P. F. Volland & Co. Publisher

P. F. Volland & Co. or P. F. Volland Co., in their heyday, was one of the leading publishers in the United States and was known especially for their children’s  books, as well as greeting cards, postcards, calendars, framed mottos and other ephemera. The company was founded in 1908 and operated until the late 1950s, after having merged with the Gerlach Barklow Company in the mid-1920s.

“The Mark of Originality”

The above image is the publisher logo from the postcard reverse of our prior post. P. F. Volland & Co. was founded by Paul F. Volland in 1908 and later just went under P. F. Volland Co. They were headquartered in Chicago and later added branches in other cities including New York and Toronto. At first glance the logo design might seem somewhat random (especially when viewed as a whole including the Christmas tree on the card reverse shown below) but no, there’s the V for Volland and inside the V, the letter P, and then the ampersand inside the P, and the “Co” just underneath the P, and then more subtle is the F which is incorporated into the P. There’s two ways you could view the F – either with the line above the ampersand being the horizontal top line, or that of its shorter horizontal line……But, so much for that detailed, probably unnecessary 😉 breakdown of the publisher’s mark.

So, there’s already quite a bit online for this publisher including this Wikipedia entry. Check out the very long list (we counted 165) of writers and artists who, at one time, had contributed to the company, including big names like Frank L. Baum, Lewis Carroll, Robert Louis Stevenson and Johnny Gruelle (creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy). (Interesting to find this list immediately after musing on the unknown artist of said prior post.)

Below, an early mention from 1909 that appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star (Lincoln, NE). The Volland offices were in the Monroe Building at 100 S. Michigan Ave. before moving in 1916 to the Garland Building at 58 E. Washington St., in Chicago.

A short bio

Paul Frederick Volland was born in Leipzig, Stadtkreis Leipzig, Germany, April 24, 1875, the son of Gustav Volland. He married Laura Marie Gordon November 2, 1898 in Rock Island County, IL, and they had a son, Gordon Byron Volland, born October 1899. The couple later divorced and Volland married Gladys Couch. They had two daughters, Dorothy Virginia Volland and Gladys D. Volland. Paul and Gladys were said to have been divorced at the time that Paul was shot and killed, May 5, 1919, in his office in Chicago by Mrs. Vera Trepagnier, the result of a business dispute with Volland involving a deal over a miniature heirloom painting of George Washington. One of the silent partners and company executives, Frederick J. Clampitt, took over the business after Volland’s death. The P. F. Volland Co. merged with the Gerlach Barklow Co. around 1926 (accounts vary) and moved offices to Joliet, Illinois.

Photo of Paul F. Volland that appeared in The Boston Globe, May 10, 1919, in the article regarding his death.

1926 merger and move article

Appearing below, a clipping from the Daily Republican-Register (Mount Carmel, IL) January 26, 1926. (That’s a typo on “Voll.”)

Son, Gordon Volland hired by Buzza

P. F. Volland’s son, Gordon B. Volland, became a publisher like his father. City directories show he was in New York in 1925 and Joliet Illinois in 1927 (possibly with the P. F. Volland Co. in both locations) before being hired as the head of the juvenile book publishing department, for the Buzza Company in Minneapolis. The following clipping is from The Minneapolis Morning Tribune, May 20, 1927. (However, we’ll stop here in following Gordan’s career).

Sources:  P. F. Volland Co. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._F._Volland_Company#Authors_and_illustrators_of_the_P.F._Volland_Co. (accessed January 11, 2020).

Ancestry.com. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia, Marriages, 1936-2014; Roll: 101168004

Ancestry.com. Illinois, Compiled Marriages, 1851-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 25, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_342; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 1477.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 05 January 2020), memorial page for Paul Frederick Volland (24 Apr 1875–5 May 1919), Find A Grave Memorial no. 174313703, citing Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by K Gillen (contributor 47561859) .
“Artistic Publications.” Lincoln Journal Star, November 15, 1909. p. 16. (Newspapers.com).
“Raggedy Ann is moving to Joliet.” Daily Republican-Register (Mount Carmel, IL) January 26, 1926. (Newspapers.com).
The Price & Lee Co.’s Montclair NJ’s city directory 1925. Entry for “Gordon B. Vollend.” NY publisher. p. 457. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.
R. L. Polk & Co.’s Joliet City Directory 1927. Entry for Gordon B. Volland. p. 442. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.
“Buzza to Open Juvenile Book Industry Here.” The Minneapolis Morning Tribune, May 20, 1927. Friday, p. 1. (Newspapers.com).

Holiday Ice Skater

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  P. F. Volland & Co., Chicago and New York. Copyright 1917.

Price:  $7.00

“To extend

the greetings of the season

and to wish you

a happy and prosperous

New Year.”

An illustration of a very stylishly dressed young lady, ice skating amidst whirling snow. You wonder who the artist was and whether we have, unbeknownst to us, seen their work before. Because this is such a nice one, with a magical quality to it, and I hope the artist was happy with their work (and in general), because he or she has brought us happiness!

The publisher, P. F. Volland & Co. was founded by Paul Frederick Volland.

Source:  P. F. Volland. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._F._Volland_Company (accessed January 5, 2020).

With Affectionate Regard

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1910 – 1920s. Series or number W1017. Publisher unknown. Printed in the U.S.A.

Price:  $3.00

“I send you my New Year greetings on this tiny little card.

They are prompted not by custom, but affectionate regard.”

The clarity is not the greatest on this postcard, but still, it’s a very cute illustration……and dig those duds on the gent!

Happy New Year To Chillon Carter

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 31, 1914 from Joplin, Missouri. Publisher unknown. Printed in Germany. Series or number 1154/1.

Price:  $8.00

Here’s another card, like the previous one we posted, that’s tinted (or colored, if either is the right term) and also so cute. On this one a little girl is surrounded by good luck/prosperity symbols – piggies (two), a four leaf clover, a horseshoe, and what looks like bags of money. (Well, that last is not so much “a sign of” but more prosperity itself, it seems.) And one interesting rendition of why pigs are good luck, specifically on New Year’s Day, comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch, and it’s because pigs root forward, and we want to go forward in the new year. See the link in the sources listed below for the online article.

This card is addressed to a gentleman with an unusual first name. It reads:   “Chillon Carter, R F D # 1 – Galena Kansas.”

And the sender wrote:   “Your xmas gifts rec’d ok. Many thanks. Have some for you. Will come over soon. Probably Sunday. I was in Columbus between trains one day last week at Carthage yesterday. Hope you had a nice time xmas, we were sorry that we could not come over there I had a severe cold & Johnnie thought the weather to cold to make the drive. am all ok, now. Mabel[?]    Rec’d New Year box all O.K. this a.m.”

From the 1920 census and Find A Grave, we find that Chillon E. Carter, born 1902 in Kansas, was the son of Chilon Carter and Sadie (Stanley) Carter.

Sources:  Stoneback, Diane. “Why eat pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s day?”January 1. 2018. 12 a.m. (accessed January 1, 2020).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Spring Valley, Cherokee, Kansas; Roll: T625_526; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 40. (Ancestry.com).

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 01 January 2020), memorial page for Chillon E. Carter (28 Oct 1902–29 Mar 1939), Find A Grave Memorial no. 27017873, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by JFI (contributor 47211966) .

A Greek Happy New Year

Divided back, unused postcard dated December 1933. Publisher:  Fotocelere, Torino. Printed in Italy.

Price:  $8.00

ΕΥΤΥΧΕΣ το ΝΕΟΝ ΕΤΟΣ or Happy New Year, literal translation from Greek found online as “Happy the New Year” which is nice, rather poetic.

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Frances Gunaris, Box 26B, Wellesley Mass. U. S. America”

The sender wrote:   “December 6 1933      Dear Aunt. I wish you all merry xmas and a happy New year. Since I received the illustrated book, for which I thank you very much, I have to hear from you. I desire to be informed about your [health] and to receive agreeable news. My compliments to Louise and Erthios[?]. we feel all well. Andrew.”

Frances appears on the 1930 Federal Census for Needham, born about 1883 in Massachusetts, parents born in Bavaria, married, with son Theodore, who was born about 1909 also in Mass., father born in Greece. Frances’ husband is not listed on this record.

As it turns out, we have another card from the Gunaris family, that we posted back in April 2018. See Chebeague Island, Maine 1923.

Source:  Year: 1930; Census Place: Needham, Norfolk, Massachusetts; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0069; FHL microfilm: 2340670. (Ancestry.com).