This is my newest image, arriving earlier this week, and I love it.

Colorado Line

It is a real photo postcard, or a RPPC, and the signature “Sanborn,” in the lower right corner, marks it as the work of photographer, William P. Sanborn. Sanborn probably made more Colorado RPPCs than any other photographer.

The postcard is captioned “Colorado markers at Wyo – Colo State Line on US-287. Virginia Dale, Colo” and has an image of a gas station in the background. The station sells gas, beer, and sandwiches. Interestingly, the small sign over the door to the right says “Free Museum.” I’d love to know what was displayed in the museum.

There are two vehicles parked at the station, which car enthusiast friends tell me are most likely a mid-1950s Ford truck and a 1950 or 1951 Studebaker. The station and the vehicles date this photograph to the mid-1950s and give a clue to why Sanborn took this photograph. According to some online articles, the “Colorful Colorado” state line signs were installed in the 1950s. Sanborn may have been photographing some of the new signage.

As an aside, in 2005, Governor Bill Owens tried to replace the rustic, and now bullet-riddled, signs with more modern and cost effective ones. Nostalgic residents changed his mind.

I love photographs from the 1950s. It’s when I was a kid. I remember car trips with my parents and brother, stopping at service stations much like this one, except on the east coast and minus the free museum.

The Shipler photograph of Fort Collins in 1877, shown in the previous post, is certainly the more historically valuable image but it is an intellectual image. The card shown above generates an emotional response. Shipler can’t compete with memories.

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