Thomas Crane, seems to have been his father's golden boy as well as his namesake. Unlike his brother Walter, Thomas was privately educated and was groomed for a career in the law. He apprenticed as a lawyer and then went to work for several years with the General Post Office, before abandoning a potential career in the civil service to devote himself to the arts.
Thomas eventually became the art director of Marcus War & Co, a publisher of decorative greeting cards which under his stewardship became renowned for their quality and artistic merit. The cards were noted for beautiful and intricate floral designs, and refined ornamentation on the borders and backs. Many of his cards were collected by art connoisseurs even during the Victorian period, and they continue to be appreciated for their beauty.
He produced and illustrated several children's books including At Home (1881), Abroad(1882), and At Home Again (1883) which librarian scholar described Roger Dixon as "among the loveliest books ever produced."
Later in life, Thomas developed an interest in landscape painting and many of his works were exhibited by the Royal Academy.
He died at age 59 after a short paralysis, probably brought on by a stroke.