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Monday, December 10, 2012

Twins, but not Identical – AGAIN!!

These two post cards have the exact same picture on their fronts. This isn’t a matter of copyright infringement; they were both published by the same company. This time the company is the Newman Post Card Company. It existed from 1907 until it was acquired by H.S. Crocker in the 1960s. They are somehow linked to the Oscar Newman Company, but I am not sure how. Like almost all the post card companies, the Newman Post Card Company (NPC) had their post cards printed in Germany. Germany had the technology, the experts and the experience to be able to print colored post cards very inexpensively. NPC followed the pattern and shipped their images over there with the instructions for colorization and got them back for less than what was possible in the United States – and received a better quality product. Most of the cards of NPC were of Southern California, although there were other topics.
The reason I brought these two into the blog is not because the fronts are the same, as much as for the difference of the backs. Both post cards come from the “divided back” era. The card on the left is younger than the one on the right. It was printed in Germany. The line up the left side of the card contains the card number (No. C. 11.), the fact that it was published by NPC of Los Angeles and that it was made in Germany. Below, in the bottom left corner is says, “Write here.” Unlike other cards of this era, it does not say either, this side is exclusively for the address, or this side for correspondence. It seems that the Newman Post Card Company is so young that they have not even had time to develop their logo. The post card on the right is older. By this time, they have developed the logo (top left corner). They expanded from Los Angeles into San Francisco, where the Oscar Newman Company formed a partnership with Edward H Mitchell (EHM), the prolific post card publisher. Just the look of the back of the card shows to me that EHM had some influence on the design. Plus, what I think is his own invention of saying, “On the Road of a thousand wonders” is on the bottom left of the card. It keeps connection to the first post card because it reminds us that this is still post card No. C. 11.
The image is that of the Granite Gate on the Mt. Lowe Railway. You can see that the image is the same. Only the titles are different locations. The one on the left is so much easier to read – this is the card that was printed in Germany. In the white box are the words: Granite Gate, Mt. Lowe Division, Pacific Electric Ry. Cal. These exact same words appear on the card on the right. But, they are hidden by the tree. They are at the top center in red ink. (This, too, I believe, demonstrates the influence of EHM).

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