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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Open at Night!

These three post cards illustrate for us the fact that Pikes Peak was not just a daytime attraction. We have already seen that the weather station at the top of the peak was slowly transformed as the owners added an overnight accommodation as well as other amenities.

The top two post cards are the same picture. It is taken from the top of the peak looking back down the tracks toward the direction from which the trains arrive. When I first saw this picture my imagination told me that someone had lost a nickel. The two men at the back were looking for it where it was dropped. The closest two men are going to where the light is better so they can see the ground better. I have a great imagination!!

The bottom post card is the same building as seem from the other end – what one sees as one approached it from downhill. The picture was obviously not taken in the middle of the summer. There are icicles hanging from the tower and the building.
When I flip over the two top cards, I see that one has been published by the Illustrated Postal Card Company of New York.It only existed from 1905 to 1914 at 520 West 84th Street in New York City. You can see that the post card was printed in Germany; this was prior to the beginning of World War One. We can trace that the cards of this company were printed by a certain Emil Pinkau in Leipzig in the Saxony region of Germany. They started printing their own post cards in 1909 – just in time to avoid a dearth of cards because of the war. You can notice that they had two logos; one of the eagle and the other the “scribble” before the word “Illustrated”.

The second card has not been claimed by anyone. It has a distinctive double-line down the middle and the front for the words “POST CARD” is distinctive. I hope someday to find out who this publisher or printer is. I included it because there is a date printed on the card. It is August 30, 1909. This, combined with the information of the above publisher, gives us a clear timeline for both cards. They are from the Divided Back Era which lasted from about 1907 to 1915; and now we can narrow it down to one specific year: 1909.

The bottom card, too, does not have a publisher indicated on it. But, it does have a date. It was posted in August of 1912. In the text written on the post card we are given a bit of insight into history.
The writer is telling the receiver that the price to go to the top of Pikes Peak was $5.20. $5.00 was the cost to go to the top of the peak and 20 cents was the cost to get into the Manitou Springs. Plus, it tells us that it snowed in August in Colorado in 1912.

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