Friday, July 26, 2013

Stereoscopic Views of Italy – early 1900s

Naples – La Porte de Capoue
Naples – La Porte de Capoue
(Click on thumbnail to enlarge image)
Before leaving for my summer vacation and taking an August blogging break I thought I'd post something a little unusual. These vintage images aren't strictly postcards, but I'm sure that anybody with a passion for vintage photography will enjoy looking at these stereoscopic photo cards of Italy - they were the forerunner of the View-Master and even today's 3D movies!

Stereoscopy was a technique whereby a three-dimensional view was created by photographing a scene at the same moment, but from two slightly different positions. The images were printed side by side and viewed through a special instrument – a stereoscope – which presented the two offset images separately to the left and right eye of the viewer, and gave the perception of three dimensional depth. Sadly I don't own a stereoscope, but I'd love to track one down to see how these photographs look!

These stereo views of Italy were published in the early 1900s by French studio Paris Stéréo as part of its “Vues d'Italie” series. Earlier stereo views from the late 1800s were often mounted on thick card, whilst these real black and white photographs are printed directly on photographic paper. The photographs are in perfect condition, with no foxing, and are wonderfully crisp with a wealth of detail. Long live film photography!

The first image of Porta Capuana in Naples records how the Renaissance city gate once appeared – the top level is no longer there today.

The second image is of Palazzo Spini Ferroni, which sits on piazza Santa Trinita in Florence – the ancient Roman column known as the Column of Justice is still found in the middle of the square and is visible in the distance.

Florence – Le Palais Spini
Florence – Le Palais Spini
(Click on thumbnail to enlarge image)

And last, but not least, a view of Rome, my adopted home. It shows piazza Trinità dei Monti with its late Renaissance church and the Roman – not Egyptian - obelisk Obelisco Sallustiano, which stands at the very top of the Spanish Steps. It is this church and obelisk that one sees when admiring the iconic view from the foot of the Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna, whilst from piazza Trinità dei Monti one can admire a view of the entire Eternal City below.

Rome – La Trinité du Monts
Rome – La Trinité du Monts
(Click on thumbnail to enlarge image)
Check out the Vintage Postcard Store for more vintage stereoviews

Find more vintage postcards over at Beth's postcard blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy and join other collectors on Postcard Friendship Friday.

Postcard Friendship Friday

Friday, July 12, 2013

Haynes Souvenir Folder – Yellowstone National Park – 1930s

Haynes Souvenir Folder containing 18 images of Yellowstone National Park
During the 1930s and 1940s many postcard publishers known for their linen finish cards such as E. C. Kropp and Curt Teich, produced souvenir albums of images containing scenic views. Printed in cheap tinted halftones on long strips of thin paper, and then folded accordion-style into a linen folder the size of a conventional postcard, with space inside for a short message, these souvenir folders are still popular amongst collectors today.

Liberty Cap, Mammoth Hot Springs - Oblong Geyser Crater - Grizzly Bear Family
I recently acquired a gorgeous batch of these folders and have fallen in love with the gaudy printing techniques of these booklets. The photographs in a folder for the Yellowstone National Park published by Hayes Inc., however, struck me as being particularly interesting, with a superior level of colour tinting. On further investigation I discovered that the images were based on the work of the official photographer and concessionaire of the Yellowstone National Park Frank Jay Haynes. Making his first visit to the park in 1881, he returned there to photograph its wonders every year – in all seasons - until his death in 1921, creating over 200 photographs, many of which were then beautifully hand coloured. This souvenir folder can never match the stunning original photographs, but is a fine attempt to emulate them in a mass produced format. Yellowstone National Park memorialised Frank Jay Haynes by naming Mount Haynes after him.

L-R:Northern Entrance Arch - Osprey and Aerie - Needle in Grand Canyon near Tower Fall (Click on thumbnail to enlarge image)

Haynes Guide, The Complete Handbook, Yellowstone National Park first appeared in1890 and was published annually until 1966, first by F. Jay Haynes, and then by his son Jack Ellis Haynes, who took over the family business when his father retired in 1916. The inside of the souvenir folder carries the following tourist facts and figures about the park, excerpted from the guide:
Yellowstone National Park although essentially a geological park, is also remarkably well suited to the students of wild life and scores of other lines of study, who find in its 3,472 square miles of area an inexhaustible field for research. Elevations range from about 5,000 to 11,360 feet above sea level.

Vacationists, most of whom carry cameras to record the wonders of this remarkable region, have ample opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, fishing and boating. The condition of the park roads is the factor which determines the length of the season. The park highways which have an average elevation of slightly more than 7,000 feet above sea level and a maximum elevation of 10,317 feet (summit of Mt. Washburn) are for the most part blocked with snow throughout the winter months.

For those who visit the park before the main hotels and lodges open, or after they close, accommodations are available in the park at the principal centers, and at the towns near each park entrance.

The Grand Loop Road of the Park – all of its 142 miles – is one of the most magnificent scenic tours in America. It leads to the greatest geyser basins in the world and along the shores of Yellowstone Lake and River to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – both sides – and to its northern extremity near Tower Fall, and Mammoth Hot Springs.

Extracts from Haynes Guide, Yellowstone National Park
Check out the Vintage Postcard Store for more Haynes Yellowstone National Park postcards and folders

Find more vintage postcards over at Beth's postcard blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy and join other collectors on Postcard Friendship Friday.

Postcard Friendship Friday

Related Posts with Thumbnails