The Fake Niagara Shot


Real Photo Postcard, circa 1915.

Traveling northeast from our last post, at least in theory, we find ourselves at Niagara Falls. But no, really, this has to be a photographer’s backdrop made to look like the Falls…..but in any case, showing a beautiful, smiling young woman, smartly dressed in skirt and double-breasted long jacket with velvet collar, and a nice wide-brimmed hat with wide ribbon. She poses standing, looking into the camera, with hands folded behind her back. The backdrop artist did a good job, going to the trouble of painting a house in the distant background….and are those silhouettes of tiny spectators at a viewing point at one side of the falls? Looking closely again, maybe not. And then there’s the “mist” we see rising up above the woman’s left shoulder, or was that just a problem with the photo? The reverse side of this card shows only the rest of that black photo album type-paper that it was glued to. We’re unable to see any clues at all, not even a partial stamp box. The card was sold to us in a plastic sleeve with “Niagara Falls, 1915” written on it. So, whoever sold or donated the card might have known the date it was taken, unless it was just a general estimate. One more thing to note:  if you look closely at the bottom right of the scene, that looks like the corner of a table.

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