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Britannia pointing to Sanatogen, Formamint, and German colonies in Africa and the East Indies as new British possessions. Colour process print after E.F. Skinner.

Skinner, Edward F., active 1888-1919.


Free to use with attribution CC BYCredit: Wellcome Collection
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In the First World War, the German colony of Togo surrendered in February 1916 and under the Treaty of Versailles (1919) was divided between Britain and France. German South West Africa surrendered to the South African army in July 1915 and in 1919 passed to South Africa; from 1968 called Namibia. German East Africa surrendered in November 1918 and was partitioned in 1919 between Britain ("Tanganyika Territory") and Belgium. In 1919 the German colonies on New Guinea and in the Pacific islands south of the equator were ceded to Australia, and the Pacific islands north of the equator were ceded to Japan. Territories ceded in 1919 were ceded as mandates under the League of Nations, not as colonies There was therefore no date at which all the named German or former German colonies were formally "British possessions" as stated in the legend to this print. The term "New British possessions" refers to Sanatogen, Formamint etc., which were made by a German firm, A. Wulfing and Co. In 1914-1915, Sanatogen received much hostility in the anti-German climate of opinion in Britain, and legal proceedings were required to establish the right of its British subsidiary to carry on trading: see "Chemist and druggist", 26 September 1914, pp. 66-70; 21 November 1914, p. 50; 16 January 1915, p. 59; 20 November 1915, pp. 54-55; 27 November 1915, pp. 46-47. The date of the print would be not long after the outbreak of war in August 1914. The assumption that the German colonies would become British proved to be unfounded Britannia points to the globe on which the following German or former German colonies are marked: (in Africa) "Togoland", "East Africa" (i.e. German East Africa), and "West Africa" (i.e. German South West Africa); (islands in the Pacific) "Marshall I[sland]s", "Marianne I[sland]s", "Caroline I[sland]s", "Kaiser Wilhelm L[an]d", "Bismarck Arch[ipelago]". The Marshall Islands, in Micronesia, were annexed by Germany 1885-1886 and agreed by Great Britain and Germany to be in the German sphere of influence on 10 April 1889. The Marianne Is. (Marianas, Ladrones, Marianen) in the western Pacific were bought by Germany from Spain in 1899. The Caroline Is. were contested between Spain and Germany from 1875, assigned to Spain by papal arbitration in 1885 with free trading rights given to Germany; rights of administration bought by Germany from Spain in 1899. Kaiser Wilhelm's Land, the north-east part of the island of New Guinea, was assigned to Germany in an Anglo-German frontier agreement of 1885. The Bismarck Archipelago, to the north-east of New Guinea, was declared a German protectorate in 1884


Your new British possessions - genuine Sanatogen and Formamint. Look for the name Genatosan, Ltd. makers of Sanatogen, Formamint, Genasprin, etc. E.F. Skinner


[Place of publication not identified] : Genatosan Ltd., [1914] (Glasgow & London : John Horner Ltd., Fine Art Printers, Show Card Manufacturers and Gelatiners)

Physical description

1 print : photogravure, printed in colours ; 27 x 20.8 cm


Wellcome Library no. 21131i

Creator/production credits

Dates of E.F. Skinner's work from J. Johnson and Greutzner, Dictionary of British artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge 1976. He exhibited from an address in Lewes, Sussex, from 1891


  • English

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Britannia pointing to Sanatogen, Formamint, and German colonies in Africa and the East Indies as new British possessions. Colour process print after E.F. Skinner. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY

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