How well do you think you know Stone Harbor? 

This is not a trick question!  However, a certain post card publisher back in the early 1960s released an aerial view of Stone Harbor looking in a westerly direction toward the mainland by way of the Stone Harbor Boulevard and featuring the general 96th Street business section or commercial district of Stone Harbor, New Jersey.

Please take a close look at the first post card illustrated here and see what you think.  Do you notice anything peculiar or out of the ordinary?  If not, look again at this first image.  



Next, kindly examine the second post card image and again ask yourself what do you see?  Remember to look closely at this second image.




Based on your observations of these two Stone Harbor post card images, each of which is bearing the same caption “Aerial View”, is the universe properly aligned or do you notice a major discrepancy?  So what’s really going on here and moreover, what is the purpose of this particular post including these two picture post cards?   

For a likely explanation it would seem the company producing these cards unknowingly made a mistake when they printed and distributed for sale the first post card image shown here.  The reason being the photographic negative was inadvertently reversed or switched around and consequently as one gazes westward toward the mainland, the iconic Stone Harbor water tower appears situated to the left side of 96th Street and the newly constructed Shelter Haven Motel appears on the right side of the intersection of 96th Street and Third Avenue.  To make things even more apparent, notice just where the body of water known as the Shelter Haven Basin appears on the first image.  However, for those who are actually quite familiar with the lay of the land, especially along that stretch of 96th Street, we know full well that’s not really an accurate depiction or the way things were in the real world!

At some point in time the West Nyack, N.Y.-based post card company must surely have received reports or information about their erroneous original version and thereby re-printed another image using the same photographic negative but situated or formatted correctly for a second or “revised” printing.  Happily now, Stone Harbor appears exactly the way it should and post card collectors can be relieved to know that this second time the post card producer got it right!

Utilizing the internet, one can easily go to a certain very popular auction platform, conduct a search of Stone Harbor post cards and collectibles and occasionally see both versions of the aforementioned post cards available for sale on a certain website.  I would conjecture that neither of the “aerial version” cards featured here are very difficult to obtain as long as you know what to look for.  Most vendors or sellers have no idea of such a condition as they have never actually been to Stone Harbor and therefore would not even know if a particular image was reversed by mistake.     

Now look for yourself once more and compare the two post cards which are placed side-by-side and next to one another.  Every once in a while we may actually come across an example of such a mistake in the production of a picture post card.  So keep your eyes open because you just might be the one to discover another such printing error!