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State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C.

For Flashback Friday this week, we present this beautifully tinted postcard depicting our historic state capitol. The fine finishing work on this card renders it almost three-dimensional in effect. There is a puzzle here, though. Can you figure it out?

Typically, a celebratory ‘toast’  is offered with raised glasses of alcohol of one sort or another. I wonder if our correspondent, J.S.G., was perhaps mocking the introduction of prohibition in North Carolina, which had been enacted a scant five months before he sent this card in October 1908 to his girlfriend ‘Irma’ in Virginia. (The state of Virginia itself legislated prohibition eight years later in 1916.)

North Carolina’s Official (Dry) Toast
Here’s to the Land of the Long Leaf Pine,
The Summer Land where the Sun Doth Shine,
Where the Weak grow Strong and and the Strong
grow Great —
Here’s to ‘Down Home,’ the Old North State!

J.S.G.

North Carolina’s ‘official state toast’ was penned by Leonora Martin and Mary Burke Kerr in 1904. In 1957 the North Carolina General Assembly officially adopted the original poem, which is actually four stanzas in length, as the official toast to the state.

Interestingly, the state toast was first delivered not in North Carolina, but in Richmond, Va., in 1904 when the Rev. Walter Moore, a Charlotte native, closed his speech to the North Carolina Society of Richmond with a recitation of Leonora Martin’s toast to the ‘Old North State.’

Painted by Margaret Lane, at Greensboro Methodist College, 1919. (Hill-Taylor Collection). Image credit Susan Taylor Block, a fellow North Carolina blogger.

So, in our holiday toasts this year, let’s all take a moment to remember, and to raise a glass to “Down Home, the Old North State!”

As to the ‘puzzle’ mentioned earlier: A distinctive architectural feature of the capitol building was apparently overlooked by the German artist who retouched the master halftone photograph for color reproduction. I’m sure our astute Goodnight Raleigh readers can figure it out.

This week’s Flashback Friday postcard is yet another example of the fine work of the the Paul C. Koebler Co.

Paul C. Koeber Co. (PCK)   1900-1923
85 Franklin Street. New York, NY and Kirchheim, Germany

Published national view-cards and illustrations in chromolithography and in black and white. Much of their color work has a dark heavy feel to it because of the many thick layers of ink they used. In their later years they published postcards using tinted halftones.

The Paul C. Koeber Co. trademark. The peacock (PCK) image probably represented the company’s extensive use of color in its postcards.

 

“Flashback Friday” is a weekly feature of Goodnight, Raleigh! in which we showcase vintage postcards depicting our historic capital city. We hope you enjoy this week-end treat!


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