Publisher Julius Pollak

Julius Pollak, (1856 – 1948) postcards, greeting cards and novelties, New York, NY. Photo from 1920 U. S. passport application.

Hungarian native, Julius Pollak, was a successful postcard and greeting card manufacturer whose New York City-based firm spanned over five decades and three generations. Numerous advertisements, articles and snippets are seen online. Given these many references, we were surprised at the apparent absence of a write-up for the publisher. As always, more research could be done, but for our website purposes, we’ve pieced together and offer the following rough timeline, from 1906 – mid-1960’s:

1906 – Emigration to the U. S. – Born December 25th or 26th, 1856, in Bátaszék, Hungary, Julius emigrated to the United States in February or March, 1906. He and wife, Isabella, had three children: Blanche, born in Budapest, Hungary; and Robert and Alfred, born in Vienna, Austria.

1910 – Federal Census, Manhattan, NY – occupation manufacturer of postal cards. Home address St. Nicholas Terrace, Manhattan.

1920 – Federal Census, Manhattan, NY – occupation manufacturer of post cards; sons Robert and Alfred are assistant managers. Home address St. Nicholas Terrace, Manhattan.

Two examples of the company’s publisher logo appearing on bottom left, front of cards, circa early 1920’s, and a design used on the reverse (divided back line extends to the bottom of the postcard). See prior posts, “The Whole Year Through,” and “The Best of Health…” This postcard’s reverse design we’ve seen from other publishers, so it was not exclusive to Pollak.

1920 and 1921 – According to his 1920 U. S. passport application, Julius Pollak was associated with the G. E. Zeltmacher Manufacturing Company, importers and manufacturers, address 50-52 Franklin St., New York, NY. This info we’re privy to by way of Mr. Zeltmacher having submitted a typed character reference for his friend’s application process. The Franklin Street address shows up in earlier ads, including the one below from a Buffalo, New York, Polish language paper, April, 1921:

The following is a rough translation of the above from A possible explanation for big “shots” is big “lots” i.e., the large amount of items that had come in at one time:

“Imported big shots for sale. The best imported silver jewels, silver trinkets, colored pendants, metal gems and beads in a given order. If you are interested write for samples and prices. In response, please refer to Dept. C.”

1924 – Another ad, this one from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 11th, was the earliest found for the enticing offer of work from home, a method that Pollak used for many years, and here showing an address on Greene St., between Bleecker and W. 3rd:

1928 – A September 1928 announcement in Printed Salesmanship for the company’s Christmas cards. Business address 194 – 200 Greene St., NY. Note the statement that they’ve been making Christmas cards for a quarter of a century, which is prior to Julius’ emigration to the United States. This may have been simply an exaggeration to promote sales (no doubt not uncommon in the business) or it could have been accurate:  Since Julius was almost fifty and listed as a merchant when he emigrated, it’s possible he may have been involved in manufacturing cards prior to coming to the U. S.

1930 – Federal Census, Manhattan, NY – occupation president, greeting card manufacturer. Home address 225 Central Park West.

1938 – Earliest mention found of the company incorporated as Julius Pollak & Sons, Inc.

1942 – Below, from The Billboard weekly magazine dated February 14, an article mentioning Julius Pollak & Sons’ “morale cards” for the war effort at home during WWII:

1947 – In business news, from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 7, detailing the challenges that businesses encountered with employees working from home. This information was from a New York Department of Labor case study for Julius Pollak & Sons:

1948 – From J. P. Pollak’s death certificate index:

Born December 25, 1856, Hungary. Age 91, widowed. Address:  225 Central Park West, New York, NY. Died July 13, 1948 at Hotel Alden, Manhattan, NY. Buried July 15, 1948 at Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Occupation:  Retired manufacturer of greeting cards. Parents:  Jacob and Isabella Pollak. Son:  Robert Pollak. Informant and executor:  Son, Robert Pollack (spelled here with a “c”). (Note regarding date of birth:  The 1920 passport application shows December 26th.)

1951 – Julius Pollak & Sons, Inc, greeting card manufacturer, moved from former location of 14 E. 25th St., Manhattan, NY to 45-35 Van Dam St., Long Island City, NY. Grandson, Allen Pollak joined the firm in January.

1961 – U. S. patent filed by Julius Pollak & Sons, Inc., Long Island City, NY, March 2nd book search.

1966 – From the monthly magazine, The Writer, Julius Pollak & Sons, address 425 Underhill Blvd, Syosset, NY (on the north shore of Long Island). “At the present time we publish only Christmas cards, and 90 per cent of our line is in prose form.”


Sources:  National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 1145; Volume #: Roll 1145 – Certificates: 10876-11249, 08 Apr 1920-08 Apr 1920.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1025; Page: 1b; Enumeration District: 0640; FHL microfilm: 1375038. (

Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 13, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1208; Page: 40B; Enumeration District: 952. (

“Importowany szych na sprzedaz.” Dziennik Dla Wszystkich, Buffalo, New York. April 18, 1921. Monday, p. 5. (

“Women wanted to work at home.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 11, 1924. Tuesday, p. 14. (

“Announcing….A New and Unusual Christmas Greeting Card Line for 1929.” Printed Salesmanship, January 1929, p. 481. book search.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0447; FHL microfilm: 2341291.

“Publicity Break for Novelty Firm.”  The Billboard, February 14, 1942, p. 50. (

Roessner, Elmer. “Homework System Found to Be More Costly Than Factory.” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 7, 1947. Friday, p. 19. (

New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Death Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1948. (

Geyer’s Topics, Vol. 113, p. 74. (1951) book search snippet view.

Feb 1962, Vol 775. Official Gazette of the U. S. Patent Office. United States Gov’t. printing office, Washington DC. (

Hills, William Henry; Luce, Robert. (Eds.) (1966.) The Writer, Vol. 79, 41. book search snippet view.