PORTRAIT OF TWO VISITORS IN A CONVERTIBLE AT BALANCED ROCK, GARDEN OF THE GODS, COLORADO

This is one of those vintage real photo postcards that one stumbles upon and is compelled to learn more about. The postcard is a wonderful find. The photograph shows a young couple driving a 1920’s (?) car past “Balanced Rock” in the Garden of the Gods. The popular tourist location is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 1859, two surveyors who were instrumental in setting up Colorado City, explored the area and one of them decided that it would be a great place for a “beer garden”.  The second surveyor responded to the suggestion stating it would be better to call it “Garden of the Gods” because it was “a fit place for the Gods to assemble”. Many Native American tribes are connected to this area including the Apache, Cheyenne, Comanche, Utes, and Pawnee people. The Garden of the Gods became a National Natural Landmark in 1971. This postcard does an excellent job of providing a portrait of the “Balanced Rock”. The natural geological formation is put in even better perspective by photographing an open car in front of it’s precarious pose. The viewer holds their breath hoping that the auto and it’s two occupants pass by safely. Note that there is a pennant hanging on the side of the car. Printed on the pennant is “Kansas City”, which is likely the home of the lovely couple in the convertible. This postcard was produced by the Paul Goerke studio in Manitou, Colorado. It is printed on Artura paper and was produced between 1908 and 1924 (presumably sometime toward the end of this span). The story of photographer Paul Goerke is quite interesting. In the 1890’s, Goerke purchased the land around Balanced Rock. Goerke and his son, Curt, took photographs of tourists by the rock and sold them for 25 cents apiece. At the beginning of Goerke’s business there was no charge to view Balanced Rock. They made their money by charging for the portraits. Among the props supplied by Goerke, were burros. As personal cameras became readily available, Goerke needed to change his business concept. Curt Goerke built a wooden fence around Balanced Rock and began charging 25 cents admission. He also operated a lunch counter adjacent to nearby “Steamboat Rock” and created picnic areas for the thousand of visitors who came each summer. In 1932 the city of Colorado Springs purchased The Goerke property and tore down the fence.

 

Modern Photo Postcard of Balanced Rock

 

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Published in: on May 23, 2017 at 6:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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SNAPSHOT OF A LOVELY COUPLE IN FRONT OF A BEACH HOUSE

Some couple look like they belong together and the pair in this snapshot are one of those couples. This is a handsome couple. They are posing in their bathing suits in front of a quaint beach house. She is wearing a pioneering bikini and he is wearing an unbuttoned casual shirt displaying part of his bare chest. She is holding a swimming cap. In the background you can see the boardwalk that is between the house and the beach. One can also observe the beach vegetation. In addition, there appears to be beach chairs, or some kind of rack, close behind this romantic couple. The scene reminds me of the beach houses on Fire Island, though this photograph could have been taken at many beach communities along the US east or west coast. This snapshot likely dates back to the 1930’s or 1940’s.

Published in: on March 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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A YOUNG COUPLE AND THEIR HORSE AND BUGGY IN A RURAL SETTING

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The message on this vintage real photo postcard is as follows: “Edd & Susan, Here is a picture. looks like us but not good work at all. How are you? We are all well. My Dishes haven’t come yet… Bird”. I added the punctuation since “Bird” didn’t seem to have the time or interest. This photograph features a young man and woman sitting in their horse drawn buggy in front of a rural house and landscape. The previous owner of this image believed that that the couple are dressed in their wedding clothes. I certainly can not confirm that, but the pair are certainly dressed in their nicest clothing. “Bird”, perhaps short for “Birdie”, is not very pleased with this photograph. Personally, I believe the photographer did an excellent job in capturing this couple, their horse and buggy, and their homestead. The stamp box on the reverse of this RPPC indicates that it was produced on Cyko paper sometime between 1904 and the 1920’s.

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Published in: on February 17, 2017 at 3:59 pm  Comments (2)  
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PORTRAIT OF A LOVELY YOUNG SERBIAN COUPLE

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This cabinet card portrait features a lovely young Serbian couple. The pair are very well dressed. The young man is wearing a pocket watch and a wedding ring on his left hand. Perhaps this image is a wedding portrait. The young woman is wearing a traditional dress and lots of lace. She is holding something in her right hand that I am guessing is a hat.  The couple looks very young and very innocent. The reverse of the cabinet card has the stamp of Bernhard Wachtl, an Austrian lithographer whose printing firm was located in Vienna, Austria. He designed and printed logos of photographic studios during the cabinet card era. His clients included photo studios located throughout most of the world.

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Published in: on February 8, 2017 at 2:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WEDDING COUPLE IN ROSEDALE, INDIANA

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This cabinet card portrait captures a young couple on their wedding day, or at least in their wedding clothing. They are dressed beautifully for their special day. The bride is wearing a garland of flowers.  Her white gloves are draped over the wicker chair and she is holding her hat. The bride is pretty and appears somewhat happy as she poses for this photograph. Her new husband wears an expression that looks like he either ate too much at his wedding, or that he is having second thoughts about getting married. Lets hope he just overate. The photographer of this wedding portrait is W. A. Baldridge (1860-1924) who operated a photo studio in Rosedale, Indiana. He is listed in the 1880 US Census as living in Florida, Indiana and working as a clerk. The 1920 US Census finds Baldridge living in Summit, Ohio and operating a photography business.

Published in: on January 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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EXQUISITE PORTRAIT OF A GERMAN COUPLE BY EMILIE BIEBER (CARTES DE VISITE 1870’s)

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Emilie Bieber is one of my favorite photographers of the Cartes de Visite/Cabinet Card era. The quality of her work soars above her contemporary photographers. View more of her images by clicking on the category “Photographer: Bieber” or just put her name in the search box. This CDV captures a lovely immaculately dressed couple posing in Bieber’s Hamburg studio. The woman’s hair is beautifully done. She is wearing a cross on a chain. The gentleman is wearing formal clothes and also is wearing a ring and pocket watch. Bieber had a second photo studio which was located in Berlin. Emilie Bieber ran her Hamburg studio for 1852 through 1872 when she was joied by her nephew, Leonard Berlin-Bieber. She died in 1884. This cdv likely dates back to the 1870’s. The reverse of the photograph lists prizes garnered by Bieber at various photo exhibitions including Berlin (1865), Paris (1870), London (1872), and Vienna (1873).

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PORTRAIT OF A LOVELY COUPLE IN MARION, INDIANA

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This cabinet card photograph features a lovely couple posing for their photograph at the Harnish & Marquart studio in Marion Indiana. The pair are well dressed and likely are financially well-to-do. The gentleman is wearing a three piece suit, a wide neck tie, and a shirt with a formal collar. He appears to be quite intense and probably wasn’t pleased that some of his hair when he learned that some of his hair was out of place in this photograph. The woman is wearing a ruffled top, fingerless gloves, a high collar, and a “busy” hat. She is holding a black parasol. Her clothing gives her a “bell shape”. Like many portraits of couples in the cabinet card era, the man is sitting and the woman is standing. It likely would be a project for the woman to take a seat, never mind, look attractive and comfortable. This image is crisp and clear. The photographers were evidently talented. Information about Mr. Harnish was readily available but that was not the case for Mr Marquart. Harnish was born in Pennsylvania in 1847 to a family of German descent. He left the family farm at age nineteen and learned photography in Myerstown, Pa. He moved to Bluffton with his family in 1867. In 1871 he married Miss Laura Myers (born 1850). George Adam Harnish opened his first photography studio in Bluffton, Indiana in 1872. In 1881 he became a town councilman in Bluffton. He sold his photography business to Benjamin Ashbaucher in 1889. Marion is about 35 miles west of Bluffton. It is my hypotheses that Harnish began working in Marion after selling his first studio. Clearly that is where he partnered with Marquart. There is a photograph in the American Museum of  Photography that was taken by Harnish & Marquart in 1899.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on October 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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HANDSOME SOLDIER AND HIS PRETTY WIFE IN READING, ENGLAND (VINTAGE RPPC)

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This vintage real photo postcard features a lovely couple. The handsome gentleman is in his crisp British military uniform and holding his hat at his side. Beside him is his pretty wife who is wearing an attractive long white dress along with a necklace and collar pin. The couple’s portrait was taken at Ward’s Studio in Reading, England. The postcard has excellent clarity.

 

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Published in: on September 25, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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A BULGARIAN MILITARY OFFICER AND HIS PRETTY WIFE

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This cabinet card photograph features a Bulgarian uniformed military officer and his wife. The officer is wearing a medal on his chest and is holding a pair of dress gloves. He is wearing high boots which may indicate that he is a member of the cavalry. The soldier’s wife is quite pretty. She is clutching a purse and wearing a pair of leather gloves. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph indicates that this portrait was taken in 1916. The photographer was C. Balus and the location of his studio was in Rousse  (Pyce), Bulgaria. Rousse is currently the fifth largest city in Bulgaria. It is in the northeastern part of the country and is located on the banks of the Danube. The city is often called “Little Vienna”.

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Published in: on September 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WEDDING COUPLE IN SAALFELD, GERMANY

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This carte de visite is a wedding portrait that was taken by the Kratzert studio in Saalfeld, Germany. Like many wedding photographs of the time, we see the groom sitting and the bride standing. The couple appear to be relatively young. The pretty bride is wearing a wedding gown with a high collar. She is wearing a necklace and holding a bouquet of flowers. The groom is well dressed in his three piece suit and is displaying a poor version of a pensive expression. He appears to be uncomfortable, while his bride seems significantly more relaxed. The couple were photographed at a studio in the town of Saalfeld, which is the capital of the Saalfeld Rudolstadt district of Thuringia. The town is located in the valley of the Saale River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on August 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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