Thursday, October 8, 2015

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 215

Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone Park, ca 1906

Yellowstone Park was established by the U.S. Congress in 1872 and is our first national park well before the National Park Service was created in 1916.  The Old Faithful Inn pictured on the card was built during 1903-1904 using local materials such as lodge pole pine and stone.  It was the first park lodge in the American west and is the largest log hotel in the United States and one of the few still standing.  The card photo is dated as 1906 at the upper right of the card. 

The Inn features rustic resort architecture designed by Robert C. Reamer, architect, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in July 1973, and listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1987.  The building is multi-storied with views of the famous Yellowstone Old Faithful Geyser. 

This postcard numbered 10767 at the lower left was distributed by the Detroit Publishing Company.  Although the photographic publishing company started by William A. Livingstone and photographer Edwin H. Husher was in existence in the 1890s, it wasn’t called the Detroit Publishing Company until 1905.  The company produced a large assortment of color postcards using a processing method they called Photochrom.  World War I and competition from companies using cheaper more advanced printing methods caused the company to declare bankruptcy in 1924.  By 1932 all assets had been liquidated.  The best-known photographer employed by the company was William Henry Jackson who worked there beginning in 1897.  Many of the prints and negatives are now part of the collection at the United States Library of Congress. 

In the late 1800s travel to and within the park was by horse or coach such as that depicted on the card; however, by 1915 automobiles had started becoming a more common method of transportation and that led to the eventual banning of horse travel within the park.

The following undated photos were sent to Petra and I.C. Lee probably sometime around 1920 when their niece, Clara Lee, the daughter of A.C. Lee, took a tour to Yellowstone Park. Handwritten notes on the front and back of each picture help to date, explain and identify the people. The group traveled in this open van.   

Clara Lee in front of the Lee's home in Seattle

Below is a picture of Rev. Waldo feeding a bear in the park.  This is something that should never be attempted as bears can be very dangerous. In many parks there are signs warning visitors not to feed any of the wild animals. 

For additional information about the Detroit Publishing Company, the photographer William Henry Jackson, and Yellowstone National Park, please see:

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