Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saturday's postcards: Sri Lankan mosque & historic home in Arkansas

First up is this unused postcard that was printed in the United States and published by Ceylon Pictorials. Designated as CP-62, the caption on the back indicates that the building is "Mohammedan Mosque" in Colombo, Ceylon.

Ceylon became the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in 1972 and is home today to nearly 22 million people of many cultures and ethnicities. Buddhists comprise 70 percent of the population, according to Wikipedia, while "Islam is the third most dominant religion in the country, having first been brought to the island by Arab traders over the course of many centuries, starting around the 7th century CE."

Colombo is the largest city in Sri Lanka, in terms of population. This "Mohammedan Mosque" is today, in English, known as the Dawatagaha Jumma Masjid or Dewatagaha Mosque. The mosque, if I have my facts straight, is considered part of the Cinnamon Gardens neighborhood of the city.

According to, "Dewatagaha Mosque in Lipton's Circus, Colombo, has become a byword in every Muslim home, and no Muslim passes the shrine of the saint without paying his respects. The 150-year-old shrine [is] the resting-place of the Muslim saint, His Holiness Seyedina as-Sheikh Usman Siddique Ibn Ahdurrahman, who visited Ceylon from Arafat, Arabia ... and later resided in what was later known as Cinnamon Gardens."

A 2017 review on TripAdvisor states: "The Dewatagaha mosque is one of the prominent mosques in Colombo. It's huge and white, the architecture is lovely and beautiful, and we learnt that the mosque is about 200 years old. Its lovely exterior is almost an iconic part of the architecture in the city center in Colombo."

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Switching gears to Arkansas in the United States, this is a real photo postcard from K.C. Studio in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The stamp box on the back, per, indicates that it's an EKC card published between 1930 and 1950. (The postcard has never been used.)

Pictured is the home of comedian Bob Burns (1890-1956) in Van Buren, Arkansas. Burns was known for radio shows, movies, a folksy newspaper column ("Well, I'll Tell You") and, perhaps most famously, the word "bazooka." For him, it was a handheld music instrument that functioned like a crude trombone. The name was appropriated in World War II and became the iconic nickname for a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher.

The Bob Burns House at 821 Jefferson Street in Van Buren was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. According to its application for that honor, it was "built in 1885 by Alex Lacy, a Van Burn merchant. It was a white frame two-story Victorian style home. The original floor plan had three rooms downstairs and three rooms upstairs separated by [a] hallway."

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