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French Printers


Jules Cheret is credited for creating the first advertising posters in France in the 1860s. By the 1880s, there was a poster revolution going on and posters were being put up everywhere. To stop this, in 1881, the French government passed a law that created official posting places to put the posters. Every poster required a tax stamp to indicate that a fee had been paid for the right to post it. The tax was based on the size of the poster. This led to the adoption of standard poster sizes.

By the late 1890s, when cinema posters came on the scene, the procedure for advertising was pretty well established. The sizes of the posters were set; the place that the posters were to be placed were set; there was even an official person that did the posting of the poster who would place his stamp on the poster to show that the tax had been paid.

One of the benefits to poster collectors is that when this was established, the law also stated that the PRINTERS name and address had to be on the poster. This way they could check to make sure that the tax was paid, in case the stamp wasn't affixed.

Unfortunately for poster collectors, there was a problem that arose with this system. With the poster revolution in full swing during the early 1900s, people started stealing the posters to sell. This became such a problem that the posting officials started gluing the posters down. This practice eliminated the majority of the pre-WWI French cinema posters.

After WWI the practice changed, but luckily the placing the printers name and address remained. This practice helps poster collectors by giving a date range when a certain printer was at a certain address. The problem has been that no one has taken the time to re-create and document this to help establish time frames for poster collectors.

We are compiling this printer information into French Printer Logs.



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