Fred Harvey Photochrome Postcards

Printers finally developed the four-color process well enough to use on postcards in 1939. The results are sometimes called Photochrome postcards, which is a bit of misnomer as the original multicolor process used by Detroit Photographic was called Photochrom. Photochrome cards were both more realistic looking and less expensive than printing eight to twenty colors on a card, as the Photochrom/Phostint process required. These Fred Harvey cards are probably from the late 1950s.

Click image to download a PDF of this postcard.

The first card shows a Santa Fe streamliner going around a curve. The back of the card says, “Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona – Santa Fe Streamliner Near Ribera.” In fact, Ribera is in New Mexico, not Arizona, so the mention of Grand Canyon National Park was gratuitous. The curve, shown on the aerial photo below, is not quite a double horseshoe as the card claims but does indicate that the train in the photo is ascending a pretty good grade.

Click image for a larger view.

The second postcard says it is in Colorado at or near Raton Pass. Both this and the previous card say, “Sent Courtesy of the Super Chief,” suggesting that card was made available to Super Chief passengers and mailed for them by on-board personal.

Click image to download a PDF of this postcard.

The third card shows a staged scene for the El Capitan. As previously noted here, the El Capitan lounge car normally would not be opened for passengers boarding or deboarding. The 20 or so people in the photo must all be models.

Click image to download a PDF of this postcard.

Below is a detail from the cover of an El Capitan brochure that was previously shown here. For the brochure, Santa Fe publicists airbrushed out the clutter in the background behind the car and airbrushed in a shadow in the foreground. A careful look also reveals that the postcard and the brochure used two different photos of the same models.

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