Monday, 13 August 2018

Elbtunnel – some postcard views

The Elbtunnel in Hamburg was one of the wonders of the age when it opened in 1911 at the height of the picture postcard boom. This small selection shows how postcard publishers marked this triumph of technology. The cameras have been focused on the tunnel entrance or the tiled roadway and associated vehicle traffic. The second from last is, unusually for a postcard, almost a documentary image foregrounded by two working men, presumably on their way to or from Blohm & Voss shipyard. Most of the other figures and vehicles have been clumsily imported from another source. This applies to nearly all the figures visible in these cards – all victims of slapdash montage and heavy-handed re-touching. The antiquated vehicles enhance the period charm of the images – a charm that is purely retrospective and would have been invisible to contemporary purchasers.

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