J.C. Wilson & Co. developed a sample display card for their line of Patriotic Private Post Cards just after the issuance of their “Maple Leaf For Ever” and “What We Have We’ll Hold” designs. The display card was for the use by booksellers and stationers, the primary vendors to the public of J.C. Wilson’s postcards, to advertise the company’s wares. The display card contained eight postcards, including six patriotic cards two of their Sports & Pastimes series. The cards were advertised to the public at 10¢/dozen, while selling to the stationers at ¼¢ each, plus shipping.
In November 1898, J.C. Wilson & Co. issued a new series of postcards and envelopes entitled “The Sports & Pastimes of Canada”. As a preamble to issuing the series, the company mailed out advanced proofs to potential customers alerting them to the opportunity to submit advanced orders for the new series of cards & envelopes. I’ve added a postcard to the web site that was mailed in October 1898 to Geo. F. Waldron of Brentwood, New Hampshire, alerting them of a shipment being sent to them on the date of mailing of the postcard.
The proof varies slightly from the final postcard series, in that the colour of the ink used for the printer’s attribution and Private Post Card text on the front of the card was a shade of brown on the proof, while on the final series, the colour was changed to a blue-green colour. Card numbers also varied. The number on the proof of the card shows as 1, but in the final series, the design shown, Sculling & Swimming, was issued as card 14, with the card number near the top corner rather than the bottom margin on the proof.
I’ve also seen a copy of a proof of the Canoeing & Yachting design which was half way to the final issue, with the attribution text in brown, but the Private Post Card text changed to the final blue-green colour.