Tippling in Santa Cruz

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What it is:

Real photo post card measuring 3.5 x 5.5 inches.

What I know about it:

No identification, but the paper manufacturer’s markings (“Cyko”, with hollow letters and “Place Postage Stamp Here”) help date it. Some sources generally date this and other Cyko marks to 1904-1920s, though one narrows this one down to 1906-1915.


The box of photos I bought recently seems to mostly have photos from the UK (specifically Scotland), and Northern California. My first impression of the painted backdrop in this studio photo is that it represented one of the grand old resorts on the English seacoast. But when I enlarged it, I realized that the man’s hatband reads “Santa Cruz”. That sent me searching online for images of vintage Santa Cruz, California, and sure enough, it’s a match. Shall we assume that this is a souvenir photo actually taken in Santa Cruz? If so, then that, along with the general date range, puts it among the Northern California portion of these photos. Of course, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find multiple photos from Northern California for sale in a San Francisco antique store, but I like to think that there is some connection here. I just haven’t been able to determine it. I wonder who these people are. And I wonder if the bottles are studio props, or if they wandered in with them.