I bought the postcard shown above because I wanted to see what they were reading. I thought it might be something romantic or popular. It turned out to be a copy of STUDIO LIGHT magazine with an ad for Artura photographic paper on the back cover. By looking at other information on the web, I determined that the words below STUDIO LIGHT on the cover say "Incorporating The Aristo Eagle and The Artura Bulletin." Artura was bought by Eastman Kodak in 1909. Similar Artura ads were used on the back cover in 1916 and possibly earlier.
The front of the postcard is stamped C. L. Merryman, Kerkhoven Minn. on the bottom border.
C. L. Merryman was Charles Lincoln Merryman (1865-1956) who had a studio in Kerkhoven plus a couple of branches. He owned the Kerkhoven studio from 1893 until 1940. The studio was razed shortly after he sold it. The following information is from Placeography:
Charles Lincoln Merryman is originally from Bangor, Maine. He was born in 1865, and he evidently took to photography at an early age: He was running his own photo shop in Bangor when he was still a teenager. In 1884 Merryman went to Boston where he spent the next eight years working for the Blair Camera Company. In 1892 he moved to Kerkhoven, and for several months he operated a photo studio there out of a tent. In 1893 Merryman purchased the building pictured here on 11th street, and he remodeled it to accommodate a photo studio by extending the building and adding skylights to it. Merryman ran this photography business for nearly fifty years, and he eventually had two satellite studios in Sunberg and Spicer Minnesota.I found some very interesting photos of Merryman's studio on the Minnesota Historical Society website. The first is a postcard advertising the studio.
A photo of the Merryman studio interior below shows the same background (on the right) that was used for my postcard.
Another photo of the studio interior, that I found especially interesting, is one of the Post Card Station promoting photo postcards.
The Minnesota Historical Society also has another Merryman photo of a Man Reading. Though the image isn't very clear, it looks like the man could also be reading Studio Light.
I discovered another "reading" photo by Merryman that was used on the cover of the book In Their Own Words: Letters from Norwegian Immigrants. The woman who is reading may be sitting in the same fancy chair shown in the photo of Merryman's studio interior. (The image of the book cover is from Amazon, and the original image is credited to the Minnesota Historical Society)
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