Friday, August 1, 2014

GGIE: Golden Gate Bridge

THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, spanning the entrance to San Francisco Bay, overlooks Treasure Island, man-made site of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. In the right background the 8-1/4 mile San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. In the left background, Alcatraz Island.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bamforth Postcards

Bamforth & Co. of Holmfirth  (England) and New York published this postcard circa 1910 ("photo only copyright 1910"). It was printed in England and is part of Series No. 1648. I wish I knew what the rest of the series is about. The other postcards in the series are probably  related to some aspect of this scene--but which one? The reason I bought this postcard is that I collect "postcards about postcards," and this card has a Bamforth's display in the background (see enlarged detail below).

I often have difficulty in understanding the humor on postcards from the early twentieth century, even when they are American. This postcard was used in the U.S., but its style is more English than American. I suspect this postcard would probably be understood better by someone in England--and there are many Sepians from England. Can anyone identify the "well-known paper?" The humor on postcards often depends on words or phrases with more than one meaning. In this case, the humor on the postcard also seems to depend on the various meanings of "take in."

Bamforth & Co was started in 1870 by James Bamforth, a portrait photographer. In the late 19th century the company specialized in making lantern slides. Bamforth postcards evolved from the slides by the early 1900s. Their early postcards were based on photographs and included illustrated songs and comic subjects. By 1905 there were branches in New York and London, although the main office remained in Holmfirth. By the end of WWI 20,000,000 cards were being printed every year, and artist drawn postcards were more popular. Bamforth continued producing postcards through most of the twentieth century.  The company was best known for its saucy seaside comics, a peculiarly British phenomenon.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Map: See 5 States

Big Walker Lookout Historic Mountain Pass lies near the center of the Appalachian Highlands affording a gateway to the many scenic and natural splendors of these beautiful mountains and valleys. the view from here of the distant Blue Ridge and the surrounding mountains is probably unsurpassed in the entire range.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Nevada Statehood Anniversary

This stamp was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Nevada statehood. It was first placed on sale through the Carson City, Nevada, post office 50 years ago, on July 22, 1964.The shape on the right side of the stamp is that of the Nevada state map. The background features a view of Virginia City.

Virginia City sprang up as a boomtown following the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode,  the first major silver deposit discovery in the United States. At its peak in the mid-1860s it had an estimated 25,000 residents, but the mines' output declined after 1878. Virginia City is now a tourist attraction. Its 2010 population was only about 855. (source: Wikipedia).

The postcard used for this maximum card has a view from Carson City which is described on the back of the card as follows:
Colorful display of historic antique objects includes a beautifully preserved early train and steam engine of the Virginia-Truckee Railroad which "opened up" the area during the historic silver boom.
The USPS issued a stamp on May 29, 2014 to honor Nevada's 150th anniversary. This stamp has a view of an area in Fire Canyon, part of Valley of Fire, Nevada’s oldest state park. At dawn, the sandstone formations glow in shades of brilliant reds and yellows — a result of various quantities of iron in the rock — highlighted by deep purple and blue shadows.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Friday, July 25, 2014

New York World's Fair: Royal Visitors

This potcard was mailed on June 6, 1939 with the following message:
Dear Anne:
My birthday is June 16. You can make me happy by writing me a line. Please. The Fair is getting ready for the Royal Couple. So far the Fair is wonderful and even if you don't see it, you will hear plenty about it.

King George and Queen Elizabeth visited the 1939 New York World's Fair on June 10. Read more about their visit here.

Look for more World's Fair Postcards on the Postcardy Blog on Fridays.

To view past World's Fair posts, click here or on the exposition label.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Signs on Hennepin Avenue

Although "signs" is one of my favorite postcard collecting topics, I don't have any postcards with building signs advertising signs like the one in this week's Sepia Saturday prompt. I chose this postcard for my post because of  the "Business is better in Minneapolis" sign (which advertises both Minneapolis business and advertising itself) and the Orpheum Theater signs. This postcard is probably from the early 1930s.

Hennepin Avenue is one of the main streets in downtown Minneapolis. The Orpheum Theater is located between 9th and 10th Streets. The State Theater, also seen on the postcard, is located between 8th and 9th Streets. Both of these theaters opened in 1921 and have been restored. RKO, appearing at the top of the old sign, was one of the biggest movie studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The Orpheum Theater presented both vaudeville acts and movies. The names at the bottom of the sign — Richard Dix, Jackie Cooper, Burns & Allen — were all popular well-known entertainers.

I was somewhat surprised that I couldn't find more old photos of the Orpheum Theater. The one below is dated approximately 1925 (source). The theater sign appears to be much shorter in this photo, and the marquee isn't clear enough to read. What really surprised me is what is next to the theater in this photo — a building with signs advertising signs!

Below is an enlarged view of the "signs" building. On the side of that building is a sign advertising Holsum Bread, and next door is a shoe shine shop with with signs advertising the prices for dyeing shoes black or brown.

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