American News Company Images of Nevada from 1905-1910 From Goldfield to Ely
By Robert Stoldal updated January 9, 2019
Between 1905 and 1910 the American News Company of New York published several post card series featuring images of at least five different communities in Nevada.
The post cards, printed in Leipzig and Dresden, Germany, include one of the earliest, if not the earliest series of color post cards of Goldfield, Nevada.
The New York based company published both undivided and divided back post cards of Nevada.
The earliest known post mark on American News Company post card of Nevada is A 1403 with a title of “Bird-Eye View, Goldfield, Nev.” postmarked Goldfield September 1, 1906.
A.N.C. sent out post cards with divided backs, printed in Germany, in advance of the official legal date for use in the United States. Post cards can be found where the sender followed the law and only put the address on the back of the divided back post cards, while others ignored the law and wrote a message on the backs of the post cards.
Postcards were just a sideline to the American News Company. As the new mining boom was taking place in Nevada, A.N.C. dominated the national distribution and sales of printed material. At one point it had 300 branches selling everything from newspapers to magazines to books and post cards. In addition the company also distributed tobacco products, candy and novelties.
The American News Company offices in New York City
The American News Company was founded in 1864, the same year Nevada gained statehood. Over the next several decades, the primary players that controlled or were key participants in A. N. C. included William Randolph Hearst and Moe Annenberg.
It also supplied goods to west coast companies that had the contracts to sell items on trains and at depots, including the Dennison News Company.
By 1957 A.N.C. had all but closed and ceased to operations. Still, the company held stock in other wholesaler and retail outlets of printed material including newsstands. Today that company is owned by Rupert Murdoch.
While the vast majority of American News Company post cards, issued before 1908, feature scenes of east of the Mississippi River, A.N.C. did produce post cards of western states.
Goldfield and Tonopah images highlight the A.N.C. production of Nevada views. Others feature images of Manhattan, Ely, and Delamar Nevada.
The photographs of two well-known photographers, E. W. Smith, of Tonopah,
and Pers Edward Larson from Goldfield, are seen in the series.
Counting both black and white and color post cards, it is likely more than fifty and less than 70 A.N.C. post cards with views of Nevada were published.
American News Company also produced two double-card panoramic Nevada Views “Birds-Eye” views; “Birds-Eye View, Tonopah, Nev. 1908,” and “Birds-Eye View of Mines and Goldfield, Nev.”
Rare Views of Ely Nevada
Two post cards, D 7020 and D 7021 are rare views of a social club in Ely, Nevada.
The post cards are rare as is information about the “University Club.”
The club’s beginning dates back to late 1907.
Part of its history is found at the Nevada Supreme Court in Carson City.
Started by a mining company, the University Club, over the years the club would have among its members, a governor, and attorneys.
Apparently the only requirement to join was a degree from a recognized University.
The late Nevada historian and author, Russell R. Elliott, who was born in White Pine County, wrote “One of the earliest social activities” in Ely was “the formation of numerous social clubs. Some of these, such as the “Good Time Club” of Ely, incorporated in November 1907 were devoted entirely to having a good time. Some clubs, like “The Strollers”, emphasized dancing activities. Others, such as the Caledonian Club, and -the Greek and Serbian Societies, and the University Club, added to the above purposes the desire to get together with people of similar race and background.”[i]
The Club was organized by The Step Toe Smelting Company of Ely in late 1907.[ii]
One of the founders was C.B. Lakeman who at the time held “a responsible positon of mine superintendent” in Ely according to a January 1908 alumni report from the University of California, Berkeley.
While Yale reported in February of 1908 there the University Club’s membership stood at fifty-eight with three members from Yale, Lakeman reported the new club was “composed chiefly of Stanford and California men.”[iii]
By the end of 1908 it membership topped 100. In early 1909 the University Club was incorporated as a nonprofit private social club. At which point, with H. R. Plate as president, the seven member board approved the official sale of liquor.
As a private club the group felt it did not have to secure a liquor license from the city of Ely, or the county of White Pine.
A local district judge disagreed and ordered them to pay for a liquor license. The University Club said no and an appeals process began that led to the Nevada Supreme Court.
In January of 1913, the Nevada Supreme court ruled “A bonafide social club, which disposes, at its clubhouse, of liquors to members and guests at a fixed charge as an incident to the general purposes o the club, the profit on the sale going to pay the general expenses of the organization, is not required to take out a license.”[iv]
The social club promoted White Pine county and its mining industry from creating mining exhibits to providing information to visiting journalists.
In September of 1913, Darwin S. Hatch, on assignment from Motor Age magazine wrote “we found Ely to be a very thriving little city, with particularly wide-awake inhabitants. There is a University Club whose headquarters are an old residence fitted up in metropolitan style. Here we were taken in charge by the boosters of that town and supplied with more dry data and wet refreshments than either our stomachs or our brains could assimilate.”
The “wet refreshment” aspect of the club has lived long beyond the club with the ruling by the Nevada Supreme Court ruling that private social clubs didn’t need a local liquor license.
Denver S. Dickerson, the eleventh governor of Nevada, was a member of the Ely “University Club.”[v]
The full history of the club, its members and role in turn of the century Nevada needs to be uncovered.
[i] “History of Nevada Mines Division, Kennecott Copper Corporation, 1956, Russell R. Elliott (1912-1998) University of Nevada, page 35.
[ii] “Science Notes, February, 1908, The Yale Scientific Monthly, page 191.
[iii] “Science Notes, February, 1908, The Yale Scientific Monthly, page 191. “The Alumni,” January, 1908, The University of California Chronicle, page 225.
[iv] State of Nevada, respondent, v. University Club a corporation, appellant, January, 1913, Nevada Supreme Court, number 2005, page 475.
Nearly 100 years later, the colors in the Poly-Chrome post cards are still vivid and the images are still sharp. This is due to the type of paper and the printing process the company used.
Charles Wallace, in his book “The Catalogue of Ply Chrome Post Cards Made in Germany “describes the printing process; “View post cards usually were produced by offset lithography. When viewed though a magnifying glass they have a screed or dotted appearance. That is not true of Poly Chrome postcards, for they have a clean, clear cut, unobstructed appearance that sets them apart from the usual litho chromes. In their day they were considered the finest quality view post cards available. The method by which they were produced was called colortype or gelatin process.”
The American News Company used at least a dozen other brand names. A.N.C. and used different logos for each of these brands. The A.N.C. three-leaf clover is incorporated into each of the brand’s logos.
The American News Company cards were printed by various German firms under several trade names including:
- Poly Chrome
- Litho Chrome
At this point, the following A. N.C. brands can be found with Nevada images:
- Poly Chrome
- Litho Chrome
Undivided back, black and white printing.
No local publisher listed
A.N.C. number Title
A 1393 Unknown
A 1394 Main Street, Goldfield, Nev.
EKP Goldfield, November 11, 1906.*
A 1395 First Baby Born in Goldfield, Nev.
Also published in color by A.N.C. as A 6341.
Larson took the photograph of the burro used in A.N.C.’s A 1395 and A 6341. Using the Newman Post Card Company, Larson published his own divided back version of the image, number 134/30.
In the undivided back, A.N.C. version, the burro in the upper right hand corner disappears.
A 1396 Prospectors outfit, Goldfield, Nev.
EKP Goldfield, September 7, 1906.
This was also released by Larson through the Newman Post Card Company, 135/19,titled “Prospectors Outfield.” Note spelling error “outfit” is spelled Outfield.
A 1397 Goldfield Maidens, Goldfield, Nev.
EKP Goldfield April 27, 1908.
A 1398 Goldfield, Nev.
EKP Goldfield October 23, 1907.
A 1399 Unknown -Likely Nevada
A 1400 “Gambling at the Gold Fields”
A 1401 En Route to Goldfield, Nev.
EKP Goldfield, June 2, 1908.
A 1402 Pioneer Buildings, Goldfield, Nev.
EKP Goldfield, September 13, 1906.
This was also released by Larson though the Newman Post Card Company, 134/23 with a divided bck
A 1403 Bird-Eye View, Goldfield, Nev.
EKP Goldfield, September 1, 1906.
A 1404 “Exhausted Stampeder” – – – Found a Place of Safe Deposit. Goldfield, Nev.
A 1405 Birds-Eye View, Goldfield, Nev.
EKP Goldfield, October 8, 1906.
A 1406 Birds-Eye View of Mines and Goldfield, Nev.
This is a panoramic double card.
EKP Goldfield, November 11, 1906.
A 1407 Unknown- Not likely Nevada.
black and white
Published by Nelson Rounsevell, Stationer, Manhattan, Nevada.
A.N.C. # Title
A 2830 Unknown
A 2831 Main Street, Manhattan, Nev.
EKP Manhattan, June 3, 1908.
A 2831 Unknown
Divided back, Printed in Germany, color
C 3110 Series, Litho-Chrome
Published by Grace B. Faxon, Ely
This series of four Ely post cards has both a C followed by a four digits starting with 3115 and ending with 3118. In addition, a six digit number is also found on the back of the post card in the lower right hand corner.
C 3115 unknown
C 3116 Aultman Street, Ely, Nevada 119030
EKP Ely, November 9, 1907.
C 3117 Robinson Canon, Ely, Nevada 119031
EKP Ely, November 9, 1907.
C 3118 Ely, Nevada
EKP Ely, November 11, 1907.
C 3119 Unknown
Undivided backs, black and white
No publisher listed other than A.N.C.
A 3298 Unknown
A 3299 Ely, Nevada
View of the town taken from nearby hill.
Known postmark, Ely, December 11, 1906.
A 3300 Ely, Nevada
Street scene with Palm Restaurant building in center of image. “Greetings from Ely Nev.” in gold script was added to the face of the post card.
EKP Ely, Nevada, February 10, 1907.
A 3301 Unknown
Divided back, black and white
Published by A. H. Rounsevell,
A 3644 Birds-Eye View Tonopah, Nev. 1906
This is a double card panoramic view of Tonopah from near-by mountain. Known post mark Tonopah, April 2, 1907.
A 3645 The House that Made Tonopah Famous, constructed of 10,000 beer bottles
EKPs known. Tonopah Flag cancel, July 22, 1908. Reno & Goldfield RPO, December 21, 1908.
A 3646 The Barrel House, Tonopah, Nev.
Pioneer Tonopah photographer, E.W. Smith, took the photograph used for this post card. Smith’s dog is seen sitting in front of the door to the Barrel House. Smith’s dog was his way of signing his photographs.
With this undivided back post card, A.N.C. also left room on the right side of the post card for the message.
A 3647 Piute Indians Playing Poker, Tonopah, Nev.
EKP Tonopah flag cancel, July 2, 1907.
A 3648 Native Daughters of the Desert, Tonopah, Nev.
EKP Tonopah Flag Cancel, August 4, 1907.
A 3649 Tonopah Prospectors off for the New Strike
A 3650 Unknown- Likely Nevada
A 3651 High School, Tonopah, Nev.
EKP Tonopah March 2, 1907.
A 3652 Mizpah Shaft of the Tonopah Mining Co., Tonopah, Nev.
Pioneer Tonopah photographer, E.W. Smith, took the photograph used for this post card. Smith’s dog is seen lower left side of post card.
A 3653 Nye County Court House, Tonopah, Nev.
EKP Tonopah Flag cancel April 5, 1907.
A 3654 Tonopah Extension Mine, Tonopah, Nev.
EKP Tonopah Flag cancel, March 7, 1907.
A 3655 A Piute Indian’s Private Residence, Tonopah, Nev.
EKP Tonopah flag cancel, February 26, 1907.
A 3656 unknown
De Lamar, Nevada
Divided back, black and white
Published by M.C. Kelly, De Lamar, Nev.
A 4337 Unknown
A 4338 Joshua Park, De Lamar, Nev.
EKP Delamar, Nevada, October 2, 1908.
A 4339 Unknown
6300 Series Goldfield
There are 15 color views of Goldfield in this 6300 series. The undivided back post cards in this series, were first sold sometime between September of 1906 and February of 1907.
Pers Edward Larson
While his name is not listed on the back pioneer Goldfield photographer Pers Edward Larson either was the publisher of the series, or sold some of his photographs to A.N.C. to use in the 6300 series.
Possibly all of the photographs for the 6300 series were taken by Larson. So far five cards in the series have been identified using Larson photographs.
Larson arrived in Goldfield opened up his own photography and souvenir store, The Palm Studio, about the same time that the 6300 series went on sale.
Undivided back, Color
No local publisher listed
A 6330 Bird’s-Eye View of Mines and Goldfield, Nev.
Two panel panoramic view.
EKP Goldfield, August 1, 1910
A 6331 Bird’s Eye View. Goldfield, Nev.
This same view was issued as Mitchell number 907 titled, “GENERAL VIEW OF GOLDFIELD, NEVADA.”
A.N.C. also issued a black and white version of this card with the number 1405.
A 6332 “Exhausted Stampeder.” Found a place of Safe Deposit. Goldfield, Nev.”
Also released by A.N.C. as A 1404 black and white.
A 6333 Bird’s Eye View. Goldfield, Nev.
A.N.C. also issued this image in black and white card, A 1403.
EKP Hazen, Nevada, January 11, 1907.
A 6334 Pioneer Buildings. Goldfield, Nev.
Pioneer Goldfield photographer P.E. Larson issued his own version of this image, photograph number 347 titled, “PIONEER BUILDINGS GOLDFIELD, NEV.”
A 6335 En Route to Goldfield, Nev.
The card shows a load of lumber being pulled by a large team of mules.
A.N.C. also issued this card in b & w, number A 1401.
The same view was published by the Denison Post Card number, number 4, titled “Goldfield in 1905.”
Curt Tiech published the same view in 1933. The CT post card has no title, location, or publisher listed on the post card.
It is one of a series of four untitled Goldfield postcards, 3A166, 167, 168, and 169 that Curt Tiech published in early 1933.
EKP Goldfield, February 5, 1916.
A 6336 Gambling at the Gold Fields.
EKP West Exeter, New York, December 25, 1911.
A 6337 Shipping Ore. Goldfield, Nev.
A 6338 Goldfield, Nev.
This view, a long line of mules hauling freight was was also issued by A.N.C. in black and white, A 1398.
A 6339 Goldfield, Maidens, Goldfield, Nev.
A black and white version of this view was also issued by A.N.C., card A 1397.
A 6340 Prospectors Outfit. Goldfield, Nev.
This is a Larson photograph number 322.
A 6341 First Baby born in Goldfield, Nev.
This view of a burro was also published by Larson. Larson sold both a color and black and white version of this card, titled “FIRST BABY BORN IN GOLDFIELD, NEV.”
A.N.C. also produced a black and white version of this image, A 1395.
EKP Goldfield, April 9, 1916.
A 6342 Main Street. Goldfield, Nev.
This was also issued by A. N. C. in black and white, A 1384.
EKP Niverville, New York, April, 21, 1908.
A 6343 U.S. mail Coaches in the Rocky Mountains.
This was a popular image. After A.N.C. used the image, Larson put out his own post card titled, “A holdup U.S. Mail Coach en route to Bullfrog Nev.” Number 333.
Again using Larson’s photograph this image is also found on a Newman post card number 134/15.
The image was also used by the Dennison Company. This was post card three in the Dennison series. the card is titled “U.S. Mail Coach En Route to Bullfrog, Nevada.”
The image was also sold as a ‘real photo’ post card with a title that provides additional information; “1907 O’Keefe Bros. Stage Co. Leaving Bull Frog Heading for Goldfield Nev.”
A 6344 The Yucca Palm on American Desert.
This was also released by Larson. The negative of the photograph is identified with the number 634.
A 6345 (This is a New York view card.)
Divided back, color, No local publisher listed
A 6955 This is a Texas view card.
A 6956 Mizpah Gold Mine. Tonopah, Nev.
A 6957 Unknown
D 7000 Series
Divided, back color
Published by Grace B. Faxon, Ely, Nev.
D 7018 Unknown
D 7019 St. Bartholomew Church and Rectory, Ely, Nev. (v)
EKP Ely, February 21, 1910.
D 7020 Entrance to University Club, Ely, Nevada.
EKP McGill, June 9, 1910.
Two rare views of the University Club in Ely, Nevada.
D 7021 University Club, Ely, Nevada.
EKP, East Ely, June 11, 1910.
D 7022 School, Ely, Nevada
While this has a divided back, there is room for a message on the right side of the face of the post card.
EKP Ely, October 31, 1910. Note, mailed on Nevada birthday as s state.
D 7023 General view of Ely, Nevada
EKP Ely, April 22, 1910.
D 7024 “ALWAYS ROOM FOR ONE MORE IN ELY, NEVADA”
EKP Ely, September 24, 1909
D 7025 Unknown
U.S. Monitor “Nevada”
color-divided back. No local publisher listed
While not an image of the state, the American News Company produced a color card, titled, “A7292 U.S. Monitor “Nevada” at Anchor. New London, Conn.”
The monitor “Nevada” was built in 1900 originally named the “Connecticut.” It was later renamed the “Nevada,” and in 1909 the ship received its third and last name; the “Tonopah.”
After serving as a submarine tender during World War I, it was sold by the government in 1922.
A 7292 U.S. Monitor “Nevada” at Anchor. New London, Conn.
Divided back, Printed in Germany, color
C 14230 Ely
Published by Grace B. Faxon, Ely
C 14231 unknown
C 14232 Corner Aultman and Murray Streets, Ely, Nev.
Note the Northern Hotel on one corner and the R. A. Riepe Building on the other corner. Riepe of the infamous Riepetown.
C 14233 Richmar Apartments, Ely, Nevada
C 14234 Nevada Northern Depot, Ely, Nevada.
EKP Lane, Nevada, June 30, 1010.
C 14235 unknown
- EKP Earliest Known Postmark
- V Vertical
 Wallace, Charles L., “The Catalogue of Ply Chrome Post Cards Made in Germany 1905-1906-1907.”
 Wallace, Charles L., “The Catalogue of Poly Chrome Post Cards Made in Germany 1905-1906-1907.”