The postcards on this page are related to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (P.P.I.E.) held 2/20/1915 to 12/04/1915 in San Francisco.


This lovely panorama is from the Pacific Novelty Co. folding postcard booklet Jewel City, addressed on 8/11/1915. A 1914 Sanborn map provides a detailed key to the layout of the Exposition. The 435' Tower of Jewels at right center was decorated with over 100,000 cut glass "jewels", sparkling in sunlight during the day and illuminated by spotlights at night. The Palace of Fine Arts and its rotunda and pond (far left) remain today, but all the other Exposition buildings are long gone.

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Campaigning and publicity for the Exposition long predated the event, starting in late 1910, more than four years before the opening. Local post offices provided additional publicity via P.P.I.E. cancellations starting in 1911.

The official Exposition seal appears two of the cards above and on several other cards below. It also appears on many cards not directly related to the Exposition, such as Unknown publisher 390 (seal handstamped on front ex post facto), Souvenir 138, and Souvenir 483.

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Weidner produced day and night panoramas as folding double cards.

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Weidner produced beautiful hand-colored P.P.I.E. souvenir postcards, printed by Albertype. Different examples of the same card show substantial color variation, as seen on P.P.I.E.: Weidner Albertype Variants.

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These hand-colored Weidner cards show the dramatic nighttime illumination.

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Most Exposition visitors arrived in San Francisco via the Ferry Building. These cards show the tower with "1915" added for the occasion. The Exposition slogan "California Invites the World" is printed on the first two cards and shown on the third and fourth in large letters mounted on the roof on the east side of the building. Ferry Building: 1915 shows additional variants of these cards.

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These RPPCs have generic backs with no indication of publisher or date, like almost all RPPCs.

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A giant Underwood typewriter and a Toledo Scales exhibit graced the Palace of Liberal Arts at the P.P.I.E.

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If you're wondering what might pour out of a giant P.P.I.E. cornucopia, Iowa supplies the obvious answer: corn.

Steve's SF postcard pages: