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James J. Sterrico

James J. Sterrico was a retired organist and pianoforte tuner turned local dealer in musical instruments who also took an active interest in amateur photography. He resided at 18 Scud Hill with his wife Charlotte, three daughters Mary, Julia, Ernestina and son James who helped him with his music business.

In 1902, J.J. Sterrico produced a set of photographs, which was later printed and published by Gale & Polden Ltd, under the title ‘Views of Gibraltar.’ The collection comprised of a series of monochrome photographs of what the publishers described as ‘Its Barracks, New Dock Works, and All Objects of Interest in the Town and Vicinity’, and sold for one shilling.

The firm Gale and Polden was a well-known British printer and publisher founded by James Gale in 1868 when a bookshop at No 1 High Street, Old Brompton near Chatham Barracks. Through his contacts with the Headquarters of the Chatham Military District Gale obtained a printing contract for the printing of the Garrison Directory.

In 1875, Thomas Ernest Polden joined the company and his extensive knowledge of different printing processes made the business very successful. Polden went out from Chatham to the garrisons or dockyards including Gibraltar, publicising the name Gale and Polden to the British Army and Navy.

In 1892, the company was incorporated as Gale & Polden Ltd, with a share capital of £30,000 in £5 shares.

Unusually, the shares were offered to ordinary soldiers. By then the company was already supplying printed forms and other stationery to about 400 military canteens, 100 officers' messes, 200 sergeants' messes, and 250 libraries, recreation rooms and regimental institutes throughout both the Army and Navy.

The well-known Gale & Polden Military Series and other educational works were in use by Military Educational Department and by the London and other school boards, and in the colonial forces.

James Sterrico, meanwhile, retained all rights to his photographic collection some of which were sold as postcards, which was proving an increasingly popular and lucrative market by the turn of the century.

At least one Sterrico photograph, the entrance to the Hotel Reina Cristina in Algeciras, was sold as a postcard by the publisher Ernesto Ramos in Madrid.

This postcard is included at the end of the page for reference.

Views of Gibraltar, album cover.

Interior page.

The Rock.

The Moorish Castle.

Catalan Bay and Sand Slopes looking south.

Typical Spanish charcoal retailer.

Native fruit and vegetable sellers.

Part of Casemates shoing Married Quarters.

North end of poultry market.

Spanish charcoal retailers unloading.

Native cab stand at the entrance of the south district.

Regiment on parade South Barracks.

Old Spanish Barracks South Barracks.

A soldier's funeral Scud Hill.

Colonial Hospital.

Military Hospital South Europa Road.

The Naval Hospital.

Entrance to public walks Alameda.

Band stand at the promenade.

Alameda Parade blue jackets at drill.

Military Band Alameda.

Three Russian guns original siting at Grand Parade.

Gunner's Parade.

Larios's House.

Spanish escort attending King's birthday review.

Regiment returning from North Front.

Decorations for King's visit.

The Convent, Government House, shewing Southport Street.

The English Cathedral.

Interior St. Joseph's Chapel.

The Garrison Library.

Southport Gates.

Europa Pass entrance to Europa Flats.

Old saluing Battery from Ragged Staff Flank.

View of dock works and channel fleet.

View of dockworks and factories.

View of finished dock No3.

Lower view of the South.

Rosia Bay.

Old view of Camp Bay.

The Governor's Cottage.

The Mount residence of Admiral of the Fleet.

Front and back of the postcard sold by E. Ramos - Madrid circa 1905 by J. J. Sterrico.