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Friday, April 20, 2012

More California Oranges

We are going to continue with the Southern California orange grove/train theme. This post card is from the divided back era (1907 to 1915, more or less).
The front of the post card is a picture of the parlor car of the “Limited” passing through orange groves in Southern California. It looks like a multi-generational family standing on the platform having their family portrait taken. The orange trees are very young, but laden with fruit. The “Limited” referred to on the card could be the Southern Pacific’s (and partners) Golden State Limited. It ran from Chicago past St. Louis and through New Mexico to California. It began its first run on October 2nd of 1902 and made it final “voyage” in 1968. On the other hand, it could refer to the Santa Fe’s “California Limited”. It began service from Chicago to Los Angeles on November 27, 1892. It took two and a half days to make the trip. The last trip of this “Limited” was in 1954. Both “Limited” trains used Pullman coaches and offered the finest service. Eventually, cost cutting measures caught up with both trains as they tried to compete with cars as a viable means of transportation across the country.
On the back of the post card we can see that the person who purchased the card actually rode the “Limited” into California. He or she has written “When travelling on the Limited this is our [view] of the first scenes the tourist gets of Southern California – It is exactly as pictured.” I always wondered how much of the post card scenes were fact and how much was fantasy and the genius art work of the printer. Evidently, on this card what you see is what you get. The publisher of the card is the Western Publishing and Novelty Company of Los Angeles. They existed from 1932 right into the 1970s. Their subject matter was scenes from Southern California to promote the tourism. The printer of the card is Theo. Sohmer, also of Los Angeles. As I look on the internet for post cards from either the printer or the publisher, usually, when I find one, I find the other. They must have been good partners.

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