Cliff House from Ocean Beach



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This photo is © 1902 ("Cliff house" #18431 6/02/1902) by Goeggel & Weidner. Weidner's lighthearted trompe l'oeil extension of the posteriors of the foreground couple over the image border is unusual. Left: Goeggel & Weidner 1, credit front left, AutoChrom logo, undivided back, postmarked Plouha (France) 12/27/[1903] (postmark year illegible, but the writer posted several other cards to the same household in December 1903). Next: Weidner 1, Weidner credit, AutoChrom logo, undivided back, postmarked SF 8/10/1904. Next: Weidner 1, Weidner credit, no AutoChrom logo, divided back, postmarked SF 1/16/1906. Right: Weidner 1, Weidner credit moved to back, divided back, "California" added to bottom caption; postmarked SF 1/08/1912 (P.P.I.E. cancellation). Weidner Catalog shows two additional variants, with the earliest postmarked SF 9/02/1902.



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The Weidner 1 photo appears on cards from many other publishers. Left: Buedingen 2205, postmarked SF 8/27/1903, is the earliest card in my collection with this image. The foreground couple is mostly cropped out, but traces of the their hats remain. Next: Mitchell 40, postmarked SF 11/18/1903. Next: Unknown publisher, postmarked 11/15/1906. Right: a different Mitchell 40, postmarked SF 7/20/1908. The recropped image produces a much more imposing Cliff House.

Other postcards using the Weidner 1 image:



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It's another nice day at Ocean Beach. Wait, those people look familiar; aha, they're the same people as above. But wait... Cliff House doesn't look the same at all. The Victorian Cliff House #3 (Britton & Rey 521) survived the 1906 earthquake and fire without major damage, but it burned to the ground on 9/07/1907 (Britton & Rey 1030, Britton & Rey 1031). Cliff House #4 (Cardinell-Vincent 400) opened on the same site in 1909. Here the postcard artist has replaced Cliff House #3 in the pre-fire image with #4. The scale is wrong: Cliff House #4 should be shown as much smaller, as seen in a later Unknown publisher card. Left: Mitchell 40, postmarked SF 1/12/1916, the same stock number as Mitchell 40 above but a different image. Next: Mitchell 40, probably later variant, different coloring, same caption in different typeface. Next: Pacific Novelty 40. The front is identical to Mitchell 40, including the stock number and caption. Right: A later variant of Pacific Novelty 40, postmarked SF 7/26/1925.

This animated GIF displays all the postcards shown above for comparison.

Cliff House from Sutro Baths shows a similar modification of a view from the other side. You would think they could just take a new picture instead...



Steve's SF postcard pages: