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.

  • From the Black Hills to the Blacktop, the Sturgis Rally endures

    July 21st, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Aug. 3, 2015, marks the beginning of the 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the Black Hills of South Dakota.


    Castle Hahatonka serves as an oasis from hectic city living

    July 14th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Here I will spend my leisure, secure from the worries of business and the excitement of city life.


    Legend lives on at Lover’s Leap

    July 7th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Near the confluence of the Niangua and Osage Rivers along the south shore of the Lake of the Ozarks — mile marker 31.5 — a prominent bluff, said


    Uncle Sam ‘Wants You’ to know his origins

    June 30th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Historians aren’t completely certain how the legendary character Uncle Sam was created or how he got his name.
    One prominent theory is that Uncle Sam was named after Samuel


    Winnwood has faded, but its legacy lives

    June 23rd, 2015
    by

    Northeast News A mere three stops after boarding the Interurban car of the KCCC&SJ’s Excelsior Springs line at 20th Street and Burlington Avenue in the then newly chartered North Kansas


  • Flooding no is stranger to Kansas City’s West Bottoms

    June 16th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News This week’s postcard shows the result of countless days of rain and the lack of a levee system in the West Bottoms during a flood in June 1908.
    The


    Katz’s stores remain an architectural icon

    June 9th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News When Isaac “Ike” Katz was 13-years-old, he quit school and went to work for the Great Northern Railway to help support his family.
    Katz walked the aisles of passenger


    Memories of the 1908 flood

    June 2nd, 2015
    by

    Northeast News As we approach the rainy summer season, it is fitting that we run a postcard showing three scenes from the West Bottoms area immediately following the great flood


    Ruskin Heights tornado still conjers horror for some

    May 19th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Fifty eight years ago today, a string of savage storms rose from the southern plains states and tore a devastating path across the Kansas City area that some


    Motel Capri – Northeast’s Gold Standard for Motor Inns

    May 12th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News In the late 1950’s, an empty plat of ground just north of the old Boy’s Hotel at Admiral Boulevard and Highland Avenue caught the eye of three local


  • Local Weather