Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards

Kirov Avenue
Kirov Avenue

Russian city of Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards of the XIX century.

Even in the pre-revolutionary years, local photographers tried to capture the image of Saratov. In October 1864, the famous photographer A. S. Murenko released an album with 12 photos of the city. In 1866, he took two more views: Moskovskaya Street from the Old (Trinity) Cathedral and the newly built Vladimir-Bogoroditskaya (Maminskaya) Church. In May 1868, the photos of A. S. Murenko sold 14 types of Saratov.

Anton Stepanovich Murenko (1837-1875) at the end of the Pavlovsky Cadet Corps was seconded to the photographic department of the military topographical depot. After retiring, Anton Stepanovich settled in Saratov, where he opened a photographic institution, which became one of the best in the city.

Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards
In 1878, an amateur photographer, Pyotr Pavlovich Pyatnitsky, took a series of photographs depicting buildings and the surrounding area of Saratov. In the summer months of 1879 and 1880, Pyatnitsky toured the Saratov counties and released a large album dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the province.
The picturesque places of Saratov were photographed by local photographer I. M. Yegerov.

The photographs and albums of the photographer D. G. Finogeev are best known. He created a large collection of photographs on ethnography, agriculture, and architecture of the province.

In the spring of 1890, in all the bookstores of the city, you could see the albums that had just gone on sale, dedicated to the 300th anniversary of Saratov. The originals for the publication were Finogeev’s photographs depicting the best buildings and streets of Saratov.

Hand-drawn postcard of P. G. Bestuzhev's edition
Hand-drawn postcard of P. G. Bestuzhev’s edition

The famous Nizhny Novgorod photographer Maxim Petrovich Dmitriev (1858-1948) also captured the views of Saratov. After traveling along the Volga in 1894, he published an Album of Views of the Volga Region, which included 120 photographs. And in 1903, M. P. Dmitriev completed his work, photographing the Volga from the source to Rybinsk. In the same year, the album “Volga-Saratov-Astrakhan”was published in Moscow.

Some collectors tend to consider the first postcard dedicated to Saratov, an illustrated multicolored card: in the center of the picturesque field, the coat of arms of Saratov is placed on a background of snow – white lily flowers, and to the right and left of the coat of arms, images of the Trinity Church and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which were the main attractions of the city, are framed with laurel and oak branches. In the lower left corner of the shield is the date: 1591-1891 and next to it in three lines is the text: “In memory of the 300th anniversary of the city of Saratov. May 9, 1891.”

Ochkin's Garden
Ochkin’s Garden

The first illustrated postcards were in black and white. But soon there were also color, made by an imperfect method of chromolithography. With this method, the master manually makes a printed form on the stone.
In the late 90s of the XIX century, the phototype quickly spread, first black, then gray, and finally color. Unlike other printing methods, phototype reproduces halftone originals very accurately without a raster: extremely soft and accurate reproductions.

Postcards with views of Saratov were made both by chromolithography and phototype. Most of the postcards commissioned by the Saratov publishers were printed in the photo type of Scherer, Nabholz and Co. in Moscow and the Swedish publishing house of K. A. Graberg in Stockholm. The quality of the Moscow company is not bad: clear printing, juicy colors. And the Granberg society, while maintaining a relatively correct pattern, transmitted the color in a modified way.

Saratov, view from the Volga
The largest Saratov publisher of postcards was Pyotr Grigoryevich Bestuzhev, a merchant who had two large stores in Saratov selling shoes, travel items, writing paper, postcards and other goods. In the edition of P. G. Bestuzhev, several series with views of Saratov were published, including a hand-drawn color series made by chromolithography.

Numerous series of postcards were produced by Karl Filippovich Knaub. Its issues number hundreds of types. In the years of the imperialist War, k.Knaub produces a series of postcards-montages “Greetings from Saratov”. The postcard from this series with the image of the airship, on the body of which there are views of two streets of Saratov, is particularly original.

Quite often there are postcards published by Alexander Erofeevich Fedin (the father of the future Soviet writer K. A. Fedin) and Vladimir Ivanovich Pokrovsky. They have released several series of postcards featuring different fonts and lettering colors. In 1909, the partners split up and opened their own stores: A. E. Fedin on Ilyinskaya (Chapaeva) Street, and V. I. Pokrovsky on Alexandrovskaya (Gorky) Street. Each of them continued publishing Saratov postcards.

Privolzhsky railway station. Entertainment establishment on the corner of Babushkin and Chernyshevsky streets
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Privolzhsky railway station. Entertainment establishment on the corner of Babushkin and Chernyshevsky streets

Several postcards with views of Saratov and the inscription “Warm greetings from the Volga” were published in 1912 by M. V. Klyukin, who had a book trade in Saratov. A few years later, he released a tear-off album “Views of Saratov”, where each postcard at the spine of the album had a perforation.
Postcards with views of the city were published by I. I. Brendel, the owner of the Domashnaya Biblioteka and Aviator bookstores in Moscow and the Soyuz store on German Street in Saratov.
Several dozen views of Saratov – the Volga coast, wharves, steamboats, barges can be seen on the postcards of the Samara publisher Ya. L. Mytnik.

 

Plan of the city of Saratov
Plan of the city of Saratov

The largest publishing house that produced postcards in the last decade before the revolution was the Counterparty of A. S. Suvorin and Co. Suvorin-the owner of the newspaper “Novoe Vremya”, using his connections, obtained a monopoly of the book and newspaper trade, at all railway stations and wharves in Russia. He also took over the postcard business from the former tenant “Counterparty of Printing”.

To create the postcard, local and nonresident publishers used photographs of famous Saratov photographers A. S. Murenko, D. G. Finogeev, P. P. Pyatnitsky and others whose authorship is not indicated on the postcards.
There are about two thousand stories depicting Saratov on postcards. This is an image of streets, individual buildings, the surrounding area of the city, the landscapes of the Volga. The vast majority of postcards display the central quarters of the city. There are almost no views of the outskirts, only a few general plans of Bolshaya Gornaya Street, a narrow bridge over the Glebuchev Ravine, etc.

Most of the postcards were issued with the image of Nikolskaya (Radishchev) Street and the adjacent Cathedral (Kommunarnaya) Square. Nikolskaya Street – the business part of the city. Here were the buildings of government offices, the ecclesiastical consistory, the state bank, other institutions, a lot of shops, offices, educational institutions. The entire Cathedral Square was occupied by the city’s Lipki Boulevard, next to which stood the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with a bell tower-a monument to the Saratov militia of 1812.

Many postcards depict this cathedral from different points of view, well-groomed corners and beautiful pavilions of the Lime Trees beloved by Saratovites.
The concert hall and the Ochkin Theater located on the square were very popular.

Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Steamship wharves of the Volga and Nadezhda Societies. The area of I. V. Babushkina Street. The very first steamship company
Steamship wharves of the Volga and Nadezhda Societies. The area of I. V. Babushkina Street. The very first steamship company
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. The intersection of German and Gorky streets. On the left is the hotel Russia, on the right is the hotel Europe
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. The intersection of German and Gorky streets. On the left is the hotel Russia, on the right is the hotel Europe
Passenger steamship docks.
Passenger steamship docks.
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Women's paramedic courses and Bolshaya Sergievskaya Street. On the left is the building of the paramedic school, on the right is the monument-chapel installed on the grave of Chernyshevsky
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Women’s paramedic courses and Bolshaya Sergievskaya Street. On the left is the building of the paramedic school, on the right is the monument-chapel installed on the grave of Chernyshevsky
Flower garden of the city boulevard. Lipki garden
Flower garden of the city boulevard. Lipki garden
France. the first illustrated postcard by Leon Besnard. 1870
France. the first illustrated postcard by Leon Besnard. 1870
Radishchev Street
Radishchev Street
A narrow bridge over the Glebuchev ravine, a wooden bridge connected Bolshaya Sergievskaya Street with the upland part
A narrow bridge over the Glebuchev ravine, a wooden bridge connected Bolshaya Sergievskaya Street with the upland part
Tram on the embankment.
Tram on the embankment.
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards
Old Cathedral
Old Theological Seminary in Saratov
Old Theological Seminary in Saratov
Cathedral of St. Prince Vladimir
Cathedral of St. Prince Vladimir
Saratov, teatralnaya Square. In the foreground Radishchevsky Museum
Saratov, teatralnaya Square. In the foreground Radishchevsky Museum
Greeting card Greetings from Saratov
Greeting card Greetings from Saratov
Original postcard with views of Saratov
Original postcard with views of Saratov
Nikolskaya Street and Cathedral Square with the monument to Alexander II
Nikolskaya Street and Cathedral Square with the monument to Alexander II
Promenade. Merchant Shipping Company Pier
Promenade. Merchant Shipping Company Pier
Moskovskaya Street, V. I. Lenin Avenue. On the right, the Azov-Don Commercial Bank
Moskovskaya Street, V. I. Lenin Avenue. On the right, the Azov-Don Commercial Bank
Mariinsky Women's Gymnasium
Mariinsky Women’s Gymnasium
Grave of N. G. Chernyshevsky
Grave of N. G. Chernyshevsky
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards
Grave of N. G. Chernyshevsky
Treasury Chamber
Treasury Chamber
Moskovskaya Street at the intersection with Oktyabrskaya Street
Moskovskaya Street at the intersection with Oktyabrskaya Street
Publisher of postcards P. I. Pokrovsky and his wife
Publisher of postcards P. I. Pokrovsky and his wife
Moskovskaya Street and the school of the blind
Moskovskaya Street and the school of the blind
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcardsPublisher of postcards A. E. Fedin
Publisher of postcards A. E. Fedin
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Grave of N. G. Chernyshevsky
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Loaded vessels near the shore
Loaded vessels near the shore
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Вид с Волги. В центральной части площадь Н. Г. Чернышевского
View from the Volga. In the central part of the square of N. G. Chernyshevsky
Bolshaya Sergievskaya Street. On the right is the St. Sergius Church.
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Bolshaya Sergievskaya Street. On the right is the St. Sergius Church.
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. D. S. Pozdeyeva Hospital
D. S. Pozdeyeva Hospital
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Alexander Vocational School
Alexander Vocational School
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Alexandrovskaya Street
Alexandrovskaya Street
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. 300 years of Saratov. Advertising postcard of P. L. Davydov's confectionery in Saratov
300 years of Saratov. Advertising postcard of P. L. Davydov’s confectionery in Saratov
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards
Stock market.
The exchange building has been preserved (corner of Lenin Avenue and Radishchev Street). It houses the University’s History and Philology departments.
In front of the exchange was a small Alexander Nevsky chapel.
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Ochkin's Garden. On Sobornaya (Kommunarnaya) Square there were entertainment establishments of the merchant Ochkin. The postcard depicts the summer concert hall "Renaissance", which had a garden with open stages (now the building of the Philharmonic hall) and a fire station with a tower. On the left — part of the city's Lipki Boulevard.
Ochkin’s Garden.
On Sobornaya (Kommunarnaya) Square there were entertainment establishments of the merchant Ochkin. The postcard depicts the summer concert hall “Renaissance”, which had a garden with open stages (now the building of the Philharmonic hall) and a fire station with a tower. On the left — part of the city’s Lipki Boulevard.
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards
The house of Kuznetsov, later Bender.
On the lower floor there were shops selling ready-made dresses and sarpinkas. The upper floors were first occupied by the “Tatar Hotel”, then temporarily by the Kufeld Girls ‘ Gymnasium. Now it houses the executive committee of the Saratov City Council of People’s Deputies.
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. District court. In this building, on the corner of Moskovskaya and Nikolskaya streets, the judicial chamber was also located. In 1902, the trial of the participants of the first May Day demonstration in Saratov took place here. Now a secondary school.
District court.
In this building, on the corner of Moskovskaya and Nikolskaya streets, the judicial chamber was also located. In 1902, the trial of the participants of the first May Day demonstration in Saratov took place here. Now a secondary school.
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards. Music school.
Music school.
It was built at the beginning of the century by the architect A. Y. Yagna.
Left: in 1912, the music school was transformed into a conservatory. It was the third music higher education institution in Russia. 
Saratov on pre-revolutionary postcards
Railway Station
On the right: buildings on Lenin Avenue between Razin and Atkarskaya Streets, the Regimental Alexander Nevsky Church was rebuilt as a residential building.
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