British Print Trade Union Cards

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From the late Dave Bowles’ collection of London Fleet Street compositors items comes this great collection of trade union membership cards from 1946 right through to the 1990s.

A unique collection documenting the changing typographical styles through the years.

I noticed that some of the early 1980s ones were looking a little dog-eared, perhaps reflecting the number of meetings, or pickets, Dave was attending during this period when his union was battling for survival.

What’s your favourite? Mine’s 1950. Let me know yours in the comments.

London Society of Compositors 1946

London Society of Compositors 1947

London Society of Compositors 1948

London Society of Compositors 1949

London society of Compositors 1950




London Society of Compositors 1951

London Society of Compositors 1952

London Society of Compositors 1954

London Society of Compositors 1955

London Typographical Society 1956

London Typographical Society 1957

London Typographical Society 1959

London Typographical Society 1960

London Typographical Society 1961

London Typographical Society 1962

National Graphical Association 1968

National graphical Association 1969

National Graphical Association 1971

National Graphical Association 1972

National Graphical Association 1973

National Graphical Association 1976

National Graphical Association 1978

National Graphical Association 1979

National Graphical Association 1981

National Graphical Association 1983

National Graphical Association 1984

National Graphical Association 1985

National graphical Association 1986

National Graphical Association 1987
Thanks to Keith Thomas for sending in this one that was missing from Dave’s collection

National Graphical Association 1988

National Graphical Association 1989
1989 Front. A plastic bank card experiment
National Graphical Association 1989
1989 Back

National Graphical Association 1990

National graphical Association 1991

National Graphical Association 1992

National Graphical Association 1993

A card back
A card back
Political Section
A rubber stamp on the back of a card indicating membership of the union’s Political Section

As you may have noticed, some years are missing. If you have any missing years, please get in touch.

So, which was your favourite? Mine was 1950, let me know yours in the comments.

4 thoughts on “British Print Trade Union Cards

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  1. 1946 has my vote; austere and says what the craft can achieve. Mind you the whole collection is a reflection on a changing craft over a working lifetime. Well worth electronic preservation.

  2. 1959 without a a doubt. An amazing array of varied layouts using what are basically the same elements. Hope you get the full set in the end.

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