Posted on 10/12/2015

Photo taken on October 12, 2015

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Date: Posted January 6, 1906

Publisher / Photographer: G. A. Barrowclough, Winnipeg

Notation: This is a very interesting postcard & image. The white space on the left side appears to have been left open for personalized notes. This one reads; "1906. The Royal Greenhouses & Staffs best wishes for a Happy New Year A. H. Stolper."

A. H. Stolper wes the owner of the Royal Greenhouse and the folks in the image would appear to be Mr, Stolper himself, his family, and his employees.

This postcard was obviously produced as a marketing tool for the company, perhaps even with the primary intent of its use as a 1906 New Year's greeting to customers.

It isn't the only time that Mr. Stolper employed the photographic services of Mr. Barrowclough. I have another card in my collection, a different scene in this same setting, that Mr Stolper was sending out in Easter of 1905.

Both of these cards may be the earliest examples of "Real Photo" postcards, perhaps postcards of any kind, being used as customized marketing/promotion tools for a Winnjpeg business.

Almost exactly two years ago, my friend and fellow deltiologist (postcard collector), known here as Wintorbos, developed this wonderful profile of the Royal Greenhouse and Mr. Stolper:

The Royal Greenhouses were located at 302 Notre Dame at Princess and were originally operated by Mr. R. Alston (and known as Alston's Royal Greenhouses). On November 17, 1905 there is an ad in the Free Press noting that they are now being operated by August H. Stolper. On November 18, 1908, a branch location was opened at 282 Portage Avenue across from the old Free Press Building (no doubt this was a retail shop -- a better location for selling flowers to the passersby than Notre Dame and Princess would have been). In 1910, Stolper applied for a building permit to construct a greenhouse on Birds Hill Road and for many years he operated the Royal Greenhouses from a location at 80 Hespeler Avenue (which might just be a later designation for the "Birds Hill Road" property). Another article in 1910 notes that he built a house and business at the corner of Kelvin (Henderson Hwy) and Elmwood (Hespeler?) Avenues. On December 17, 1910, he opened another store at 476 Main Street while proudly announcing that the "old stand" at Notre Dame and Princess had been rebuilt as a new "adornment of our beautiful city" namely the Phoenix Block (which is still there today -- this explains the name; perhaps there had been a fire at the "old stand"). By March 31, 1917 he was advertising a store at 334 Smith Street (opposite the Olympia Hotel, later the Marlborough). The ads usually emphasize the classiness of his "art florist" operation.

There were still ads for A. H. Stolper's Royal Greenhouses as late as 1943. He must have been very old by then because his wife had died in 1941 at the age of 94. Actually it appears from the census, which I just checked, that he was a fair bit younger than his wife, being born in 1863 (so around 81 in 1944). His full name was August Herman Stolper and he had emigrated from Germany in 1900.