Postcard publisher detail

Name: Lévy Sons & Co.

Notes: Many people wrongly believe that LL stands for ‘Louis Levy’ – but no person of that name was associated with the Lévy firm. This error, which seems all but intractable, probably results from confusion with an American called Louis Levy who, with his brother Max, was involved in early photography and developed various important photographic processes.
In reality the initials LL that appear on the front of these cards stand for Léon and Lévy. Moisé Léon and Isaac Lévy (known as Georges) had been the firm’s original partners. The two men set up their photographic studio in 1862, and the stereoscopic prints they sold were signed LL, representing the initial letters of their two surnames.
Ten years later the Léon and Lévy studio became Lévy & Co, with Georges Lévy now the company’s sole director, but the original LL signature remained in use. Then in 1895 Lévy’s two sons, Ernest and Lucien, joined the firm, which was renamed Lévy Sons & Co.
It has sometimes been suggested that Lucien Lévy was the firm’s photographer, but this theory is based on the incorrect assumption that the initials LL represent his name, and is little more valid than the belief that they stood for the entirely fictitious “Louis Levy” already mentioned.
Many thanks to Antony Edmonds for these notes.

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