GREETINGS FROM......IMPERIAL RUSSIA
GREETINGS FROM.... UFA
The postcard on the left was sent from Ufa, west of the foothills of the Urals. A small fortress was founded here in 1574. Ufa was then the easternmost settlement in Russia. In 1865, the city became the capital of the new Ufa government.
On the image side a message is written: 22/12 1905, it is a Christmas wish.
This picture and all pictures below on this page, if not mentioned otherwise: scanned about 300 dpi. Then set right and cut out, resized 25 % of this image and saved as jpg.
In the postmark of this card we see УФА [UFA], and it is a standard double-ring postmark.
The 1914 Baedeker reports about Ufa: : '…prettily situated on the high right bank of the Byélaya, near its confluence with the Ufá.' According to this Baedeker, the place had 103,000 inhabitants at this time.
On this 1910 railway map, at the bottom left is САМАРА [SAMARA] and at the top right is ЧЕЛЯБИНСКЪ [CHELYABINSK]. Approximately half way, the station УФА [UFA] is indicated, about 1519 km southeast of Moscow and 100 km west of the Urals.
Now Ufa is the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Bashkirostan within Russia. It is the 12th largest city in Russia with more than one million inhabitants. At Ufa a number of rivers come together: the Belaja, the Ufa and the Djomoj.
In 2007: 1,130,001 inhabitants. In 2002 50.5% Russians, 28.1% Tatars, 14.8% Bashkirs and a number of smaller minorities.
For the geography of Tsarist Russia, one can also consult Brockhaus' Konversationslexikon (14. Auflage, 1894-1896) on the Internet:
Overview maps part 14: http://www.retrobibliothek.de/retrobib/stoebern.html?teilid=5179605#a_5179605 See below on this page, under 'Tafeln'. Here you can find the map of European Russia: choose "faksimile" or better for "hochaufgelöstes Faksimile" http://www.retrobibliothek.de/retrobib/hiresfaksimile_5183051.jpeg
Part of the map from Brockhaus: at the bottom Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea, top left Moscow, top right Tseljabinsk, from there to the southwest Ufa and Samara. The arrow: Ufa.
The message on this card starts with "I send a greeting from Ufa".
The text continues:
"I will be staying at the station for a few days.
I drink mare's milk, what a mess, I got sick.
I will soon be leaving here. "
Even now, the Bashkirs, once nomads, are famous for breeding horses. They make their national drink -kumys- from horse milk (2% alcohol). The drink is said to have a healing effect, but there are scientific doubts about this. Drinking kumys for 4 weeks would help against tuberculosis, but I would rather choose antibiotics.
The region was home to 'Kumys' health centers, which were very popular as a destination in the early 20th century. Of course cards and letters were sent by the visitors and there is also quite a lot of material from this region.
The writer is at the station, and the stamp is a postmark of the railwaypost:
ЧЕЛЯБИНСКЪ 124 САМАРА [CHELYABINSK 124 SAMARA], June 26, 1911. This oval stamp - with the serial number 7 at the bottom - was in use on line 124 from July 7, 1906 to January 13, 1917. If we look at the map, Ufa is between these places on the railway line.
The card goes to Astrakhan, and we see this in the arrival postmark, АСТРАХАНЪ [ASTRAKHAN], June 27, 1911.
The card shows the logo of the St. Eugeniya Community that issued the card.
Nursing the sick in the 19th century was primarily the work of the Sisters of Mercy, communities within the Orthodox Church. There were also semi-religious societies for the care of soldiers. In 1915, 115 communities fell under the jurisdiction of the Red Cross. One of the larger communities was located in Petrograd, the Community of St. Eugenia with 465 members. The Red Cross Sisters of Mercy and the St. Eugenia Community have issued numerous cards. The inscription in the logo on this card is: "For the good of the St. Eugeniya Community".
In his article in Rossica, J. G. Moyes classifies these cards from the St. Eugeniya Community. This card is of the most common type: a larger logo than the other types, usually with a double division on the address side. The cross is red and the rest of the address side in one color, usually green (like this card). This type of card was in use until 1915. There is also a further subdivision to be made according to the printer: the printer of this card is also included in this list. The printer can be found on this map on the right edge.
The printer, on the right side of the card: Golike and Vil'borg, with the address Zvenigorodskaya 11 SPB.
The address side of this card is divided in two. Cards with the address side divided in half do not appear until 1905. Before that, a postcard was only accepted without a message on this address side at the postcard rate.
Image side of the card: the river Tesma near Taganai. The Baedeker of 1914 (p. 370) describes Zlatoust and then continues with the description of the route eastwards: "The Taganai (3600 ft.) Rises on the left. We cross the Tesmá. "
Landscape near Ufa, sent 1910. Postmark of the railwaypost line ЧЕЛЯБИНСКЪ 124 САМАРА [CHELYABINSK 124 SAMARA]
The Samara - Zlatoust railway
Ufa is located on the Samara - Zlatoust railway. The first part from Batraki via Samara to Kinel is opened in January 1877. Construction then continued eastward: Kinel to Ufa was into operation in September 1888, and Zlatoust was reached in September 1890. The Samara-Ufa railway was the first section of the Siberian main railway. The opening on September 8, 1888 was a very official event: the first train was met in Ufa by the Minister of Transport, also Governor General and member of the State Council, Konstantin Nikolayevich Pos'et. One half of the cut ribbon went to St Petersburg, the other half stayed in Ufa. In October 1892, the section from Zlatoust to Chelyabinsk was opened. This completed the section between Samara to Chelyabinsk.
The card is franked on the front, so the postmark on the back is more clear.
A nice series of articles by V.G. Levandovsky on this railway line can be found in Rossica:
Late 19th- and 20th-century mail : the Samara-Zlatoust and Volga-Bugul’ma railroads / by V.G. Levandovsky ; transl. David M. Skipton. – In: Rossica 2007 ; no. 147. p. 74-80.
Deel II: Rossica 2007 ; no. 148. – p. 19-32 Deel III: Rossica 2007 ; no. 149. – p. 30-42
Deel IV: Rossica 2008 ; no. 150. – p. 36-48 Deel V: Rossica 2008 ; no. 151. – p. 1-3
Update: Rossica 2009 ; no. 152. –p. 52-61 Update: Rossica 2009 ; no. 153. – p. 32
In his first article, Levandovsky shows a letter with the stamp of an unnumbered post car on this route. The postmark contains the designation ПОЧТОВ. ВАГОНЪ УФА-КИНЕЛЬ [POCHTOV. VAGON UFA-KINEL] with the date in three lines: 12 DEC. 1888. This postmark was used for a very short time: soon afterwards the postmarks with number were used as a route indication. The first identified railway postmark indicating the number of this route is from January 22, 1892: line 124, Chelyabinsk-Samara. These round postmarks do not indicate the places, but only the number of the postal route: 124 or the other direction, Samara - Chelyabinsk with number 123. A route was given an odd number for the route from the controlling station post office and an even number for the reverse direction. At the top of the stamp is ПОЧТОВЫЙ ВАГОНЪ No. [POCHTOVYI VAGON] with number, date in three lines in the middle, at the bottom another serial number of the stamp. In 1900 a new type of stamp appears: round, "cross-date", (first the day, underneath the month, to the left of the whole of the century and to the right of the rest of the year), indicating the number of the post-wagon route. In 1903 the oval stamps were prescribed and slowly introduced: at the top the number of the route and the names of the end points. The first - signaled - oval stamps of route 124 are from 1905 and from route 123 from 1906.