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Saturday, April 27, 2013

No Genetically Modified Wheat here!

This has to be a picture from Alberta - even though it doesn't say so anywhere on the post card. I have been to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia along both the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railroads. None of these provinces have a scene of a wheat field near the mountains that look similar to this. Having said that, I can't pinpoint where the picture would have been taken, except somewhere between Canmore and Calgary, Alberta. The tracks of the CPR do get close enough to both mountains and flat land that this might be from there. Notice how calm the four horses are as they pull the reaping machine while the steam engine zips past them. This post card was published in the Divide Back Era (1907 - 1915) so the wheat being cut down here is definitely NOT Genetically Modified!!

Of course, it may be an artist's rendition of "all the good things" one can find in Alberta. There is a signature under the back left of the machine. I think it says, "O. Rosenvinge." I believe that the artist is Odin Rosenvinge who was certainly around the early part of the 20th Century. He lived from 1880 to 1957. You can see some samples of his work at . You will have to cut and paste or write down the address as the linking on this site does not work very well.

Odin Rosenvinge was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1880 of Danish descent. After leaving school, he joined a Leeds commercial art and printing firm where he started to paint marine subjects. When he was thirty-two, he moved to Liverpool and joined the firm of Turner and Dunett who had all the major shipping companies as clients. He served in the Middle East during World War I. In the 1930's, his employers went into liquidation and he went freelance, becoming one of the most celebrated poster and postcard artists.

The post card publisher Valentine & Sons was able to get a copy of one of Odin's pieces of art and reprinted it as this post card. Valentine & Sons was from Great Britain, as was Odin.

Valentine & Sons operated in Canada from 1907 to 1923 in both Montreal and Toronto. They were the Canadian office for Valentine’s of Dundee, Scotland. They published souvenir books, greeting cards and view-cards of Canadian scenery in sets numbered with a three digit prefix and a three digit suffix. These tinted halftone and collotype cards were printed in Great Britain. Valentine sold their Canadian branch in 1923.

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