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Homesteading circa 1900

Homestead 1

A family poses in front of their homestead

I picked up a pair of very intriguing b&w real photo postcards today.  Both show a small family posing for the camera, one in front of what appears to be a turn of the century homestead and the other around a small stream.  Although there are no clues as to the location my instincts tell me it could be somewhere in the BC interior, or possibly in the foothills of Alberta.

The odd thing (to me at least) is that the reverse of the postcard features a stamp box with the words “Half-Penny Stamp for Inland, One Penny Foreign” which would imply that the postcard is British.  The statement “The address only to be written on this side” dates the card to before 1902.  Could the photos have been taken in Canada and then developed and printed as postcards when the photographer returned to the UK?

Homestead 3

There's snow in them thar hills!

There is a chance the cards could be Australian but the presence of snow in the hills on the second postcard would seem to indicate the photo was taken in Canada (not to mention the fact that the card was found in BC).  If anyone has a theory on these postcards I would certainly appreciate it if you could leave a comment.

Bustling Boar Lane, Leeds

Boar Lane in Leeds

A nice real photo postcard

Today’s blog post features a real photo postcard of Boar Lane in Leeds. Although the card was posted on Aug 19, 1948 I suspect the photo was taken before the Second World War.

The postcard was written by a young rail/bus/tram enthusiast to his parents in Manchester. He was a man on a mission:

“On express to Grimsby. Got Auntie up early. Thoroughly enjoyed Whitby yesterday. We are late into Grimsby. Just about to board G.8.1 Tram. Visiting depot. Have wasted exposures.

In Cleethorpes bus. Have finished with Trams. Just passing Docks Station. The fare from Grimsby to Immingham is 1/11. Not like most tramways but they have to have railway fares. Will get into Leeds at 10.20 by special train.”

A Soldier of the Great War

An Unknown Soldier

A weary looking Sergeant of the Great War

One of the unfortunate consequences of searching for vintage photographs is the discovery of hundreds, if not thousands, of images of someone’s forgotten relatives.

It’s particularly sad to see a soldier’s photograph, knowing that nearly a century ago they held pride of place in homes across the country. If I’m fortunate enough to find a name or number I do my best to keep their memory alive by publishing their story online. Unfortunately sometimes there is no information to follow up.

I can’t afford to buy all of the photographs of unknown soldiers but I do rescue as many as I can.  I’ve created a photo set on Flickr as a tribute to, as tens of thousands of headstones so eloquently state, “A Soldier of the Great War, Known unto God“.

The postcard featured here is of a British [Edit: Private with a Horse Artillery Unit] with two wound stripes on his left forearm. This dates the postcard to 1916 or later. He looks tired and in need of that cigarette.

Downtown Fort MacLeod

Fort MacLeod, Alberta

24th Street, Fort MacLeod, AB

This is a very nice late 1940’s real photo postcard showing downtown Fort MacLeod in Alberta. The postcard credits the photograph to “Kingston” but the card was published by Rumsey & Co. Ltd in Toronto.

It’s been over 60 years since this photograph was taken but as you’ll see by the Streetview image on Historypin the street-scape is remarkably intact. The Queen’s Hotel still stands on one corner and the Rexall Pharmacy across the street is still there too, although it has moved a few doors down. The Canadian Bank of Commerce that dominated the other corner is close by too. Just spin the Streetview image around and you’ll see the bank is now housed in a smaller building just across the street.  Perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that the Empress Theatre, despite all the changes to cinemas over the years, can still be found down the street on the left.  Check out this century old theatre’s website (complete with soundtrack)!

Muir & Moodie RPPC Dunedin, NZ

59 York Place, Dunedin, NZ

59 York Place, Dunedin, NZ

This time around I’ve added a slightly grubby but very appealing real photo postcard of 59 York Place in Dunedin, NZ. I can just make out the name “Muir & Moodie“, embossed in the lower right corner. A quick search of the internet reveals that this studio began publishing postcards as early as 1898.

I don’t know anything about the home in the background but I was pleased to discover on Google Streetview that it is still standing today.

HP: 1409 Cook Street

1409 Cook Street

1409 Cook Street

My latest addition to Historypin is this nice real photo postcard of a home at 1409 Cook Street in Victoria, BC.

This home first appeared in the 1909 Vancouver Island Directory and I suspect this photo was taken sometime before the First World War. The first owner was George Lister, a plumber, who lived at the residence until 1915 when Ross Todd moved in. A Thomas Beattie and Charles Cummings subsequently occupied the house in 1918 and 1920, but by 1921 the Francis family moved in and made it their home for the next 10 years.

The 1930’s saw several other owners until a Mr. Gosse arrived in 1938. I’ve been unable to take my directory search past 1940 but I suspect the home was demolished in the 1950’s when a large medical building was constructed at the corner of Cook and Pandora.

HP: High Street, Camberley

I pinned a 1950’s real photo postcard of High Street, Camberley in Surrey to Historypin.  If you’ve not seen how old photographs can be superimposed on top of a modern Google Streetview this is a good example. Tip: hover your mouse over the fader bar along the bottom edge of the photo and slide it down to reveal the modern street scene.

The buildings in the foreground on the left are intact but you’ll find new builds further down the street, and of course many of the privately owned shops have been replaced by the High Street chains.

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