This is the second and final installment of my Fort Collins souvenir folder collection. Part 1 has some background information on these collectibles. If you haven’t read Part 1, and you want to, here is the link to it: Souvenir Images of Fort Collins: Part 1.

These last four sets of images are all different from each other in one way or another. The first set is the only set of color postcards I’ve seen.

01 Souv Folder Woolworth B680
Souvenir Folder of Fort Collins, Colorado. Published by F. W. Woolworth Co. 4 ¼” x 3 1/4.” Postmarked 1923.

If you are older, you know Woolworth’s. Started in the late 1870s, Woolworth became one of the biggest, and for a long time, one of the most successful chains of five and dime stores in the country. You probably remember their soda fountains but did you know there were one of the country’s largest publisher and retailer of postcards?

In 1912, Woolworth was a national chain of over 600 stores. They paired up with Curt Teich & Co., one of the largest printers of color postcards in the United States, and in no time at all, Woolworths was selling millions of postcards. Most of their postcards featured commercial streets and prominent buildings of the towns that were home to their stores. They sold their full-sized postcards for ten cents per dozen, driving the price of postcards down across the country.

This accordion folder was printed by Curt Teich & Co., located in Chicago, IL. Below are two of the images from the folder.

02 woolworth irrigation bld B680
Irrigation Building, State Agricultural College.

The Civil and Irrigation Engineering Building, now the Statistics Building, was built in 1908 and is located on the southwest section of the loop at CSU. It is in the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties and I will do a post on it someday. For now, enjoy this image of the building courtesy of Woolworth’s. Of course, as happens often with early color postcards, don’t believe the colors. Currently, the roof of the building is gray, not red, though I wish it were.

03 Souv Folder Woolworth City Park B680
City Park, c. 1920

Probably an image of a Sunday afternoon at City Park, it is a great image of a time that has passed. The two images do show how good a job Teich did in printing color postcards.

The next set of images was published by the Sanborn Souvenir Co. It is a set of small photographs, each about 3” x 2 ¼,” inserted in a slightly bigger folder. Here’s what the folder looks like:

04 Selected Photographs Sanborn B680
Selected Photographs: Colorado State College of Agriculture and Fort Collins, Colorado. 3 3/4” x 3.” C. 1940. Sanborn Souvenir Co.

The college changed its name in 1935 from Colorado Agricultural College (CAC) to Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. This set seems to have been produced after that name change, so probably around 1940.

The images are real photographs but quite small. (All the other sets I have are printed postcards.) The photos are inserted loose in the folder. I have eight images, but it probably isn’t a complete set. All but one of the images is marked with the Sanborn name. The Sanborn family were Denver commercial photographers who took thousands of images of Colorado and Wyoming and distributed them in many ways – real photo post cards, four color printed cards, and souvenir sets.

The Sanborn’s called these “miniature sets.” The sets were made to be mailed to friends in other parts of the country or the world or, as the small print on the folder says, they could be collected and mounted in albums. Below is one example from the set.

05 Selected Photographs Sanborn Armstrong B680
Armstrong Hotel, Fort Collins, Colo. Photograph by Sanborn.

Because of their small size, these sets aren’t valuable to someone interested in photographs but they are another Fort Collins collectible.

Now let’s look at two much newer (and larger) collections of Fort Collins postcards. We’ll start with a set from the Fort Collins Museum, published in the late 1990s.

06 Fort Collins Museum B680
Fort Collins Museum Picture Postcards, The Museum Shop at Library Park. 7” x 4” c. 1998.

This variation of the folder is called the postcard booklet. The postcards were sold bound together under a cover, but were made so the 4 x 6 inch cards could be torn out and mailed individually. A postcard with one perforated side is a sign that it came from one of these booklets. They came out in the early 1900s and went through a revival n the 1990s.

The cover image is the Fort Collins Band that had just won the State Band Contest in 1914.

For an image collector, one of the nice things about the postcard folders and booklets is that you get images that you will never see for sale anywhere else, like this image from Bellvue, CO.

07 Museum Flowers Bellvue B680
 B. F. Flowers General Merchandise Store, Bellvue, Co, c. 1894.

Owned by Benjamin and Jacob Flowers, the store was managed by Benjamin, nicknamed Benji. Jacob Flowers had founded Bellvue in the 1880’s. None of the people in the photograph are identified.

Here’s is second image from the set that is rare, at least to me.

08 Museum Avery B680
The Avery House, 328 West Mountain Avenue. C. 1900.

This photograph of the Avery House, 328 West Mountain Avenue, with two children dressed in white on the porch, was taken after the 1893 addition was completed.

Hard as it might be to believe, in all the years I’ve collected Fort Collins images, I have never seen an image of the Avery House for sale. How is that possible when the Avery House is one of our most visited landmarks? Help me out; offer to sell me an interesting Avery House image. My email is shown at the end of this post.

Finally, here is my most recent postcard collection and a short story about it.

Barbara Fleming and I had just completed our first book for Arcadia Publishing, Fort Collins: The Miller Photographs. Arcadia called to tell us they were going to try something new. They wanted to select 15 images from our book and offer them as a postcard collection and they wanted to use our images as their trial balloon.

We, of course, approved and proceeded to get the permissions we needed for the images that weren’t mine. The collection came out in 2009 and is shown below.

09 Fort Collins Miller B680
Postcards of America Fort Collins: The Miller Photographs by Barbara Fleming and Malcolm McNeill, Arcadia Publishing, 2009.

Fifteen 4” x 6” individual postcards are between two covers in a plastic sleeve. Arcadia selected the 15 images from the 130 or so photographs in our book and printed them as postcards, with a caption, stamp box, and room for a message and address on the back.

The cover image is a Miller photograph taken at the Fourth of July Parade in 1911. Miller was just getting started in photography and was working for a professional photographer named Claude Patrick. The horses and riders are moving south on College Avenue and have just passed the old post office, now the Fort Collins Museum of Art, and the Hotel House, which is now gone. The original image belongs to the Fort Collins Archive (H02743).

I’ll end with two more postcards I love from this collection.

10 Fort Collins Miller Bookmobile B680
Bookmobile, Fort Collins, CO, 1939.

Do you remember bookmobiles? Barbara and I sure do and we included two bookmobile images in our Miller book. Arcadia used one of them in the postcard collection. Here’s the caption for the photograph:

“For families in outlying areas, the yellow bookmobile with its collection of more than 4,000 books was a welcome sight. Financed through Work Projects Administration funds in 1939, the Larimer County Bookmobile also visited schools. There were no fines for overdue books, and a lost library card was not a disaster.”

The original of this image also belongs to the Archive (H18188).

Now, a one-question quiz. Barbara, who grew up in Fort Collins, thinks she remembers the nickname for the Fort Collins bookmobile. Her answer is shown at the end of this post. You long time locals can see if you agree with her.

11 Fort Collins Miller School Wagons B680
Laporte Cache La Poudre District 60 School, c. 1913.

This last image is also from the Archives (H03019). Barbara and I liked it so much that it is one of a small number of images that were printed full-page in our book. Here is the caption from our book:

“In the second decade of the 20th century, school consolidation was in the air in rural Northern Colorado. Laporte, a few miles northwest of Fort Collins, became a central local for seven rural schools. Officials laid the cornerstone of the Laporte Cache La Poudre District 60 School on July 4, 1913, before a crowd of 300. On October 10th, the new school opened with 181 students. Six routes had been established to get students to and from school via six wagons purchased from the Delphi Wagon Company in Indiana. One writer said the wagons ‘were not unlike the wagons used . . . for conveyance of prisoners from one jail to another.’ The wagons were fitted with side curtains to protect students from the weather. That same year, during one of the worst winters in Northern Colorado history; wheels were replaced with bobsleds to get children to school.”

I hope you enjoyed these postcard books and their images. For those of you guessing the nickname of the bookmobile, Barbara believes it was called “Yeller Feller,” for its yellow color. Let me know if you think she is right or wrong.

Use the Comment Box below this post or email me at the address shown below with any comments or Avery House offers.

Next Sunday, I’m going to publish a guest post by Jan Gueswel on the Lone Pine Inn.


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