James Valentine

1815 - 1879

James Valentine
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

James Valentine

Photographer and publisher. His father, John, set up a company of printers and lithographers, based in Dundee. Valentine trained as an engraver, but went to Paris to learn the Daguerreotype photographic process in the late 1840s and returning to Dundee to open a portrait studio in early 1850s, specialising in cartes-de-visite. Valentine was a proficient landscape photographer who became one of the seven original members Edinburgh Photographic Society in 1861. Around the same time, the Valentine company entered the photographic publishing business and became known their postcards. He opened a substantial printing works in the Perth Road in Dundee which, in 1937, moved to premises on the Kingsway. Valentine and his company systematically photographed the vistas and attractions of Britain for use in these postcards. By the 1950s, greeting cards were becoming a more important source of revenue than postcards.

The company was taken over by Waddingtons, the game and postcard manufacturer, in 1963, and again by American-based Hallmark Cards in 1980, one of the world's largest greeting card companies. They continued to operate in Dundee until market conditions brought the closure of the Kingsway factory and the loss of hundreds of jobs in 1994.

The University of St. Andrews holds a large archive of Valentine's images.

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