Publisher: Zan


Photographer and postcard publisher Alexander J. "Zan" Stark (1889-1967) moved to San Francisco ca. 1914 (Xan Stark, Alta Studios, 1271 Mission) and then to Mill Valley in the mid-1920s (Zan of Tamalpais, 324 Miller Avenue). He produced thousands of postcards from the early 1930s through the early 1950s, primarily b+w real photo postcards (RPPCs). Zan photographed extensively throughout northern California and beyond. Online Archive of California gives a brief biography and references the Stark collection at Stanford (over 3000 items, but no online items as of 10/2020). A article by Frank Sternad discusses Zan and his work in detail.

My postcard collection focuses on cards from 1915 and before, so it includes only a few Zan cards (shown below). But I see a lot of Zan's cards when I browse postcard sites, and I invariably admire his work. He has a wonderful eye and his postcards have a very distinctive look: b+w, caption in script in one corner, "Zan" and stock number in opposite corner, vanilla RPPC back with no information.

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Steve's SF postcard pages: