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Friday, August 23, 2013

Not all is orange blossoms

The last couple of posts have been about trains entering southern California through beautiful orange groves. This post card shows what they had to pass through in order to get to the orange groves - the desert. As you can see, the desert is not always a dusty, sandy location with no plant life. This picture was taken in the Spring, when the desert plants were in bloom (probably in late April or early May).
Unfortunately, the post card doesn't name the train, so I don't know exactly where this is. There are several routes that enter southern California through the various deserts.

This post card was printed by Curt Teich. His name is not mentioned on the front or the back. You just have to know these things. The number in the bottom right hand corner of the front of the post card (1A-H405) is the key to the mystery. The A tells us that this post card was printed in the 1930s. The number 1 gets more specific and informs us that it was actually 1931. The H after the dash indicates that the post card was printed using his special "Art Colortone Method", also known as Linen Cards. The texture on the front of the post card makes it look and feel as if it were printed on a linen-type substance. Notice that they kept the white border from the previous era to save on ink costs. In 1931 there were 565 post cards printed by Curt Teich. This is number 405 of that series. 405 is 71.68% of 565. 71.68% of the calendar year falls on September 18th. So this card was printed somewhere near September of 1931.

The card was published by the Western Publishing & Novelty Co. of Los Angeles, California. I don't know a lot about them, except that they were prolific producers of printed materials. The previous post card in this blog posting was also published by them. What I could dig up, I owe to the Metropolitan Post Card Club of New York City: they tell us that the company existed in Southern California from 1932 until the 1970s; and that they were a publisher and distributer of California related tourist materials and postcards.

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