About Series : Blue Sky

The Blue Sky series seems to be the only series of Australian cards published by E.T.W Dennis.


The cards stand out because of the uniformly blue sky imposed on a black and white view. There are two Tasmanian cards, of Silver Falls and Lilydale Falls, where there is no sky in the picture, but these are confidently placed in the series because of the same back layout and front text style.


The cards have two different types of back.  Most have a characteristic double line with scrolls under the words “Post Card”, but one has a simpler design with “Printed in England” along the central dividing line. 


The number of cards in the series is not know.  There are 15 cards here of Tasmania, and one of the railway station on the Queensland – NSW border. Other NSW cards of the same series are available occasionally.


It is not clear if the photographer was E.T.W. Dennis himself, or if he used other photographers’ images. About half the cards have E.T.W.D. printed in the image, but whether this indicates the photographer or the publisher is yet to be resolved. I have never seen an image of an E.T.W.D. card used on another publisher’s card, which suggests he did not use images taken by local photographers.


 The used cards are postmarked February 1906 to August 1907, with one outlier of September 1911. 


 It is assumed that the cards were printed at the E.T.W. Dennis printing plant in Scarborough, UK.


 All evidence considered, my suggestion is that E.T.W. Dennis, or someone taking photos on his behalf,  visited Australia in  about 1905, toured Tasmania and then went northwards by train, taking photographs as they went. The cards were then printed in England on his return, and sent back to Australia for sale. Maybe it is unlikely that E.T.W. Dennis himself visited, as he would have been aged 58 at the time, but perhaps one of his sons made the tour of the colonies.