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Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Canadian in New Mexico? or Buyer Beware!


The Canadian referred to in the title of this blog post is the river. The bridge in this real photo post card was built by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad over the Canadian River near Logan, New Mexico.

Logan was "born" when the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad constructed this bridge. Eugene Logan was a well-known Texas Ranger who came to work on the bridge. Logan is located at 35°21′41″N 103°26′52″W The bridge was 145 feet above the river when this picture was taken. Today there is a dam upstream blocking the flow of the river to a gently dribble.

It is unclear why the river is called the Canadian. The Canadian River is the longest tributary of the Arkansas River. It is about 906 miles long. It starts in Colorado and travels through New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle, and Oklahoma, where it joins the Arkansas River.
The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. The Arkansas generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the US states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's initial basin starts in the Western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas River Valley, where the headwaters derive from the snowpack in the Collegiate Peaks.

A famous attraction on the Arkansas River is the Royal Gorge in Colorado. I have blogged about it in the past.

The reason the second half of the title says "Buyer Beware" is shown here.
Only the front of the post card was published on the website. I didn't ask about it before I purchased it. It was cheap, but I would have preferred to have known about how it was ripped from an album into which it had been glued. Someday I will experiment with removing the glue. The card is fairly worthless as it is.

This is a Real Photo Post Card.
In 1903 Kodak introduced the No. 3A Folding Pocket Kodak. The camera, designed for postcard-size film, allowed the general public to take photographs and have them printed on post card backs. They are usually the same size as standard vintage post cards. Kodak's 3A camera pioneered in its use of postcard-size film but was not the only one to make Real Photo postcards. Many other cameras were used, some of which used old-fashioned glass plates that required cropping the image to fit the postcard format.
After March 1, 1907 half of the back of a post card could be used for a message. This meant that the front of the post card could contain an image that covered the entire card. This made the Real Photo Post Card more popular.

Evidently someone thought it important to record a train traveling over the bridge at the Canadian River near Logan, New Mexico. The photographer of this post card did not use a Kodak camera. The asterisks that form the box where the stamp is to be placed tells us that it is not from a Kodak Camera. However, I cannot find what camera or process was used.

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