Images of the Past by Walter Zielinski & James Owen

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   The Holland Land Office Museum acquired more than 2,000 postcards and other memorabilia from local collector and museum friend, Mr. Walter Zielinski.  As a tribute to Mr. Zielinski, we are pleased to share his collection.  Holland Purchase Historical Society Board Member, Mr. James R. Owen has volunteered many hours researching information to provide descriptions of the postcards.  

    Color or colorization?  What's the difference?  History tells us that postcards were first published in 1869 in Germany and were mainly printed in black and white.  It was not until about 1898 that postcards were routinely colorized, a process in which publishers sent their photographs to Italy or India, where lithography was an art, to be colorized. 

   Colorization was found to be more attractive to the consumer and increased sales.  Only problem was that the artists in Europe or India had to use their imagination when coloring the photos and most of the time, the colors were artificial, not accurate, or reliable.  In our collection, many postcards highlight particular buildings in Batavia which can show the buildings in up to three different color schemes!  Colorization of postcards ended around 1930 when printing techniques improved and postcards were printed in true to life colors.  Most collectors today prefer black and white postcards.

    New images will continually be added to this page and we invite you to check back for updates.  Click on an image for a larger view and description.  Enjoy!!

Mr. Walter Zielinski




Mr. James R. Owen
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This early 1900 color postcard is of the St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia.  Note the bell tower.  Members of the St. James Church are currently raising funds to restore the bell tower and nave, in hopes of returning it to its former splendor.  The church was built in 1908.
This early 1900 color postcard is of the St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia. Note the bell tower. Members of the St. James Church are currently raising funds to restore the bell tower and nave, in hopes of returning it to its former splendor. The church was built in 1908.
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