The origins of Ross Verlag can be traced back to the earlier Rotophot postcard company.

Rotophot began in Berlin, Germany around the turn of the century (1900) and had other offices throughout Europe, including London and Budapest.   They published many different postcard topics, such as women, children, lovers, holiday greetings, etc.   Many of these postcards were tinted.



The German Rotophot cards can be recognized by the RPH letters in a circle on the front of the cards.

As a precursor to the later movie star cards, Rotophot published many postcards of theater stars, mainly British.   The Rotophot symbol was usually printed on the back of these postcards (see very top of page for example.)

Here is an interesting English Rotophot theater star postcard showing four different smaller photos of four different actresses.   This format would later show up briefly on the Ross Verlag cards with individual actors.

At some point in the early 1900's, Heinrich Ross joined Rotophot.   The Rotophot symbol began to include the image of a horse to the circle and RPH.   In the German language, "Ross" is a word used for "horse."

The RPH with Horse symbol postcards began to be published with movie star actors.

Next, Rotophot began a separate series of postcard devoted entirely to movie stars, know as "Film Sterne."

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