My Search to ID a Postcard Reaches a Surprise End

When I first saw this postcard, I wondered where it showed. The scene looked slightly familiar, but not exactly like anywhere I know in Rockport. As you can see, the card has no identifying caption, saying only, “Greetings from Rockport, Massachusetts.”

The only place I could think of that resembled this scene was on Rowe Ave., where it turns to a dirt road and passes Big Parker’s quarry pit en route to Stell Derrick Quarry. I thought the water to the left might be Big Parker’s. So I walked up there and found a very similar scene, which I captured in the photo below.

From my vantage point, you can’t see Big Parker’s to the left, but it’s right there, just on the other side of the ridge alongside the road. Granted, the scene wasn’t exactly the same, but few of these old postcard scenes look exactly the same all these years later.

Still, I wanted some further verification. I looked for clues on the reverse side of the postcard.

The wording that runs vertically on the left must be unique to a particular postcard publisher, I thought. I tried searching all of the phrase and then parts of it. After a bit of hunting, I was able to determine that this card was published by the Auburn Post Card Mfg. Company of Auburn, Ind., a company that was in business from 1913 to 1929. A little more hunting and I found an image of another postcard from this company.

Although this one is from Ypsilanti, N.D., you can see the similarity in design and coloring, not to mention that identical “Greetings from … ” caption. And there, on the reverse, was some of the same identification, with “No. 2340” and “General Scenes” as on my card.

But there was something else on the back that I did not expect.

It appears that this was a sample used to sell the company’s postcards. And, as it says, this card is a sample of:

No. 2340. THREE-COLOR SCENES comprising 30 beautiful designs, printed with name of your town.

If I’m reading that correctly, then the scene in the postcard that got me started on this search in the first place is not even Rockport. It is a generic scene — one of 30 such scenes available from the company — printed with Rockport’s name.

So my search to identify a Rockport scene ended not in Rockport, but somewhere between Ypsilanti, N.D., and Auburn, Ind.

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One Response to My Search to ID a Postcard Reaches a Surprise End

  1. Paul in NJ says:

    I, too, was attempting to learn more about the Auburn Post Card Mfg. Co. A Google search found an image from a now-discontinued eBay auction; all that is left is a thumbnail of the back of a postcard. It reads “This card is a sample of our Imitation Photo Local View” and notes also that the card is “a sample of our Imitation Photo General Scene’ line. So, yes, it appears you did interpret it correctly.

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