This vintage real photo postcard features two lovely and well-dressed couples. The men in this photograph are actually cross dressed women. There is a story here but it is lost to history. Are the women actually cross dressers or are they and their friends just trying to create a funny postcard portrait? (SOLD) 

Published in: on December 19, 2022 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  


This vintage real photo postcard features a group of German beer lovers gathered around a keg in a country-side setting. This photograph is a treasure trove of interesting elements. First, the keg of beer is labelled with the title “Memories in Lindau 1927” (translated from German). Second,the bruiser in the center of the back row is holding a beer mug on steroids. It is likely that no one will challenge or fight him for the huge glass of dark beer. Finally, what is the story about the gentleman/lady in the center of the middle row. To quote the Kinks, “Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls”. It is likely that the man wearing the dress, seen in this postcard, did so for fun. It is not unusual to see cross dressing in photographs from this era. Generally, wearing opposite sex clothing in these images was done for entertainment, rather than for sexuality reasons. Women also dressed as men in photographs. Vesta Tilley (1864-1952) was an English music hall performer who was one of the most famous male impersonators of her time. She was a star in both Britain and the United States for over three decades (see her photo below). Returning to the subject of the beer drinking celebrants, we learn from the writing on the keg, that they are partying in Lindau, Germany. Lindau is a major town and an island in Bavaria. It is located on the eastern side of Lake Constance (Bodensee in German). The origin of Lindau’s name is thought to be the “linden tree”. Lindau is known for being near the Austrian, German, and Swiss borders. This vintage postcard has excellent clarity and is in very good condition (see scans).

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2577

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Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #2577

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      Vesta Tilley


The  previous owner of this cabinet card believed that the woman in the image may be a man. Perhaps the jacket and tie that she is wearing is the predominant evidence that she/he is a cross dresser. I am not very convinced that the subject of this photograph is a man, but it certainly is a possibility. Never forget the wise words of the well respected group of philosophers known as the Kinks; “Well I’m not the world’s most masculine man, but I know what I am, and I’m glad I’m a man, so is Lola”. An interesting side note is that the photographer of this image, Will C. Fryatt, is responsible for a number of other unusual photographs taken at his studio in Montezuma, Iowa. It is entirely possible that Fryatt never took the photograph, but instead, bought the rights to sell it at his studio. There is also a possibility that the individual in this image is an actor/actress from a touring theatre company. Another mystery that this cabinet card presents is as follows: Why does a town in Iowa get named after an Aztec Emperor of Mexico? Stay tuned, research is in progress. A visitor to the cabinet card gallery commented that the woman in this cabinet card looked very  much like male impersonator, Ella Wesner (1851-1917) who was popular in the 1880’s. She was a part of the Gilded Age vaudeville circuit. You can view an image of Miss Wesner below. The assertion that the portraits of the two women in these photographs look similar, is very true. Do you think that they are one and the same person?