Who was AP, the pre World War Two northern California photographer who created several series of Nevada post cards?

The California Photographer who is listed twice in the 1940 U.S. Census in different cities.  And who produced real photo postcards of Nevada.  Who is A.P.?

by Robert Stoldal

(Updated  February 20, 2019)

In the late 1930’s, a California photographer who used the initials AP to identify his work, produced a series of post cards of Nevada towns along U.S. highways 40 and 50.

No name, just an A and a P attached to each other was the only clue as to who the photographer was.

Who was AP?

In the early 1900 during what would become known as the Golden Age of post cards, many professional photographers added post cards to their retail portfolio.

Like most artists photographers  putting their name of their art.   Most used their full name or business, often on the back of the post card.

In addition to determining where in Nevada the photograph for the post card was taken, it is also important to determine when, and who the photographer was and who published the post card.

One of the photographers who only used a small logo that looked like a backward K attached to a P remained unidentified.

Upon closer look at the few cards I had in my collection, as well as in dealer’s boxes, it was not a K, but rather an A. and a P.

Initially I assumed the “A.P.” stood for the news wire, Associated Press.  I thought for a while the news wire association had licensed a post card company to use the A.P’s photographs to produce post cards.

But most of the post cards I found the AP initials were not a period P. period, instead the A and P were attached.

And there it stood; A few Carson City post cards, Lake Tahoe, and Winnemucca, but no idea who A. P. was.

Then going through a box of Lake Tahoe post cards, looking for images on the Nevada side, I came across a several post cards with the same format and style;

A white bordered real photo post card of Lake Tahoe,

  • Wide scenic photographs of the lake and surrounding areas,
  • with the typed written caption, several sentences long,
  • In a white rectangular box at the bottom of the photograph.

The logo on one was A.P. the logo on another was the A and the P connected and the third one said “Ashers’ Photos.”  A breakthrough, but that lead to the question, if AP was “Ashers’ Photo” who was the Asher?”

Or, was I missing the obvious!  Was Asher was just a sidebar business of FrAsher of Pomona?  And, Asher’s first name was Fred as in Fr Asher?  or Father Asher.

No! deciding the 10th cup of coffee was pushing me into a galaxy far far away.

A Google search quickly turned up “Asher’s Photo Studio” in Sacramento.   A Sacramento photographer taking photographs of nearby Lake Tahoe?  Sure, made sense, I had found the window into who Asher was, or so I thought.

From Google to eBay finding cabinet cards for Asher’s Photo Studio, on J Street in Sacramento.  While not Nevada, the price was right,  and bought the photographs.

Feeling I could rest on my laurels having found Mr. Asher, I put the project aside and went back to work on Albertype post cards with Nevada views. (Now up to 275 plus two early 1900 booklets.)

A week later, the two Asher cabinet cards arrived.   Which lead to the question, how old Asher was when he produced post cards in the late-1930’s and early 1940’s.

Time to find out a bit more of Asher from Sacramento.

First stop, Carl Maurtz book, “Biographies of Western Photographers,”   There on page 77 is a brief bio on Julius Asher who opened the “Opposition Gallery” on J Street in Sacramento by 1877.

The bio listed Asher’s birth place and date as “Bavaria, 1847.  Which means by the mid 1930’s the Sacramento photographer would have been in his late 80’s.

The Maurtz bio did not list a death date.  But a search revealed he died on November 8, 1924 in San Francisco.[i]

Died in 1924!  that takes Julius Asher out of the running for the photographer or publisher of the 1930’s real photo post cards of Nevada.

Maybe a relative of Ashers?

Back to the search engines.     From Kewpie’s to the television show Bewitched too many Ashers turned up even after narrowing the search perimeters many times

Put Asher Photo’s off to the side again and back to work on Albertype post cards of Nevada.

In the mail the next day was a box of post cards sent on ‘approval.’

Among the post cards, one from Reno stands out.

With the exception of a small photo of Virginia Street, the entire face of the post card is a typewritten history of the city.  BUT, at the bottom of the several hundred word story is “ASHERS’ PHOTOS. Placerville, Calif.”

Another clue, Placerville.

A search of the Placerville newspaper, the between 1935 and 1940 turns up a W.G. Asher in the March 31, 1938 issue of the Mountain Democrat. And the article identifies Asher as a photographer.

On page nine, at the end of a society column, is found the note “W. G. Asher, the Coloma photographer” had visited Lotus, a small community about ten miles north of Placerville. [ii]

Good, right time period, right profession, and right last name, but in Coloma, not Placerville, close but no cigar – yet.

Now searching EBay for post cards of Placerville, and Coloma I find an Asher post card titled “Interesting Facts Series.”

The post cards feature a small photograph of the subject of the post card, and then eight to ten typewritten paragraphs about the image in the photograph.

Similar layout to the Reno post card.

At the end of the story on the post card titled “Interesting Facts about James Wilson Marshall,” Asher wrote “Interesting Fact Series 1.  Copyright Asher’s Photos, Coloma, Calif.  Other numbers: – The Donner Tragedy, Old San Francisco, Capt. Sutter, Old Coloma, The new Bay bridge, etc., etc.”

Now, with a time period, the first initial, a middle initial, and a last name, along with a couple of towns within a few miles of each other time to check the U.S. Census for those two towns in 1930 and 1940.

Nothing in the 1930 census.

But the 1940 U.S. Census was a hit.  But a hit like putting money on black and red in roulette and winning on both.   That can’t happen, nor should it happen in a U.S. Census.  You are only counted once, but…

1940 U.S. Census

A William G. Asher told the 1940 U.S. Census taker, on April 8, in the community of Butte, in Siskiyou County California, his occupation was that of a “Postcard Photographer.”

He told the census taker he was 59, married, and was born in England.

One hundred and twenty five miles south of Butte, in Placerville a different census taker was at work.

A William Asher told the Placerville census taker, on April 15, his occupation was that of a “photographer.”  He told the census taker he was 59, married, and was born in England.

The Placerville report has two additional pieces of information.  First, Asher’s wife is listed as Olive, also from England, and second, he told the census taker he had his “own studio.”

So, either there were two 59-year-old William Ashers, who were born in England, married and were photographers or they are the same person.

   The Asher’s told the 1940 Placerville census taker they were living in Placerville since 1935.

Asher told the census taker in Butte he was “traveling” in North Carolina in April of 1935.[iii]

And at some point between 1935 and 1940 Asher lived and produced post cards in Coloma.

Beyond the information contained in the 1940 census, and the post cards themselves, there is very little definitive information on William G. and Olive Asher, before or after that date.

1939 San Francisco World’s Fair “The Golden gate International Exposition.”

Possible clue as to why Asher got into the post card business in the late 1930’s is a postcard titled “Auditorium, Winnemucca 11.”

There are two known versions of the post cards titled “Auditorium.”

In the earliest photo there is an automobile parked in front of the building.

In the later photograph, taken from a similar angle, there are three new signs.  Two of the rectangular signs are government highway signs they are stacked on a single pole.

The top sign directs drivers east on U.S. 40 to Elko and Salt Lake City and includes an U.S. 40 highway shield.

The second traffic sign, directly below has an arrow pointing north to McDermitt, Nevada on State Route 8, with a Nevada highway shield on sign.

The second separate sign, is a poster size sign is at ground level, with the words “Treasure Island” at the top.

The bottom of the sign is not visible in the photograph, but likely promotes 1939 World’s Fair or as it was known, “The Golden Gate International Exposition.

The event was held at Treasure Island, which is located in the San Francisco bay.  The exposition opened first for eight months starting in February 1939.  And, then re-opened in May of 1940 for another four months.

While we now have the name there are still many unanswered questions about the Ashers.

Why did he get in and out of the post card business?.   One answer may be competition.  At the time the Frasher post card company of Pomona, California was marketing post cards in every nook and cranny of Nevada.  And quite frankly in most cases the Frasher post cards were of better quality, both visually and from a production standpoint.

But, William Asher’s post cards of Nevada provides important views of life in Nevada in the two or three year period before World War Two.

 

A list of known Asher Post Cards of Nevada and other details of his work.

Asher Photo Credit Line or Logo

  1. An upper case “A” attached to a “P.” This is most common Asher credit information. Sometime the line through the A extends to the right and it looks like a backwards K attached to the P
  2. “A. P.”  Rare usage.
  3. “Asher’ Photo” is found on Ashers post cards with long printed captions.

 

Other notes, Style, focus

Asher’s post card focus in Nevada was south of Reno, coming into Nevada through U.S. 50 and then up to U.S. 40 and east to Elko and then south to Ely on U.S. 93.

More than two dozen post cards of Carson City have been identified while only a few of Reno.

And while, Asher produced a number of post cards of coming into Lake Tahoe, on the California side coming into Nevada along U.S. 50.

On the Nevada side, at this point, it appears Asher’s focus was that of “Cave Rock” a popular site for both professional and amateur photographers.

 

Common Themes and other notes.

Asher had a pattern to his post card images.   The following titles “Entering” insert community, “Business section” are found for many of the communities he visited.

  • “Entering…” There are known “Entering” post cards for several Nevada cities including Elko, Lovelock, and Winnemucca.
  • “Business section of…” , There are  known “Business sections” postcards for several Nevada  cities.Carson City, Ely, Reno, Sparks, and Winnemucca.

 

Civilian Conservation Corp

Asher made it a point to take photographs and produce post cards of Civilian Conservation Corp camps in Nevada.

To date, two have been uncovered.

  • “A Section of C.C. Camp Golconda, near Winnemucca, Nevada. 31” with logo
  • A General View of the C.C. Camp at Lovelock Nevada 10.” logo
Acree’s Auto Court Winnemucca

Based only on the number of post cards Asher produced for Captain Acree’s Auto Court in Winnemucca, it is likely the photograph also stayed at the facility which featured an cabins, coffee shop, and Texaco service station.

Title Style

  • Upper and lower case hand printed fonts
  • Asher post cards are found with and without the AP logo.
  • Asher post cards, with typewritten captions also include the credit line “Ashers’ Photo”
  • In addition to numbered and unnumbered post cards, Asher also produced a series of post cards with a number and a letter.
    • Four known examples,
      • “Star Peak. Highway 40. Nevada 2d.”
      • 3d “Sagebrush and Desert Hills on Highway 40. Nevada.”
      • N3 “Sheep raising near Elko Nevada.”
      • “Lake Tahoe Through Cave Rock L69”
    • It is possible the “d” is for desert and the “L” is for Lake Tahoe, and the “N” is for generic Nevada scenes.
  • Numbered title system
    • Asher would use
      • The number by itself “1” or,
      • “no.” and then the number, “no. 1,” and the “n” is lower case, but often taller than the “o.”
      • And a letter of the alphabet and then the number, N3.

Ashers’ Post Card Locations in Nevada

It is clear, Asher came into Nevada on U.S. 50, took photographs and sold post cards of Carson City, moved east to Fallon.

Leaving Fallon Asher headed north to Fernley and then east on U.S. 40.  At this point not post cards from Asher have been uncovered of Fernley.

However not Far East of Fernley on U.S. 40 was, at the time, Springer’s Hot Springs.   Ike Springer offered hot mineral baths, dancing and cold drinks.  Asher sold him several post card.

Continuing east on U.S. 40, Asher stopped and took photographs and published post cards of Winnemucca, Battle Mountain and Elko.

Asher also took scenes along highway 40 as he was traveling from one community to the next.

From Elko, Asher headed south on U.S. 93 to Ely and McGill.

It does not appear that Asher went further south on U.S. 93 or headed back home west on U.S. 50.

No Asher post cards have been found from either Austin, or Eureka or any location on U.S. 50 west of between Ely and Fallon.

There is at least one Asher post card along U.S. 50, but that is north of Ely when the highway shares highway with U.S. 93.

The post card is titled “Robinson Summit.  Highway 50.  Ely, Nevada, 23.”

Asher’s credit line or logo are found on post cards with views of two U.S. highways in Nevada and at least sixteen Nevada communities.

  1. Carson City,
  2. Battle Mountain,
  3. Elko,
  4. Ely,
  5. Fallon,
  6. Golconda,
  7. Kimberly,
  8. Lovelock,
  9. Lake Tahoe,
  10. McGill,
  11. Reno,
  12. Ruth,
  13. Sparks,
  14. Springer’s Hot Springs,
  15. Virginia City,
  16. Winnemucca,
  17. U.S. Highway 40
  18. U.S. Highway 50.

To date no Asher post cards have been uncovered from the following communities along U.S. 40; Fernley, Carlin, or Wells.

Museum of Memories in Virginia City

Asher worked out a business arrangement with the Museum of Memories in Virginia City.    He produced a series of numbered and unnumbered post cards for the tourist attraction.

The highest known number on a Museum of Memories Asher post cards is 36.

Asher also put a copyright (C) and his name “Ashers’ Photos” on some of the post cards for the Museum of Memories.

How many Post Cards did Asher produce with Nevada images?

Based on the numbered post cards and assuming the unnumbered post cards were first released with numbers, it is estimated Asher produced between two-hundred-and-fifty, and 300 different post cards of Nevada.

More information is needed on the Ashers

  There is still something mysterious about the Ashers.   He popped up and left the business right before World War Two.

When the Ashers arrived in the United States is not clear, nor when and where they passed away.

What we do know, Asher was producing real photo post cards of California and Nevada in Coloma in 1938 and continued after he moved to Placerville.

Based on the images and post marks Asher appeared to produce most of his Nevada views between 1938 and 1941.

It does not appear that Asher returned to the post card business after World War Two.

By November of 1945, Asher and his wife had moved south of Placerville, California to Mokelumne Hill, California.[iv]

That is currently where the Asher story ends.

 

Known Nevada Asher Post Cards

Battle Mountain

Numbered

“Grammar School. Battle Mountain, Nevada. no. 3”

“Lander County High School. Battle Mountain. Nevada no. 4 ”

 

Carson City

Asher released both numbered and unnumbered post cards with images of Carson City.

Starting at number one, the highest known number in the series is 24.

Numbered

“Nevada State Capitol Carson City no. 1”

“State Capitol. Carson City, Nevada. 2.”

“A Wing of the State Capitol, Carson City, Nevada. 3.”

“A Business Section. Carson City, Nevada. 4.”

“Capitol Building Carson City, Nevada. 5”

“A Birdseye View of Carson City, Nevada. 6”

“The Orphanage, Carson City, Nevada 7.”

“A Business Section Carson City, Nev. 8.”

“Governor’s Mansion. Carson City, Nevada. 9.”

“Carson City, Nevada. 10” This is an image of the entrance to the Nevada State Prison.”

A second copy of this post card has been uncovered.  In green ink, written on the back, is the note “Bought in Carson City, Nevada 5/29/1938.”

“Mark Twain’s Old Home Carson City, Nev. 11”

“Court House. Carson City, Nevada. 12”

The old Mint. Carson City, Nevada. 13. (no)

14 Missing

“Post Office.  Carson City, Nevada. 15”

“A Birdseye View of Carson City, Nevada. 16.”

17 Missing

“Carson High School. Carson City. Nevada. 18”

19 Missing

“Auditorium, Carson City, Nevada. 20”

21 Missing

“Supreme Court & Library Carson City -Nevada. 22”

“Roman Catholic Church. Carson City. Nevada 23”

“Grammar School. Carson City, Nevada. 24.”

25 Missing or   was 24 the last in the Carson City series?

Earliest Known Carson City Post mark

The earliest known post mark in the numbered series is Carson City, August 3, 1938 on a post card titled “State Capitol, Carson city, Nevada.”

Other post marks include,

Carson City, July 24, 1941.  Card number 5.

Carson City, September 18, 1941, Card number 1.

Unnumbered

“Carson High School. Carson City, Nevada.”

“Slide Mountain near Carson City, Nev.”

“Carson City, Nevada.” This is a photograph of the Carson Brewing Company.
“Chinese Masonic Temple. Carson City, Nevada.”

“Fire House Carson City Nev.”   No Asher credit line or logo.

 

Carlin – Elko Canyon

In the Carlin – Elko Canyon. Nevada (AP)

 

Elko

Asher produced an unnumbered series and two numbered series featuring views of Elko.

With a starting point of one, the highest known number in the numbered series of Elko post cards is 42.

The earliest known post mark is Elko, June 4, 1941.

In the second number series Asher produced for Elko he added the letter “N” in front of the number.

Two cards have has been uncovered so far, “N2” and “N3.” titled “Sheep raising near Elko Nevada.”

Earliest Known Postmark

The earliest known post mark in the Ely numbered series is Ruth, October 2, 1939.

Other early post marks in the Ely series;

Ely, October 7, 1940, Austin, Nevada, June 2, 1942Ely, October 7, 1941, Ely, December 12, 1941, October 14, 1942,

The latest known post mark in the Ely series is Ely, February 25, 1945.

 

Elko unnumbered

A Business Section Elko, Nevada  (AP)

Elko Numbered

  1. Missing
  2. Missing
  3. “Entering Elko, Nevada.”
  4. Missing
  5. Missing
  6. “Elko from the Hills.”
  7. “U.S. Post Office Elko, Nevada.”
  8. “At the Airport. Elko., Nevada.”

9 and 10 missing

  1. “Municipal Hot Springs. Elko, Nevada.”
  2. “Hot Springs & Municipal Bath. Elko, Nevada.”

“The Sphinx Highway 40. Elko, Nevada. 13.”

  1. “Guardians of the Highway, Near Elko, Nevada.”

15 to 30 missing

  1. “Department of Commerce Radio Station Elko, Nevada.”
  2. “Near Elko, Nevada.” (Note, gate says “Nevada School of Industry”)

33 to 41 Missing.

  1. “R. C. Church and Parsonage Elko, Nevada.”

 

Elko Numbered with letter.

N1   ?

N2 ?

N3 “Sheep raising near Elko Nevada.”

N4   ?

 

   Ely-Kimberley-McGill-Ruth

White Pine County

Asher produced a numbered series of post cards of    White Pine County, Nevada.  This series also includes images of Ely, McGill and Ruth, Nevada.

The earliest known post mark in this series is Ruth, October 2, 1939.

Starting with one, the highest known number of Ely post cards produced by Asher is 23.

Numbered

“A Business Section No. 1 Ely, Nevada.”

“Ely, Nevada, with the natural glow of a typical western town. No. 2.”

“Main Street, Ely, Nevada. No. 4.”

“Birdseye View of Ely, Nevada. 5”

“Ely, Nevada.  A typical western town, 6000 ft. above the Sea 6.”

“Court House & Park. Ely. Nevada. 7.”

“County Court House.  Ely, Nevada. 8.”

“Steptoe Valley Hospital. near Ely, Nevada. 10.”

“High School.  Ely, Nevada. 11.”

“Hospital Ely Nevada. 12.”

“U.S. Post Office Ely, Nevada 13.”

“Fire Hall.  Ely, Nevada 14

“The World’s Largest Glory Hole. 800 ft. deep. Ruth, Nevada. Showing Terraces & Railroad Tracks. 16”

“The World’s Largest Copper Pit, 1 mile long, ½ mile wide, 800 ft. deep, at Ruth, Nevada. 17.”

“Copper Mill. McGill, Nevada. 19.”

“Copper Mill, McGill, Nevada. 20.”

“At the Copper Mill, McGill, Nevada 21.”

“Robinson Summit.  Highway 50. Ely, Nevada. 23”

“One of the Mines at Kimberley, Nevada. 28”

 

 

Fallon

Asher produced a series of numbered and unnumbered post cards of Fallon. All of the Asher post cards of Fallon in the collection are unused.

The highest known number, starting at one, in the Asher post cards of Fallon is 21.

The known Fallon unnumbered post cards are;

“City Park, Fallon, Nevada”

“High School, Fallon, Nevada”

“General View of Lahontan Dam. Fallon, Nevada.”

“White Sand Moving Mountain Fallon, Nevada.”  This post card was also released as Asher “no 8.”

 

Numbered

1 Spillway Lahontan Dam No. 1 Fallon, Nevada. (AP)

2 to 7 missing

“White Sand Moving Mountain Fallon, Nevada. no. 8”

9 missing

“U.S. Post Office Fallon, Nevada. no. 10”

11 to 19 missing

“”City Hall, Fallon, Nevada No. 20”

Spillway. Lahontan Dam. Fallon, Nevada. No. 21”

 

Golconda

  There is a known post card with a view of a government camp at Golconda.  Based on the title and the series number it is included in the Winnemucca list.

    The title is ,  “A Section of C.C. Camp Golconda, near Winnemucca, Nevada. 31” with the Asher logo.    The Winnemucca Asher list includes post cards 30 and 32.

   At this point, this is the only known Asher real photo post card with a view of Golconda.

  Golconda is located 17 miles east of Winnemucca.

Lake Tahoe

Most of the Asher post cards of Lake Tahoe are of the California side of the lake.  There are three different credit lines on the California Lake Tahoe post cards including the standard AP back to back version, an AP where the letters are separated by periods, “A. P.” and an “Ashers Photo” with and without the possessive mark on the s in Ashers’.

There is also a numbered series of California Lake Tahoe post cards, with the number in parenthesis.  The highest number seen so far is titled “Meeks Bay Tahoe (98)”

 

Lake Tahoe –Nevada Asher Post Cards

Unnumbered

“Cave Rock Tunnel. Lake Tahoe.”   (AP)  The view is looking through the tunnel from the north end.  With ‘ghost’ image of card at south end of tunnel.

“Cave Rock Tunnel Lake Tahoe, Nevada. ” (AP)  The view is looking south thought the tunnel.

“Cave Rock Glenbrook, Nevada.”  No Asher credit line or logo.

 

Numbered

“Lake Tahoe through Cave Rock L69.”  No Asher credit line or logo.

“Tahoe-Carson Highway L77”  Asher logo far left edge

 

 

Lovelock

Asher released both numbered and unnumbered post cards with images of Lovelock.      Starting at one, the highest known number in the series is thirty.

The earliest known postmark in the numbered series is Lovelock, August 4, 1941

Unnumbered

“Sheep raising Near Lovelock Nev.”  logo

Numbered

“A Business Section No. 1. Lovelock, Nevada.”  No logo

“Pershing County High School Lovelock, Nevada. 6.”  logo

“Entering Lovelock from the West. Lovelock, Nevada.7.” logo

“Grammar School. Lovelock, Nevada. 8.”   logo

“Stocking Hay in Nevada. Near Lovelock. 9”  logo

A General View of the C.C. Camp at Lovelock Nevada 10.” logo

“Main St Lovelock Nev  no 14”  no logo

 

Reno

Asher appears to have produced a limited number of post cards of Reno.  No numbered series has been uncovered.

Two cards in the collection Reno file appear to have been part of a sales man’s sample album.  Both have similar glue marks on the back, and both have hand written numbers on the lower right corner of the white border on the face of the post cards.

It is also possible a collector glued the post cards in an album and wrote the numbers on the post cards.

It either case, with the known hand written numbers of 7 and 13, it is likely Asher produced at least 15 and 20 views of Reno.

Unnumbered  -hand numbered

“A business Section.  Reno, Nevada.” 7

“High School. Reno, Nevada.” 13.

 

Sparks

Only one post card has been uncovered from Sparks, Nevada.  The post card, unnumbered is titled, “Junior High School. Sparks. Nevada.”

Unnumbered

“High School, Sparks, Nevada.”  with logo.  The photograph for this post card was taken from a different angle, than the other post card titled “High School,”  but shows the same automobiles.

“High School, Sparks, Nevada.” with logo.  The photograph for this post card was taken from a different angle, than the other post card titled “High School,”  but shows the same automobiles.

“Robert Mitchell School. Sparks, Nevada.” with logo.

“Junior High School. Sparks, Nevada.” with logo.

“A Business Section, Sparks, Nevada.” Also released as No. 3

“The Library, Sparks, Nevada.”  This image was also released with the number 17.

“S. P. Roundhouse & Shops Sparks, Nevada.” with logo

“S.P. Roundhouse, Sparks, Nevada.”  Likely this post card is from salesman book.  Handwritten number 19 on face.

Numbered

“Business Section No. 3 Sparks Nevada”

“Robert Mitchell School Sparks Nevada No. 9”

“The Library, Sparks, Nevada. 17.” This Sparks Library post card was also released without a number.

 

Springer’s Hot Springs.

Springer’s or Brady’s Hot Springs is located east of Fernley.  Asher likely produced at least four post cards from this site.

Two individual post cards, without any Asher credit line or logo, but are clearly Asher productions feature images of Springer’s Hot Springs.

One post card, titled ‘SPRINGER’S HOT SPRINGS,” has three images, all with individual titles.

“’SPRINGER’S HOT SPRINGS. On Highway 40. Near Fernley, Nevada.”

“The Plunge at Springer’s Hot Springs, Nevada” with an Asher logo.

“One of the Hot Springs.”

The second known post card is seen as the top image in the multi-image card titled, “On Highway 40.  Near Fernley. Nevada.”

 

Virginia City

      Asher created a series of unnumbered and unnumbered post cards for the “Museum of Memories” in Virginia City.

In addition there is a series numbered post cards, without the “Museum of Memories” credit line.  This numbered post cards may go as high as sixty, with the current known high card, fifty three.  The card is titled “ 70 Hank Monk.  State driver of early days.”

It is assumed this post card was part of a Virginia City series.

 “Pub. by Museum of Memories Virginia City Nevada”

  • “The Old Rocker. Pub. by “Museum of Memories” Virginia City, Nevada” (AP)
  • “Sunday Morning in the Mines. Pub. by Museum of Memories Virginia City, Nevada”
  • “King of the Air. Pub. by Museum of Memories Virginia City Nevada. Ashers’ Photos.
  • “Indian Attack on an Overland Stage Pub. By museum of memories Virginia City, Nevada.”
  • “Pub by Museum of Memories Virginia City Nevada” Numbered
  • “Public School & St. Mary’s Catholic Church Virginia City, Nevada Pub. by “Museum of Memories” 9 AP”
  • “Pub by “Museum of Memories” Virginia City Nevada. Museum of Memories 36”

Numbered

14 “Historic Pipers Opera House Virginia City Nevada”

18 “Comstock Union Mine. Virginia City, Nev.”

22  “Street Scene in Virginia City, Nevada in Early Days.” (AP)

53 “Hank Monk. Stage Driver of Early Days.”

Caption

“St. Mary’s of the Mountains.  Virginia City, Nevada.  This beautiful old church was built in 1866, destroyed by fire in 1875 and re-built in 1876.  Ashers’ Photo.”

 

Winnemucca

The Asher post card series of Winnemucca is a numbered series.   There are at least thirty-seven cards in the Winnemucca series.

Interesting elements to the Winnemucca post cards produced by Asher.

  1. He used both a single number, and “no.” in front of the number. Or he produced two separate series of Winnemucca post cards one set using a single number and the other set using “no.”
  2. Asher used the same image for the post cards he titled “Winnemucca from the Hills. The same image is titled 3 and 8.
  3. Asher updated the image possible clue as to why Asher got into the post card business. He updated, with a new photograph, the post card image he titled “Auditorium, Winnemucca 11.”
    • In the earliest photo there is an automobile parked in front of the building.
    • In the later photograph there is are two new signs readable as drivers were heading east on U.S. 40.

“The Prospector & his Pardner.”   Show ‘prospector’ sitting on rock with coffee pot in front and his burrow.  Post card is listed here only because of  WInnemucca post mark Nov. 22, 1938.   There is no AP credit mark, however the same font on this post card is used on other Asher post cards.

Earliest Known Postmark Winnemucca

The earliest known post mark is January 3, 1940, Railroad postmark, Ogden & S. F.

Unnumbered

“CAPT. ACREE’S AUTO COURT”                                                                                                 A vertically printed postcard featuring three views of “CAPT. ACREE’S AUTO COURT”   Two of the three views were also produced as stand alone post cards.  The third image was taken the same day as another post card that was also produced as a stand alone post card.

“A row of Cabins at Capt. Acree’s Auto Court.  Winnemucca, Nevada.”                    No logo.  This view is one of three featured on the vertical post card.

“A shady Grove of Capt. Acree’s Auto Court, Winnemucca, Nevada.”                    No logo.  This view is one of three featured on the vertical post card.

 

Numbered

“Auditorium.  Winnemucca, Nev. No.?”

“A Business Section. No. 1. Winnemucca, Nevada”

“A Business Section No. 3 Winnemucca, Nevada.”

“Winnemucca from the Hills. 3.”    Note, same image as 8.

“A Business Section, no. 4, Winnemucca, Nevada>’

“Grammar School. Winnemucca, Nevada. 5.”

“Armory. Winnemucca. Nevada, 7.”

“Winnemucca from the Hills. 8” note, same image as 3

“Humboldt County Court House. 9. Winnemucca, Nevada. ”

“Fire Hall, Winnemucca, Nevada. 10.”

“Auditorium. Winnemucca, Nevada 11”

Entering Winnemucca, Nevada. 12. (AP)

“U.S. Post Office, Winnemucca, Nevada. 13.”

“Winnemucca, Nevada. 14.”   This is a photograph of the Humboldt Hotel.

“Swimming Pool.  Winnemucca, Nevada. 15”

“From the High School Steps.  Winnemucca, Nevada. 16.”

“New Overpass, Winnemucca, Nev.” 17    ap log

“At the Airport.  Winnemucca, Nevada. 18.”

“Roman Catholic Church. Winnemucca, Nevada. 19”

  •      Note, this title is on a black horizontal bar that may have covered up a different title.  Currently, it is the only known Asher title on a black bar.
  •            No Asher credit line or logo.
  •          This is the same photograph that was used for the Asher post card titled “St. Mary’s- Roman Catholic Church. Winnemucca, 32” This post card has the Asher logo.

“Approaching Winnemucca, Nevada. 21”  ap      note this image shows Captain Acree’s service station, cabins and coffee shop.

“Winnemucca, Nevada – from Winnemucca Mountain. 24.” Note, no Asher credit line or logo.

“New Overpass.  Winnemucca, Nevada. 25.”

“High School. Winnemucca, Nevada 26”

“High School. Winnemucca, Nevada. 27” Note, different view of school.

“Grammar School, Winnemucca, Nevada 28”

“Stacking Hay in Nevada. 30. Near Winnemucca.”

“A Section of C.C. Camp Golconda, near Winnemucca, Nevada. 31” with logo

“St. Mary’s – Roman Catholic Church. Winnemucca, Nevada. 32”

“Looking Towards The Hills, Winnemucca, Nev.” 32   note same number as above.

  • Note, see post card 19.

“Fire House Winnemucca Nev No. 35” Note, vertical post card.

“A Business Section. 33 Winnemucca, Nevada.”

“Bridge and Overpass Winnemucca Nevada 37”

 

U.S. Highway 40

Unnumbered

“When the Sun goes down on Highway 40 Nevada.”

“Storm Clouds on the Desert.  Highway 40. Nevada.”

“Winter’s Way Highway 40.”

“An Oasis on the Nevada Desert. Highway 40.”

“Granite Peak. On Highway 40. near Winnemucca, Nevada.”

“Scrub Cedars, Sage & Mountain Peaks  26     Highway 40, Nevada.”  No D.

“Sagebrush and Desert Hills on Highway 40.  Nevada.” No. D or number.

“Peaks on the road to Humboldt Landing Field from Highway 40. Nevada”

 

Numbered with letter “d”

So far all the post cards with “d” as part a series number are of the “Desert.”

 

“Morning on the Desert. 1D”  upper case D.

“Star Peak. Highway 40. Nevada 2d.”

“Sagebrush and Desert Hills on Highway 40. Nevada 3d.” (AP)

“Desert hills of Nevada. 21d”

“Old Days of the West.” Travel on the Nevada Desert. 24d” Note, this post card is listed under U.S. Highway 40 only because it is part of the “d” series.  This is an Oakes photograph, also likely put out by Curt Teich

“In the Nevada sagebrush. 23d”

 

Unnumbered “Desert” Scenes   

“Morning on the Desert.”

also

“Morning on the Desert. 1D”

  • Note, hand written on bottom white border of image, “1 ½ mile out of Ely Nevada.”

Known Asher California Post Cards

  • “Nevada City Birdseye View No. 1 Nevada City, Calif.”
  • “Discovery of Gold 1848 James W. Marshall Monument. 2”
  • Old Home of Lola Montez. Grass Valley, Calif. 13.
  • “The Plunge of Vichy Springs Ukiah, Calif. 31”
  • “Tahoe Ukiah Highway above Nevada City”
  • “Old Photo of the Unveiling of the Marshall Monument May 3rd, 1890.”
  • “A Glimpse of Nevada County Court House from the Hills. Nevada City, Calif 11 AP”  A couple of notes, spelling error on Glimpse, and wonder if there are ten or more cards of Nevada City in this series.

“Interesting Facts Series” –California

When Asher was in Coloma, California he put out a series, of at least six, post cards under the banner “Interesting Facts Series.”

 

[i] California Department of Health and Welfare. California Vital Records-Vitalsearch (www.vitalsearch-worldwide.com). The Vitalsearch Company Worldwide, Inc., Pleasanton, California.

[ii]  “Lotus,” March 31, 1938, Placerville, California, Mountain Democrat newspaper, page nine.

[iii]  “Lotus,” March 31, 1938, Placerville California, Mountain Democrat newspaper, page nine.

[iv] “Salmon Falls News,” November 15, 1945, Placerville, California, Mountain Democrat, newspaper, page fifteen.

2 thoughts on “Who was AP, the pre World War Two northern California photographer who created several series of Nevada post cards?”

  1. Really great information on Asher post cards. As a longtime collector
    of Nevada cards I’ve always wondered about the names, numbers,
    initials, and other notations on the various cards. There seems to be
    a dearth of information on the subject. Would love to see more.

    1. Phil, thank you for your comments. Continue to update as new information about Asher become available. While my focus, like yours is Nevada, Asher’s work was mainly northern California. Hoping a California collector will read and fill in the many gaps in the story. Is your focus Las Vegas or Nevada in general?
      Bob

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