American Cousins


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If you’re old enough to remember the 1960s and 1970s, you might know of a band called Led Zeppelin. They had an album called Presence which had a very stylised cover and it was that sort of style (minus obelisk!) that I tried to create with this colouring – which, as you can tell – is very different from my usual!

The back of the postcard says “American Relations Emergrated” (sic) and the photo was taken at Portland Studio, 286 Washington Street, Portland, Oregon.

I had a look to see if the building is still there and can’t really tell as now there seem to be two 286’s in Washington Street. However, one is in a crummy part of the street and one isn’t, so here’s Google Streetview of the uncrummy location and I’ll leave you to find the other! It gives a different number above the image but this is the location that Google search gave me for 286. I presume it’s one of the corner buildings. If you’re American or know American cities, you’ll probably have more of a clue than I do!

These are not my own family, by the way. I’ve no idea who they are, or the date – though I’d guess Edwardian or a bit later, but I saw this card on Etsy and fell in love with this guy and his sweet little family.


17 thoughts on “American Cousins

  1. I’m Swiss and traveled even as a hippie in India and Nepal in 1965 on road. Ich frage mich, wie lange die Vorarbeiten dauerten, bis die Foto im Kasten war. Ja, das Baby sieht wirklich wie eine Puppe aus.
    Ich finde, die Kolorierung ist dir sehr gut gelungen…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t realise you’re Swiss, Ernst, I’d assumed you were German (because of the language). I haven’t been to India or Nepal, but did get to Morocco. I’m glad you like the colouring and the photo. Yes, the baby is very doll-like.


  2. Looks to me like the photo is of the child’s christening, as it is wearing a christening dress. Hence a lot of cards were made to send out to relatives and friends. Building address numbers can change here a bit sometimes. Blame it on the Post Office. Oh, yes, the colored photo you did really “pops”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What is it with the same two numbers in different directions? Is that peculiar to Portland or do other American cities do that, too? I presume it’s because it’s such a long street, is it? Thanks, Betty.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. The two-way numbers were on Google streetview and went to entirely different ends of the street so I expect it’s intended. It probably has changed over time, though. The number on the photo doesn’t have any direction (or, of course, any zip code. I wonder when they were introduced?)


          1. Zip codes were introduced here in the early 1960’s I think. As for the numbers, it might be they’re in different directions, like NW and SE. Our streets here usually have such directional designations depending on what part of the city they’re in. We can have like, 5th Ave NE and 5th Ave SE and each might have the same building numbers. But long ago at the time of that postcard it’s hard to know what system they used. Also – I’ve seen Google street view get things wrong.

            Liked by 1 person

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