A 'Swenglish' journey through family photos, notes and postcards from the early 20th century.

2012-02-22

G.002-3 Skara, Water Tower, 1901

G.002.3  Skara, Vattentornet, 1901

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Förstoring från vykortet nedan. /Photo enlarged from the postcard below.

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Skara, Vattentornet / Skara, the Water Tower (1901)
A Granqvist & Co Skara

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Poststämpel/Postmark: Wara 26.9.1901
Till/to: Herr Gustaf Ekman, Storeg., Fristad
Från/from: Axel Jansson

Många hälsningar fr. Axel Jansson.
Many greetings from Axel Jansson.

Tyvärr vet jag ingenting om vem Axel Jansson var. Den enda upplysning kortet ger är att Gustaf i slutet av september 1901 tycks ha befunnit sig på familjens gård Storegården i Fristad. Eller åtminstone att avsändaren trodde det. De två andra korten jag hittills granskat från 1901 var adresserade till Odensberg. Jag hittade en anteckning i pappas pärm som tyder på att brodern Oskar (med familj) år 1901 bott i Odensberg. Det är ju möjligt att Gustaf vistats tidvis där och tidvis på Storegården.

Skara i Västergötland är en av Sveriges äldsta städer, och var en tidig kyrklig medelpunkt. Domkyrkan anlades troligen runt år 1000. Nuvarande utseende fick den vid en genomgripande renovering 1886-94.

Skara vattentorn hittar jag på Västergötlands Museums  hemsida, med följande text:

“Skaras vattentorn från 1898 är ett utmärkt exempel på den omsorg och kvalitet som kännetecknade samtidens ”nya” företeelser som elverk, vattenverk och liknande kommunaltekniska anläggningar. En vårdad och påkostad arkitektur bidrog till att orten utstrålade soliditet och framtidstro. Vattentornet ritades av arkitekt Ernst Torulf och är idag skyddat som byggnadsminne.”

image

Det som plötsligt blir intressant med vykortet från 1901 är att när det skickades, så var det inte en bild av ett gammalt vattentorn – utan av ett nytt och modernt sådant, byggt för bara tre år sedan.

In English

For once here is a sender of a postcard who writes out his full name – Axel Jansson – but then I don’t know who he is anyway!

The postmark and address indicate that in September 1901, Gustaf was staying at the family farm with his father and stepmother. Other cards from the same year (exact date on those not visible) tell us that part of the time he was at Odensberg (near Falköping). I found a note among my father’s family research papers indicating that the older brother Oscar might have been living at Odensberg in 1901. Perhaps Gustaf lived by turns in both places.

The photo is of a water tower in Skara.

Skara is a small town in Västergötland with a long educational and ecclesiastical history. According to local legend, Skara was founded in AD 988. With the Christianization of Sweden Skara became the seat for the bishop and a religious centre. The cathedral stems from the 11th century. There have been bishops of Skara in an unbroken succession to this day. The cathedral had a major renovation in 1886-94.

From Västergötlands Museum’s website, I found out that the water tower was built in 1898, and is preserved as a notable building because of being typical of its time. Back in those days, they took great pride in the architecture of public buildings like power plants and water works. The lavish exterior was part of creating an atmosphere of stability and belief in the future. The architect of the water tower in Skara was Ernst Torulf.

Reading this information, I was struck by the fact that in 1901, this was not a postcard of an old water tower. It was a postcard of a brand new water tower, built only three years ago.

2 comments:

  1. Reminds me of the tower that Rapunzel was kept in, I can almost see some long hair coming down. So is there really water in this building? If not, why is it named this? Our water towers here are very ugly metal structures, looking like giant eggs on stilts.

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  2. "The lavish exterior was part of creating an atmosphere of stability and belief in the future." It had never occurred to me that this might be a reason for the extravagant beauty. I shall look at old public architecture with a different and more enquiring mind in future.

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