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Sunday, December 11, 2011

It takes a keen eye

So... I flipped the page in my album to see what the next set of post cards will be; surprise! we're still in the Royal Gorge. These two cards are a close-up of the Hanging Bridge - about which I know I have posted in the past (see earlier today).
These two pictures are much clearer than any others I have. As I examine them closer I see that this is because they were printed in 1938. These two cards are from the Linen Card Era. The number in the bottom right hand corner (8A-H192) tells me right away that these cards were printed by Curt Otto Teich's company. The 8A indicates that it was printed in the 1930s (the A tells us that) and specifically in 1938 (th 8 tells us that). The H after the dash indicates that the cards are of the Colortone type that Curt Teich produced. The 192 is an internal information number.
I kept both of them not because one of them is more yellow than the other (although that could be an indicator of a different print run - not just poor storage) but because they are actually from different print runs. Everything on the front is exactly the same (except the yellow hue); but, when you turn them over there is a very clear indicator that they are not from the same print run.
As we turn over the card, they do both look exactly the same. The descriptive words that tell you what is on the front of the cards are the same; the publisher on the left-hand side of the card is the same; the printer the "line" down the middle of the card is the same printer. But, upon closer inspection we see that the words POST CARD are in a different location and in a different font. I believe that the bottom card is older than the top one. When the US Postal Service finally allowed us to send post cards in the mail, the back side was for the address only. Then on March 1, 1907 we were able to put the address and a short message on the same side of the card. The address had to be on the right-hand side of the card and the message on the left. Many, I dare say most, of the post cards of this era remind you of which side which part is allowed. "THIS SIDE FOR ADDRESS ONLY" and "THIS SIDE FOR MESSAGE" are very prominent on the cards in my collection. It looks like this card has a bit of a carry-over from that era.

The other indicator that these are two print runs is that the name of the publisher, Curt Otto Teich and his patented printing process ("C.T. Art-Colortone")are each printed in the opposite direction on the two cards.

Who is the publisher? you ask. The Deseret Book Company is the official printer and distributor of the Mormon Church print material. The Deseret Book Company is the result of a merger between the Deseret News Bookstore and the Deseret Sunday School Union Bookstore in 1919 and formally adopted its name in 1920. They can both trace their organizational roots to George Q. Cannon, a Latter-day Saint General Authority. The bookstore is named after "deseret," a word from the Book of Mormon meaning "honeybee".

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.