Calvert, Charles E, Alvida, Grace & Harry (Portland)

Calvert, Alvida

Calvert, Charles E (“Cal”) ( -1930)

Calvert, Grace E

Calvert, Harry

Calvert’s Studio

Ten Minute Postcard Man

City Park Gallery

Mazeograph Studio


1906-1930 Portland

1915-1925 Oregon City

This studio made a specialty of fast postcards. The portraits were printed on ready-to-mail Cyko post card paper. Haste in posing the subject is detectable in many prints. Close examination of the edges show the studio backdrops and setups were arranged next to each other in the studio. Presumably the customer would select one and move into position, the photographer would aim the camera, and ten minutes later the patron would have their merchandise.

This studio is well known for it’s humorous setup and backdrop of an airplane over Portland, reproduced in “Greetings From Oregon.” The studio also sold “leg art” postcards by mail.

It appears that in 1916 Charles Calvert moved out of his 796 Washington studio, and his employee Herbert Butterfield took over the location.

Employee directory

Butterfield, Herbert E. 1911 – 1916

Directory Listings

1904 – 1905 PCD not listed

1906 PCD pg. 272 “Calvert, Charles E., photog 567 Hawthorne terrace, res same”

1907 PCD pg. 353 “Calvert, Charles E, photog Council res 567 Hawthorne Terrace”

1909 PCD pg. 366 “Calvert, Charles E, photog Council Crest”

1910 Or. not listed

1910 PCD pg. 252 “Calvert, Mrs Alvida photgr h 305 1/2 Jefferson”, “Calvert, Chas E photogr 796 Washington h 567 Hawthorne Terr”, “Calvert, Harry photgr 796 Washington, h 305 Jefferson”

1911 PCD pg. 311 “Calvert, Chas E photogr 796 Washington h 567 Hawthorne Terr”

1912 PCD pg. 318 “Calvert, Chas E photgr 796 Washington and 2 6th N h 1126 E Glisan”

1913 PCD pg. 274 “Calvert, Chas E photgr 796 Washington and 2 6th N h 1126 E Glisan”

1914 PCD pg. 369 “Calvert, Chas E (Grace E) photgr 2 6th N h 1126 E Glisan”

1914 PCBD not listed

1915 PCD pg. 279 “Calvert, Chas E (Grace E) photgr 2 6th N and 796 Wash h 1126 E Glisan”

1915 POW pg. 1491 photographers “Calvert, Harry, Oregon City O”

1916 OC pg. 41 Oregon City “Calvert, Harry (Alvilda) photographer, 220 7th, res same.”

1917 POW pg. 1534 photographers “Calvert, Harry, Oregon City O”

1916 PCD pg. 282 “Calvert, Chas (Grace E) photgr 2 6th N h 1126 E Glisan”

1917 PCD pg. 234 “Calvert, Chas (Grace E) photgr 2 6th N h 1126 E Glisan”

1918 PCD pg. 250 “Calvert, Chas E (Grace E) photgr 2 6th N h 1126 E Glisan”

1920 PCD pg. 278 “Calvert, Chas E (Grace E) photgr 2 6th N h 1126 E Glisan”

1921 PCD pg. 236 “Calvert, Cal E (Grace E) photgr 2 6th N h 1126 E Glisan”

1924 PCD pg. 432 “Calvert, Cal (Grace E) photogr 305 Buchanan Bldg h 1126 E Glisan”

1925 PCD pg. 395 “Calvert, Cal (Grace E) photog 305 Buchanan Bldg h 1126 E Glisan”

1925 POW pg. 290 Oregon City “Calvert, Harry photog”

1928 PCD pg. 388 “Calvert, Cal (Grace E) photo 607 Woodlark bldg h 1126 E Glisan”

1930 PCD pg. 345 “Calvert, Cal E (Grace E) photog 607 Woodlark bldg h 1126 E Glisan”

1934 PCD pg. 259 “Calvert, Grace h4305 SE Belmont apt 5”

Photographer’s Imprints

“Calvert’s Studio, Oregon City Ore.” printed front of print folder, ms date 16 Sept 1921.

“Calvert’s Studio, Oregon City Oreg. For Photograph’s Just As Nice, at a better price” stamp on postcard back, “Calvert’s Studio, Next to S. P. Depot, Oregon City Ore.” blind stamp

“Cal Calvert, 10 Minute Post Card Man, Mazeograph Studio, Sixth St., Cor. Ankeny, Portland, Oregon” rubber stamp on Cyko post card

“Cal Calvert, 10 Minute Post Card Man, City Park Gallery at the Washington St. Entrance, Portland, Oregon. Mazeograph Process, Copyrighted” rubber stamp on Cyko post card

News Items and Advertisements

1909: “EIGHTY FIVE CENTS for twenty different photographic post cards from original negatives of ‘Western Girls’; all artists’ models’ photographed in the ‘natural’ scenery. Ten for fifty cents. Cal Calvert, 567 Hawthorne Terrace, Portland, Ore.” Camera Craft, Vol. XVI, January – March 1909.

1909: “WANTED–Girl to assist in finishing postcards. Cal Calvert, 796 Washington, Entrance to City Park” Oregonian March 1, 1909, repeated April 1.  (ed note: Burnside west of 20th was called Washington at this time.)

1909: “Wanted– Girl to learn to assist in finishing ‘Ten-Minute Postcards’; permanent position for right party. Call Calvert, 796 Washington St., entrance to City Park)

1909: “CHARLES DANA IN PORTLAND. The Portland ‘Evening Telegram’ reports the experience of two visitors to the ‘City of Roses,’ who could not resist the attraction of a case filled with postcards out at Council Crest. The cards were, of course, the Mazeograph kind that our friend Calvert of that city tells how to produce. We clip the following: ‘Step in and get your pictures taken,’ urged the postal card photographer, fastening his business eye on Gibson and Norman Hapgood, editor of ‘Collier’s,’ instinctively recognizing them as tourists. ‘Real works of art,’ continued the camera fiend, ‘and they’re finished while you wait.’ ‘Let’s,’ said Gibson. ‘Sure,’ responded Hapgood, and they entered the gallery. ‘Squat up, there,’ directed the photographer, directing the man who is paid $100 for a single black and white sketch, to an improvised log with a painted canvas sky. ‘Pretty nifty background, eh?’ inquired the camera man, with a visible exhibition of pride. ‘Gives an idea of Oregon scenery, and you can send the postals to the old folks at home. Mother will be pleased.’  ‘Say,’ addressing his remarks to Gibson, who was the first to be snapped, ‘look pleasant. Tilt your head up – now your chin. Gee! (sotto voice to Hapgood) some of the people who come here to be photographed haven’t any idea of the high lights, the tones and artistic effects, and I’ve got to tell ’em everything about how to pose. Say’ -to Gibson- ‘take your hat off; no, put it back on again; you haven’t enough hair on top. Cut out chewing that sandwich – stick it in your pocket. Hold your hands so. I guess that’ll have to do. Try to look lifelike. Gosh! that pose won’t do. Now – that’s better. Here, you (to Hapgood), want to take a peep at your friend under the cloth? He looks upside down on the glass, but that’s the way they all do in the camera. All ready? Hold your breath, and don’t wink. – O. K. Have it developed in ten minutes.’ Next the editor man scrambled onto the rustic seat. ‘Act natural,’ commanded the photographer. ‘I didn’t tell you to look asleep. Cheer up. You’re eating a biscuit too. You’ll have to stop working your jaw, for this is isn’t a moving picture machine. Think of something funny – your friend here for instance.’ Gibson was indicated. ‘All set? They’re off!’ ‘Now run outside and look at the scenery while I dope out the pictures. Ten minutes and they’ll be done.’   Half an hour later Hapgood remarked:   ‘The commercial advantage untruth has over truth is here exemplified.’ ‘Meaning?’ asked the almost silent artist. ‘That the photographer promised to have the pictures finished in ten minutes. Had he said it would require forty, we would not have patronized him.’   ‘Here they are,’ called the camera boss. ‘What’s the name? Charles Dana Gibson? Gee! Then this must be Norman Hapgood. I read in the ‘Telegram’ you were coming to town.” Camera Craft, Vol. XVI, No. 2, February 1909, pg. 80.

1914: “WOMAN ATTACKS ROBBER. Mrs Calvert Saves  Cash Box and Alleged Thief Later is Arrested. Attracted by a man’s arm reaching for a cash box in her store at Sixth and Ankeny streets, Mrs. Cal Calvert ran from behind a partition and rained a series of blows with her umbrella on the head of the would-be robber. The ban broke away and ran, after dropping the box, containing $14. Detectives Goltz and Royle, who were in the vicinity, ran to the store, where a crowd had gathered. They obtained a description of the man and arrested Benjamin Smith, who was identified by Mrs. Calvert as the man she had beaten. Smith, when arrested, was attempting to pawn a raincoat he says was given to him by a friend.” Oregonian, January 4, 1914, pg. 4.