Edwardian Advertising Postcard - Joseph Rank Flour Miller

Joseph Rank Flour Miller Postcard

Postcards were extensively used as an advertising medium in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Some were used for customer correspondence, many given away with the advertised product; others were issued at trade exhibitions or were given to schools and Sunday Schools for use as 'reward cards' for children.

Attached is a poster style Edwardian postcard advertising the company we today know as Rank Hovis McDougal. The postcard dates from the early 1900's and features the original 1901 company name "Joseph Rank Limited" and their, then new and state of the art, Clarence Mills in Hull Yorkshire. To the top of the card is a brand name "As You Like It Flour", a bread flour that the company continues to offer today.

Joseph Rank (1854 - 1943) was the son of a Hull miller. He worked for his father from his early teens but it wasn't a happy arrangement and, in1874 when his father died, Joseph was forced to make his own way in life. It was a struggle at first with cheap imported American flours undermining the domestic market. Joseph Rank persevered and went on to pioneer the use of steel roller mills and efficient manufacturing processes that brought him considerable success from the late 1800's onwards. A convert to Methodism when his business started to flourish; Joseph Rank donated generously to good causes throughout his life. In 1935 Rank was awarded of Freedom of the City of Hull, partly in recognition of his good works for the poor.

Early 1900's Advertising postcards such as this are avidly collected today, both by deltiologists and by those with a wider interest in industrial history. For more about Edwardian advertising postcards click on the link in the content section (top right of this page).

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