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Downtown Bristol TN/VA

bristolfront

bristolback

I’ve been mulling over this card for several weeks.  It bothers me.  I grant that it is a picture taken by the legendary Kelly & Green in Bristol. There’s an embossed “K&G 1931” either on the original negative or on the original print.    The EKKP around the “PLACE STAMP HERE” square makes this a Real Photo card printed sometime between 1904 and 1950, when this paper stock was discontinued.  The rest of the back style seems consistent with a 1930s production date (Real Photos are essentially one-offs).

As is typical with camera lenses of the 30s, the focus gets soft around the edges, but it quite crisp in the middle. ( That’s a fake State Line, by the way.  It was drawn in on the negative)  However, on the card itself, the focus is tight to where State Street goes over the hill past the railroad tracks.

The blurring on the car in the foreground doesn’t bother me too much. It may have been veering to avoid that dude standing in the middle of the street with a camera on a tripod.

It’s the clean back that bothers me.  Yet, Real Photos are printed on a higher quality paper than a regular postcard and, if it was done by K&G, it was properly washed after fixing.  If it has been kept separate from any other degrading element (like acidic paper of a photo album), it could very well be in this good condition.

So, I’m 90% sure it’s real.  Still, there’s that other 10%.

About Bob Lawrence

artist, photographer, reader, anime fan (waning interest), poet

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