Sunday, January 14, 2018

Victoria, B.C.

I purchased this card on EBay.  The seller had two versions of this image, this one, and a real photo postcard.  I bid on both in hope that I could post them and show how card publishers used black & white photos to make color postcards.  Unfortunately, I only won this one.  Published by "Barber Bros., Victoria, B.C." 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Church of the Madeline

The printer needed to burn in the bottom of the picture, but other than that it's a great photograph. 

Anyway, in my last post, one half of the card had a picture of the Church of the Madeline in Paris, France.  The building was designed by architect Pierre-Alexandre Vignon, started in 1806, it was originally a monument commissioned by Napoleon, The Temple to the Glory of the Great Army.   After the fall of Napoleon and the Bourbon restoration, it was given to the Catholic Church. 

Written on the back, "Madeline Church."  No date, but I'd bet on the 1930s. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Glory of France

I love the design of these cards.  Too bad this is the last one I have.  Anyway, the Fontainbleu Palace is one of those European monstrosities that every king, for centuries, had to add his own personal touch with a new building, wing, or garden.  The Great Gallery of Francis I started life as a hallway that connected the King's apartments and his private chapel.  Easy access for monarchs after starting a war or killing a few peasants. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Mother Russia

In the time of the Czars!  Everyone knows about the Kremlin.  The Peterhof Palace is on the outskirts of St. Petersberg, Peter the Great's choice for a new capital for a western looking Russia.  During World War 2, the building was occupied by the invading German armies and was heavily damaged.  Restoration began almost immediately, and has yet to be completed.  Trump would love the place.  There's gold leaf everywhere.  The preference of aspiring autocrats.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Street Scenes, Algeria

In the previous post, a French postcard publisher showed the French presence in Algeria.  In this post, ordinary, day to day life.  I couldn't find any information on the publisher, but with the English captions, and a stamp box on the back that gives stamp prices for the United States and Canada...well, I may be wrong, but I doubt anyone in north Africa ever saw this card.  Note the copyright date of 1909.  This card could have been sold for decades, but does the copyright date reflect when the photos were taken, or when the card was offered for sale?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Mobile Defense

If my translation is correct, that bit of type on the top of the card reads, Algeria, the admiralty and the mobile defense.  This card was published by "LEVY ET NEURDEIN REUNIS."   Levy and Neurdein was in business from 1920 to 1932.  It was a company that was formed when Levy & Sons merged with Neurdein et Cie.  Algeria, of course, was once part of France.  My guess is that the patrol boats seen in this card were part of the French equivalent of the coast guard.  There was once a major French naval base at Mers-a-Kebir on the Algerian coast.  After the fall of France, and the formation of non occupied France, the British government demanded that the French fleet in north Africa head to England and join in the fight against the Germans.  When Admiral Darlan of the Vichy government declined but promised that the French fleet would never be surrendered to the Nazis, Churchill ordered an attack that sank the fleet, killing thousands of French sailors.  Latter, when the Germans tried to seize the rest of the French fleet at Toulon,  Darlan ordered the scuttling of his ships. 

Now, for a movie recommendation,  The Battle of Algiers.  It'll help explain why Algeria is no longer part of France.

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Littlest Christmas Tree

Alright, I think it's actually a candle, and it's so small that I missed it the first time I looked at the print, but there it is, right there at the edge of the table, the littlest Christmas tree.  There's a processor's date stamp on the back, "JANUARY 1959."  So, maybe not Christmas day, but right around December 25, 1958.