Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Handsome -- Historical -- Instructive [Part 2]

In our last post we introduced you to "trade cards" from the 1890s. We have a few more cards from that series of 100 views ... today featuring Yellowstone National Park. Please keep in mind that Yellowstone was made a National Park by Congress in 1872 and these cards were published just about 20 years later. In the 1890s just about the only way to reach the Park was by way of horseback or stagecoach.

Grand Geyser
Yellowstone National Park

Canon and Great Falls of the Yellowstone
We are curious about how a camera might have been used in the production of these images. According to Wiki's article on "history of the camera", around this time period (1890), George Eastman introduced the Kodak camera and paper film. Did you know the first Kodak cameras were pre-loaded with enough film to take 100 pictures but had to be sent back to the manufacturer for processing and reloading? Hmmm ... time consuming to see if that selfie turned out as you wanted! In any event, the images on these cards are called "photo-lithographic" views ... if you can explain that in simple terms please leave us a comment!

Mammoth Hot Springs

The Queen's Laundry
The Giantess
The Giant
Yellowstone National Park

Lone Star Geyser
Keplers Cascade

Bee Hive Geyser

Camping in the Rockies
Yellowstone National Park

As 2014 draws to a close we will take this opportunity to thank you for your visits to John's Island. We also appreciate your comments.


  1. I looked up the definition of photolythography, but it's way over my head. Something about using a photo and with chemicals etching it onto something. In any case, nice results, and what an interesting set of cards. Thanks John, and Happy New Year.

  2. Very instructive, John. I am reminded of the time I visited and walked all around the geysers on raised planks, close enough to see but no ability to get close enough to get burned, or die like the Chinese did! And I thank you for the wonderful posts of 2014 that you have given me. :-)

  3. the geysers are neatly depicted, whether lithograph or drawing. :)

  4. All this before cars and very many roads. This would have been the right time to visit Yellowstone. The best to you for 2015.

  5. I always appreciate the history I learn when I visit here. Happy New Year to you John!


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