Sacramento (Postcard History Series) by Tom Myers, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Sacramento (Postcard History Series)

Sacramento (Postcard History Series)

by Tom Myers

In 1850, Sacramento was a city of 10,000 men with almost no women or children, a transient population going to and from the gold mines in the Sierra Nevada. The waterfront on the Sacramento River was a chaotic scene of oxen and mule teams, piles of supplies on the wharf, and abandoned ships whose crews had jumped ship for the goldfields. The city also became a


In 1850, Sacramento was a city of 10,000 men with almost no women or children, a transient population going to and from the gold mines in the Sierra Nevada. The waterfront on the Sacramento River was a chaotic scene of oxen and mule teams, piles of supplies on the wharf, and abandoned ships whose crews had jumped ship for the goldfields. The city also became a major railroad junction and agricultural hub in the 1800s before it became the center of state government, and much of the bustling city's early life was captured on picture postcards.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: Postcard History

Author: Alex Huie

Publisher: Sacramento Press

Date: 4/29/2010

Tom Myers has melded his passion for vintage postcards and love for Sacramento in his newest book, "The Postcard History of Sacramento," out now by Arcadia Publishing.

For more than 42 years, Tom and Sally have been published photographers located in Sacramento. The last 35 years have been dedicated to freelance stock photography, where their company, Tom Myers Photography, houses more than a half million exclusive images available for purchase.

"The Postcard History of Sacramento" features vintage postcards mailed from 1905 to the 1930s, including antique images of the Sacramento Valley. Each image reveals a scene from a dusty time, giving readers a glimpse into an era before Sacramento was known for government and a pistol was potentially a best friend.

In 1850, Sacramento was almost overrun by 10,000 men whose main objective in life was gold. The postcard book begins with the history of the Gold Rush and maps the several transformations leading up to present.

The disastrous floods of 1861-1862, led to a city-wide effort to raise downtown. Myers depicts the monumental event of elevating 60 blocks 12 feet.

"Most of the postcards were found at the Antique Paper sale, which happens once a year at the Scottish Rite Center," Myers said. "Most collectors want the pristine ones, but I seek the dirty-looking ones, with bent corners. That's history to me."

Myers scavenged the postcards and compiled them for the book. An individual postcard can cost anywhere from 25 cents to $15.

In one of Myers' favorite postcards, there is a picture of a man feeding an ostrich oranges. However, because ostriches apparently eat oranges whole, there is a fist-sized lump protruding from the neck of the animal. This particular postcard was a popular in 1905 because of its comedic value. Myers explained "that this area had ostrich farms back then because their plumes were used for fancy hats."

Along with a visual image of our area's past, each postcard came with a personal note or story, which Myers includes in the book: "Messages, some written with a great sense of humor, reveal life of the people in those days and times," Myers said.

One postcard reads, "Dear Nova, I'll make the children be careful with the piano. Had a tirble dream abut it."

The book is 127 pages, containing 213 postcards and supplemental history of the Sacramento area. It can found for immediate purchase at most bookstores, online at, or customers can call Tom and Sally at (916) 443-8886, and Tom will personally autograph a copy.

Title: Sacramento Postcards Book Launch

Author: Ingrid Ratliff

Publisher: Sacramento Press

Date: 1/31/2010

The Shack restaurant in East Sacramento was packed Saturday, the overflow filling the patio. So many people turned up for the book launch of photographer Tom Myers' "Postcard History Series: Sacramento," that he sold the 65 copies he'd brought in little over an hour.

The book is a visual history of Sacramento, taken from Myers' collection of vintage postcards and supplemented with specific descriptions and historical details.

Myers began collecting postcards about six years ago as an extension of his interest in the history of the Sacramento area. His collection has grown to more than 680 postcards, most of them spanning the years 1905 to 1940.

The introduction to the book was written by Patricia J. Johnson, senior archivist at the Center for Sacramento History. She describes Myer's interest in postcards as "an inexpensive way to 'collect history."

The postcards are organized according to aspects of Sacramento, including downtown, railroads, rivers, parks, gold mining and agriculture.

A special feature of the book is a sampling of early-1900 messages found on the postcards.

"The message is sometimes the most interesting thing about the card," Myers said.

In 2007, Myers, his wife, Sally, and son Jeff Myers published Sacramento Impressions, a collection of images representing the city's history and culture.

Sally Myers, a professional photographer for Tom Myers Photography, said their book was included in baskets given to doctors considering moving here in order to give them an idea of what Sacramento is all about.

Jeff Myers, also a photographer, said of his parents,

"What they're really about is stock photography. They have this huge library of hundreds of thousands of images going all the way back to Ansel Adams' time. They do these books for fun, because it's interesting and because they enjoy the local community."

Title: Historic Sacramento featured in Arcadia Publishing book

Author: Barbara Steinberg

Publisher: Sacramento City Guide Examiner

Date: 1/15/10

See Sacramento life the way it use to be. Another in the series of historic books by Arcadia Publishing, this fascinating book about Sacramento and the Sacramento Valley is illustrated with vintage postcards mailed from 1905 to the 1930s. Featured postcards depict downtown Sacramento after 60 blocks were raised 12 to 15 feet to save the city from devastating floods. Most of the buildings were jacked up and, in some cases, the second floor became the new ground floor.

The book also covers the history of Sacramento Valley agriculture, extensive river and railroad transportation, gold mining, and the dredging industry. The postcards are from Tom Myers' personal collection.

Author Tom Myers and his wife, Sally, have been freelance photographers based in Sacramento for 42 years. Join them for a book launch and signing:

January 30, 2010

4pm to 7pm

The Shack

(come for the signing...stay for the food & libations)

5201 Folsom Boulevard

Sacramento, CA

Product Details

Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
Postcard History Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.54(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.33(d)

Meet the Author

Sacramento photographer Tom Myers, a collector of vintage postcards, presents here California's capital city as it used to be, complete with railroads, farming, a busy downtown, government buildings, riverboats, public baths, the early Yolo Causeway, and even an ostrich farm or two. Myers culled these views from his extensive collection of postcards and modern images, many of which appear in current postcards of Northern California.

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