Thursday, October 22, 2015

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 217

Historic Crystal Bar in Virginia City, Nevada, ca 1930s

California photographer Burton Frasher (1888-1955) started publishing postcards in 1920 as an expansion to the photography studio he and his wife, Josephine, opened in 1914 first in La Verne and later in Pomona, California where this card was printed.  He enjoyed traveling by automobile and his night photos of Las Vegas and Los Angeles as well as other American Southwest picture postcards proved popular with tourists of the 1930s and 1940s.  Frasher’s black and white landscape pictures of the American West have been widely reproduced.  His postcards carry a circle logo seen below showing with his name and Fotos, Pomona, Calif.

Frasher logo

The “Real Photo” postcard above shows the interior of the historic Crystal Bar in Virginia City, Nevada.  It was found with several 1930s era cards, is not dated and must have been included in an envelope with a longer letter.  It does have a note written on the reverse:  “This is a bar Peg & I visited when we went to Virginia City a couple of weeks ago.  These are the original chandeliers from the gold mining days.  They have a couple of old music boxes that still play.  Lots of old-time pictures of mining and fights.”   Curt Teich reproduced many of Frasher’s photographs as Linen Type postcards. 

Virginia City, Storey County, Nevada is near Reno-Sparks.  The boomtown sprung up when the Comstock Lode silver was discovered in 1859.  Although not part of the earlier California Gold Rush of 1849, gold was also discovered here with Comstock producing hundreds of thousands of dollars of both gold and silver.  When the silver output declined in 1878 so did the city.  German engineer Philip Deidesheimer created a special system for mining tunnels using timber square sets.  By 1876 it was said that every activity having to do with mining was employed at Virginia City.

Like many old West boomtowns Virginia City has an interesting history.  The town has retained authentic historic character with board sidewalks and restored buildings dating from the 1860s and 1870s.  There are several museums and old saloons also a Comstock Historic Walking Trail and a Pioneer Cemetery plus many other attractions for visitors.  It has been designated a National Historic Landmark since 1961. 

For additional information, see:,_Nevada

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