In the 1890’s the Company was still successful, winning a gold medal for its lithography and stationery at the Victorian Era Exhibition in London.
However competition from other companies, and advances in photographic processes meant that the Company was finding it difficult to maintain their position in the market. Marcus Ward & Co. simply could not keep pace with technological innovations.
In 1899 the Company wound up its business and paid off all creditors and shareholders in full. In total 1,400 men, mostly skilled craftsmen lost their jobs.
The rival company, McCaw, Stevenson & Orr, acquired the rights to the Marcus Ward name in 1900 and continued to use it for a range of products up until World War 11.
Fortunately products have survived particularly in the collections of libraries and museums. Among the finest of these collections is that held by Belfast Public Libraries.
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