Monday, February 22, 2010


Divided back postcard, black and white. Postmarked Girvin, Saskatchewan, 1911. 'Stray' postcard, from private collection.

The theme for the upcoming Festival of Postcards is:

Here's my submission - a Saskatchewan, Canada postcard showing a 'real photograph' - a flashlight photograph.

Addressed to: Miss Gertrude Walker, Earl Grey, Sask.

Postmark: Girvin, Sask, Fe 21 [??]


Girvin Sask Feb. 21st, 1911
Well old girl how are you? Still in the land of the living? This is a flashlight we had the other night after the carnival – printed a little dark but I guess you can find me asleep. Yours, L. Doull [?]
Know the parson?

In the 1900s, ads in newspapers appeared offering flash sheets and flash powders to amateur photographers. Professional photographers too offered their services in photographing interiors of houses or offices, or party or family groups at home.

For more about some of the techniques, see Chapter IX. Flashlight Photography by F. J. Mortimer, F.R.P.S., (Editor of the Amateur Photographer and Photographic News.) in The Sinclair Handbook Of Photography edited by James A. Sinclair (London, England: James A. Sinclair & Co., Ltd., 1913). Text on-line at Chest of Books, developed by Stas Bekman of Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Girvin was part way between Regina & Saskatoon in Saskatchewan; now apparently it’s not quite a ghost town. See some photographs at Mike Stobbs' Girvin Saskatchewan "The Street's are There But The Signs are Gone" website.


Joan Miller - Luxegen Genealogy said...

This is a very interesting postcard. I was born and raised in Saskatchewan thus was curious to see what this postcard was all about. Thanks for sharing with us.

M. Diane Rogers said...

Glad you dropped by, Joan!
I'd love to know who all is in this photograph. It's a found postcard from my collection, with no family connections (that I know of).