Help Us Solve the Mystery of this Card

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Help Us Solve
the Mystery of this Card

First Sunday Mystery Card

Postcard History’s first mystery card is a real-photo of a foot bridge that spans a blockaded railroad crossing. It may have been the case that the street-level crossing was barricaded after the bridge was built. It has a New England feeling about it, but it could be anywhere.

Look closely, you will see that one flight of 19 steps takes the crosser to a landing at the top of the first pier that is likely 14 feet high. The second flight of 20 steps rise an additional 15 feet to the top of the second pier that may be 29 to 30 feet tall and on which the deck that is estimated to be 65 to 70 feet wide rests. Perhaps wide enough to span two track beds.

Estimations suggest the structure is 30 to 34 feet tall. The linear measurement of the stairs may add an additional 16 to 20 feet to the overall width, bringing it to nearly 100 to 120 feet wide.

These calculations are based on the average step being nine or ten inches high, and the side-panels on the deck being perhaps four feet wide and five feet tall.

The mystery is, “Where is it?” or “Where was it?”

If you know, please email Postcard History, and solve the mystery.

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Their seems to be writing in a foreign language on the top of the bridge. What does it say?

It’s a pedestrian bridge over railroad tracks.

No writing on bridge -optical illusion caused by the tree. However, there is a name board on the small building (or is it a tent/marquee?) in the background behind the house. It distorts too much when magnifying online so the best bet would be to use a jeweller’s loupe on the original card. There is also some writing on the flat bed rail truck that can just be seen through the open steps of the footbridge. Again use of a loupe is necessary.

Are there any markings on the back of the card? If it’s a home made real photo, there should be, maybe, the kind of paper, or the place for a stamp that might identify the age? Just wait… in the 60s I made my own real photo postcards. Maybe some day, someone will find one and wonder about it? 🙂 but mine will have writing on the back and a postmark. More modern the little Canon printers had postcard backs on the prints. I remember a bridge like this, but it was in the middle of the GM workers parking… Read more »

Last edited 3 years ago by Pete K

Can you show us the back of the card?

The name of the station in the background seems to start with the letters ‘A_tt” and is followed by two words of about four letters each.
The most distinctive thing is the way the fence is painted. The USA uses trapezoid stripes. This fence uses a square pattern.
Also, the handrails are relatively modern and the concrete abutments are of a modern, maybe Bauhaus design.
Given all that, I can’t find a thing on the internet.

Last edited 3 years ago by Mary Schaefer

I did some editing and adjusting, and I’m not going to say I’m positive but I think that building (way in back) says “Automobile Service”? Although ;looking again, it could be shadows from a porch. If it’s not an illusion the end of it has 22 painted on it. Odd how staring at things we sometimes see familiar patterns.

I posted this image to a couple of railfan groups and no reply. If anyone, those people get out and know all kinds of places and answers current modern to 1800s historic.

Interesting note on the fence painting design.

Last edited 3 years ago by Pete K

Prudhoe railway station, Northumberland England

Past Article

Editor’s Staff


Before “social media” the poster and a well-informed artist had proven to be the most efficient way to communicate important information to the public. Since the Roman Forum, nothing worked better. When the Office of War Information felt that military secrets needed to be kept secret, they turn to using posters. The House of Seagram helped.

Read whole article »

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