Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rochester, Michigan

Here are some real-photo postcards of Rochester, Michigan.

In case you're wondering what makes a real-photo postcard different from any other postcard, here's an explanation:
In 1903, Kodak introduced a camera that took postcard size photographs. Shortly thereafter, they started offering a service called Real-Photo Postcards that enabled anyone to create a postcard from any photograph they took. These cards allowed for rare and candid views that you wouldn't get with a commercial postcard. There are other postcards that resemble real-photo postcards, but you can generally tell the difference by looking for the tiny dots on the mass-produced ones. Real-photo cards, on the other hand, will be smooth.

Thanks to Rod Wilson, President of the Rochester-Avon Historical Society for information on these cards.

The picture shows the Homecoming crowd on Main Street in Rochester. This celebration took place on July 30 and 31, 1914. Main Street was paved with bricks two years later and a second set of tracks was added for the Detroit Union Railroad. According to Rod Wilson, the interurban railway met its demise in 1931.

The text of the card reads:
Dear Mother -  I arrived O.K. and have been busy for awhile and will tell you all when I see you
hope you are well + alright
ans soon,
daughter Emma
address Edith address

The second card shows some of the houses on North Main Street and the streetcar tracks. There is no text on the back. Rod Wilson tells me that these houses are still standing.
If you're interested in the history of Rochester, Michigan, be sure to check out the Remembering Rochester blog.


  1. I find it interesting that what appears to be such a small town could be the home of the Mayo Clinic, which was only a few years away from becoming a world famous medical institution when this card was written. And it is still a non-profit, imagine that...

  2. Rochester is indeed very small. The current population is right around 11,000. I think the Rochester that is home to the Mayo Clinic is located in Minnesota though, which is not huge, but has a population of just over 100,000.

  3. these are great, Christine. I lived in Michigan for awhile, and this reminds me of some towns I used to drive through, like Caseville in the Thumb. Thanks for the info on genuine photo postcards.



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