2006-08-18 / Columnists

Souvenir Photograph On A Postcard From Rockaway Beach 1906

From The Rockaway Museum by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

From The Rockaway Museum
by Emil Lucev, Curator
Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

The handsome couple posing for this souvenir photo were all smiles (I guess!) under that seriously sober pose in the San Francisco studio, on the Bowery or Amusement Midway in the Seaside section of Rockaway Beach.

There were many of these photo studios along the beachfronts from Far Rockaway to Rockaway Park. This card was mailed to Clara Duds in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although the card is a century old, it was found in good to excellent condition.

This scene was taken with an ocean backdrop, and the prop was an ersatz pile of rocks. Many other types of props and backdrops could be selected from, but boats and beach were the most popular. Animals from an elephant to a sea seal were available, as were airplane and balloon scenes, plus railroad observation platform scenes. Automobiles were the second most popular, and believe it or not, some actually shot on the beach!

The photo postcards, actually shot in a photographer's studio, usually incorporated the use of some sort of plain or decorated pedestal for the subject to lean on with one arm, or stand next to. The cost of a souvenir photo postal card was from twenty-five cents to a half dollar, and the cost of a stamp was one cent at this time, and later rose to two cents.

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