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Thursday, June 28, 2018

66 Years Today

The title at the bottom of this post card drives me crazy. I have several that say something like "entrance to the Spiral Tunnel", as if there is only one tunnel. There are two Spiral Tunnels, one right after the other in the same area of the Rockies. The problem is that the "Lower Spiral Tunnel" is much easier to see from the road and to access for dramatic pictures.
As you can see, this train is going over a tunnel entrance from which it will soon be emerging. I have a couple of modern post cards in which the train is actually driving over itself. This particular train is westbound, so it has already gone through the "Upper Spiral Tunnel" and passed under the Trans Canada Highway.

That is Mount Stephen in the background. It was named after the first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, George Stephen. He is pretty famous because was the first Canadian to be elevated to the Peerage of the United Kingdom (as opposed to the Peerage of Great Britain). He was also one of the presidents of the Bank of Montreal. He is especially remembered for his philanthropy in the community.

The back of the post card contains a bit of uniqueness of history. The person on the three cent stamp is King George VI. He died on February 6, 1952. His daughter, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned queen until June 2, 1953. That means that, even though Elizabeth was the queen, her picture was not on the stamp used by Bill, the writer of the post card. The post card was mailed on June 28, 1952 - 66 years ago today - when a picture of the queen would normally have been on a stamp.
The post card was published by Gowan Sutton. They were a publisher of real photo and printed postcards of the Canadian West. Not only did they produce cards depicting large cities, they captured many hard to reach views within the Canadian Territories. Many of their cards were hand tinted in a simple manner striving for style rather than realism, which created cards in vastly differing quality. While the real photo cards were made in Canada their printed cards were made in England. This is a real photo card, so it was made in Canada.

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