Ramón Novarro: 1925 Ben-Hur

Photographers Unknown, “Ramón Novarro”,  Vintage Photographic Cards, 1925 “Ben-Hur”, Ross Verlag Company

Ramón Novarro was Ben-Hur to moviegoers long before Charlton Heston appeared in the role. The 1925 film of author Lew Wallace’s epic novel made Novarro one of Hollywood’s most beloved silent film idols. His impressive and varied career spanned silent films, the ‘talkies’, the concert stage, theater, and television.. 

Ross Verlag was first known as the ‘Ross Bromsilber Vertriebs’ company , a seller and distributor of photographic postcards located in Berlin. The company later became the publisher as well. The familiar ‘Ross Verlag’ logo first appeared in the early 1920s. On the front of the cards were the words ‘Verlag “Ross” Berlin SW 68’. (Verlag: publishing company; “Ross”: company name; Berlin SW 68: southwest Berlin with the area code). 

Usually a set of cards of one or more actors would be from the same film or photographer. Some of the film-scene sets would contain twenty cards; but generally most series would have fewer. In 1941 there was a name change by the company to “Film-Foto-Verlag”, which remained until the cessation of its card publishing in 1944.

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