St. Louis Gate, Québec City

Divided Back, unused postcard. Publisher:  W. G. MacFarlane, Toronto, Buffalo-Leipzig. Series or number: I. 405. Printed in Germany. Circa December 1903 – 1904.

Price:  $3.00

The Canadian postal regulations allowed for the Divided Back postcard as of December 18, 1903, hence the start of the approximated date for the card. Prior to the new regulation, any message from the sender would have been written on the front of the card. So, because of the blank space on the front, we wonder if this card wasn’t maybe produced at or shortly after the regulations changed (almost like an example of a very short under-the-radar sub-era appearing between the “Private Mailing Card” that can be found on Pre-divided backs and the “Post Card” printing on the Divided Backs, and don’t we imagine the printers and publishers scrambling a little as they changed over?)

Les Remparts

The St. Louis Gate is one of the four ramparts of the city (a good word – rampart – up till now I never realized this was the word in use, nor that there is a junior hockey team named after them.) Anyway, in general, we like to see what was being said about a subject back in the day, so here’s a clipping from an article that appeared in The Scranton Tribune (PA) in 1894. At the time the article was written, the present-day St. Louis Gate was still fairly new, having been re-built about fourteen years earlier, and re-built maybe about twenty-four years or so before our postcard was published. But to correct the article:  Princess Louise laid the cornerstone of the Kent Gate, not the St. Louis Gate (though it was Princess Louise who declared that the gate known as St. Louis would retain its name.) It was Lord and Lady Dufferin that laid the cornerstone of the St. Louis.

Related LCG post:  “Princess Louise.”

Sources:  Ramparts of Quebec City. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramparts_of_Quebec_City. (accessed March 19, 2017).

“Antique Curios of Aged Quebec.” The Scranton Tribune. (Scranton, PA) Tuesday, December 18, 1894, p. 8. (Newspapers.com)

LeMoine, J. M. Picturesque Quebec:  A Sequel to Quebec Past and Present. Montreal:  Dawson Brothers, 1882. (Google.com)

La Calèche De Québec

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Librairie Garneau, Québec, PQ Canada.  Circa 1931.

Price:  $3.00

La Calèche:  a popular subject for old Québec postcards

The calèche, as shown in the postcard, is a light carriage with two large wheels, drawn by one horse, and usually seen with its top folded back. After searching old newspapers (the term calèche abounds) and books online, it seems the name was perhaps used generically for carriage, maybe at some point having something to do with the hood style. (This Wiki article in french shows the different look with four wheels) and after many searches the only thing that seems clear is that when exactly the two-wheeler came into being would be a subject for a more in-depth search, but here’s an excerpt from an article in 1850 that appeared in the Christian Watchman (Boston).

And we couldn’t resist including this next snippet from a short story by Fred Hunter from the newspaper Flag of Our Union (Boston) re a mysterious woman in a blue bonnet, bringing to mind the two-wheeler, really, if conjuring an image…

Speaking of bonnets, the women’s bonnet in images below, was aptly named the “caleche capote” (carriage hood). Newspaper articles in 1879 reference this as the latest style.

Surface romance

But back to the conveyance:  Is the vehicle as seen in the postcard above still in use today? No, today we’re talking about the horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage that has been a part of the tourist industry in the cities of Montréal and Québec. This is an eye-opening topic, if you have not yet heard of the plight of the carriage horse. Glad now that we never took that carriage ride, well what –  twenty years ago in Montréal? But, still. And through the surface of charm and romance we’d probably have thought anyway, “But is the horse happy?” You know how it is when you get that feeling that you’ve bought into something fake, something glossy on the surface but behind the scenes, “not so much.” So, in many cities the use of the carriage horse has already been banned, while in other places the fight continues. Below, a couple of excellent websites:

Anti-Calèche Defense Coalition

Horses Without Carriages

On to the postcard….

After some online digging we found that our card originated from a Real Photo Postcard:  One is currently showing on eBay, “The Old World Caleche, Quebec, P. Q.,” published by S. J. Hayward, 1448 Mountain St., Montréal, and dated by the sender in 1931. The photo itself could have been taken earlier. In addition to our tinted version there is a second colorized rendition from Toronto publisher, The Post Card & Greeting Card Company, Ltd., as shown below, second from left, top row, in some images from a Google search.

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Sources:  Calèche. The Canadian Encyclopedia. (accessed March 18, 2017).

Calèche. n.d. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cal%C3%A8che (accessed March 18, 2017).

“A Trip to Quebec.” Christian Watchman (Boston, MA) Thursday, October 10, 1850. p. 4. (GenealogyBank.com)

Hunter, Fred. “The Blue Velvet Bonnet – A Parisian Tale.” Flag of Our Union (Boston, MA) Saturday, March 31, 1949. p. 4. (GenealogyBank.com)

“Images of caleche bonnet.” Cropping of Google.com search result. https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+caleche+bonnet&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8. (accessed March 18, 2017).

“Old World Caèche Montreal Quebec Canada 1931.” ebay.com http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/Old-World-Caleche-MONTREAL-Quebec-Canada-1931-S-J-Hayward-Postcard-3874-/192109228919?hash=item2cba9a3377:g:j~cAAOSwEzxYdbBK(accessed March 18, 2017).

“Images of Quebec postcards calèche.” Cropping of Google.com search result. https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+cal%C3%A8che+postcards+quebec&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6_9-rwODSAhUQ32MKHYs4Bf0QsAQIGQ&biw=1205&bih=522. (accessed March 16, 2017).

Three Cheers

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked February 25, 1910 from Pueblo, Colorado. St. Patrick Series No. 3.

Price:  $3.00

“Erin Go Bragh”

Three cheers for Old Erin’s Isle,

Three cheers for the harp and flag of green.

Three cheers for the shamrock boys,

And a kiss for the Irish Colleen.”

Another for St. Pat’s Day….Three-leaf clovers this time, and a pretty, rather heavily corseted colleen, pinning a clover on her man’s lapel. They’re out for a night on the town, she in her finest dress, he in top hat and tails. He’s bringing the shillelagh though, just in case of any trouble. 😉  Addressed to:   “Mr. J. M. Ellison, Sawnee, Okla.”  which the sender probably wrote in haste, as it should, of course, be Shawnee. She writes:

“2 – 25 -10.  Dear Mike: – Your letter received and I want you to do what ever you think best about that place. It sounds alright to me. Hope to see you soon. Love from all, Ma.”

Luck From Mattie Hicks, 1908

Undivided back, embossed, unused postcard. Publisher:  Raphael Tuck & Sons’  “St. Patricks Day Post Cards.”

Price:  $3.00

“St. Patrick’s Day – and I wish you Luck.”

Happy St. Pat’s Day! Here’s a barefoot country lass (love the fringe on the shawl or sweater) with a very large four-leaf clover and a little piggy running from underneath. The card is signed at the bottom in pencil,  “Mattie Hicks 1908.”

Montréal Girl

Carte de Visite. Photographer:  Notman & Sandham. Circa 1877 – 1882.

Price:  To be determined.        Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 4″

William Notman (1826 – 1891)

Henry Sandham (1842 – 1910)

The Notman collection (about 650,000 photographic works) is, according to Marian Scott’s article in the Montreal Gazette,  “…the jewel in the crown of the McCord Museum,”  the McCord being located in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Though our carte-de-visite above does not show off the incredible clarity nor have the chance to exhibit any of the innovation that the Notman firm became known for, it’s still a lovely portrait of a beautiful young woman. She wears a Christian cross, possibly jeweled, on a rather large-link short chain; a high, white ruffled collar under a dark blouse or dress; and a bow tying back her dark hair, which is worn parted in the middle with short bangs.

Photo and paint….

We don’t necessarily think of painters (artists in oil, watercolor, etc.) in conjunction with photographic artists. Or, at least, I confess, I did not. Notman is said to have developed and made popular the composite photo, where individual studio portraits were taken, cut out, fastened onto the composite negative of a painted background (this is my understanding from piecing together a couple of online descriptions) and printed. Below, a well-known example entitled, “La culbute” (The bounce) of the Montréal Snowshoe Club. Notman & Son, 1886. Per author Sarah Parsons, William Notman:  Life & Work, the Notman firm offered oil paintings of all its photos. No wonder then, that Notman’s photography company had its own art department (which was for some years headed by Henry Sandham.)

Below, a couple of articles referencing Henry Sandham, from the Boston Herald, January 23rd and August 14th, 1881.

Last, but not least, another prominent Canadian, printer George-Édouard Desbarats (1838 – 1893) who was the founder of the lithography firm that did the reverse of our Montréal Girl cdv. The printing on the bottom left of the card shows  “Desbarats, lith., Montreal.”

Sources:  William Notman. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Notman. (accessed February 26, 2017).

Henry Sandham. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sandham. (accessed February 26, 2017).

Scott, Marian. “William Notman:  portrait of a visionary photographer at McCord Museum.” montrealgazette.com, November 4, 2016. Web accessed February 26, 2017.

Parsons, Sarah. (2014). William Notman:  Life & Work. http://www.aci-iac.ca/content/art-books/19/Art-Canada-Institute_William-Notman.pdf. (accessed February 26, 2017)

File: The Bounce, Montreal Snowshoe Club.jpg. n.d. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Bounce,_Montreal_Snowshoe_Club.jpg. (accessed February 26, 2017).

The Sunday Herald. (Boston, MA). Sunday, January 23, 1881, p. 2. (genealogybank.com)

The Sunday Herald. (Boston, MA). Sunday, August 14, 1881, p. 12. (genealogybank.com)

Desbarats, George-Édouard. Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. XII (1891 – 1900). http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/desbarats_george_edouard_12E.html. (accessed February 26, 2017).

To Miss Ida From Emma

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked June 6, 1907 from Unnaryd, Sweden. Stamped in Eureka, California post office on July 1, 1907.

Price:  $10.00

Wow, well this Swedish postcard (the last in our Ida L. Vance Collection unless we come across more) took almost a month to get to Northern California and be delivered to:   “Miss Ida Vance, Eureka Humboldt Co., Box 454. California U.S.A.”

The sender writes:   “Dear Miss Ida your[?] safe home. Give my love to all, Emma.”  Or, is that supposed to be “Dear Miss Ida Vance” ? Hard to tell from the writing. And did Emma return home to Sweden or was Ida her traveling companion who returned early to California, or was Emma’s comment meaning something like, “Here I am traveling all over and you’re safe and cozy at home” ? We could interpret Emma’s short note multiple ways, for sure.

“Motiv från Slottsskogen”  translates as “Scene from the Castle Forest.” Castle Forest is a large park (with lots to do and see) in central Gothenburg (Göteborg) Sweden on 137 hectares (about 338 acres.) It was established in 1874, on land that was once a private reserve for deer hunting.

“Imp. Joh. Ol. Andreens Konströrlag, Göteborg.”

Possibly Johannes Ol. [Olaf, Ole? etc.] Andreens Konströrlag is the publisher and/or printer of this postcard. The abbreviation “imp” is a mystery for the moment.

Source:  Slottsskogen. Göteborgarnas park sedan 1874. http://www5.goteborg.se/prod/parkochnatur/dalis2.nsf/vyPublicerade/8602D7D46CAE30F0C1257A2F003D64CB?OpenDocument. (accessed February 20, 2017).

Les Jardins, Hôtel St. George, Alger

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Cie Alsacienne des Arts Photoméchaniques. Strasbourg, France. Circa 1916 – 1920s.

Price:  $10.00

“Alger – Hotel St-George. Les Jardins – The garden’s”

A sepia-toned postcard from a photo of the gardens at the Saint George Hotel in Algiers, now of the El-Djazair hotels and resorts chain. Half-way around the world from our last post in the Boston, Mass. area but another absolute bit of heaven. The publisher for this one is a.k.a. CAP and according to Metropostcard, operated from 1916 – 1969.

Sources:  The Saint George Hotel, Algiers. http://www.chaineeldjazair.com/index.php/en/sain_george/historique. (accessed February 20, 2017).

“Alsatian Photomechanical Arts Co. (CAP) (1916 – 1969)” A-publishers, page 1. Metropostcard.com. (accessed February 20, 2017).

Arnold Arboretum Rhododendrons

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked March 15, 1909 from Fenway Station, Boston, MA. Publisher:  Boston Post-Card Co., 12 Pearl St. No. 770.

“Arnold Arboretum. Rhododendrons. Jamaica Plain, Mass.”

Price:  $5.00

It’s funny, one would not think of this postcard as “hand-colored” as is described on the back, but in looking for color, we do notice the blue-green tinge around the middle of the card. This is one of five that we’ve found that had all been sent to Miss Ida L. Vance of Eureka, CA. In noticing the postcard date, we see that the card was a little old already when it was mailed, since it’s a non-divided back. It was probably produced around 1906 or early 1907 before the postal rules changed. Miss Ida received at least three cards from this particular unknown sender, as we can see the handwriting was the same as in the two (of three) previously posted. (Did postcard collectors mail them to themselves ever? Seems like a good way to record dates and locations, so some probably did!)

A living tree museum on 281 acres and the National Register of Historic Places, just among other things….

Arnold Arboretum: a heavenly place to visit, hang out, and learn. Check out their website, and since we’re especially fond of history, here’s a direct link to their history page.

Just to put into context for our postcard era, here are two excerpts from a long article that appeared in the Davenport Daily Republican, (Davenport, IA) April 7, 1901. Reading the second portion gives us a little bit of a time-travel effect:  We’re now in the “future” (beyond, to be precise – over 100 years) that the writer was imagining!

Sources:  The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. https://www.arboretum.harvard.edu/ (accessed February 20, 2017).

“Planting Trees In Living Museum.” Davenport Daily Republican. Sunday, April 7, 1901. Sunday. p. 11. (Newspapers.com)

To My Valentine, 1910

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked February 10, 1910 from Los Angeles, California. Printed in Germany. Number 4129.

Price:  $3.00

A smiling cupid, with pale green gossamer wings, is knocking at the door, ready to deliver a valentine gift:  A garland of forget-me-nots which, at present, frame the doorway and drape over the large red heart. The sender wrote the year, 1910, on the front. On the reverse:

“Dear Ella, write me another one of your good letters. Dossie.”

Addressed to:   “Ella Ellison, Pueblo, Colo., 26 St. & Cheyenne Ave.”

Valentine To Ella From Alice

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Publisher:  Whitney Made, Worcester, Mass. Circa:  1910s – 1920s.

Price:  $1.00

“To My Valentine.”

Happy Valentine’s Day! This one’s in rough shape, for sure, but so cute though. Nice outfit (gaiters and tam o’shanter hat) on the little boy that’s sending the valentine postal to the little girl in the smaller top image. Note the climate difference.