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A foggy day at Tower Bridge?

Date sent: 27 FEBRUARY 1900        

Sender: N/A 

RecipientMAndré Strohl, 27 bis Allées de Chartres, Bourdeaux, France 

Transcription: Ces effets de couleur n’existent pas, car il y a toujours du brouillard. 

However dire the weather when they visited, this anonymous French tourist certainly chose a charming picture postcard to voice their complaint. Tower Bridge rises majestically above the Thames amidst a selection of working river boats – steam tug, traditional rowed barge and fully rigged sailing ships in the distance.  However, the artist has not included sufficient detail to pinpoint exactly which side of the bridge is shown, having turned impressionist for the surrounding area. Or is the fog indeed blanketing the City, and the correspondent merely recording what they saw?

A painting of tower bridge and rowboat

Part of the charm of the card is its size. These smaller cards, known as court or correspondence cards were popular before the picture postcard craze erupted.  Hotels and clubs held stocks of them with accompanying envelopes for their guests’ convenience.  Initially, they did not qualify for the halfpenny Postcard Rate introduced in 1894, but following public complaints, a solution was arrived at. Like its larger picture postcard cousin, the address and stamp occupy one side, the message and picture the other. It wasn’t until 1902 that message and address moved in together. Despite its size, it manages to accommodate the cancellation stamp indicating it is going outside London, London postmark and Bordeaux arrival stamp.Postcard with a message in french and postage stamps

While the disgruntled sender preserves their anonymity, it is tempting to wonder if Mr André Strohl might have any connection to the French physiologist born in Poitiers in March 1887? As a 12-year-old had he moved to Bourdeaux and succumbed to the postcard album rage?

Postcards gallery

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