The caption on this undated postcard suggests that it shows the ruins of American Fur Company’s trading post at Fond du Lac, but it is actually the ruins of the home of Michael and Emily Chambers. (More on that in the comments.)
The identities of the four gentlemen in this photo are not known, but the postcard is marked as having been shot at the Ely Studio. Photographer Cook Ely operated in Duluth from roughly 1895 to 1914, with a stint in St. Paul somewhere in the middle. Ely Studio was located at 2030 W. Superior St. — the corner where the Anderson Furniture building stands today.
This photo sold recently on eBay, where it was titled “RPPC Handsome Men w Hats Ely Studio of Duluth Studio Real Photo Postcard.”
This image is from a postcard mailed 115 years ago today — May 23, 1908 — available for sale on ebay. It’s been touched up a bit here for easier viewing. The obvious mystery is what organization the people in the photo belong to.
The item is listed on eBay as “1908 RPPC Duluth Minnesota College Club Vintage Postcard MN Land Point Idaho ID.” The “college club” part of that is clearly speculative. Many of the men have sashes and badges that suggest perhaps they are part of a fraternal club like the Odd Fellows.
This image is from a postcard mailed 115 years ago today — April 26, 1908. The writing on the front of the card appears to refer to it as a “new style winding on the hoist motor” in use in Duluth. Perhaps engine experts and handwriting analysts can help correct or affirm this phrase and provide some description of what it means.
Icebreaking in the Duluth Harbor is expected to start this week, with the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spar clearing the way for the start of another shipping season.
The postcard above is from the early 1900s and shows the tugboats Record and Sinclair breaking ice in the Duluth Harbor.
The Burt-Poole and Sellers mines were the first to ship iron ore out of Minnesota’s Iron Range in the summer of 1895. In its first five years the Sellers Ore Company shipped 188,000 tons. By 1919 the figure had shot up to 8.9 million tons, according to the 1921 book Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota; Their Story and People by Walter Van Brunt.
This postcard, published by the Curt Teich Co. of Chicago, shows the Elmgren Motor Court in the tiny hamlet of Clifton, just outside Duluth’s city limits on the North Shore of Lake Superior.