Cayey, Puerto Rico

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Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked March 5 (year not showing) from Hammondsport, New York. Publisher unknown. Circa 1915.

Price:  $10.00

“65.  Cayey, Porto Rico. – Cayey is an important inland town, 2,300 feet above the sea and about 37 miles from San Juan on the military road from there to Ponce. During the Spanish-American war the city was about to be attached, [attacked] when news was received of the signing of the protocol.”

Port by any other name…

Yes, that “Porto” spelling looks odd:  In browsing online newspapers it appears that both spellings were being used at least as early as the 1890s. At some point “Puerto” became the standard, but we found evidence of “Porto” as late as the mid-1950s.

The card is not in the best of shape but if this particular Charles W. Bennett family is part of yours, then it’s a very nice find! The 1910 Federal Census shows them at 1132 Oak Street but by the 1915 State Census either the house got re-numbered, or they had moved to 1113 Oak, the address on the postcard.

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Charles W. Bennett, 1113 Oak St, Elmira N.Y.”

An old-time-y occupation

Charles Bennett’s occupation on both records was street car conductor; he was born about 1875; married to Jennie, born about 1873; their son, Clifford, was born about 1907. All are New York natives. The 1910 shows the young family living with Charles’ mother, Harriet, and her husband (Charles’ step-father) E. B.[?] Whitmore. By 1915, the Bennett Family has Jennie’s mom, Clara Haight, with them. The card’s sender was either Jennie’s mother or mother-in-law. She wrote:

“Dear daughter Jennie, we are very sorry to hear of your sickness and hope you are better by now. we are better than a week ago. Papa feels quite a lot better but not very well yet, I am quite well now, have a lot of snow banks did not get any mail Monday nor Tuesday. It is blowing today. hope the rest are well wish I could be out to help you. Mama.”

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Elmira Ward 8, Chemung, New York; Roll: T624_931; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 1374944. (Ancestry.com).

New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 01; Assembly District: 01; City: Elmira Ward 08; County: Chemung; Page: 10. (Ancestry.com).

Havana Cuba, Street Scene 1920s

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Photo circa 1920s. Street scene, Havana, Cuba.

Price:  $15.00            Size:  3 and 1/4 x 4 and 3/8″

The street name is unknown, but this is a wonderful glimpse back in time, circa 1920s Havana. Note the cobblestone street, streetcar, the rear-view of the smaller vehicle of the rubber-tired variety 😉  the beautiful wrought iron railings, the very tall double doors on the corner building on our left, and the people going about their day. Funny that everyone in the photo, except for those appearing in the extreme background, are facing us. Check out the guy partially in our view on the far right. He’s easy to miss!

Spanish-born hat maker, Evaristo Tanda

We’re not seeing Havana city directories for this time-period online at present, though maybe someone will post a comment which will help pinpoint the street, but in any case, the most prominent business sign in the photo shows:   “Evaristo Tanda – Fabricante de Gorras”  translating as “Evaristo Tanda – Manufacturer of Caps.”  Evaristo was born in Spain about 1885. He appears on several ship passenger lists; the 1915 and 1917 record that he was single, occupation Merchant, and reveal that he had cousins, Angel and Francisco Puentes, in Matanzas, Cuba (could be city or province) the city being located on the northern coast of Cuba (about an hour and a half east from Havana, in present-day drive time.)

Below, partial view of the 1915 ship passenger list for S.S. Saratoga, en route from Cuba to New York, showing Evaristo Tanda’s last permanent residence as Havana, and nearest relative, cousin Angel Puentes:

1915-passinger-list-for-evaristo-tanda

An earlier S.S. Morro Castle

The 1917 passenger list for Evaristo Tanda and others, records their arrival from Cuba to New York, on Morro Castle. Research shows this was likely the passenger steamer built October 1900, original owner NY & Cuba Mail, which was scrapped in 1926, definitely not to be confused with the ship whose name became well-known (at least at that time) after the terrible 1934  Morro Castle tragedy, in which that vessel was destroyed by fire under mysterious circumstances which resulted in the loss of 137 members (accounts vary) of passenger and crew.

Below, Evaristo Tanda’s 1917 arrival in New York from Cuba on the earlier steamer Morro Castle:

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Above, believed to the ship named on the 1917 record, the 6,004 ton passenger steamer Morro Castle (1900 – 1926) original owner N.Y. & Cuba Mail. (Photo courtesy Library of Congress.)

Below, Evaristo’s arrival in Key West, Florida on steamer Cuba in 1925.

1925-evaristo-tanda-passenger-list

Sources:  Year: 1915; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2423; Line: 10; Page Number: 109. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.

Year: 1917; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 2512; Line: 5; Page Number: 131. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.

SS Moro Castle (1930) n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Morro_Castle_(1930). (accessed September 18, 2016).

Cramp Shipbuilding, Philadelphia PA. September 3, 2014, updated. http://www.shipbuildinghistory.com/history/shipyards/2large/inactive/cramp.htm. shipbuildinghistory.com. (accessed September 18, 2016).

S.S. Morro Castle, Cramps Shipyards, Philadelphia. Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. (accessed September 18, 2016).

The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Alien Passenger List of Vessels Arriving at Key West, Florida; NAI Number: 2790468; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 – 2004; Record Group Number: 85. (Ancestry.com. Florida, Passenger Lists, 1898-1963.)

Man With Cigar Tintype

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Tintype of unknown gentleman with cigar. Circa 1880s.

Price:  $15.00                 Size:  2 and 1/2 x 3 and 5/8″

I think of Cuba when I look at this image – just an impression; the location and the man’s ancestry is certainly unknown. No name attached (as in most tintypes found.) The plants in the foreground look real, and it seems unusual (as in sort of messy) that there’s some type of fabric laying on the fake rock that his left hand rests on. If you look closely, you can see there’s a border, similar to the lapel trim on the below-the-knee coat he’s dressed in, but wider. And he wears his wide-brim, low-crown derby tilted back, a silk necktie, and vest with watch and fob. As for the date of the tintype, possibly mid-1880s:  there’s an almost identical-looking coat, except for the buttons, appearing on another gentleman, and showing a somewhat similar necktie, which is estimated have been taken around 1885.

Source:  Morein, Alyssa S., “Tintype Portraiture in Early Auburn,” April 2005. White River Journal, White River Valley Museum. (accessed September 10, 2016).

Mother Gunderson

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‘Mother’ Gunderson, mother of Leeve Elizabeth”

Old photo, circa early 1900s, taken from tintype.

Price:  $15.00 for original photo. Digital copy $7.00.       Size:  About 3 and 1/2 x 5″

From the dark splotches and the general look of the photo, the original image was probably a tintype. How wonderful to have some i.d. written on the back, and one of the best clues within that writing is the use of the parentheses:  “Mother” Gunderson is likely someone that the “writer” either knew personally or had heard plenty of references to, within the family. In other words, it’s a good bet that this beautiful lady had lived with or near her kids and grandkids in the (most likely) United States, rather than having stayed in the “old country.”

Possible related family surnames:  Working, Salisbury, and Lesher

After searching thru census, family tree and grave site records, we have a strong possibility that the lady was named Anna, born about 1798 – 1809 in Norway, married to John Gunderson, born about 1797 in Norway. The 1857 Minnesota State Census for Belle Plaine, shows them living next door to Daniel W. Working, born 1827 in Pennsylvania, “Levi” Working (Leeve listed incorrectly as male) born Norway about 1830, and their son, about one year old John Brown Working, born in the Minnesota Territory (M.T.)

Per family trees in Ancestry, Leeve Elizabeth Gunderson married Daniel Webster Working in 1855 in Minnesota and had six other children after John B. True, it’s possible the above is not the correct match for our photo, however, no other near matches were found. And this one fits quite well for dates. Find A Grave has Leeve’s headstone showing born September 14, 1825 and died April 18, 1878.

Other Ancestry tree info has sisters of Leeve (aka Libby or Olivia) as Adeline (Gunderson) Salisbury (1830 – 1900) and Anna (Gunderson) Lesher (1832 – about 1887). And a date of death for our possible Anna “Mother Gunderson” as 1906. If the 1870 and 1880 Federal Census records are correct for Anna’s year of birth (1798) then she would have been about 108 years old when she died.

Sources:  “Levi Working.” Ancestry.com. Minnesota, Territorial and State Censuses, 1849-1905 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.

“Leeve Elizabeth Working.” Find A Grave Memorial# 13454263. Findagrave.com. (accessed September 5, 2016).

“Annie Gunderson.” Year: 1870; Census Place: Belle Plaine, Scott, Minnesota; Roll: T132_10; Page: 403; Image: 22726; Family History Library Film: 830430. (Ancestry.com)

“Anne Gounderson.” Year: 1880; Census Place: Blakeley, Scott, Minnesota; Roll: 633; Family History Film: 1254633; Page: 94A; Enumeration District: 114; Image: 0191.
(Ancestry.com)

Swedish Photographer Per Axel Sjöberg (1865 – 1936)

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Above, the reverse side of the CDV from the prior post for photographer Axel Sjöberg.

So, we see it was at least 1905 when this particular CDV was created, per the dates advertising the awards won, and where and when.  “Prisbelönt Med Diplom Samt Svenska Turistföreningens Hederspris”  translates from Google as:  Award-winning with diploma and Swedish Tourist Association’s Honorary Award. Note the beautiful flower and cross design in Malmö, (and underneath:  Stortorget, indicating Sjöberg’s Malmö studio was located in the Main Square.)

In looking online for biographical info for this photographer, we found other CDVs, Cabinet Cards from the 1880s, verification of some of his awards mentioned in various publications of Svenska turistföreningens årsskrift (Swedish Tourist’s Association Yearbook) and a grateful acknowledgement to Sjöberg (among others) from author William Widgery Thomas, Jr. in Sweden and the Swedes (1893) for the use of his landscape photos, “…especially along the Göta Canal.”  Check out the illustrations and other artwork in the eBook, and it looks like great reading (Now, where to find the time? 😉  ) The book was also published in Swedish.

Stepping stones….

From one bit of information to the next, like jumping from stone to stone we find:

From the Swedish website Moderna MuseetAxel Sjöberg (1865-1936). Active in Malmö. He won second prize in the Swedish Touring Club’s first competition in 1933 for his characteristic and poetic images of the flat landscape of Skåne. He also won second prize in the next two competitions organized by the Swedish Touring Club.”

From the website KulterNav:  The full name for the photographer was Per Axel Sjöberg, born June 15, 1865 in Södertälje, Södertälje kommun, Stockholms län (Södertälje, Stockholm County, Sweden). He died July 19, 1936 in Skåne län (Skåne County, Sweden).

Then, a Household Clerical Survey record confirming name, date of birth and occupation, recorded that he’d moved in 1887 from Södertelge to Karlsborgs garnisonsförsamling, (parish) in Skaraborg County. And the online death record showed his place of death as Malmö, Skåne County, Sweden.

Sources:  Svenska turistföreningens årsskrift för år 1899.  Wahlström & Widstrand, Stockholm. p. 419. (Google eBook.)

William W. Thomas, Jr. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_W._Thomas,_Jr. (accessed September 4, 2016).

Thomas, William W. Sweden and the Swedes. Chicago:  Rand, McNally & Company, 1893. (Google eBook).

Thomas, William W. Sverige och Svenskarne: eller Från Slott till Koja. Chicago:  Swedish Publishing Company, 1901. (Google eBook).

Biographies, Axel Sjöberg (1865-1936). Moderna Museet. (accessed September 4, 2016).

“Sjöberg, Axel (1865 – 1936) [sv]”  KulterNav. (accessed September 4, 2016).

Roll/Fiche Number: GO-550; Volume Number: AI:38; Page Number: 93. Ancestry.com. Sweden, Selected Indexed Household Clerical Surveys, 1880-1893.

Swedish Church Records Archive. Johanneshov, Sweden: Genline AB. Ancestry.com. Sweden, Selected Indexed Death Records, 1840-1860 and 1878-1942.

Woman In Plaid, Malmö, Sweden

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Carte-de-Visite by photographer Per Axel Sjöberg. Malmö, Sweden. Circa 1905 – 1915.

Price:  $7.00        Size:  2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/8″

The most recent year on the back of the CDV, advertising the photographer’s awards and locations given, shows 1905; very helpful in placing an approximate date for the photo of the beautiful Swedish woman with the regal bearing. Is she the same woman from the prior post, but somewhat older? Maybe, or maybe not, but there does seem to be a resemblance. Both CDVs were found in the same bin at one of the recent paper fairs in San Francisco, so if they are not the same person, they could at least be related. And in looking closely at her plaid blouse it appears to be made from flannel.

See the next post for details on the photographer, Axel Sjöberg.

A Handsome Swedish Couple

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Carte-de-Visite, circa 1890 – 1910.

Price:  $7.00     Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/8″

A portrait of a young Swedish couple (for me the gentleman bears a strong resemblance to former Detroit Red Wing hockey player Tomas Holmström, the “Demolition Man” and Tomas-a-loca!, per my husband who is forever making up names for everyone, okay to be precise, it was a borrowed expression from someone he used to work with, but adapted to Homer. Yes, we’re huge Wings fans….) We have another Carte-de-Visite of a woman (found in the same group of old photos) and we wonder if she is one and the same or if they are sisters. She’ll be up in the next post.

As to the photographer, the back of the card shows:   “Gustaf Brink, P.D. Hoffotograf, Sw. Swenssons Atelier, Engelholm, Storgatan 55, Telefon 236.”  We’re not finding anything in the way of a biography for Gustaf Brink, but the Swedish genealogy website Rötter has a number of CDVs by him. The town of Engelholm is found on the map spelled Ängelholm, and we see “Hoffotograf” spelled “Hovfotograf” and translated in Google as “Court Photographer.”

Sources:  Tomas Holmström. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomas_Holmstr%C3%B6m (accessed September 2, 2016).

Rötter. http://www.genealogi.se/ (accessed September 2, 2016).

Ängelholm. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%84ngelholm (accessed September 2, 2016).

To Mrs. Johanna Johnson of Stillman Valley

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Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked from Stillman Valley, Illinois, circa 1910 – 1919.

Price:  $15.00

“Skulle jerna skrifva ett brev men då blir min sida ond så vill ej fõrsõka. Hullo Mor Hur ãr det med er vi ãr alla friska hãr hoppas vi ãr det samma.”

Well, shouldn’t the ã and õ be spelled ä and ö?

This postcard is from about 1910 (You can’t quite read the postmarked year but it looks like it’s the 1910s for sure.) Maybe it’s a historical difference in the letters with accent marks? I will find out shortly and update this post.

“Skulle jerna skrifva ett brev men då blir min sida ond så vill ej försöka. Hullo Mor Hur är det med er vi är alla friska här hoppas vi är det samma.”

The note in Swedish appears to translate roughly as:

“I would write a letter, but then my side starts to hurt so I didn’t try. Hello Mother How are you, we are all healthy here, we hope it is the same with you”
The sender goes on to write in English…

“We have canned 75 quarts of sauce, 9 of sweet pickle, 10 of fruit Butter, 60 glasses of Jell, 29 glasses of Jam. Elin went to lottas yesterday. with love Anna.”

Most likely Anna is either of the lovely young women in the postcard photo. They both wear rings on the left hand; perhaps they are sisters. We searched for possible married names with maiden name Johnson but this is one of those that would require more time; nothing jumps out at us as an “ah-ha!”  type of thing. They are hardworking, that we know, according to all those pickles and jellies, etc. that got “put by.” 

The addressee, Johanna…

“Mrs. Johanna Johnson, Stillman Valley, Ill.   % Chas. H. Johnson”

According to a couple of census records, Anna’s mother, Mrs. Johanna Johnson was born in Sweden in July, about 1840. The 1900 Federal Census for Rockvale, Ogle County, Illinois shows she is with her husband, Gust (Gustav?) L. Johnson, who is born in Sweden, September, about 1832. Their son, Charley H., was born July, about 1877. Johanna and Charley emigrated to the U.S. about 1884, and Gustav the year before. The family is farming, and Johanna is listed as the mother of eight children, five of whom are living in 1900. By the 1910 census, Charles is married (Sophia) and they go under the spelling of Johnston. Johanna is widowed but living with her son and daughter-in-law. Also in the household by this time, is Swedish born, John Levin, hired farm labor.

Another clue about the family appears as the little note written sideways on the back of the note, and in pencil:   “Anna sent this to me thinking you would be here.”

Sources: Year: 1900; Census Place: Rockvale, Ogle, Illinois; Roll: 333; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0090; FHL microfilm: 1240333. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Marion, Ogle, Illinois; Roll: T624_314; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0077; FHL microfilm: 1374327. (Ancestry.com).

Alaskan Blue Fox

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Divided back, unused, commercial-type Real Photo Postcard of Arctic Blue Fox. Photographer:  Robinson. Number or Series:  316-E. Circa late 1940s.

Price:  $15.00

The blue (a smoky gray, blueish gray or black) is a color phase of the Arctic Fox. See photo 4/16 by Bjorn Anders Nymoen (Your Shot) in this link.

Most likely, the image of this beautiful animal can be attributed to travelog lecturer and world traveler Karl Henry Robinson.  Many newspaper accounts can be found detailing some of his travels and lecture stops, including the two articles below:

Karl Robinson article 1  San Bernardino County Sun, Oct. 15, 1950

Karl Robinson article 2  The Bakersfield Californian, Nov. 18, 1949.

Reminiscent of My Cousin Vinny….

In researching other possibilities for photographers named Robinson, we find a color postcard of Franklin Street, Juneau, Alaska attributed to a Howard Robinson under publisher J. Boyd Ellis for sale online. However, also for sale, but in black and white and signed “Robinson” (same as our postcard above) is almost the exact same view. The large clock in both photos show the time as two minutes apart. Are we to believe that two photographers with the last name of Robinson showed up at the same time to take photos of this street, from an identical angle? Highly unlikely. More likely, the color version was adapted from the black and white photo. (We’ve seen this a number of times in the world of postcards. Images are slightly altered, for example, a person is added into the scene, or taken out. Sometimes it’s quite obvious, other times, not so much.) To compare the two, here’s the digital page from Card Cow that, at the time of this post, offers both Franklin Street postcards for sale.

More on Karl…

Karl Henry Robinson, son of dentist Henry S. Robinson and Ella H. Davis, was born August 17, 1902 in Attleboro, Massachusetts. He married Ruth Charmion Cotton in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on February 14, 1939. He died in Los Angeles County, California May 29, 1997.
The following (don’t mind the typo on Karl’s father’s initials) is an article on Karl and Ruth’s wedding:

Ruth Cotton article  San Francisco Chronicle, March 4, 1939.

Sources: “Arctic Fox. Alopex lagopus.National Geographic. (Web accessed August 16, 2016.)

“Karl Robinson To Deliver Speech On ‘China Journey.’ ” San Bernardino County Sun, 15 October 1950, Sunday, p. 16. (Newspapers.com).

“Alaskan Films Presented to Large Crowd at Forum.” The Bakersfield Californian, 18 November, 1949, Friday p. 22. (Newspapers.com).

Card Cow digital page image re search for “Robinson” and “Alaska”. (Web accessed August 16, 2016.)

Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. (Ancestry.com).

State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. (Ancestry.com).

“Ruth Cotton Married in Pennsylvania.” San Francisco Chronicle, 4 March 1939. p. 107. (Genealogybank.com).

Ice Breakup In Fairbanks, Alaska

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Vintage photo, Cushman Street bridge and Ice Breakup, Fairbanks, AK. Circa 1920s – 1940s.

Price:  $7.00          Size:  3 and 1/2 x 2 and 1/2″

You can see the spire of Immaculate Conception Church that, from this angle, is appearing behind Samson’s Hardware store. The church, built in 1905, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Sites and was originally located on the other side of the river. It was hauled over the ice on skids (logs or planks) to it’s present location in 1911 so it would be close to the hospital that had been built a few years prior. And that’s the Cushman Street bridge, built in 1917, that is spanning the Chena River. Samson’s, in business since the Gold Rush days (now Sampson’s True Value) relocated in 2010 about a mile and a half west of the site it occupies above. Here’s an image from Alaska’s Digital Archives showing a somewhat similar view of the store (note the long windows) as well as partial views of the church spire and bridge.

Sources:  “Fairbanks – Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.” Diocese of Fairbanks. Missionaries in the last frontier. (Web accessed August 12, 2016.)

Cole, Dermot. “Historic Samson Hardware celebrates grand opening at new store.” Newsminer.com, May 22, 2010. (Web accessed August 12, 2016.)

Photo of “Sled dog team on Chena River in Fairbanks.” Alaska’s Digital Archives. (Web accessed August 12, 2016.)