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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Ninety Seven Years Ago Today

The picture on the front of this post card is from inside the Royal Gorge. It is called this or "The Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River". This is because it is between 8 and 10 miles long (depends on where you start the measurement) and over 2,500 feet deep. It is a midget compared to the real Grand Canyon, but if haven't been to Arizona, this one is impressive.

In this picture, the train has just passed over the suspended bridge. Here the walls of the canyon are so narrow that the only way they could support the bridge deck was from above. I have other post cards that give a better and closer view of it. In this picture the red girders come to a point over the back of the train and the bridge is also red-ish.

The post card was written on December 14, 1920 (the date is written in the same handwriting as the rest of the message). But, using my super-super magnifying glass, I have come to the conclusion that it probably was not mailed until two days later. The number to the right of the 1 is too round to be a 4 in the cancellation mark.

The message is a friendly thank you. "Dear Anna & all; just got the pictures from Katherine yesterday, sure think they are beautifull (sic) and thank you many times for them and Gladys thanks the girls for her's (sic) too. I never saw any photos as pretty as they are. What are you going to do Xmas? I don't know if we will get to go to Hastings or not." Then, because she ran out of room at the bottom of the card, the author signed her name at the top, left of the card: "From Nellie".

Did you notice the cute little fellow at the top, middle of the card? This little alien-like critter is the logo (along with the arrow up the middle) of the H.H. Tammen Company. Those are their letters in the middle of the arrow. This company was a novelty dealer and important publisher of national view-cards and Western themes in continuous tone and halftone lithography. Their logo does not appear on all their cards but other graphic elements are often remain the same. H. H. Tammen (1856-1924) Harry Heye Tammen was born in Baltimore, Maryland on March 6, 1856, the son of a German immigrant pharmacist. He attended Knapps Academy in Baltimore, then worked in Philadelphia before moving to Denver in 1880.

In 1895 Tammen formed a partnership with F.G. Bonfils (whom he had met at the Chicago World's Fair) and they became co-owners and co-editors of the Denver Post. Their publishing business flourished, and Tammen's business successes made him a wealthy man. In 1917 Buffalo Bill Cody happened to die while in Denver, and Tammen (one of the city's biggest boosters) offered Cody's widow $10,000 if she would allow Cody to be buried in Denver; she accepted, and the ensuing funeral procession drew 50,000 people. He established the H.H. Tammen Trust in 1924, providing essential health care for children of families who cannot afford to pay. Tammen died July 19, 1924. The H.H. Tammen Curio Co. was in business until 1953, and possibly as late as 1962.

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