Marsha Fuller was cleaning out a client’s attic in Western Maryland a couple of weeks ago when she came across this postcard of a traffic accident featuring a Grandview street car in 1909. Marsha’s company, Your Mother’s Attic, helps the relatives of the newly dead sort out what is often a lifetime of possessions—she often comes across these types of historical treasures.
Marsha, who is a certified genealogist, told me the client has no Canadian connections and has no idea why the family has possessed this Vancouver postcard for the last 100 years or so.
She says her most interesting find was an original 1762 land pattern of Pennsylvania. She makes a point of dispatching these artifacts back to where they originated.
According to Biographies of BC Postcard Photographers, there was a postcard craze between 1900 and the outbreak of war in 1914. One of the most prolific photographers, Philip Timms apparently did some of his best work on postcards. “I shot up everything in sight and turned them into postcards,” he was quoted as saying in the book. “Sold them to stationery and drugstores. They were an advertisement to the world about Vancouver.”
Philip Timms was born in 1874, lived at 653 Barnard Street in 1898 (Union Street back then) and died in 1973 at 98 years of age. He shot everything from street scenes to the Chinatown race riots to horse races and balloon flights. He left a legacy of more than 3,000 glass plate negatives at the Vancouver Public Library.
Want to know more about a postcard? Check out the Vancouver Postcard Club.