Moonlit Views of Yesteryear Canada


While thumbing through a large group of vintage Canadian postcards at a local antique shop a half-dozen or so among the thousand-plus cards stood out because each featured a highly stylized moonlight view of their subjects, giving each card a dark and moody feel.  Most were from about 1906 to 1908, with one as late as 1919, and all but one were marked as being printed by Valentine & Sons, a noted Scottish postcard publisher of the time with offices in Toronto and Montreal.  A little online research revealed that the cards were collotype photographs taken in daylight with a full moon, clouds and lighting effects layered on top, after which the images were hand-tinted.














Similar posts on O’Canada:

•  Vintage Postcards:  Canadian Churches

•  Vintage Canadiana:  Canadian Home Journal

•  Vintage Canadian Apple Crate Labels

29 responses

  1. What an interesting collection, seeing them all in one place! I especially like the one of the Rideau Canal–I’ve never seen it without ice and skaters!

  2. Note the shadows in the Rideau Canal card – perhaps my favorite of the cards. Thanks for sharing them – and the process used – with us.

  3. Hello Brett, Thanks for visiting my blog recently. I have to tell you that I feel right at home amongst these postcards and say that even in those times, artists altered the reality of their photographs. I like these creations. I’m especially intrigued with the Windsor Hotel one; we have a Windsor Hotel here in Melbourne too and the style of building is similar. I may take a pic, if I can get it all into the frame, and post it, for comparison. There must be something in the air with all this moodiness… 😉

  4. Pingback: Early 1900s Town Markets « O' Canada

  5. These are some great postcards! The ones from Ottawa remind me of when I was living there a few years ago. Thanks for posting 🙂

  6. How unusual. These remind me of the British artist John Atkinson Grimshaw whose work I love. He specialised in moonlit scenes in the late 19th century. I have a background in fine art publishing and I have printed many, many Grimshaw images. He also painted beautiful fairies!

  7. I see one from Queen Square, here in Saint John, NB. If you were to look at an aerial view of that square, you’d see that the paths form the British flag 🙂

  8. Pingback: Vintage Quebec: Ox Carts, Dog Carts and Sleighs « O' Canada

  9. Pingback: Good Old Days: Rural Life in Vintage Postcards « O' Canada

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