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Guide to the Frasher Foto Postcard Collection
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Frasher collection is remarkable in its breadth and scope. A substantial portion of the collection consists of "Main Street" views of small southwestern towns and ghost towns, which no longer exist or have changed dramatically since they were first photographed. (For instance, the former gold mining town of Bodie, California, now a State Historic Park was a favorite subject for Frasher. His 1929 photos of the deserted town document buildings and structures that were mostly destroyed by fire in 1932). Frasher systematically photographed roadside cafes, lunch stands and restaurants; civic buildings such as schools, hospitals, post offices and churches; bridges, dams, highways and other major construction projects. He also photographed storefronts, group meetings, horse shows, automobiles, and county fairs. (Frasher was for many years the official photographer of the Los Angeles County Fair).
Background
Burton Frasher Sr. (1888-1955) began his commercial photography business in Lordsburg (now LaVerne) California in 1914. In 1921, he moved his studio to Pomona, California, where he began to sell his own increasingly popular picture postcard views of the Southwest. By the end of the 1920's, what had begun as a sideline became Frasher's main business focus. He traveled extensively through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada, ranging up through Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, and down through Baja, California and Sonora, Mexico, taking pictures of whatever subjects he thought would prove commercially viable on his postcards. During the Depression and pre-war years, the business expanded to the point that Frasher could hire photographers who doubled as salesmen to travel the Southwest taking new views and selling postcards. In 1948, over 3 1/2 million "Frasher Fotos" postcards were sold nationwide. By the time of his death in 1955, Burton Frasher was considered the Southwest's most prolific photographer.
Extent
5,018 black and white picture postcards 5,018 online items
Restrictions
The Pomona Public Library makes no assertions as to ownership of any original copyrights to images digitized for this project. However, these images are intended for Personal or Research Use only. Any other kind of use, including, but not limited to commercial or scholarly publication in any medium or format, public exhibition, or use online or in a web site, may be subject to additional restrictions including but not limited to the copyrights held by parties other than the Library. Users are solely responsible for determining the existence of such rights and for obtaining any permissions, and/or paying associated fees necessary for the proposed use.
Availability
Picture postcard originals may be examined by appointment only. Inquiries concerning these materials should be directed to the Special Collections Room of the Pomona Public Library.