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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mastodon Wannabe?

I have chosen this post card for today’s blog because it is related to last week’s. Last week I posted several pictures of the Mastodon Ferry that was used to take trains from one side of the Mississippi River to the other.
If you look carefully at the picture on this post card, you will notice that it looks strangely similar to the Mastodon! The bridge is a steel structure with a wooden shed on top. It stretches up and over the train on board. There is a platform at about 45 degrees from the deck down to the water. The name is pained it white near the front of the ferry.

As I admired the card I saw the wording at the bottom: “FERRY CROSSING THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AT AVONDALE, LA.” I recalled that Avondale near the west side of the Huey P Long bridge that leads into New Orleans. I thought for sure that I had another post card of the Mastodon.
Then I looked carefully at the name on the ferry. It says, “El Grande”. So I did some research.

Here is my conclusion: This is the Mastodon.

As I turned the card over, I saw that it was printed by the Detroit Publishing Co.
This post card is from the 1915 – 1930 White Border Era. Trademarks were just starting to become “sacred” among post card publishers. So, I think the Detroit Publishing Co. had a copy of a picture from another company and decided to make it their own. In fact, on the back it says, “MADE ONLY BY…” Well, the only reason that this card can only be made by the Detroit Publishing Company is because they are the only company that can rename the Mastodon and print it.

I found the exact same card for sale on E-Bay. It was post marked and dated for 1915.

1 comment:

  1. There was another barge named El Grande. 1906 article in Houston Post talks about how the new barge between Galveston and Bolivar was being outfitted like the El Grande at Avondale.

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