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Saturday, April 7, 2018

115 Years Ago - Regarding a Bay Colt Horse

I know that the title of the blog says, "Bay Colt Horse" but that is not the subject of the picture on the post card. That is one of the topics in the message. This person is writing to George Cramer in Mapleton, Minnesota asking, "Have you driven your bay colt yet? He must be a dandy by this time." Mapleton is about 100 miles South-Southwest of Minneapolis. On Google maps it looks like it could still be farm country where they raise bay colts. Other interesting notes about the back of this post card:
1) The post card is published by Edward H. Mitchell from San Francisco. Edward H. Mitchell was one of the earliest and most prolific postcard publishers in the United States, and he was a San Franciscan. Cards bearing his name as publisher have been used, collected and studied since the end of the nineteenth century – the dawn of the Golden Age of Postcards. Several extensive checklists running to over three thousand entries have been compiled and updated. Mitchell published very early cards – colored vignettes – that were printed in Germany. He was publishing undivided back cards from a Post Street address before the earthquake and fire of 1906 destroyed his printing operation and much of San Francisco. He continued to work out of his home until he built a plant and warehouse on Army Street. From there he published thousands of divided back cards including many views of San Francisco and the West, series on the Philippines and the Hawaiian Islands, high quality real photo views, comics, artistic designs and a series of early exaggerations of California fruits and vegetables. He printed cards for himself and other publishers, most notably to promote the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition. Collectors and researchers of all Mitchell cards cannot help but feel a personal link with the publisher because he identifies himself on each of them as “Edward H. Mitchell”–  not “... Company,” not “... Inc.” just Edward H. Mitchell.”
2) Contained in the postal cancellation is an advertisement for the upcoming WORLD'S PANAMA PACIFIC EXPOSITION IN SAN FRANCISCO IN 1915. It was ostensibly advertised as a celebration of the that fact that the recently opened Panama Canal would connect the Pacific world to the rest of the world through the canal. Being a train post card blog spot, I have to mention that the C. P. Huntington, the first steam locomotive purchased for the Southern Pacific Railroad, was included in the exhibits.
3) If you look carefully at the cancellation mentioned in number 2, above, the I in SAN FRANCISCO is spelled with an exclamation mark !
I do not know how intentional that is. I can find no references to it on line or in any of the books that I have. I do know that the city had experienced a devastating earthquake less than a decade earlier and they were excited to show the world how they had recovered. Maybe this was a hint.
The picture on the front of this post card is from a mountain in the range that surrounds Las Angeles, California. I have written about Mt. Lowe before in this blog. That is the San Gabriel valley in the background. In order to get to this point in the Mount Lowe experience the riders would have taken a Pacific Electric trolley from Los Angeles to the base of the mountain. Then they took an incline railroad very nearly straight up the side of the mountain where they would then transfer to this trolley, which would then take them through the Granite Gate, across Las Flores Canyon and around the circular bridge in order to get to the Inn at the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, today there is very little that remains of this marvel. You can read more about Mt. Lowe here:

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