Reward cards were awarded to pupils, primarily as a reward for attendance, from the 1880s to the 1920s. In some instances the cards were given as prizes for high marks in an exam. At first one card, identical in size to the standard postcard, was awarded for each school quarter. Although similar in size to postcards, they predate the general use of post cards used for sending messages. It seems likely that from sometime in the late years of the School Board for London, circa 1903, a larger card was issued for the quarterly attendance, and the standard size was used for rewarding monthly attendance, good conduct and passing examinations. Based on a small number of intact examples, the larger SBL cards measure 5.25 by 7.75 inches, and the larger LCC cards measure 7 by 8.75 inches. The great scarcity of the larger cards may be due to the fact that they were too large to be included in a postcard collection. They are sometimes seen cut down to the standard postcard size.
So far as the author is aware, there has never been any prior attempt to create a comprehensive listing of the many issues of these cards. Unless otherwise indicated, all cards are from the author's collection. This collection is extensive, but far from complete. The cards are grouped into sets, which are coded as follows.
School Board for London.
Code SB-aaaaa - Black and white sets.
Code SC-aaaaa - Coloured sets.
London County Council.
Code XB-aaaaa - Black and white sets.
Code XC-aaaaa - Coloured sets.
The 'aaaaa' represents a five character string giving an abbreviated description of the set theme.
For example: A Coloured card issued by the LCC - part of the second series showing plants - could belong to set coded XC-PLNT2.
Any card with a broad red border: has been seen, but is not in the author's collection. The red border is not actually present on the card.
Any card with a green border on the thumbnail image is from the collection of Patrick Marks.
Any card with a blue border is from other collectors who have been kind enough to supply images of new cards.
Click on one of the buttons below to see a list of the codes for each known set and links to the web pages for all sets.