Camden’s Newton Avenue – Then & Now

Newton Ave, S. of Berkley St., Camden, NJ, Aug 16, 1910. (Click on the image for a larger view.)

Here’s one for the ages! A wonderful real photo postcard view at the intersection of Newton Ave. and Berkley St. in Camden, New Jersey. This item was placed in the mail stream and bears a Camden, N.J. postmark dated AUG. 16, 1910 6-PM, so it’s about 110 years old. (See over 150 more vintage views of Camden on our Camden, NJ images page.)

Things to look for include: the “Coca-Cola” and “Oysters In Every Style” signage; a large assemblage of school-aged boys in the street wearing their customary vintage-era knickers, caps, and ties; and a set of trolley tracks along with a horse-drawn wagon with a driver. One wonders what the occasion was for taking this photo at this particular moment in time. This characteristic street scene, a mix of mostly residential row homes and some neighborhood commercial businesses and corner stores, is located very close to the well-known Haddon Avenue.

Newton Ave, S. of Berkley St., Camden, NJ, July 2017 CREDIT: google maps screen capture

Compare that 1910 scene with the google maps image taken in 2017 at the same intersection.,-75.1138169,3a,37.5y,225.23h,94.53t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sP3i0ax3pnUqiCJ1VU-igAg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Now, if you really had a tech-savvy HSR Editor here, he would upload a short video in which one view dissolves into the other. This would be interesting to do with some of our scenes of old Riverton. – JMc

Best I could do… see the 7 sec. dissolve on Facebook.


Panning for gold at PoCax 2013

pocax2013Saturday I took my wife on a cheap date and went to PoCax 2013, the annual sale of postcards by professional dealers and exhibition of postcard collections by members of the South Jersey Postcard Club.

I spent over an hour panning for gold among the thirty-four tables filled with boxes and boxes of postcards hoping to discover a new image of Riverton.

Lora Moore of Moore’s Postcard Museum, greeting people at the reception table at the entrance of the large conference room that held the event, introduced herself to me when she saw me signing in.

I have used a few borrowed images from her website to illustrate posts on this one (with her permission), and it was nice to put a face to the name. Her fascination with postcards started with a box of old cards that had belonged to her great-grandmother. Now with a collection of thousands of cards, she tells visitors to her blog about paper, postcard, and ephemera shows and the cards she has acquired.

I grew excited when I found a dealer with a handful of cards in the section of his box marked “RIVERTON.” My hopes almost faded when I sifted through the stack and only found Garden State Motel and Kern’s Tourist Home – did someone print like a million of these?

But, what’s this? A few precious nuggets soon surfaced.

Bank Ave and RYC, Riverton, NJ RPPC 1907-1914 (1280x815)Bank Ave and RYC, Riverton, NJ RPPC 1907-1914 back (1280x799)I scored a RPPC, or real photo postcard, of Bank Avenue, another one of 3rd and Main Streets, and an Olds Community postcard showing a 1955 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday Sedan. At another table I found one more view of Bank Avenue. 


RYC and Bank Avenue, Riverton, NJ RPPC 1904-1920s (1280x815)

RYC and Bank Avenue, Riverton, NJ RPPC 1904-1920s back (1280x820)

Afterwards we went to Amy’s Omelette House in Cherry Hill to eat. Linda picked it because she heard that the décor makes use of old postcards. Hundreds of old-time post cards and lots of retro fifties advertising art cover the walls and border the booths.

All I could think of was I’d like to scan all of those postcards.

See, it was a date with a theme. 3rd and Main Streets, Riverton, NJ RPPC 1909-1914 (1280x822)3rd and Main Streets, Riverton, NJ RPPC 1909-1914 back (1280x813)

We came to Amy’s for the novelty, but our service was great and the food was memorable. Linda had a vegetarian cheese omelette (one of the 200 varieties of omelettes they serve) and I had 8-grain stuffed French toast with strawberries, honey, and granola.

I am not invested in Amy’s, but I just wanted to pass along the information about this unusual eatery with the nostalgic vibe to any postcard collectors in the neighborhood.

Olds Community, 10 Broad St., Riverton, NJ 1955 (1280x763)Olds Community, 10 Broad St., Riverton, NJ 1955 back (1280x764)At home later, I scanned the postcards into my computer. But the three RPPCs were never mailed. How old are they?

Coincidentally, my regular sale alert email from Scview Antique Images  contained some helpful information for dating RPPCs and I used it to date these postcards.

stamp boxesIt turns out that the stamp boxes and backs of the cards are the keys to fixing approximate dates for real photo post cards.

Now I can share my good fortune with you. We welcome comments, additional information, advice and corrections, and are always happy to have additions to our archive from our viewers, wherever they might be. – John McCormick, Gaslight News editor

Just in – over 30 new vintage images of Riverton

Recently I received an email alert that notified me that I had won an eBay auction for an old Riverton postcard.  And I got two in a row! Quickly, I keyed in the PayPal information and then checked the mail each day to see if my treasures had arrived.

These are two of the rarest kind of postcard images – real photo post cards, or RPPCs for short. They were created by developing a photograph onto postcard-sized photo paper with a postcard backing. RPPCs often demand higher prices than mass-produced postcards because of the limited number of cards produced.

As any collector will attest,  it is a great feeling to acquire that elusive stamp, comic book, coin, baseball card, matchbook, or some such chotskie. Some anthropologists say that we collect to reminisce and remember the past. Certainly, that is a motive here, but we hope that the images and information displayed on this website will serve as testament to what Riverton’s men and women have built here since 1851 on this scant square mile.

Whether you collect sports team memorabilia or antique dolls, you know that feeling when you’ve discovered yet another variation on a familiar theme. Well, if you are here because you are a fan of Riverton, NJ, imagine that elation and multiply it times ten because in recent weeks we have received dozens of great vintage postcard and photo album scans to add to our images pages.

These have come just when I was starting to think I had seen all the Riverton cards there were. There are more views of the Yacht Club, the Porch Club, residential streets, and Dreer’s Nursery, plus some rare RPPCs including the Children’s Parade.  Altogether, it is a remarkable photographic record and we are fortunate that Mr. Mortgu has opened up his album to share in this way.

If you received a reminder postcard for our last HSR meeting, you caught a brief preview of the choice vintage photos which Nick has scanned for display here.

They will also being placed in with the rest of the Riverton images so they will be easy to find when you return. We invite you to leave a comment, factoid, recollection, or question.

Readers, if you have one image to donate or a hundred, know that you will be contributing to a continuing virtual archive which we hope will help tell the story of Riverton’s historic past to current and future generations. – John McCormick