Chinatown: Private Mailing Cards

The Private Mailing Card Act of 5/19/1898 required "Private Mailing Card" to appear on the address side of the card. The restriction was relaxed on 12/24/1901, so most private mailing cards date from 1898-1901, though of course some were mailed later. The private mailing cards on this page show pre-quake Chinatown images.



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Multiview cards were very popular around the turn of the century. Some of the uncredited early Chinatown images on these cards are by I.W. Taber and Arnold Genthe, as detailed below.

Left: Mitchell, © Mitchell 1898, postmarked SF 7/23/1899, one of the few cards in my collection predating 1900.

Right: Mitchell, © Mitchell 1898.



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Left: Mitchell 74, postmarked SF 4/01/1902; credit Mitchell as publisher, no copyright notice; caption "Four little tots from Chinatown." Right: Livingston 102 shows the same image with caption "A Quartette from Chinatown". Mitchell 56 is a later color version (postmarked SF 1/25/1905).



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This image shows Tin How Temple, not a Chinese restaurant as the caption says; see Chinatown: Tin How Temple. The publisher, not identified on the cards, is presumably Mitchell. Left: Unknown publisher 31, postmarked SF 10/07/1904. Right: Unknown publisher 31, written but not mailed; same image/stock number/caption but different coloring and landscape rather than portrait.



Steve's SF postcard pages: