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Meching, Jay Collection of Sunny Scenes Hand-colored Postcards

Identifier: 2019-001-Sunny Scenes-Meching

Scope and Contents

This gift was made by Dr. Jay Meching, Professor Emeritus of American Studies at the University of California Davis, who in 2001 curated a special exhibition of hand-colored photography at the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, Florida. Included in this collection are 254 hand-painted postcards from states such as Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Washington, and others. However, neither Florida nor California-themed postcards are included in this gift.

Sunny Scenes Inc. was a successful Winter Park business that operated during 1923-1949. Mr. Joseph Bryant started the business venture in 1923 and later sold it to Col. E.G. Akin in the mid-1930s. Finally in 1949, Sunny Scenes was sold to a Miami firm, where the company records end. During the heyday of the handcolored postcard business, it seems that the company employed 15 or so women to color the cards using stencils and airbrushes in Winter Park. Florida. The plant was located in a two-story building at 421 Fairbanks Avenue, adjacent to the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad tracks that intersected Fairbanks Avenue, while Harpers Restaurant & Bar was located on the other side of the tracks. The business manufactured hand-painted color greetings cards, postcards, note cards and large pictures by using stencil and air brush techniques. The largest number of postcards produced by Sunny Scenes are of Florida subjects, but the company also created postcards of California and 14 other states, Hawaii (not a state then) as well as Cuba, Haiti, and Panama.

Sunny Scenes used a system of numbers and letters-plus-numbers on their postcards, which is a help for collectors and curators to keep track and see where there are gaps in the collection. There are 36 duplicates in this collection, mainly because each handcolored card is unique. Although there usually was a master coloring scheme to guide the colorists in coloring a given scene, sometimes the same card was colored differently by different colorists. In a few cases of cards here, the same photograph to be colored was flipped, seemingly creating two different scenes when, in fact, there is one.


  • 2019-02-18


1 boxes (One box of hand-colored postcards in three-ring binder produced by Sunny Scenes Inc. of Winter Park, Florida.) : 254 items, with 36 duplicates.

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Repository Details

Part of the Rollins College Archives & Special Collections Repository

Rollins College Box 2744
1000 Holt Avenue
Winter Park 32789-4499 US