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FJH          Frank Hurley         FJH
James Francis Hurley 1885 - 1962

 

The Postcards of Frank Hurley - the early years

 

James Francis Hurley first produced postcards from about 1905 till he left for the antarctic in 1911.

He started out in collaboration with Henry Cave. They published under the name Cave & Hurley.   (logo to the right..)

After the partnership finished, Hurley operated at several addresses in central Sydney from 1906 to 1911 building his own individual style and reputation as a professional photographer.

Below is a sample of the postcards in groupings relating to Frank Hurley and his various signatures/logos.

 

 

 

James Francis Hurley  business card

commercial photographer & general stationery

..........................

When you require Modern Photographic Illustrations call City 678

Photography Specialities Cataloque
illustrations Photo ?? Postcards

 

JFH: James Francis Hurley

a wonderful card about the new Central Railway Station

a great photo of people and Sydney's new Central Railway Station

  a JFH postcard
  JFH postcard
 

This time the same photograph as published by Frank Hurley but it has not been identified as being a Hurley postcard.

The speculation is that it is a photograph sold on by Hurley.

It is identified on the rear as being published by C.B & Co.

   
  same card as above
but with the Xmas and New Year Greeting
  JFH
  JFH
  JFH
  JFH
  JFH
  JFH
  JFH
  JFH
  JFH
 

a JFH greetings card

besides the real photo cards all the publishers produced these composite cards.

They usually came with some form of special greeting, smaller versions of photos from other cards as well as one of those little pieces of prose.

  JFH Greetings Card
  JFH Greetings Card
  JFH
 

JFH

the visit of the US Great White Fleet
was a major event in Sydney

 

JFH

the US Great White Fleet

  JFH
 

Hurley

the anchor and copyright

 

Hurley

the anchor and copyright

 

Hurley

the anchor and copyright

 

same as previous
but not hand coloured

 

Hurley

the anchor and copyright

 

Hurley

the anchor and copyright

 

same as previous
different format

 

Hurley

the anchor and copyright

 

Hurley

the anchor and copyright

 

JFH

Hurley captures an important political moment in NSW

 

JFH

another important event in Australia

Empire Day 1909

 

JFH

Empire Day 1909

 

JFH: James Francis Hurley

and the famous postcard:

The Steel Track

and of course

 

Hurley said that this postcard
"The Steel Track" was a huge seller.

The photo seems to have been used by other publishers.

 

After Henry Cave and Frank Hurley parted company, Cave may have published using the letter C to identify his cards.

Cave's postcards indicate that maybe he continued to use previously shared images, most likely taken by Hurley.

Note the number C. 104

 

Here is another postard that has the same image and the same writing by Cave and the same number, but this time the card has been altered to be a card by Star Photo.

Was this because Cave became Star Photo or worked for Star or sold everything onto Star Photo?

 

again by Star Photo.

Maybe not such a good colourist!

 

Hurley seemed to have had a good and on-going relationship with the publisher Giovanardi.

Here Giovanardi has published the Hurley 'Steel Track'  as his own under the title:  Signal Box - Night - Sydney R. Station.

and to finish this little story - just see what the sender of this card has said..

WARNING - if you are an Australian and get easily offended - then please close you eyes!

(please note the spelling is as written on the original card)

How do you like this P.C.

I work near where these signals is.

I have to cross these lines every morning to my work.

These are the biggest in Australia so you can guess they are a long way behide in times here but they dont think so

they are very ingorant class of people is the Australians.

they think they are the best in everythink especially sport.

What price cricket.

   
 

H - most likely Hurley

there are more train postcards?

 

Cave and Hurley

and more trains?

 

JFH

 

and more ?

  Cave and Hurley
 

Cave & Hurley

 

and there are more versions of this card..

 

Cave & Hurley

 

a variation on the former

and then it is taken over by Hurley

 

JFH

 

a variation on the former

and using the same number

 

JFH

 

another variation

this time being used as a
New Year greeting

 

Hurley
with the anchor/copyright

 

and for a variation

   
  JFH
  JFH
 

a theatrical portrait postcard

complete with Hurley's own stamp on the rear:

such a personality card or even a studio portrait by Frank Hurley at this time is unusual.

Around 1905 Frank Hurley, being a 20 years old and with some initial successes in photography, joined the firm of Henry Cave. This firm most likely was a publishing firm producing the usual range of stationary items as well as postcards.

There are conflicting stories about how he entered into the business. The most popular, and the most doubful, was that his father bought a share of the business for Frank. The suspicion is that this version is just another part of the history og Frank Hurley as documented by Frank himself later in life. Although it must alos be remembered that Mr Hurley Senior was in the publishing trade himself, being a senior figure with the NSW Government Printer, so he would have known Henry Cave.

The reality was more likely that Frank, with his father's encouragemnet and blessing, joined the firm as the main photographer. Cave and Hurley then jointly put their branding on the postcards.

The partnership did not last too long with Hurley going his own way and establishing his own reputation and style of postcards.

As for Henry Cave, his career after the Cave and Hurley is not documented. I suspect he produced his own postcards for a while using C. as his signature. Curiously the photographs seen to date indicate that he may have used the same stock photos, possibly those taken by Hurley. Note this is speculation.

There is a series that indicates that on one occasion, his C postcard were altered to become Star Photo postcards. So the questions become: Did he work for Star Photo? Did he sell photographs onto Star Photo? Was he in fact Star Photo?

 

 

C&H

Cave and Hurley

Henry Cave and Frank Hurley

  Cave & Hurley
  Cave & Hurley
  Cave & Hurley
  Cave & Hurley
  Cave & Hurley
     
     
     
     

 

 
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