postcards and posters
|Postcard Honolulu to
England, September 1902.
Miss Barbara Thomas
Sapass Road- Handford
Hand-tinted photograph of
Native with Surf Board, Waikiki Beach, circa 1898, by Frank Davey.
September 18 1902
This is a picture of a native man going bathing.
The board he carries out into the water & ... ... on a big wave comes in ... and rides up to the shore again.
Yours lovingly, Uncle Tom ?
Real photograph, undivided back.
Inscribed in pencil:
Photo by Baker Honolulu.
Surfboard riders are in
Hall & Co.
Hall & Co. Postcard.
Body surfing at Manly
Beach, circa 1905.
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.
Funderburg, Joseph. Surfing on the Cape Fear Coast
SlapDash Publishing, Carolina Beach, 2008.
Illustration: Surf Riders, Forte dei Marmi, 1906.
Postcard: Forte dei Marmi Beach-front, c1910.
Postcard: Small Sailboats, Forte dei Marmi, c1910.
Forte dei Marmi,Tuscany, to Leipzig, Germany,1906.
Forte dei Marmi - The beach and the Grand Hotel in an old postcard
Photograph: Guests, Byron Hotel, Forte dei Marmi, c1930.
Bob Green also noted the prone surfboard riders in:
Surfboard Riding, Italy, hand-drawn postcard, July
Hand drawn postcard/lettercard, posted from Forte dei Marmi, Tuscany, Italy, in July 1906 to to Leipzig, Germany.
Charlie Spurr purchased the item from Germany posted scans to Facebook and re-posted by Rod Rodger's on mypaipoboards.org
I was alerted to the re-posting by Bob Green, who contacted Olaf de Vries from Holland and Arthur Pauli from Germany to attempt a translation after the difficult task of deciphering the hand-written text.
Rod Rogers also suggested the text could be in Old German and that the addressee was a gentleman doing university studies in Germany and that the writer was probably female (need to check my notes but I think something to do with language word tense), and also written in somewhat formal, respectful form.
In the foreground of the illustration one bather is shown riding prone on a small surfboard in the shore-break while another runs into the surf holding a similar board, with a convex tail.
It appears that both board-riders are female, which would be consistent with Rod Rodger's suggestion that the writer-illustrator is also female and the greetings also from Frau Sattler, presumably a travelling companion, or chaperone.
Another surfer holding a board and approaching the water can be seen further down the beach, along with several sunbathers under temporary shelters along the shoreline, fronting more substantial buildings in the background.
The surfboard-riding appears to be confirmed by the opening sentences, with the implication that some type of board, a Girelate, is used; Olaf de Vries notes that a Girelate is like a shape of a Fish or object that has a shape or outline of a Fish, not a surfboard but an actual fish without a tail.
Also, the writer found the activity more difficult than it looked, at first it didn’t work well, and there as an element of danger when startled beneath the wave.
It appears probable that the writer was a reasonably confident swimmer, was possibly touring the Mediterranean by ship, and that the recent extreme weather, resulting in the sinking of two small sailing ships, may have produced some local swell.
Furthermore, that the boards were most likely available for use or hire by tourists from local hotels or beach concession stands.
Forte dei Marmi was a summer tourist resort from the end of the 18th century, favoured by wealthy families from the north of Italy for the sea-air and to sand-bathe, and by 1900 its attractions had became known to other European tourists.
Early postcards of the beach-front have some resemblance to the illustration of 1906; one depicting two small sailing vessels, possibly similar the two little sailing ships sank in an enormous storm as witnessed by the writer.
A postcard (below) of the Grand Hotel at Forte dei Marmi shows sunbathers, deckchairs and temporary sun shelters along the shoreline.
Postcard: Grand Hotel, Forte dei Marmi, c1910.
Importantly, small breaking waves are evident in the background of a photograph of three guests on the beach at Forte dei Marmi in front of the Byron Hotel around 1930, one wearing a two-piece Jantzen swimsuit.
Photograph: Guests, Byron Hotel, Forte dei Marmi, c1930.
Similar surf conditions, and beach-front amenities, are shown (right) in an early postcard from Viareggio, a few miles south of Forte dei Marmi, a major coastal tourist resort in Tuscany known as the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The format is unlike most postcards of the period and it may be a lettercard, a folded card with a prepaid imprinted stamp, first introduced in Belgium in 1882.
With twice the space of a postcard, the message is written on the inside then folded and sealed around the edges, and opened by the recipient tearing away the perforated selvages.
The current transcription of the German script and an English translation reads:
Vor ein paar Tagen haben wir uns Ihre
Girelate geholt u. sind seitdem noch einmal so lange im Wasser wie sonst. Es wäre lustig wenn Sie da wären u. mitmachen könnten.
Zuerst gings nicht recht, da kam man nur immer ganz erstaunt unter der Welle
heraus als man sah dass man eher zurück
A few days ago we went to get your Girelate and since then are in the water for as long as usually again.
It would be funny if you would be here and could take part.
At first it didn’t work well, one always came out beneath the wave wondering as one saw that one was rather washed back.
Am 2ten Tag den ich hier war, war ein kolossaler Sturm mit ganz unheimlichen Beleuchtungen, dabei sind zwei kleine Segelschiffe untergegangen die wir noch so lange man sie sehen konnte beobachteten wie sie manchmal fast mit dem Masten auf Wasserfläche lagen.
On the 2nd day I was here, there was an enormous storm with pretty eerie [or uncanny] illuminations, thereby two little sailing ships sank which we as long as one could see them watched how they sometimes almost laid down on the water with their masts.
Es ist sehr lustig hier u. viel kühler als Florenz, dort flimmerte alles vor Hitze u. Cicaden rasselten, dass es einen ganz betäubte.
Jetzt geht’s wieder zumbaden.
viele Grüsse v. B.
auch von Frau Sattler,
Brief kommt nach...
It is very funny here and much cooler than in Florence, everything there glimmered because of the heat and cicadas rattled, which made one pretty numb.
Now back to swimming again.
Many greetings v.B.
Also from Mrs. Sattler,
Letter arrives afterwards…
Thanks to Charlie Spurr, Rod Rodgers, Bob Green, Olaf de Vries and Arthur Pauli.
Wall, Nichols &
Co. Ltd., Publishers, Honolulu.
For the original
Surf Board Riding
Wrightsville Beach, 1909.
Made in Germany.
Rider on a long surfboard at Waikiki Beach, circa 1905.
Mr. Anatole Kind, St Petersburg, Russia.
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.
18. Surf Riding in Hawaiian Canoe at Waikiki
Island Curio Store, Honolulu, 1910.
Private Mailing Card, Authorised by Act of Congress May 19, 1898.
Sydney N.S.W.,circa 1910.
Hall & Co.
C. B. & Co. Sydney.
The Paradise Postcard Co.
Box 3461, Honolulu.
Printed in Saxony.
printed on the back of
|A Catamaran Madras
Native Man on Multi-hulled Boat Raft No.76
Higginbotham & Co.
Madras & Bangalore
Breakers, Atlantic City, N.J.
Postmarked July 10, 1911
Honolulu, circa 1912.
Pub. Exclusively for
The Island Curio Co.,
Honolulu, T. H.
101. Surf Board Rider. Hawaiian islands, circa 1913.
Steiner- The Island Curio Co.,
Honolulu, T. H.
2. Surf-Board Riders of Hawaii - The Sport of Kings.
Oceanic S.S. Co's splendid 10,000 ton twin screw steamers sail every 21 days.
Oceanic S.S. Co., Line to Hawaii, Samoa and Australia.
Surf Boat Riding, Waikiki Beach, circa 1920.
Princess Parade and War Memorial, North Shore, Blackpool, circa 1920.
Valentine and Sons Publishing Ltd.
PO Box 1685, Cape Town.
British manufacture, Hand tinted.
Timber prone boards, Muizenberg, South Africa.
Rod Rogers notes that surf-board riding was so popular that Strict rules implemented by Council in 1911.
Walker, Michael. Muizenberg - A Forgotten Story, St. James, South Africa, 2009, page 154
The Cape Peninsula Publicity Association brochure,1918:
In the Paciﬁc the islanders have made it an art.
At the Cape it has become a cult.
The wild exhilaration is infectious.
It steadies the nerves, exercises the muscles and makes the enthusiast clear headed and clear eyed.
Life and good spirits are qualities of the surf bather.
Valentine & Sons Publishing Co. (S.A.)
P.O. Box 1685 Cape Town.
Timber prone boards, Durban, South Africa.
"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."
Durban - South Africa (1900s- 1970s) | Vintage Historical Footage
1920s: 1:28 Beach Hotel, 1:54 Beach Enclosure, 2:11 Surf-bathers, 2:28 End.
1962 colour: 9:58 Skim-boards, 10:03 Sail-boats, 10:18 Malibu riders,10:45 End .
The Surf, Ocean Beach, Durban,
A crowd of bathers, some with prone-boards, wait for a broken wave inside the enclosure pier while a lone surfer, of considerable skill, rides upright on the outside break.
While prone board riding was well established at Muizenberg and Durban following WW1 (see above), this appears to be an very early photograph of stand-up riding.
Postcard and detail forwarded by Alex Williams, with thanks, May 2018.
Honolulu, circa 1940.
Made only by Curt Teich & Co., Inc., Chicago.
Greetings from California, circa 1940.
505: Beach between Venice and Sunset Municipal Pier
Paddleboards, Venice, California, circa 1940.
Surfing Australia, circa 1939.
Australian National Travel Association.
Wentworth Hotel, Sydney, Australia, circa 1939.
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.
canoe, hollow and solid timber surfboards.
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.
Surf ski (or variation).
H-9188 - The State of Hawaii.
Ponoi-Craft by WW Distributors Ltd., Honolulu-Hawaii.
map of the island of Hawaii
Waikiki Beach, circa 1960.
playground at the Cross-roads of the
of the canoes have canvas covers.
club was relocated from this
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.
International Surfing Contest
Makaha Beach Hawaii.
In plastic bag with original price sticker, 79c.
Not a postcard, but unable to provide alternative entry point.
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.
(Sunset Beach), circa 1972.
Riding the big surf is becoming more and more popular at the
beaches in Hawaii by both residents and visitors alike.
Nani Li'i Natural Color Card.
Postmarked September 1978.
(Fairy Bower), circa 1978.
Bartel Photography P/L, Sydney.
photograph originally featured
Art Mail Press, Freemantle.
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).
Mid-Pacific Carnival, 1915.
Pan American , 1949.
United Airlines, 1965.