The goal is to establish the date of this photograph (Image of a woman riding a horse sidesaddle) - lots of context here, but the goal is the date. The reverse of the photograph bears an address: "194 Riverside Drive, NY 25")
We1 have done reverse image search on google and we own a very large library of similar images that we've already searched.
The address is this building. The address is an apartment building, so property records are going to be difficult to research, and relatively lower in reliability. (If it were a privately owned dwelling we could consult property records; apartment buildings are not required to keep records, the records tend to involve less details and are less likely to be available to the public.) At @DCook's suggestion we reviewed the 1940 census for that address; there was only one person living in the building whose name began with a P (or a J) Unfortunately 1940 appears to be the last census available.
The woman is in costume and the costume is reminiscent of the 1920's, but the tack indicates that image cannot be prior to 1947. The strap hanging off the back side of the saddle should be attached to a balance girth; the fact that it isn't indicates that the tack (and the image) is post-war. (Trust her on this, she is an expert).
We're going to use the leyshon.pdf resources to analyze the print technology next. (Second hat tip to @DCook)
Preliminary research out of the way, on to the original question.
Does the "25" provide a clue to the date of the photograph?
- Was there a time when a 2 digit abbreviation of postal codes was common? Based on some excellent contributions from @michaelHardy backed by Wikipedia two digit postal codes date from approximately 1943.
- @TomAu points out that NYC was large enough that postal zones did not fit neatly into the zip code; is there any way that this fact could help to identify the date?
- When did the implementation of five digit zip codes in NYC become common? According to Wikipedia they were mandatory in 1967, but were they common in NYC before that? (that would represent the upper bound to the date)
Several people have pointed out that zip codes started in 1963, but relied on postal zones that were common prior to that. At some point there was a push for five digit zip codes. Just as an example, if we could establish that the push for five digit zip codes started in 1963 and was finished by 1970, then the photograph is probably prior to 1970.
If on the other hand, NYC postal zones were always 3 digits, then we have a curious anomaly that may help us to further date the photograph.
Obviously the image was not shot at the address.
I will award a bounty if anyone were able to identify Professor Praner (?) is.
1 My professional historian girlfriend and I. She is an internationally known and respected expert on both sidesaddle and on the type of images we're discussing - her expertise on these images is based in part on her personal catalog of several thousand images. She teaches both sidesaddle and the history of sidesaddle. She has been invited to present at multiple venues on the topic and her most recent paper on the subject has been accepted for the Costume Society of America.