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Saturday, April 12, 2014

On Top of the World

This post card is a picture of one of the cog trains arriving at the top of Pikes Peak, Colorado. You can easily see the cog track in the middle of the other two tracks.
The building is the train terminal (can’t go any higher than the 14,109 feet elevation) and guest house with an observation tower (cost 25 cents to go up). It was built around the turn of the century (1800s to 1900s). The post card is from the Divided Back Era (1907 – 1915) so this is still a relatively new building. The back of the card tells us that Pikes Peak is “the highest mountain on the continent reached by a railroad.”

The post card was published by H. R. Schmidt & Co.
Henry Schmidt was born in 1880 in Kansas. He loved photography and travelled by train around the western states near Kansas taking pictures, publishing his photographs and turning some of them into immensely popular post cards. By the age of 30 he was running a successful business in Wichita and in the 1910s he opened a branch in Denver.

Mr. Schmidt would spend several days in one location in order to get the best pictures; sometimes he would return to capture special events in the town or city. He sent some of his photographs to Germany to have them transferred to lithographed post cards. These he would sell to the local businesses to distribute as they saw fit.

2 comments:

  1. I was there this summer with my family - it looks much the same. I don't think the observation tower is still there. I could be wrong however!
    My postcard and stamp blog is http://viridianpostcard.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. I will be there with my lovely wife in September. I will double check to see if it is there!! I saw your blog. Lovely. And very informative. Sorry it took so long. I have been in Mexico for the past two weeks.

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