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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

So Much Going on 110 Years Ago

I know. I know. The first thing you noticed is that there is no train in this train post card. You are absolutely right! And, I have several other post cards that do not have a train engine in them. I was attracted to this one because it is a beautiful depot. Plus, it was mailed before March 1, 1907. "Why March 1, 1907?" you ask. Because after that date people could actually legally write the message on the other side of the card, next to the address. The person who mailed this post card missed that date by two days. This is one of the very last post cards to be mailed according to the post office rules that forbade writing a message on the reverse side.

But, those two reasons aren't enough. When you read the message, you understand that this is one of the last times we will see a post card with that picture on the front. The message says, "Feb 26 '07. Hello Mother. This building burned to the ground today. Will write you soon. Chas." It is a sad occasion because this train station, The Sunset Depot, was built by the Southern Pacific Railroad and opened on July 31, 1903. It was only 3 and a half years old.

This is the back of the post card:
It is addressed to Charles' mother who lived in Portland, Texas. Portland is on the gulf of Mexico and San Antonio is 150 miles away, almost straight north, in the interior of the state.

The post card was printed and published by Raphael Tuck & Sons. If you look carefully, you will see a seal in the upper left corner of the post card. This is proof that Raphael Tuck & Sons are official Art Publishers to their majesties the king and queen of England. Not an easy gig to achieve. Their own logo is the little blob in the lower left of the post card. This information about the company comes from the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York's website. This Company was founded in 1866 by Raphael Tuck, a seller of furniture, pictures, and frames. In 1871, after concentrating on the picture side of the business, Tuck’s three sons joined the firm and they began printing their first Christmas cards. When Raphael retired in 1881, his son Adolph took over the family business. By 1894, a year after they were appointed official printers to Queen Victoria, they printed their first Souvenir Card. When postal regulations were finally changed after much lobbying by Tuck and others, it provided better opportunities to enter the postcard market. Tuck immediately began the printing of postcards in chromolithography, and their twelve card set of London became the first illustrated card set in England. By 1899 they became the first publisher to print postcards in a larger size, what we now call standard. They went on to publish a very wide variety of card types and printed matter, including many innovative designs, eventually becoming a major publishing house. Not one to miss an opportunity, Tuck also became a major supplier of postcard accessories such as albums and display frames for cards.

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