The firm of Warwick Bros & Rutter published over 7,024 picture postcards during what is now called "The Golden Age of Postcards" (1901-1913). Of these postcards, over 100 were images of Montreal.
Although the firm was an Ontario based company, the founder, William Warwick (c1830s-1880) was born in Montreal to an English father and an Irish mother. His mother's name was not listed in the book: "Warwick Bros & Rutter Limited. The Story of a Business 1848-1923" but a look through the non-catholic Montreal BMD index may have produced his birth-date, parents' names and siblings' names. Un-confirmed - it looks like his parents may have been Guy Warwick and Louisa Fortune. Confirmed details will be posted soon.
In 1847 William Warwick left Montreal for Woodstock, Ontario, where he opened a little book and stationary shop. In the 1850s he added a bookbinding plant and began the publishing and making of School and other textbooks. In the 1860s he developed the wholesale end of his business, but finding Woodstock was a limited market, he moved his business to Toronto in 1868.
In 1880, through an accident while driving through the Exhibition grounds in Toronto, Mr. Warwick was thrown from his carriage and injured so severly that he died within a few weeks. The loss of the head of the business was a serious blow. But Mr. Warwick with that keenness of judgement which characterized him in so many directions, had surrounded himself with able and loyal associates, and these took up the burden where he had laid it down.
Mrs. Warwick, who had long proven herself a worthy and capable helpmeet to her husband, became the head of the business, assisted by the eldest son, Mr. Guy F. Warwick." "Mr. Arthur F. Rutter, who had joined the staff as a lad in 1873, assumed charge of the manufacturing departments.
On the death of Mr. Warwick, the name of the business was changed to "Wm. Warwick & Son", the firm consisting of Mrs. Rosina Warwick and Mr. Guy F. Warwick. In 1885, when the second son, Mr. George R. Warwick was admitted to partnership, Mrs. Warwick retired and the firm name became "Warwick & Sons". Mr. Arthur F. Rutter was taken into the partnership in 1886 and Mr. Charles E. Warwick, the youngest son, was also made a member of the firm. In 1893 the firm name was changed from "Warwick & Sons" to "Warwick Bros. & Rutter".
"For some years, the firm made a specialty of the production of picture post cards. It was the first Canadian firm to enter the field with "Made in Canada" coloured cards, leading the way in three color and four color printing processes and making available the highest class of color printing at a popular price."
Source for his business life: "Warwick Bros & Rutter Limited. The Story of a Business 1848-1923"
Artists and Illustrators used by W & R
Listing of Montreal postcards
published by Warwick & Rutter
Project on Warwick and Rutter
Further Reading on Warwick & Rutter
privately printed and published by Warwick Bros & Rutter Ltd., 1923
By Jaques Poitras. Published by Societe Historique du Marigot, Longueuil, 1994
Back to the homepage