SMILING COUPLE POSE IN A FAUX GARDEN: WHY IS THIS WOMAN HOLDING A WHIP? (REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

garden

This vintage real photo postcard (RPPC) features a smiling couple posing in a photographic studio’s faux garden.  Note the leaves affixed to the wall behind them. This couple seems very happy together but they apparently didn’t maintain their marital harmony because they ultimately got divorced. One hopes that the whip that the woman is holding had nothing to do with their marital discord. The woman’s name in this photograph is Grace McBurney. Her name is written on the reverse of the postcard, undoubtedly by one of her relatives. Research reveals that Grace R. McBurney (1893-1969) was born in Oregon and married at the age of 19 to William H. McBurney who worked as a “typewriter representative”, which I assume means he sold typewriters. The couple had at least five children: Virginia D.(born around 1914), Marguerite F. (1919-1999), Wilma (born around 1920), William (1923-1981), and Carl Morton (1928-2007). Perusal of US census data reveals that the couple were divorced sometime between 1930 and 1940. It appears that Grace lived her entire adult life in Portland, Oregon. She is buried in Lincoln Memorial Park in Portland. Preliminary research yielded little information about her husband. This photo postcard was produced by the Mazeograph Studio in Portland. The studio’s stamp can be seen on the reverse of the postcard. The stamp also mentions that the photo production process took only ten minutes.The postcard paper was produced by Cyko sometime between 1906 and 1915. Charles E. (Cal) Calvert operated his studio at Sixth & Ankeny from 1906 through 1930. In 1907, with the opening of Council Crest Amusement Park, he operated a studio and postcard stand on it’s grounds. He also ran a studio at the Washington Street entrance to Portland’s City Park in 1910. Cal was known for his use of rustic props and for his creativity. One of his sets involved subjects appearing as if they were flying an airplane over the city of Portland. A postcard employing this setting is part of a collection at the Portland Art Museum. As a side note, there was also a Calvert’s Studio across from Oregon City’s Southern Pacific Depot but it was run by Harry Calvert and his wife Alvilda. Harry was not related to Cal Calvert. Harry’s studio operated from 1915 through 1925.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. She holding a whip b/c it’s the reason they are smiling so much.


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