This vintage real photo postcard captures the “turning around” of a cable car in San Francisco, California. A caption on the front of the card discloses that the trolley is turning around at Powell and Market streets. Three conductors are doing the turning. Interestingly, the street sign in the photo is for Eddy Street. A sign on the trolley announces that the cable car is part of the Washington & Jackson Streets line. The car itself is numbered 518. Signage in the photograph advertises Florsheim Shoes, Paul’s Flower Stand, Hotel Powell, a cafeteria, and a liquor store. An article in the San Francisco Chronicle (1915) reveals that the flower stand still exists and has celebrated it’s 100th birthday. The stand was started because the founder of the next-door bank (Bank America) wanted a fresh flower in his lapel every day. In regard to the Powell Hotel; it was opened as the Hotel Turpin in 1908 and sold in 2014. The  was redone and renamed. It is currently named the “Axiom Hotel”. The reverse of this postcard is illuminating. The card was postmarked in 1948. The sender of the card had written a message to his parents in Middletown, Ohio. The sender is a soldier and will soon leave for Fort Worth, Texas with a Marine Sergeant and three other men. The postcard is clearly meant to be a way of keeping in touch and calming any worry experienced by his parents. This real photo postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2901

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Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #2901

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This vintage real photo postcard features a horse drawn trolley in St. Augustine, Florida. Printing on the front of the card elaborates with “Rapid Transit at Capo’s North Beach”. Most of us would not think of a single horse pulled trolley as “Rapid Transit”, but compared to walking, the trolley was rapid transit. It wasn’t difficult to find a seat on the trolley when this photograph was taken. It’s only occupants were two passengers and the African American driver. Research revealed the story behind this particular trolley. In 1904, Paul and Ellen Capo built a boat landing on the east shore of the Tolomato (North) River, and used this horse drawn trolley to carry passengers over the dunes, to the beach. Beachgoers could swim in the Atlantic Ocean. The visitors to Capo’s North Beach arrived there via a ferry from downtown St. Augustine. The name of the ferry boat was “Pauline II”. The photographer of this photo postcard was P. A. Wolfe, of St. Augustine. Mr Wolfe was a very talented photographer. Many of his photographs can be seen at the website “Florida Memory” which is operated by the State Library and Archives of Florida. In 1921, he took a series of photographs of President Warren Harding’s visit to St. Augustine. P. A. Wolfe was born in England in 1886. The 1920 US Census reveals that he was married to Ina Wolfe and was working as a photographer in St. Augustine. The “AZO” stamp box on the reverse of this postcard indicates that it was published sometime between 1904 and 1918.   (SOLD)



This vintage real photo postcard features the Powell Street Cable Car Trolley on it’s turn-table at Powell and Market Streets in San Francisco, California. This image offers a great look back at early San Francisco history. There is a lot happening in this photograph. Look carefully and you will see two conductors working to turn the trolley around. Actually one seems to be doing all the physical labor while the other checks out the action on the street. In addition to the pedestrians in the image, you can also see a woman and her child boarding the cable car as it turns around. It is also interesting to note the businesses that appear in the photograph. The Clinton Cafeteria and the Owl Drug Company are clearly seen. Preliminary research reveals that the Clinton Cafeteria was located at 18 Powell Street. The book, San Francisco Art Deco (2007) asserts that the restaurants basement dining room had marble floors and potted plants. From six to eight PM the restaurant offered self served diners live dinner music provided by a string orchestra. The second business in the photograph, The Owl Drug Company, was a drugstore chain headquartered in San Francisco. It was established in 1892 and was a subsidiary of Rexall. The photographer of this photograph is Alexander J. “Zan” Stark (1889-1967). He was born in Michigan and moved to California in his early twenties. Zan Stark was a postcard photographer. He worked out of his studio in Mill Valley.  He used the professional name of “Zan of Tamalpais” between the 1920’s and the early 1950’s. This postcard is credited to Zan (no. 316). The stamp box on this vintage postcard indicates that it was published on Eastman Kodak paper  sometime between 1939 and 1950.   (SOLD)



Published in: on October 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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trolley one 1


trolley one

This wonderful vintage photograph gives us a view of an important mode of transportation in America’s past. The Rothschild Park trolley was operated by the Wausaw Electric Railway. This photograph features a trolley car and two uniformed conductors. In 1906 the Wausau Street Railway Company was organized to bring electric transportation to Wausau. Sometime around 1915 the railway became the Wisconsin Valley Merrill Railway and Lighting Company. Note the sign stating “Rothschild Park” on the front of the trolley car. The story of Rothschild Park is quite interesting. The park was located, unsurprisingly, in Rothschild, Wisconsin which was about six miles from Wausau. Rothschild Park was owned by the Wausau Electric Railway and must have been quite a fun place to visit. The park offered 40 acres of water, islands and land. Attractions included a roller coaster, dance floor, catering hall, and more. In 1912 it cost ten cents to get to the park from Wausau. The photographer of this terrific image is unknown.  (SOLD)

Railway or Trolley Car Motorman in Omaha, Nebraska


This Cabinet card is an image of a railway or trolley car worker. The badge on his cap is labeled “motorman”. If he worked for a trolley line, than he worked for the Omaha Cable Tramway Company which operated in Omaha between 1884 and 1894. Instead, he may have worked on a train belonging to the Union Pacific Railroad which was one of several railroads operating in Omaha, Nebraska. It would be great to read some comments from readers who may have expertise or knowledge concerning the railway history of Omaha. The photographer of this photograph is Gray, of Omaha. To view other photographs by Gray, click on the category “Photographer: Gray (NE)”.

Published in: on January 7, 2009 at 2:53 am  Comments (2)  
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