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Sunday, May 6, 2012

I turn 101 years old today!!

Today we are celebrating a post card that turns 101 years old (according to its postmark) on this very date.
This card seems to be part of an advertising campaign by the Southern California Tourist Agency. It probably isn’t, but it certainly highlights the attitude that people had about Southern California. The description of the scene on the top of the card says, “Entering Southern California, through Orange groves, in mid-winter”. I love that fact that they are combining Southern California with orange groves. I have actually seen train tracks through the orange groves. We moved to Southern California in 1959 and for a family outing would drive randomly through the state near our home. The part that really impresses me is the addition of “in mid-winter”. There is no snow to be seen; the grass is green; the orange trees are full of fruit. This card was published in the divided back era (1907 – 1915). It sure would have impressed the people back east to see something like this in the middle of a winter blizzard. The post card was published by the Newman Post Card Company. The company was begun in 1907 in Los Angeles. It lasted until it was purchased by the H.S. Crocker Company in the 1960s. The focus of the pictures on their cards was the Southern California area, although they printed pictures from other western points, too. They also took advantage of the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition (held in San Francisco) to produce post cards. The Newman Post Card Company logo is in the top left on the back of the card.
It was printed by the Van Ornum Colorprint Company also out of Los Angeles. Their logo is between the words POST and CARD on the back. They only lasted from 1908 to the 1921. They printed tinted half-tone post cards. On the very bottom, left of the back of the post card it says, “On the Road of a Thousand Wonders”. I have a few cards with this theme. The Road of a Thousand Wonders was theme that the Southern Pacific Railroad gave to the routes from Southern California to Portland, Oregon. The invested in and supported the printed of post cards that depicted the various scenes on these routes. The post cards were used by the railroad to increase passenger volume because the people who received these cards had to come out west and see for themselves. Some of them stayed once they saw how beautiful it really was.

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