Anyone who collects RPPCs, short for “real photo post cards,” knows that while they may offer some of the most unusual and rare views, we often come up empty-handed at the end of bidding. So it is with special gratitude to our generous collector friend we offer these scans of Camden postcards with his annotations. Click on images for enlarged views.
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #10 1909
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #10 1909: This 1909 unmailed real photo post card depicts the Pennsylvania Railroad Terminal at Federal and Market Streets in downtown Camden. Built in 1907, it consists of an overhead covered train shed enclosing all railroad tracks, two Public Service Electric Railway (trolley) loops, and four ferry-boat docks to connect with Philadelphia on the other side of the Delaware River. The prominent structure in the lower right foreground is the West Jersey Hotel which was demolished and replaced with the Hotel Ridgway. This photograph was most likely taken from the building that housed The Victor Talking Machine Company which was the forerunner to the Radio Corporation of America or RCA.
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #5 1909
Do you have postcards, photos, ephemera, or collectibles for South Jersey you treasure and would like to share?
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #5 1909: This real photo post card, copyright 1909, postmarked Feb. 26, 1909 at Camden,N.J. shows a portion of Camden looking north toward the Delaware River. Close examination reveals a neighborhood with row houses, small businesses and churches. Sailing ships with three, four, and six masts rest at anchor on the Delaware River.
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #6 1909
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #6 1909: A real photo post card view, copyright 1909, mailed and postmarked at Camden on Feb. 15, 1909, it illustrates part of East Camden, N.J. and looking northeast to Cramer Hill. The church spire on the right is the First Presbyterian Church at 5th and Penn Streets. This striking view was taken from atop the then-new Victor Chimney. Cramer Hill was one of Camden’s several up and coming housing developments. Builder Alfred Cramer was known for his construction of single-family dwellings, stores, as well as tidy brick row houses which were more affordable for Camden’s growing workforce.
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #11 1909
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #11 1909: Another in the remarkable series of W.B. Cooper aerial views of Camden, this unmailed real photo post card view shows a part of downtown Camden, N.J. This image looks north/northwest toward Cooper’s Point Ferry with Campbell Soup and various factories in the foreground and the Delaware River in the background. This sweeping outlook includes several sailing ships, many businesses, factories, warehouses and wharves. Many large and noted manufacturing companies began to call Camden their home at this time. These panoramic aerial photos give unobstructed views of the then-thriving City of Camden from several directions.
Camden Carnival RPPC 1909
RPPC CAMDEN CARNIVAL RPPC 1909: A Camden Carnival on a residential street is the subject of this real photo post card taken Sept. 29, 1909. The decorated 3-horse-drawn wagon in the foreground is the center of attention. Patriotic bunting and an abundance of American flags adorn the homes. Many spectators bedecked in their finery view the parade and enjoy this celebratory occasion back in the first decade of the twentieth century! Possibly, the populace was participating in the Hudson-Fulton Celebration, a two-week long commemoration of the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the Hudson River and the 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s first successful commercial application of the paddlewheel steamer. (We welcome any other hypotheses.)
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #1 1909
Next follow three more Camden images, and while they are already in the Camden Images Gallery, these have descriptions and are displayed in higher resolution here.
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #1 1909: Looking north from center Camden, note the dome of the North Baptist Church on the far right; Tabernacle M.E. Church is the large structure near the center; in the Delaware River in the distance lies 292-acre Petty Island (commonly called Petty’s Island).
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #7 1909
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #7 1909 : This real photo post card depicts the business center of Camden. The sender of this post card has marked four specific buildings and numbered them as 1, 2, 3, & 4. The domed building on the left marked as #1 is the County Court House, erected in 1905-06, at a cost of $800,000. Building #2 is the Third Regiment Armory. Structure #3 is Camden High and Manual Training School. Finally, #4 is City Hall on Haddon Avenue. According to the sender of this card, “This is a view of part of Camden taken from the New Victor Chimney.”
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #8 1909
CAMDEN, NJ RPPC #8 1909: The U.S. Post Office at Third and Arch Streets stands in the left foreground of this view of downtown Camden. This image certainly captures the vitality and the steady growth that Camden experienced in the beginning of the last century.
PS: Links connect to other images in the collection, although not necessarily from the same era. For example the postcard showing the RCA Building also shows the Delaware River Bridge, now re-named the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which did not open until 1926.
Can you help us further to “connect the dots” by giving to the Society any scans for this or another category in our online image collection? If you have any South Jersey or Jersey Shore postcards, photos, ephemera, or collectibles you would like to give to the Society please contact us. Either way, we are glad to add your collection to our virtual archive so all may enjoy and learn from them. – JMc