This wacky postcard was mailed 55 years ago today — Aug. 8, 1968. The caption on the back reads: “Riding High on the Famous Aerial Lift Bridge, Duluth, Minnesota.”
As I read some of the magazines I purchased from the Duluth Public Library, I am impressed by a sense that the library bought magazines to suit the aspirations of the Zenith city. Magazines celebrating the fancy life might feel a little out of place in a public library today, but Duluth in the 1920s was a city that had some millionaires and wanted the world to think it had more.
We can see that in the ad above, taken from an interior design magazine, for Watson Silverware.
This photo by Lyman E. Nylander is dated April 28, 1963 — 60 years ago today. It shows several Canal Park icons — the Aerial Lift Bridge, Duluth Harbor North Breakwater Lighthouse, Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum — but the Duluth Lakewalk is still decades away from being built.
Because of the I-35 tunnel, with Gichi-ode’ Akiing / Lake Place Park built on top of it, shooting a modern photo from this perspective would be either challenging or impossible.
My comic strip “The Guys Who Never Stop Fighting” originally appeared a few times in the Ripsaw News in my “Crackbrained Comix” series. I revived the GWNSF for the Transistor where it ran for several years. Both publications are now defunct. Here is a gallery of ten highlights.
This postcard of the Aerial Bridge, circa 1915-1925, notes its span is “393 feet 9 inches, 135 feet high from water line” and its construction cost was $100,000. The image shows a ferry car being transferred across the canal. The bridge’s era as a transfer bridge ran from March 27, 1905 to July 1, 1929.
Some years ago, I had a Duluth nameplate hanging from the back of my bicycle, which I suppose is why I impulsively bought another when I saw it recently in a Canal Park souvenir shop. I vaguely remember the one I had purchased in my younger years having a generic cityscape and not actually showing Duluth.
This one seemed no different, and might even be the same design, but this time I noticed that the building on the far left had a rather specific architecture. Checking with a group of skyscraper-obsessed friends led me to a conclusion that I should have reached myself: this Duluth souvenir depicts the skyline of St. Paul.
On a Monday evening 50 years ago, someone named Ruth Ellen sent this postcard to Dee Ann Faerber of Independence, Mo. “The trees are beautiful,” she wrote. “Rain is supposed to stop Tuesday.”