golden gate international exposition treasure island 1939 postcard post card

Wish You Were Here! Postcards from the Golden Gate International Exposition is presented by the Treasure Island Museum.
In mid-20th century America, postcards were an inexpensive and widespread way to communicate, serving much the same function as emails or text do in today's high-tech world. People who attended the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939 in 1940 mailed the folks back home postcard views of the magnificent colored lights, garden courts, exotic foreign pavilions, art exhibits and amusements on Treasure Island.

Gabrielle Moulin, the official photographer of the GGIE, produced the largest trove of postcards for the fair. His detailed black-and-white photo postcards provide haunting perspectives of the architecture and outdoor statuary. Moulin Studios had its own photo developing shop, and maintained a machine on Treasure Island to produce postcards.

The first color photograph on postcards - known as photochromes - were published in 1939 by the Union Oil Company in order to lure travelers to the Exposition. The Union Oil cards showed scenes from the fair as well as other California attractions, with the caption "See the West with 76 Gasoline!" Photochrome postcards were produced using petroleum distillates.

Artists' renditions of Treasure Island scenes appeared on postcard stock with high rag content and a textured, cloth like appearance. These "linen" postcards, as they are known, use bright colors evocative of the time period during which they were most popular - the 1930s and 1940s.

San Francisco welcomed the world with the fair designed to celebrate the completion of the city's two new bridges. In turn, visitors mailed postcards throughout the world to tell of the marvelous attractions at the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.

Wish You Were Here! Postcards from the Golden Gate International Exposition is an exhibition organized by the Treasure Island Museum and is on view now at The Winery/SF and the Treasure Island Museum Gallery.


1939 1940 treasure island golden gate international exposition postcard post card