Raphael Tuck and Sons
Raphael Tuck was the first of the Germans to begin to make a name for
himself in novelty books. He moved from Germany to England as a young
man, working initially as a furniture maker. In 1866, he opened a small
shop selling and framing pictures and chromolithographs, which were
printed mostly in Germany. He also sold materials from a wheelbarrow in
the streets of London.
In 1870, his sons joined him to open a publishing business in London.
Their productions included special paper items such as cards, puzzles,
and paper dolls. Before Raphael Tuck’s retirement in 1882, he became a
British citizen and the official Publisher to Queen Victoria.
The Tuck firm helped to perpetuate Raphael Tuck’s amiable disposition by
the publication of children’s books under the title Father Tuck. Its
contribution to movable books occurred around 1890 with the publication
of Father Tuck’s Mechanical Series. The books in this series featured
several different movables. One type was similar to those in Dean’s
scenic books in which the movables unfolded to reveal multi-layered,
three-dimensional scenes. Other books contained pull-the-tab and
Tuck & Sons produced another series of movables, each featuring overlays
designed to be raised out from the pages, thereby giving scene with a
three-dimensional effect. Fun at the Circus is an example of this
technique. The books from this series were popular and available at
inexpensive prices. They were issued both in color and in black and
white (to be colored by the owners).
Sadly, in 1940 the Raphael House was bombed in the blitz of London, and
the records from the Tuck business were destroyed.