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postcards  and posters

Postcards  and Posters

The dating of post cards is highly problematical, invariably the card was produced somewhat later that the actual photograph was taken.
Thereafter, the postcards were produced  for many years after their original release.
Some of the following examples are dated based on the approximate time when the image was first taken.

For a History of Postcards see:

Surf Riders at Waikiki, circa 1905.

Real photograph, undivided back.

Inscribed in pencil:
M. L. Wyles
Surfing at Waikiki

The Surf at Waikiki, circa 1905.
Photo by Baker Honolulu.

Surfboard riders are in evidence 
on the far reefs.

Shooting the Breakers, Manly, circa 1905.
Hall & Co.
 Hall & Co. Postcard.

Body surfing at Manly Beach, circa 1905.
Postmarked February 1908.

Prone-board surfer, 1906.

Sea Shore Hotel,
Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
How about a swimming lesson? 3/27/07

Skipper Funderburg identified the prone-board surfer
 in the bottom right of this postcard in 2010.

Post card image courtesy of New Hanover Public Library,
Robert M. Fales Collection.

Also see:

Funderburg, Joseph. Surfing on the Cape Fear Coast
SlapDash Publishing, Carolina Beach, 2008.

Wood plank bellyboarding, Italy, hand drawn, ca. July 10, 1906
Hand drawn postcard, posted in Italy at Forte dei Marmi, Tuscany in July 1906
Posted to Facebook by Charlie Spurr, who bought the postcard on ebay (Germany).
Charlie comments,"Belly boarding was invented by the Hawaiians thousands of years ago and started to take off in the the UK in the early 1900ís. It appears it was also popular on the continent." 
Awaiting translation.
The card has not been authenticated but it certainly seems authentic. Translation might provide more context. Images and translation courtesy of Charlie Spurr.

1. L.W. Vor ein pass Tagiz habin wis nus Sirelate Schols u sum suldem noch eiss mal so lange eim wazz ie wis
TRS: L. W. Before cinpass days we girelate gchols u sum suhdem noeh cissmal so long in wassie wis

Viareggio - Splendida spiaggia (Viareggio - Beautiful beach)

Surfing at Waikiki, Honolulu, circa 1908.

 Wall, Nichols & Co. Ltd., Publishers, Honolulu.
Made in Germany.
T Chrome No. 77.

Hand tinted.
Outrigger canoe surfing at Waikiki Beach, circa 1908.
Postmarked September 1909.

For the original photograph, see
Martin: Postcards (2008), page 100.
Variations on pages 11 and 14.

Surf Board Riding

Wrightsville Beach, 1909.

Image from the North Carolina State Archives.
North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Surf-Board Riding, Honolulu,  1910.
Made in Germany.
Number: 3584.
Hand tinted.
Rider on a long surfboard at Waikiki Beach, circa 1905.

Mailed to:
Mr. Anatole Kind, St Petersburg, Russia.
Message reads:
Come on in - the water's fine, Sincerely, [indeciperable].
Honolulu T.H. 4/5/10

Postmarked Honolulu, 6th April 1910.
Front: 1 cent, Blue, Columbus in sight of land.
Back: 2 cents, Red, Washington.

Fairy Bower, Manly Beach, 
Sydney N.S.W.,circa 1910.
Hall & Co.
 C. B. & Co. Sydney.

Hand tinted.
Given the number of spectators on the left, probably taken at an early 
life saving carnival, circa 1908.
Before the construction of the South Steyne Bathing Pavillion in 1913.

Wakiki Beach, Honolulu, 
circa 1910.
The Paradise Postcard Co. 
Box 3461, Honolulu.
Printed in Saxony.

Illustration and text 
printed on the back of 
the card.
Waikiki Beach, famed in song and story, lies some four miles from the city.
Dreamy palmtrees, fringing the strip of white coral sand, nod in the trade winds,
while the warm waters of the tropics soothingly on the shore.
A Catamaran Madras
Native Man on Multi-hulled Boat Raft No.76
Higginbotham & Co.
Madras & Bangalore

Sport in the Surf, 
Honolulu, circa 1912.
Pub. Exclusively for 
The Island Curio Co., 
Honolulu, T. H.

Hand Tinted
"T. H." : Territory of Hawaii.

Rough Sea, 
Princess Parade and War Memorial, North Shore, Blackpool, circa 1920.

Surfing at Muizenberg, circa 1925.
Valentine and Sons Publishing Ltd.
PO Box 1685, Cape Town.
British manufacture.

Hand tinted.
Timber prone boards, Muizenberg, South Africa.

Bathing Enclosure, Durban, circa 1925.
Valentine & Sons Publishing Co. (S.A.)
P.O. Box 1685 Cape Town.

Hand tinted.
Timber prone boards, Durban, South Africa.

One example noted with handwritten message:
"This is where we going surfing on boards during the summer time at our Beach. Note the way the surfboards are put flat on the water & the force of the waves pushes it along until you strike the sandy shore. Love from Vi, 1926."

Surfriding at Waikiki, 
Honolulu, circa 1940.
"C.T. Art-Colortone"
Made only by Curt Teich & Co., Inc., Chicago.

Hand tinted.
The centre rider bears the Outrigger Canoe Club logo.

Surfing Australia,
circa 1939.
Australian National Travel Association.

Wentworth Hotel, Sydney, Australia, circa 1939.

Surfing in Hawaii, circa 1950.
Sport of Kings...
surfing at the beach of Waikiki.
Color photography by Stewart Fern.
Ray Helbig's Hawaiian Service.
*Reg. 1951, Hawaii, U.S.A.

Outrigger canoe, hollow and solid timber surfboards.
One of a sequence of three, see 
Martin: Postcards (2008), page 134

Boating - Korolevu, Fiji, circa 1955.
A fascinating pastime at Korolevu Beach Hotel is to take a boat and venture out over the coral reef, where one may either gaze into a wonderland of marine life or indulge in the gentle art of fishing.
Ektachrome by Charles Stinson.
Suva, Fiji.

Surf ski (or variation).

Hawaii - the Aloha State, 
circa 1960.
H-9188 - The State of Hawaii.
Ponoi-Craft by WW Distributors Ltd., Honolulu-Hawaii.

The map of the island of Hawaii
includes the
"Captain Hook (sic) Monument".

(Outrigger Canoe Club)
Waikiki Beach, circa 1960.

International playground at the Cross-roads of the Pacific, 
noted for its fine surfing and bathing.

Dist. by Max Basker and Sons, Honolulu.

Many of the canoes have canvas covers.
Surfboard lockers, lower right corner.

The club was relocated from this 
site at the end of 1963.

Surfing, Gulf Coast of Texas, 
circa 1968.
FW-659 - Surfing is an ever increasingly popular sport on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
Color by Frank B. Whaley.

The surfer entering the water carries a board fitted with a Hatchet fin by Dewey Weber, circa 1965.

Vinyl Car Sticker
International Surfing Contest
Makaha Beach Hawaii.

In plastic bag with original price sticker, 79c.

  Not a postcard, but unable to provide alternative entry point.

Rincon, Puerto Rico - 
Surfing Capital, circa 1970.
Some of the world's finest surfing spots all within three miles of each other.
Home of the 1968 World Championship.

Photo by Norm and Sue Grosskreutz.

Surfing in Hawaii 
(Sunset Beach), circa 1972.
Riding the big surf  is becomong more and more popular at the beaches in Hawaii by both residents and visitiors alike.

Nani Li'i Natural Color Card.
Photograph by Peter French.

Postmarked September 1978.

Surfing Kangaroo 
(Fairy Bower), circa 1978.
Bartel Photography P/L, Sydney.

The photograph originally featured 
Mark Warren.

Surfing Australia, circa 1995.
(Surfing Kangaroo).

Art Mail Press, Freemantle.

  Background Photograph:
Kevin Sharland
Kangaroo Photograph:
Axel Kayser

  The most popular postcard at the Sydney Olympic Games 2000.

Martin. Mary L.:
The Ultimate Collector's Guide to Surfing Postcards.
Schiffer Publishing Ltd 
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310, 2008.
Soft cover, 165 pages, Extensive black and white and colour images..
Unfortununately the  book fails to live up to the Ultimate of its title and merely reproduces a limited selection of the available material.
There are a number of printing errors and some, mostly insignificant, images appear in multiple versions (up to five times).
These are not collated, but are spread through the book.
The catagorisation is haphazard and there is a distinct lack of analysis of the quality or historical significance of the postcards.
Critically, in the chrome era, there is no distiction between professional surfing photographs and those shot in unattractive surfriding condtions.
The pricing is rudimentary - everything is worth $7, some rare items more.
Most of the significant postcards  appear in previous Schiffer publications; Nancy Schiffer's Surfing (1998) and Mark Blackburn's Surf's Up : Collecting in the Longboard Era (2001). 
Very disappointing.


Mid-Pacific Carnival, 1915.

Pan American , 1949.

United Airlines, 1965.

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Geoff Cater (2008-2016) : Postcards.