sets had identical backs (Early Saxony) with the name of a publisher added to the back (left hand margin). Some card appeared with several different publisher versions. The commonest publisher named was the London View Co. Ltd. - who may have employed "F S."

  • Examples of cards from the following sets are known "published" by Gale & Polden.

There's a Girl wanted there

See Housemaids


In the Arms of the Law

See The Law


Catching the Post

See Post

A Fat Lady & and Narrow Escape  

See Fire



Oh! Did He

See Oh! Did He!




To wish you many returns

See Birthday Greetings