It appears we haven't had the last word yet on that postcard picturing Howard Gibbs riding a camel.
Angelo Cilia writes:
I thought readers might like to see 1112 Berkshire Ave, the home of Howard Gibbs in Pittsburgh. This image is taken from the Allegheny County Real Estate website. I grew up near there.
I'm from Pittsburgh, too, but Howard Gibbs was before my time. I never visited his home, but have seen pictures of the giant safe he kept in the basement to house his collection.
Property tax web sites are a great way for voyeurs and researchers alike to view images of homes and other properties owned by hobby figures. See this week's Featured Web Site for another useful online resource.
David Gladfelter writes:
August 15, 1964 was in fact a Saturday. But the card was mailed from Pittsburgh, not Cairo, on August 4, 1964. So we only can answer two of your questions – who it is and where it was taken. We still don't know when it was taken.
Ron Haller-Williams writes:
What if the card had been lying around for some years before getting posted?
We ought really to check the photo against a 1950s photo, that Mr Gibbs here looks about 10 years older in the picture than he had at the Farouk sale. Also, the dates appear somewhat suspicious - the card was NOT sent from Egypt, and has mention of something 11 days after the postmark date.
Joe Boling agrees
Just because the Gibbs postcard was mailed (in the US, no less) in 1964 does not mean that the photo was not taken in 1954. The date Saturday August 15th is evidently not the date of the photo, but of the day Gibbs was going to present a travelogue to some friends - eleven days after the card was postmarked.
Do we have any other evidence that he traveled to Egypt in 1964? He could have had any number of copies of this card made in 1954.
The missing stamp threw me off - I assumed it was a foreign stamp that Emerson removed for a collection. I noticed the absence of a foreign postmark, but not being a philatelist I don't know what the practices were in 1964. I assumed the card was postmarked when it arrived in the U.S. There I go making assumptions again. For shame!
Occam's Razor states that the simplest explanation that fits all of the facts is the most likely one. So taking all these facts into consideration, it seems that Gibbs mailed this card from Pittsburgh in 1964 to invite some friends to his house for a travelogue, which likely included highlights of his 1954 trip to Egypt. The jury is still out on when the postcard photo was taken - all we really know it that it was taken before the postmark date. Thanks again, everyone!
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