Posted in Advertisment, Oakland

“Boost” Oakland With Postcards

Postcards been an important tool in advertising the city of Oakland for a long time. I have collected postcards of Oakland for years. I recently came across a small ad published in the Oakland Tribune reminding people that “Postcard Day” was coming up. This piqued my interest.

Reminder AD Oakland Tribune 1910

I tried to find the exact postcards but I didn’t have a whole lot luck, except for one or two. I have shared what I think might be them. If I get lucky and find them I will update this.

Here is what I found.


First off I found this about postcard advertising.

In 1905 W.J. Laymance of the Laymance Real Estate Company suggested a unique way of advertising Oakland in which every citizen, even the humblest, could take part. They could send illuminated postal cards of this city to friends in other sections of the county, and thus calling attention to the beauty and resources of Oakland.

The subjects of some of the cards were as follows: “Oakland Water Front.” “Residence District,” “Lake Merritt,” “Court House,” “Club House,” “Piedmont Springs,” “Among the Flowers, Piedmont Park,” “East from Fourteenth and Franklin Streets,” “North from San Pablo and Fourteenth Streets” ” University of California,” “Injured Football Player,” and “Greek Theater.”

There were about 20 illuminated postal cards illustrating beauties of the city. They sold the cards at the rate of two for five cents, ten for twenty-five cents. The postal cards were sold at drug and stationery stores. They hoped 10,000 people of Oakland would participate.

Oakland’s PostCard Day 1910

Oakland Tribune 1910

February 12, 1910, was designated “Oakland’s Post Card Day.”

The chamber of commerce undertook the extensive campaign of publicity. Every man and woman in Oakland and most of the children were expected to send one or more cards advertising the city.

The card was a double booster card with the decorative scheme of dark green and orange on both cards, but the views of Oakland will be different. The first half of the double card was to be retained by the recipient. The second half was detachable and was to be sent to the Chamber of Commerce requesting a brochure.

Postcard Day – 1910

Picturesque residences on the shore of Lake Merritt, seen through the overhanging branches of beautiful old oak, the orange in the glowing sunset was a striking contrast to the deep green of the tree. The other one was of the busy harbor.

Postcard Day 1910
Oakland Tribune Feb 13, 1910

Postcard Day 1912


Views of Oakland and other cities to be furnished by Southern Pacific.

Piedmont Park – A Beauty Spot
On line of Southern Pacific
back side Piedmont Park – A Beauty Spot
On line of Southern Pacific

Postcard Day 1913

Southern Pacific plans to help advertise Oakland with postcards to be mailed by the citizens of Oakland.

My City – Oakland

More Info:

Boost Oakland –

The End

Posted in Advertisment, Early Montclair, History

The Montclarion, a little history

A little history of the Montclarion newspaper in Oakland, Ca.

The Montclarion 1992

Before The Montclarion newspaper rolled off the presses in 1944, there were two earlier editions of the paper.  The Montclair Garden Club published a newsletter called the Montclair Clarion in the early 1930s. 

The editor was Margery Lane Schuler, who lived on Merriewood Drive.  Schuler was also the advertising manager, copyreader, publisher, and art director.

In her first editorial, Schuler wrote that the Montclair Clarion expected to “ have a great many people become more aware of the beauty of the district.” 

In January of 1935, a small 20 pages booklet of poetry, stories and community activities, advertisements, and a recipe for Pumpkin Chiffon Pie appeared in mailboxes in the Merriewood neighborhood of the Montclair District.

It was sponsored by the Merriewood – Pinehaven Improvement Club and was distributed for free.

On the cover of the April 1935 edition, it boasted a circulation of 1000, and by September 1935, the little book was less than 10 pages.

Cover of the February March 1935 Issue

Please go here to see the complete issue – Montclair_Clarion

By November 1937, the publisher and editor was Beatrice “Bea” Pause the wife of  Montclair Realty owner Paul Pause.  The name was changed to Montclarion.

The first issues were printed on mimeograph machines.  It was published from about 1937 – 1942.  In 1942 due to WWII and the rationing of paper, it ceased publication.

Montclarion July 24, 1941

To see more of this issue  –  Montclarion

In 1944 Fred Graeser and his wife Micky purchased the name for $100, and the first issue of “The Montclarion,” as we know it, came out in October 1944.  Fred ran the paper exclusively for 5 years when Micky took over.  Fred returned after a few years. They sold the paper in 1977.

May 29. 1957


A special thanks to Chris Tredway for the copies of the early issues


Posted in Advertisment, Early Montclair, History, Montclair Tracts, Uncategorized

Montclair is…

The birth of Montclair

The 1920s were economic boom years in the United States as a whole, and in California in particular.  Economic growth was fueled by the general post–World War I recovery, as well as oil discoveries in Los Angeles and, most notably, the widespread introduction of the automobile.

Oakland expanded during the 1920s, flexing enough to meet the influx of factory workers.  Approximately 13,000 homes were built between 1921 and 1924, more than between 1907 and 1920.

Many of the large downtown office buildings, apartment buildings, and single-family houses still standing in Oakland were built during the 1920s, and they reflect the architectural styles of the time.

1920 was when the first subdivisions or tracts went on sale in the rollings hills in the back of Piedmont.   After running a contest (more on that later) in Oakland Tribune in 1919, Montclair was the name given to the new area.

Montclair Opens

During the first year that Montclair was for sale, some $460,000 worth of beautiful property was sold in Montclair.

Her First Birthday

Oakland Tribune October 1921

Oakland Tribune October 1921


Where is Montclair?

The Montclair of the 1920’s – Oakland Tribune

Today when you speak of Montclair, it is a much larger area.  The Montclair of today includes the neighborhoods (or tracts) of Pinehaven, Merriewood, Fernwood, Glenwood Glade, Forest Park, Montclair Highlands, and also might include Piedmont Pines.

During those first years of the 1920s, a lot of money and effort went to selling property in Oakland.  From free house or lot giveaways to providing car service to the sites from downtown (just 15 minutes away).  The Realty Syndicate even provided a bus( see The First Bus lines in Oakland ) service to some of their sites.


I thought I would show you some of the clever ads that were in the Oakland Tribune and the San Fransico Chronicle those first years.  In the months leading up to the day Montclair went on sale, they ran small teaser type ads all through the paper.  The one above is from June 1920.

Showing the teaser ads

Teaser Ads

What is Montclair?


Armistice Day 1920 in Montclair


Oakland Tribune


Montclair to be continued