Hugh C. Leighton Co.

Hugh C. Leighton & Company, based in Portland, Maine, operated between 1906 and 1909. They were renowned as printers and major publishers of national view cards, particularly scenes of New England.

Utilizing halftone lithography, they produced cards in four distinct styles, often employing a soft yet recognizable RGB palette. Leighton’s cards exhibited various printing techniques, including halftone lithography, continuous tone lithography, collotypes, and hand-colored cards. A  very distinct card set of southern Maine was printed in a limited but brightly colored continuous-tone lithography with a dominating orange and matte finish. Notably, some cards featured gravure with fine detail and a dry finish, though Leighton’s name appeared on only a few cards, with many attributing them to small local publishers. While some cards were printed in the U.S., the majority were manufactured in Frankfort, Germany.

The company merged with Valentine & Sons in 1909, forming Leighton & Valentine, which continued until 1914.

Black Hand Interurban Tunnel, Zanesville, Ohio (1907) | Hugh C. Leighton Co.
1907 postcard showing the Black Hand Interurban Tunnel in Zanesville, Ohio.

High School, Middletown, Connecticut (1908) | Hugh C. Leighton Co.
Undivided back postcard from 1908 showing the high school in Middletown, Connecticut.

Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City
Terre Haute Postcards