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Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Chicken or the Egg?

The Chicken or the Egg? That is the perennial question about which came first. Today, we are not looking at chickens and eggs but at the same picture published by different companies. The sleuth in me wants to know which came first, the top one or the bottom two.
The first hint that the top one came first is that the title is much longer. Being the first picture of this scene, one would want to give as much information as possible so that the viewer knows what he or she is looking at. The second hint that this one came first is that the picture is so clear and sharp. At the left side of the card, where the clouds meet the border, one can see the fibers of the brush leaving a distinct pattern. Each window in the passenger car is clearly demarcated; the stones and boulders are very distinct from one another; the colors are crisp.

The only hint that the other two came first is that the embossment of these cards is much sharper. When I turn the cards over, the top two have very deep craters from the embossing. The top card is relatively flat, but still embossed.
Even between the two bottom cards, there is evidence that these are the results of two different runs of prints. All three titles of the post card are distinct from each other.
The only things that I do know about these cards are 1) they are pictures of Pikes Peak; 2) Pikes Peak is 14, 147 feet tall; 3) these are all number 116 in a series of prints; 4) they are all from the Undivided Back Era (1901 – 1907) and 5) the bottom post card was mailed in 1906.
Once again, I am asking for your assistance in providing any other identifying information about the post cards. I am especially looking forward to knowing which company used the American flag on the staff like this.

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