Sutro Heights: Chinese Women

All the postcards on this page show the same image: five Chinese women near the Venus de Milo statue in Sutro Heights, with Palm Avenue at left leading to the partially hidden main gate. The same image appears on W.C. Billington photo 78, credited to "W.C. Billington, Photographer" and variously captioned "Chinese Women in Sutro Heights" and "Chinese Noble Women in Sutro Heights". W.C. Billington operated several studios in San Francisco, including the Sutro Heights Gallery (1894 to ca. 1920) next to the Observatory; the gallery's cupola is visible at far left of Britton & Rey 523.

Owl Drug 210 below is postmarked 11/20/1906, so the image must date from 1906 or earlier. A Pacific Novelty 210 variant written 12/25/1920 implies that postcards with this image circulated for decades.

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These cards show the same image/coloring/stock number/caption/layout/back but credit different publishers. The backs all exhibit similar age-related discoloration clearly showing a ghostly mirror image of the front, presumably an artifact of card stacking during production. This strongly suggests that the same printer produced them; Mitchell probably printed the Charlton and Owl cards under contract for sale at Charlton and Owl stores.

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Same image, not in my collection: Britton & Rey 1004 (several variants).

Steve's SF postcard pages: