Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Xmas 1911

I am posting this postcard today because it was originally sent exactly 100 years ago today, on December 21, 1911. It is postmarked Fosston, Minn. The back has a message signed by Mrs. E. Elkjer, Fosston, Minn.

The design on this postcard would be fairly easy to do with Photoshop today, but it wouldn't have been so easy 100 years ago. After examining it, I think it was made as follows. Starting with the three face photos, the background of each was blacked out with ink or paint. Then each face was cut out in the shape of a bell and mounted on the drawing of the bells. Then the collage was photographed and printed on photo postcard stock. Do you have any other ideas of how the card was made?

I decided to Google "Elkjer Fosston Minnesota," not really expecting to find anything. The first thing I found was a photo postcard on flickr of First Street Fosston, Minnesota that was labeled Elkjer Studio. Then I found several photographers named Elkjer on the Minnesota Historical Society website. One of the Elkjer photographers was named Erick. Erick had a wife named Esther. It is likely that the photos on the postcard are of Erick and Esther and their baby. The 1920 census lists their oldest child named Pearl, 8 years old. The postcard was probably made by Erick or one of the other Elkjer photographers.

Visit Sepia Saturday to see more vintage images


  1. I love this kind of early photo montage, and yes it must have been time-consuming in those days, and expensive.

  2. They must have had a lot of patience to create this card. Neat.

  3. I love the card! It is amazing to think the great lengths that were required to create the effects we see in the old photos and postcards.

    But, then again, I think of how much time is sometimes required to 'restore' a precious photograph. Perhaps we will always strive to take photographic art to the next level.

    Thanks for sharing your collection with us! It is a delightful tour. Looking forward to more in the new year.

  4. It’s amazing to think how creative they could be with far fewer resources than we have.

  5. It's wonderful what you can do with google!

  6. While I find it a little spooky, it is interesting to see something creative like this for the era.
    Thanx 4 sharing!!

  7. The wife and child look fine but dad is looking a bit scary.

  8. A wonderful find and great detective work. A REAL photoshop photo too. Best wishes for 2012


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