Does the name Harry Fischer ring a bell? Harry Fischer was born in Marietta in 1879, and graduated from Marietta Academy with the Class of 1896. He was a well known photographer in Marietta from 1901 up to 1949.
Fischer spent his early career working at his father's shoe store in Marietta. In 1901, he opened a photography studio in downtown Marietta and made studio portraits, as well as images of local landscapes and events.
When he died in 1949, his wife and son donated to the Marietta College Special Collection Department over 14,000 glass plates and films of area scenes taken between 1901 and 1949. That included river scenes, floods, street scenes, local architecture, schools, businesses and portraits. Many of his beautiful photograph images of Marietta can be found today on postcards he produced from 1901 to 1949.
Many of the postcards have become really valuable to postcard collectors worldwide. In March, 20 auction bidders around the country battled it out on eBay to own one of these valuable postcards that was produced by Fischer in 1909. The postcard ended up selling at auction for $346.25, depicting interior walls stacked high with cylinder music and cabinet phonographs of the Edison Phonograph Company on Front Street in Marietta. The postcard dated July 2, 1909, with a Nelsonville, Ohio, postmark was owned by a seller only identified on eBay as being from central Ohio.
Today, many of these valuable postcards can be found in many older homes around Washington County, marked H.P. Fischer's Studio, Front Street, Marietta. I remember finding a cigar box full of them in an older home I purchased on Franklin Street in Marietta in the late 1970s. I ended up later selling them to Jerry Devol, a Marietta post card collector from Devola. Here is a list of some of those postcards to watch out for at estate sales, garage sales, around Washington County and their value today:
H.P. Fischer postcard auction prices realized
Jan. 27, 1937 photo postcard of a canoe floating in Marietta flood, $26.
1907 Lowell, flooded town, $177.50.
1915 Muskingum Park, $9.
1950 Betsey Mills Club, Marietta, $5.
1910 Wakefield Hotel, $2.50.
1938 B&O Railroad, $7.
April 23, 1913 "Looking up Canal," and Packer Brothers Dry Goods in background, Lowell, $139.50.
1910 First Baptist Church, Marietta, $10.
1910 View of "Split Rock at Hollow," Marietta, $6.
1906 Gravel Bank Ohio postcard, $5.
1918 Putnam Street, Marietta, $9.50.
1940 flood, Putnam and Front Street, $15.50.
1906 Mound Cemetery, $10.50.
1910 New dormitory at Marietta, College, $7.
1938 Sesquicentennial parade, Marietta Northwest Territory, $8.50.
Larry Koon is the author of several price guide books on antiques and collectibles. His column appears every Monday on Life. Send letters to Treasure in the Attic, c/o The Marietta Times, 700 Channel Lane, Marietta 45750; or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. When writing, send a complete description of the item, along with size, color, any markings on the item along with condition the item is in. and how the item was obtained, and any other information. If possible, send a photograph. Letters will be answered through this column.