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You are never too young to learn or too old to read again.

While leafing through a catalog of the Canadian Center for Architecture in MontrealCanada, the one they titled “Les Debuts” (The First Five Years) 1988, I started to read the chapter called “The Collections“, referring to their newly established collection and the inventory.

I read on pages 124/125 in the section about albums and illustrated books the following information: “ A number of photographers prepared commemorative albums of destruction wrought during these years of turmoil. Records of natural disaster include Stoddard’s album of the San Francisco earthquake and an album of postcards by an anonymous photographer showing Paris during the temporary chaos caused by the inundation of 1910. The albums show the evolution of cities, through events that were the cause of new construction.”

A bit further into the page, I read the following description: “Neurdein Freres Paris 1910, album of 100 gelatin silver postcards showing results of the flood in Paris“. My brain makes a mental note and a little while later going through some items (bang! here is something similar in our own collection) real photo postcards of the 1910 Flood of Paris.

So let’s have a look at these photographs. Pertaining to the description above regarding the collection in Montreal, are their postcards by an “anonymous” photographer and is there an album by a photographer “Neurdein Freres, Paris“? Meaning are there two items in the collection? Or is the anonymous photographer now the “Neurdein Freres” collection of 100 postcards?

Let us get back to some information about my cards. Shown on the top and here below are two photos done by R. Guilleminot, photographer. The following real photo cards are by anonymous photographers.

paris flood 4 boul Diderot

paris flood 3 Rue surcouf

paris flood 5 explanade des invalides

The rear of this card shows the date, February 8, 1910. It is addressed to a lady in Geneva, Switzerland. (Remember Geneva is located at the Lake Geneva). The message says,” Dear Madam, even though we do not have the fortune to have a Lake of Geneva, we have the privilege of site seeing, like in Venice by boat between two rows of houses. We are sending our best wishes also to Madam…

What a piece of history!

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