Company name: Rob. Kathmann & Co.
Address: Leipzig, Elisenstr. 25-29
In business from: 1862 or 1864 until c. mid 1960’s
Printer: yes Publisher: yes
Means of production / workforce:
3 litho presses, 28 other machines, 60 workers (1908) – 2 letterpress, 3 litho (1 offset), 40 workers (1933) – machinery as above but 45 workers (1950)
Illustration above left shows the first used “spread wings” logo with initials RK & Co., L. And the more popular Rokat logo design used in post-WW1 years
Specialised in: Greetings/subject cards / Fancy Paper factory
Notes: Robert Kathmann became owner in 1868 and did run the business until 1907. Then the company came into the hands of Erich Bleyl who was head of the firm at least until 1950. During the postcard boom years, RK & Co. were quite big in quality greetings, the typical chromolitho printed, embossed. Many for the US market. All these show the spread wings logo. All other cards I have found so far show the “Rokat” logo which came in use in post-WW1 years. Some appear to be printed by gravure process.The majority of cards found are of common type.
Illustrations (from top):
ROKAT general (summer) greetings card for national market. Bearing the earlier “spread wings” company logo but no card number. Chromolithography, divided back (post-1905), p/u late 1911.
ROKAT New Year card without typical number, or hidden below postage stamp, although many cards have a number usually listed near logo. Multicolour offset. P/u Dec. 1933.
ROKAT winter scenery, again without card number, but “Import” imprint. Not p/u. Multicolour offset with heavy gelatine finish.
ROKAT card no. 1517, Easter Greetings, multicolour offset printed, p/u March 1940.
ROKAT card no. 1050, name day greetings, looks very much like printed by gravure process. P/u 1940, with “Import” imprint.
ROKAT greetings card with card number covered under postage stamp. This with name day greetings. Offset printed. P/u in c. 1930’s. Postmark illegible.
ROKAT card no. 987 (found inside stamp box). Christmas greetings, lithography, heavy gelatine finish and additional gold overprint. With undated message, sent inside letter.
ROKAT card no. 555. Young couple. Greetings imprint in Dutch language. Looks like a real photo card at first look, but is a halftone printing actually with well done glossy finish. Not p/u, the fashion might date from late 1920’s as well as from 1930’s.
Below: view of the Kathmann factory taken from a letterhead dated 1938. Looks a bit too big to house only c. 40 workers(?).