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A brief history of Levy Sons & Co. largely taken with permission from LL1 (containing all the LL postcards of the UK) by John Wood and the members of the LL Collectors Circle

[More information regarding the book LL1 click here]

LL is now known to be the trademark of a well known Paris photographic firm, rather than the initials of any one individual. There never was the apocryphal “Louis Levy” who for many years was spoken of across the tables of the postcard fraternity.

In the 1860s two noted French stereoscopic photographers, Charles Soulier and Claude Ferrier, formed their own company. Two of their assistants were Moses Leon and Georges Isaac Levy, and in 1864 they purchased the majority of the stereo collection from Soulier and Ferrier. Thus began the “LL” imprint. From stereos they progressed into photographic publishing and “Collection LL” became well known in France. By the 1870s the firm was trading as J Levy & Co. and by 1895, Levy’s two sons, Abraham Lucien and Gaspard Ernest had taken over from their father, J Georges Levy.

Levy and Sons first produced postcards in conjunction with the Paris Exhibition of 1900. It must have been a success because by 1901 they were selling a host of postcard views of Paris, Boulogne and other Channel ports. Sometime early after 1900 the company took up residence at their familiar registered address of 44 Rue Letellier, Paris.

Levy Sons & Co. Sent their photographers over to England in 1904 and cards were put on sale from May 1905. It was a major exercise because hundreds of views of coastal resorts of Kent, Sussex and the Isle of Wight were on sale simultaneously. Black print cards, coloured cards, and sepia cards were all sold, also some double-width panoramic cards. The quality was outstanding. They had their sales agent, Percy Burt, based in the Gamages Building, 118 Holborn, London. He, one presumes, oversaw delivery of stocks from France, to various wholesalers and retailers.

LL Boulogne-Sur-Mer 2.jpg LL Calais 73.jpg LL Dieppe 80.jpg

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Levy Sons & Co. (LL)