Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Davis Tower Then and Now (89)




Several weeks ago, a seldom seen Shinkle postcard of the “Davis Tower” went on Ebay auction.

Two aspects of this event were and are of particular interest to me.

One, the card presented such a clear, c. 1915 view of the Tower I thought it might feature in a nice “then and now” photo-pair. So, I took a screenshot of the card and went over to the train station and photographed the Tower.

The result is posted here. We see that “then and now” photos can be frustrated and even defeated by landscaping!

We also see that angles can be tricky. I took the “now” photo to mirror the north end of the Tower. In doing that, I see that there is considerable distance between the south edge of the Tower and the west edge of the Station. There is no such distance in the “then” photo. Because neither building is known to have moved since 1915, I am guessing we are looking at an artifact of lenses. (I used a very wide-angle lens in order to avoid having to stand on the railroad tracks.)

Two, early Davis post cards commonly sell in the ten to twenty dollar range on Ebay, except, however, when a train or train building is involved. Then all bets are off. This is because relatively few people collect old Davis postcards, but a great many people collect old train memorabilia. Davis content counts for almost nothing, but train content counts for heavy bucks.

And so it was for this card, which finally sold for $158.50.

But there is a twist here. Although there is almost no Ebay interest in old Davis items, there is one collector who seeks to own one of everything old Yolo--which obviously includes Davis. Because he has collected for decades, he already owns one of almost everything.

But when an item he does not own turns up, he is ready to pay whatever-it-takes to have it.

That is what happened with this Davis Tower postcard. The train nuts bid heavily, but they were no match for this collector, whose Ebay name as shown in the accompanying graphic as “y***o, which is code for “Yoloyoyo.” (Assuming that Yoloyoyo owned the card, I bid on it, but I was way out of the running because of him.)