Mezzograph Co.


Falmer Church & pond

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Successor firm to Mezzotint, operating from the same Brighton address. Unlike its predecessor, it eschewed collotypes, which had relatively high start-up costs and required large volume sales to be profitable, and turned instead to producing real photographics, which could be issued quickly with lower start-up costs.

The earliest Mezzograph cards were issued in the summer of 1912, and the firm seems only to have lasted until 1913 (or possibly 1914). The subjects covered were strangely diverse, for example the Surrey Brigade camp at Eastbourne in summer 1912 (many cards, some labelled Mezzograph, others Press Photo Co.), Graham-White's seaplane arriving at Brighton in July 1912, the Southdown foxhounds, Mr Lade's ox team at Falmer, the railway station at Portslade (October 1912 postmark seen), Lovers Walk at Preston Park (October 1912 postmark noted), the unveiling of the Peace Statue on the Hove-Brighton boundary in October 1912, and Lewes Castle (entitled "A glimpse of old Lewes" - November 1912 postmark seen). The firm also published a portrait photograph of "Captain" Fred Collins, who was skipper of a succession of boats called Skylark that took holidaymakers for a sail off Brighton beach. He was a Brighton celebrity, and his funeral procession on September 4, 1912 was watched by large crowds. The Mezzograph card was published to mark his death.

In competition with Rudolf Handwerck, Mezzograph produced a large number (possibly as many as 37) fake "Aeroplane Views" of Brighton taken from the tops of Church towers.

Mezzograph seem to have taken over the publication of Press Photo cards from Edward Carr in 1912. At this date the firm evidently anticipated a rosy future. The end, when it came, was abrupt and perhaps unexpected. Possibly a major financial backer withdrew without warning.

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