Rare postcards show city's early growth

PC-broadway view.jpg

By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
April 16, 2014

This panoramic post card of downtown Kansas City, MO. looking east from Broadway, was copyrighted by G.H. Otto in 1899, just a year after picture post cards became legal for personal use.

Strict postal regulations had formerly prevented the issue of private postcards to protect the sales of government cards, legalized in 1873. An act of Congress on May 4, 1898, legalized the use of personal post cards and allowed the same message privileges and rates as the government ones. They were to be approximately the same size, quality and weight and were to be inscribed “Private Mailing Card.”

Otto’s cards were labeled “Greetings From Kansas City.” They were artist’s sketches lithographed in black and white with red highlights on the many brick buildings, green for grass and trees, and a bit of blue for sky. Shown in the center of the card above are two buildings still standing on Ninth Street, the New York Life at Baltimore and the New England building at Wyandotte.

On the back of the post card, designated for “address exclusively” is this information: “Private Mailing Card. Authorized by Act of Congress, May 4th, 1898.” City directories from 1898 list Gustav H. Otto as a clerk at the First National Bank, with a residence of 408 Aldine Place. The First National Bank’s location at this time was north of the junction at 726 Main St. In 1900 Otto was listed as a bookkeeper for Ladd-Penny-Swazey Live Stock Commission Co.; in 1901 as bookkeeper for the Charles Knapp Hardware Company.

Comments are closed.

  • Ginger Club Businesses offer Snappy Service

    20 hours ago
    by

    Northeast News Hoping to bring more business to their block, merchants in the 300 block of East 12th Street organized a Ginger Club, using a Ginger Snap as an emblem.


    A little slice of Beverly Hills in Independence

    January 21st, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Beverly Hills Acre Tracts. Ideal home sites on easy terms. City conveniences, no city or special taxes, half-acre lots at the price of city lots.”
    So reads the marketing


    The Interurban could get you there

    January 14th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News The message on this Hall Brothers color postcard mailed on April 24, 1917, to Miss Lula Mercer, care of The Hotel Washington, room 516, Portland, Ore.


    Beauty Springs eternal on Cliff Drive

    January 7th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Fountain and Cliff Drive, North Terrace Park, Kansas City Missouri.”
    So reads the description on this divided back, hand-colored postcard published around 1910.


    Out with the old…

    December 31st, 2014
    by

    Northeast News “Kissing the Rod” “O heart of mine we shouldn’t worry so,
    What we’ve missed of calm we couldn’t have you know,
    What we’ve met of stormy pain and of sorrows


  • Holiday wishes from the king of rock

    December 24th, 2014
    by

    Northeast News This week we take a break from historic cards and offer up a jewel for the Elvis Presley fans among us.
    This postcard shows a uniformed Elvis Presley and


    Holy rosary Christmas crib

    December 17th, 2014
    by

    Northeast News This real photo postcard of the Holy Rosary Church’s Christmas Crib was taken during the 1941 holiday season.
    Holy Rosary Parish, 911 E.


    Theater was one of many downtown

    December 10th, 2014
    by

    Northeast News Built of reinforced concrete and ornamental brick at a cost of $115,000, the Gayety Theatre stood on the former home site of A.W. Armour.
    Armour, of course, was one


    Hannibal Bridge and gateway to growth

    December 3rd, 2014
    by

    Northeast News Construction of the Hannibal Bridge almost didn’t happen in Kansas City.
    Leavenworth, Kan., and Kansas City were both in a literal race for their city’s future in the mid-1860s.


    Liberty Memorial: A national tribute

    November 26th, 2014
    by

    Northeast News The third annual convention of the American Legion was held in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Two Knuckleheads are better than one

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Every saloon needs a garage. That's why Knuckleheads Saloon is expanding, adding an additional venue, located across the street from the current location,

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]

    And the walls go up

    [...]