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Saturday, January 17, 2015

California or Florida. You be the Judge.

I was just cataloguing some of the post cards that had come in while I was focused on the Pikes Peak Series of blogs last year.I had no intention of blogging about these two cards. I picked up the first one (the top picture) and saw the title: “1724 – Through California Orange Groves.” I thought of course that makes sense; I lived in Southern California for about 15 years. I turned it over to read the message and all I could make out was the greeting: “Dear Sister Mary!” The rest looked like gibberish to me. Either this very fancy handwriting is extremely difficult to read or… then, I stepped back and realized that it written in another language. I catalogued it and added it to my album. Then I picked up the next card. I read the message on the back as I glanced at the publisher. The message reads: “I never saw anything like this. Will.”
So, I turned the card over to see what Will had never seen anything like. My first thought was, “Hey, that’s the same picture!” Then I saw the title: “A January Scene - Riding Through Orange Groves in Florida.” In Florida!! It is the same picture!!!

I thought, “No wonder Will didn’t see anything like this!” THIS is in California.

It is amazing how two publishers on the opposite sides of the country could choose the same picture and print different titles. Edward H. Mitchell is the publisher of the top card. He worked out of San Francisco, California. He doesn’t tell us anything about who printed his card. The publisher of the bottom post card is M. Mark out of Jacksonville, Florida. He does tell us that his post card was printed in Germany; but, not by whom. These two publishers bought the same picture and each man claimed it for his state. It would be interesting to know exactly where the picture was taken, but alas…

I have talked much about Edward H. Mitchell in the past. Here is what I could find about M. Mark. It is taken from the website,

Florida publishers that produced many local picture postcards were J.N. Chamberlain (Miami), Cochranes’ Book Store (Palatka), Daytona Beach News Service (Daytona Beach), H. & W.B. Drew Company (Jacksonville), Duval News Company (Jacksonville), Florida News Company (Tampa), Florida Souvenir Company (St. Augustine), W. H. Harris Company (St. Augustine), Hillsboro News Company (Tampa), M. Mark (Jacksonville), Murrell Post Card Company (Daytona Beach), Orange News Company (Orlando), Sam J. Rodes (DeLand), Southern Card & Novelty Company (Daytona Beach), St. Petersburg Post Card Association (St. Petersburg), Sun News Company (St. Petersburg), Walker News Company (Daytona Beach), and Eli Witt Company (Daytona Beach)

I know he was a publisher from Florida and wanted other to know, too. He included the state seal (or some semblance of it) on the front of the card. Maybe he know that Edward Mitchell used the same image and he wanted to add some authenticity to his picture.

I could find evidence that he was publishing post cards from between 1908 to 1919. I didn’t see anything beyond that. One site did tell us that he published in both the Divided back and White border eras. I also believe that the evidence shows that the rounded phrase over the postmark, “FLORIDA ARTISTIC SERIES” belonged to his work.

1 comment:

  1. It is possible that the train isn't actually near orange groves in either state.


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