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Friday, February 2, 2018

Oranges in February of 1909, but...

... but are these oranges really located in Florida? On the front of this featured post card it says, "A January Scene - Riding Through Orange Groves in Florida" across the top. I am not questioning whether oranges grow in the winter (January, as listed on the post card). In fact, I looked up the growing season of oranges in Florida. I found out that the Early Harvest Season is from October to January. The oranges harvested at this time are Hamlins, Parson Browns and Navels. The Mid Harvest Season includes the picking of Sunstar, Gardner and Sanjuinelli oranges from December to March. The Late Season is when the Valencias (50% of the harvest) are picked from March to June. I do, however, question where this picture was actually taken. It just so happens that I have another post cards in my collection that across the top is written, "Entering California through Orange Groves in Mid winter". Normally, I would not think anything of this. But, today I have to question where the pictures were taken; or is it where THE PICTURE was taken. Here are the two post cards, one on top of the other:

It is the exact same picture. Upon closer examination, I would declare the Florida picture to be the original and the other a copy. The details in the top post card are clearer; there are two people right behind the engine; the oranges do not look like paint brush dots; the train itself has much more detail; and, the telegraph pole to the right looks more like a telegraph pole. I do have to say that the printer has done a marvelous job of changing the ground between the trough and the trees.

Another hint about which came first might be the dates on which they were mailed. This featured post card for today was mailed today in 1909 (109 years ago) from Florida. The other was mailed in 1923 from California.

The feature post card was made in Germany, a typical trait of post cards before World War I. The printing processes in Germany were superior to those in the USA. The American printers had a lot of quick catching up to do to fill in the gap the war left. So much so that the period before World War I is known as The Golden Age of Post Cards.

Here is the back of the post card: it looks like someone moved to Florida and is writing to a friend in Massachusetts to let the friend know that it is different but acceptable.

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