Thursday, October 6, 2011
Quite collectable, Lardent cards are often found as bookmarks in old publications of the Watch Tower Society when they become available. They were also used to send messages, so often contain interesting personal information on the reverse sides.
Frederick Jethro Lardent was born in 1885 and lived until 1970. He was an optician by profession, and wrote articles for medical magazines on occasion. He produced two sets of cards – one with the prefix L (obviously for Lardent) which ran to nearly 200 different copies, and one with the prefix F (for Frederick) which were more photographic in nature.
His cards were circulated by all strands of Bible Student opinion until the mid to late-1920s. Then, as the Daily Heavenly Manna was phased out along with other changes, his cards were more circulated by those who left the Society. By 1931 he was on the speaker’s list for a breakaway movement in Britain. He published several anthologies of his cards, such as The Call of the Bride and Comforted of God. He also published a journal which folded about 1941.
In his will he left his printing blocks to Albert Hudson. Hudson, who once described Lardent’s efforts as having “a sublime disregard for copyright” promptly dumped them. This adds a bit to the scarcity value of the product for collectors.