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Gloucester P.O.: 1910

Gloucester P.O.: 1910

Circa 1910. "Post office -- Annisquam Station, Gloucester, Massachusetts." Plus, a Fish Market. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Frozen in Time

This sensational image could well be 100 or more years earlier than 1910. (Except of course for the power and telephone/telegraph? lines)

As other commenters have pointed out the f (s) harks back to 18thC and before up to early 19thC usage.

Perhaps even in 1910, to lure unsuspecting tourist to Ye Olde Shoppe.


We are talking here of the ffi ligature.
Somewhat rare:

An odd perspective

That's a fine-looking horse hitched to that buggy, and it occurs to me that would be a pleasant way to ride around there and see the Glouscester area.

But the Fish Market sign just keeps bothering me. The whole perspective of that building seems wrong, too flat. There's no foreshortening. The sign seems to be floating, aimed right at us rather than attached to the building, or if it is attached it's at an odd angle. I think the photographer used a very long focal length lens, was rather far back down the road from this scene.

I would argue the house IS the post office

If you navigate your way around that house, you can see the original structure of the post office with additions built on. I also almost want to argue the same for the fish market, but the building is oriented wrong. The tile siding is similar though.

Looks Like This Place

The curve of the road

Things don't change much up here. The Post Office building is gone ... perhaps replaced by the new home. But I have a hunch that the building's foundation is the one without a structure on it in the current view. Seems the fish market building is a bit larger now. The fire hydrant may have been moved, but the curve of the road and the topography on the opposite shore remain intact.

Long S

I used to misread those Ss, too. E.g., I thought one of the headings on the Bill of Rights was "Congrefs of the United States." During the late 18th century and early 19th, the fashion was to use a "long S" within a word. Here's a good article on the topic in Wikipedia:

[Very informative. The example seen here is the "ſt ligature." - Dave]

Combination Poft Office and Convenience store

On the same street, you can get your mail, some candy and cold soda, buy a souvenir, and some fish. I can practically hear the seagulls and smell the sea air and also the fish market (and probably the horse too).


The most recent spelling of an f "s" I have ever seen. Maybe just a touristy trap thing from back in the olde tymes?

Design that lasts

Fire hydrants haven't changed much in 113 years.

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