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 Postcards

Postcards

Starting the 1890s, postcards of the Hamilton area were created with transit as a main or secondary theme. Many of these postcards are used on this website for two reasons: Ease of use, and the presence of a postmark on the back of the postcard gives the image a terminus ante quem, a date that the photo on the front cannot obviously be later than.

By popular request, I've put all the postcards from all over the site here on this one page.

The Hamilton, Grimsby, & Beamsville Electric Railway (HG&B)

HG&B tracks in Beamsville

HG&B tracks in Beamsville, looking east along King St from just west of Central Ave. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 5, 1909.

HG&B tracks in Beamsville

The HG&B tracks in Beamsville, looking west along King St from just east of Central Ave. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 22, 1910.

the tracks of the HG&B in Beamsville along King St East

This unused postcard shows the tracks of the HG&B in Beamsville along King St East, with a radial car in the distance.

HG&B tracks in Beamsville

HG&B tracks just west of Beamsville, on King St just west of Stadelbauer/West. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 29, 1918. The style of license plate on the car is from 1912 to 1916.

HG&B tracks in Grimsby

HG&B tracks in Grimsby, looking west along Main St from Elm. No date, but the style of car license plates puts this somewhere between 1927 and 1930.

HG&B tracks in Grimsby

HG&B tracks in Grimsby, looking east along Main St, east of Mountain. The earliest postmark found for this card is September 2, 1909.

HG&B tracks in Grimsby

HG&B tracks in Grimsby, along Main St W between Mountain and Ontario. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 10, 1911.

HG&B tracks in Grimsby

HG&B tracks in Grimsby, along Main St W between Mountain and Ontario. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 14, 1924.

HG&B Freight motor in Grimsby

One of the HG&B's original freight motors running on Main St in Grimsby. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 23, 1910.

HG&B tracks in front of Ridge's Campground near Stoney Creek

This postcard shows the HG&B tracks in front of Ridge's Campground near Stoney Creek. This card was actually used by a member of the Ridge family, who describes the scene: "To the left is our vineyard, & at the back of the house & store is our orchard of Plums, Pears & Cherries, & in the rear of this our 3 acre Camping & Picnic ground. We have about 800 ft frontage & 7 acres in all. Quite a busy place in the summer." No date, but the cars put it sometime in the 1920s.

The Hamilton Radial Electric Railway (HRER)

The HRER's first bridge over the canal

The HRER's first bridge over the canal, next to the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. The earliest postmark found for this card is April 16, 1907.

The HRER's first bridge over the canal

The HRER's first bridge over the canal, next to the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. The earliest postmark found for this card is December 17, 1907.

The first canal bridge over the Burlington Canal

The HRER's first bridge over the canal, next to the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. The earliest postmark found for this card is February 19, 1909.

The first canal bridge over the Burlington Canal

The HRER's first bridge over the canal, next to the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. From an unused postcard.

The SS Macassa passes by the open swing bridge

The SS Macassa passes by the open swing bridge. The earliest postmark found for this card is April 11, 1910.

The first canal bridge over the Burlington Canal

In this postcard, a Stephenson DEDT crosses over the Burlington Canal on the first canal bridge, looking south. The earliest postmark found for this card is March 13, 1907.

The first canal bridge over the Burlington Canal

The first bridge over the Burlington Canal, looking south. From an old postcard circa 1905.

Radial car just crossed Canal bridge

This postcard shows a radial car that has just crossed the Canal bridge heading for Hamilton. The earliest postmark found for this card is July 3, 1909.

The new bascule bridge over the Burlington ship canal

This unused postcard shows the new Bascule bridge over the Burlington ship canal as seen from the south, with the tracks of the HRER on the right. This bridge was built in 1922 to replace the original swing bridge, and like its predecessor it carried both radials and cars.

HRER tracks running past the Hotel Brant in Burlington

This postcard shows the HRER tracks running past the Hotel Brant in Burlington, located roughly south of the Lakeshore Rd/QEW interchange, under the QEW. The earliest postmark found for this card is March 5, 1906.

HRER tracks running past the Hotel Brant in Burlington

Another postcard shows the HRER tracks running past the Hotel Brant in Burlington. The earliest postmark found for this card is June 13, 1907.

HRER's bridge over Twelve Mile creek in Bronte

This postcard shows a radial car crossing the HRER's bridge over Twelve Mile Creek in Bronte. The earliest postmark found for this card is October 25, 1907.

HRER's bridge over Twelve Mile creek in Bronte

This unused postcard shows a radial car crossing the HRER's bridge over Twelve Mile Creek in Bronte.

The HRER's bridge over Sixteen Mile Creek

The construction of the HRER's bridge over Sixteen Mile Creek in Downtown Oakville, looking west. The crane is a self-propelled steam crane owned by the bridge manufacturer. Opened on March 3, 1906, the bridge was used by the HRER until August 3, 1925 when the line was closed east of Guelph Line. The earliest postmark found for this card is 1910.

The HRER's bridge over Sixteen Mile Creek

This postcard shows the HRER's bridge over Sixteen Mile Creek in Downtown Oakville, looking west. The earliest postmark found for this card is November 22, 1910.

The HRER's bridge over Sixteen Mile Creek

This postcard shows a radial car crossing the HRER's bridge over Sixteen Mile Creek. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 18, 1909.

HTC 603 at the HRER's Oakville station, circa WWI.

This unused postcard shows HTC 603 at the HRER's Oakville station, circa WWI.

HRER 303 at the H&D Dundas station

HRER #303 at the H&D Dundas station. Built in 1897 by the Crossen Company as a combine, it was originally numbered HRER 35. It was renumbered 135 after the Cataract company took over the HRER, and was later renumbered 303 around 1910. It was scrapped in 1932. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 18, 1910. (From Vintage Postcards of Hamilton, used with permission)

The Brantford & Hamilton Electric Railway (B&H)

B&H/LE&N station looking southwest

This unused postcard shows part of the B&H/LE&N station looking southwest

Market St bridge in Brantford

This postcard shows the Market St bridge in Brantford. The staircase on the left side leads down to the second B&H Brantford station. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 30, 1912.

B&H tracks at Alfred St, Brantford

This postcard shows the tracks of the B&H passing the new Alfred St Bridge in Brantford. The small tan coloured building on the left is the first B&H Brantford station, which was built due to difficulty in crossing the Tillsonburg line of the Grand Trunk Railway in Brantford. This temporary station was only used for six months in 1908, when the second Brantford station was opened at Market St. The earliest postmark found for this card is November 16, 1910.

B&H along Mohawk Canal, Brantford 1911

This postcard shows a B&H car heading for Hamilton along the Mohawk Canal, just east of the Alfred St bridge in Brantford. The earliest postmark found for this card is September 2, 1908.

B&H bridge over Fairchild's Creek, 1908

This postcard shows the B&H's bridge over Fairchild's Creek, just east of Cainsville. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 28, 1908.

B&H Ancaster stop, circa 1910

The B&H Ancaster stop, on Halson St south of Wilson, taken from a postcard circa 1910. (Photo courtesy of the Toronto Public Library, Digital Collections)

B&H right of way, likely somewhere in today's Iroquoia Heights Conservation Area

This postcard shows the B&H right of way, likely somewhere in today's Iroquoia Heights Conservation Area between Hwy 403 and Scenic Drive. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 27, 1908.

Upper Horning Rd Bridge over B&H, May 9 1911

This postcard shows the Upper Horning Rd bridge crossing the B&H. The earliest postmark found for this card is October 16, 1909.

B&H at top of escarpment overlooking Dundas Valley, 1910

This postcard shows the B&H at the top of the grade along the escarpment, overlooking the Dundas Valley. The road on the right is Lower Horning Rd, and the road with the farm buildings in the centre-right is Main St West. On the left of the postcard is the bridge carrying Upper Horning Rd across the tracks. The earliest postmark found for this card is November 11, 1908.

Hamilton and Barton Incline Railway (James Street Incline)

The Hamilton & Barton’s lower station.

The Hamilton & Barton’s lower station, as seen from James St. The earliest postmark found for this card is June 19, 1906.

The Hamilton & Barton’s lower station.

The Hamilton & Barton’s lower station. Taken from an old postcard circa 1905

The Hamilton & Barton’s lower station.

The Hamilton & Barton’s lower station. The earliest postmark found for this card is October 7, 1925.

The Hamilton & Barton’s lower station.

The Hamilton & Barton’s lower station, from an unused postcard.

The Hamilton & Barton’s lower station.

The Hamilton & Barton’s lower station. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 26, 1929.

The James Street Incline

The James Street Incline, from a postcard postmarked August 4, 1906

A postcard of both Incline Railways

A postcard of both Incline Railways, copyright 1902. The earliest postmark found for this card is December 18, 1903.

The James Street Incline

The James Street Incline. The earliest postmark found for this card is November 27, 1906

Side view of the James Street Incline

Side view of the James Street Incline, from an unused photo postcard (from Vintage Postcards of Hamilton, used with permission)

Close up of one of the James Street Incline cars

Close up of one of the James Street Incline cars. The earliest postmark found for this card is 1906

Side view of the James Street Incline

Side view of the James Street Incline. The earliest postmark found for this card is September 4, 1908 (from Vintage Postcards of Hamilton, used with permission)

The upper station of the Hamilton & Barton, from a postcard postmarked 1910.

The upper station of the Hamilton & Barton. The earliest postmark found for this card is 1910.

The upper station of the Hamilton & Barton.

The upper station of the Hamilton & Barton, along with the Mountain View Hotel. The earliest postmark found for this card is April 13, 1909.

Mount Hamilton Incline Railway/Wentworth Street Incline Railway (East-End Incline)

The East-End Incline, as seen from Wentworth St.

The East-End Incline, as seen from Wentworth St. HSR #22 is in the foreground heading towards the downtown core on the WENTWORTH route. The earliest postmark found for this card is 1907.

The Wentworth Street Incline Railway

The Wentworth Street Incline Railway. The earliest postmark found for this card is June 2, 1913

The East-End Incline, as seen from the base.

The East-End Incline, as seen from the base. The earliest postmark found for this card is July 12, 1907 (from Vintage Postcards of Hamilton, used with permission)

The East-End Incline with a close-up of the pumping station at the base.

The East-End Incline, with a close-up of the pumping station at the base. The earliest postmark found for this card is January 26, 1909 (from Vintage Postcards of Hamilton, used with permission)

A close-up of one of the Mt Hamilton Incline cars

A close-up of one of the Mount Hamilton Incline cars circa 1908. Note the horse-drawn wagons on the car. From an unused postcard.

A Mount Hamilton Incline Car

A Mount Hamilton Incline Car reaches the top. The earliest postmark found for this card is September 25, 1906.

HSR Horsecars

HSR 2 at King & James in 1874

HSR 2 at King & James in 1874. Although the photo is dated 1874, the horsecar looks like it is on top of the turnable that was installed at King & James in the mid 1880s.

HSR 38 on King at Hughson circa 1884

HSR 38 on King at Hughson circa 1884.

Miscellaneous HSR Streetcars

HSR streetcar on King St E at Mary, circa 1910.

This unused postcard shows an HSR streetcar on King St E at Mary St, circa 1910. The streetcar is signed 'KING E & BARTON,' a predecessor of the Belt Line route.

HSR streetcars at King and James.

3 HSR streetcars at King and James. The earliest postmark found for this card is October 29, 1908.

Three streetcars on King St West at James circa 1895.

Three streetcars on King St West at James circa 1895

HSR 33 at James & King, date unknown.

HSR 33 at James & King, date unknown. From an old uncirculated postcard

HSR 34 at James & King, date unknown.

HSR 34 at James & King, date unknown. From an old uncirculated postcard

HSR streetcar was converted into an Army recruiting station, in Gore Park around 1916

During WWI a HSR streetcar was converted into an Army recruiting station and put at the southwest corner of Gore Park, next to the statue of Queen Victoria. It's hard to identify it due to all the posters and bunting, but it looks like one of either the converted horsecars (HSR #25-29, 35-44) or 1892 Jones streetcars (HSR #45-59). No date on this postcard, but the Lusitania is mentioned on a poster, so it's summer 1915 at the earliest. The lack of American flags could suggest it's before they joined the war in 1917.

Laconia DEDT Streetcars (HSR #117-119, 401-407 odd numbers only, 427)

Laconia car passes Gore Park, summer 1913

A Laconia car passes Gore Park in the summer of 1913. The flags are to celebrate Hamilton's Centennial.

Jones Closed DEST Streetcars (HSR #105-116)

HSR 111 after the Great Riot of 1906.

Postcard of HSR #111 after the Great Riot of 1906. The caption reads 'Car 111, which was wrecked by mob on King St. E, Saturday Night, Nov 23rd 1906. Every panel of glass in this car was broken, holes were smashed through woodwork, interior of car filled with stones and bricks up to the level of the seats'. The postcard is postmarked December 28 1906, so this photo must have been taken within days of the riot, possibly as soon as the morning after.

The Hamilton Terminal Station

Artist's conception of Hamilton Terminal Station, 1907

This is an artist's conception of the Hamilton Terminal Station before its construction. Of note is the large glass trainshed on the left, which was never built. This image was sold to postcard companies, and postcards of the Hamilton Terminal Station were available even before the station was completed. (The earliest postmark found so far is July 2, 1907, four and a half months before the station's opening) (Photo courtesy of the Hamilton Public Library, Local History & Archives)

Colourized postcard from 1910

This colourized postcard shows the handsome stone and brick station in all its glory. In the background is Bennett's Theatre. The earliest postmark found for this card is June 22 1909

The Hamilton Terminal Station

The Hamilton Terminal Station and the neighbouring Waldorf Hotel. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 17, 1913

postcard from 1909

This postcard has been 'photoshopped' to turn the daytime scene into a cold winter's night. The earliest postmark found for this card is April 20, 1908.

undated postcard

This postcard shows the Hamilton Terminal Station in relation to the Terminal Yard. On the storage track on the left is either HG&B 171:2 or HTC 677, which is waiting to be called out for snow clearing duties. In the middle is one of the radials in the HTC 603-608 series. The radial on the right looks to be one of the Crossen-built HRER cars, numbered 302-304 & 306. The earliest postmark found for this card is Oct 12, 1916.

TH&B's Hamilton Station

Closeup of the platform of the TH&B Hamilton Station. From a postcard dated April 27, 1907.

Closeup of the platform of the TH&B Hamilton Station. The earliest postmark found for this card is April 27, 1907.

The TH&B Hamilton Station.

The TH&B Hamilton Station The earliest postmark found for this card is 1908. The locomotive is a 4-4-0, so it could be TH&B #1-5 or 12

The TH&B Hamilton Station.

The TH&B Hamilton Station. The earliest postmark found for this card is August 23, 1906.

The TH&B Hamilton Station.

The TH&B Hamilton Station. The earliest postmark found for this card is September 27, 1910.

The TH&B Hamilton Station.

The TH&B Hamilton Station, from an unused postcard

CPR #529 exits the Hunter St Tunnel

Canadian Pacific Railway #529 exits the Hunter St Tunnel and approaches the TH&B Hamilton station behind the photographer. The earliest postmark found for this card is 1907.

Final Fate of Radials and HSR Streetcars and Buses

A postcard of Radial Village

A postcard of Radial Village. HTC 604 is the second 'sleeper' from the left, while B&H 240 is the rear of the two cars in use as the gas station office. No postmark on the card, but judging by the cars and trucks it's from the late 1940s or early 1950s.

A postcard of Radial Village

A postcard of a Radial Village cabin. This is either a former B&H Brill-built, or a HRER/HTC Preston-built radial car. The sign next to the dog reads "Cabins with Running Water Twin Beds Moderate Prices"

Fruit Shipping on the HG&B

A postcard</A> of the Helderleigh Jam Factory and Fruit House

A postcard of the Helderleigh Jam Factory and Fruit House. The earliest postmark found on this card is January 1910.

Canadian Car & Foundry C-36 (HSR #90:2, 181-210:2)

HSR 197 at King & James.

HSR 197 at King & James. The earliest postmark found for this card is September 9, 1964.

HSR Snow Sweepers (HSR #1:2-4:2)

HSR 2:2 being towed by a streetcar at King & John circa 1910

HSR 2:2 being towed by a streetcar at King & John. The earliest postmark found on this card is April 7 1911. Behind the cars is the Hamilton Terminal Station, built in 1907.

White 706M (CCL #701-789 (odd))

A CCL 706M at King Street West & Ogilvie in Dundas, date unknown.

A CCL 706M at King Street West & Ogilvie in Dundas, date unknown. From an unused postcard.

Miscellaneous CCL Buses

A CCL 706M at King Street West & Ogilvie in Dundas, date unknown.

An unidentified CCL bus at Brantford City Hall, possibly built by ACF, date unknown. From an unused postcard.