S.S. Cacique At Panama

SS Cacique bwm

S.S. Cacique:  built in 1910 by the Short Brothers of Sunderland, England; 6,202 gross tonnage; owned by W.R. Grace & Co., purchased in 1914 from New York & Pacific Steamship Co. (Ltd.) a subsidiary of W.R. Grace & Co.; requisitioned by the United States Navy 1918-1919; returned to her owner after her navy service, scrapped in 1934 at Osaka, Japan.

This photo was an exciting and rare find at an antique and vintage paper fair in California. As of the date of this post, it appears to be only the second one in existence of Cacique, (the other is a US Navy photo) and if so, the only one with the view of her name on the hull! The clarity and details are incredible. On the back is written, in pencil:  “US freighter, SS Cacique, Panama, c. 1922.”

SS Cacique p2

S.S. Cacique was owned by W.R. Grace & Co., a company founded in Peru by Irish brothers, William Russel Grace (1832-1904) and Michael Paul Grace (1842 – 1920). The brothers got their start in the mid-19th century using sailing ships to transport guano (among other items), after initially working as chandlers (dealers in ship supplies). While their Peruvian based ventures prospered Michael Grace stayed in Callao to look after the company’s interests, and brother William went to New York, establishing W.R. Grace & Co. in 1865. William R. Grace became the first Catholic Irish-born mayor of New York City, elected in 1880, and was elected a second time in 1884. It was during his second term that the Statue of Liberty was received as a gift from France. A philanthropist and humanitarian, William R. Grace, with the help of his wife and brother, founded the Grace Institute in New York City in 1897, an educational and vocational school for immigrant women, whose legacy continues today. (As per usual, we see how one photo, postcard, trade card or whatever leads us down some totally unexpected paths!)

To follow the history of a shipping company can be understandably a bit of a complicated process; it’s a topic not easily researched within a week or two, what with ship name changes, subsidiaries, chartered ships, etc. all interwoven and interdependent with trade and shipping law, and in general influenced by and influencing the political, economic and social scene of the day. For a fascinating and in-depth look at the earlier Grace years, see author Lawrence A. Clayton’s Grace:  W.R. Grace & Co., the Formative Years, 1850 – 1930.  But just to clarify one point on Cacique’s ownership:  According to a Who’s Who In America entry, William R. Grace established the New York & Pacific Steamship Co. (Ltd.) in 1891. A separate source, a 1915 U.S. Congress publication regarding Foreign Vessels Admitted To American Registry, under the Act of August 18, 1914 shows Cacique:  Rig:  Steam Screw. Service:  Freight. Gross tons:  6206. Net tons:  4543. When built:  1910. Home port:  New York, NY. Present owner:  W.R. Grace & Co. Former owner:  New York & Pacific Steamship Co. (Ltd.) Former flag:  British.”  So, while Cacique changed flags and the official ownership name in 1914, as evidenced by the ad and text below from the Frank Waterhouse & Co. publication, the vessel’s parent company had not changed.

1917 advertisement and entry shown in Frank Waterhouse & Company’s Pacific Ports. A Commercial Geography, Commercial Dictionary, Transportation Guide and Marine Manual of the Pacific Ocean, with Full Information for Importers and Exporters.
Note the subsidiary companies (specifically New York & Pacific S.S. Co.)

WR Grace & Co AdWR Grace

United States Navy photo of U.S.S. Cacique (ID 2213) during her WWI service. This photo may have been taken at the time of her inspection by the 12th Naval District on December 27, 1917. Cicique made two round-trip voyages between the United States and France during the remainder of World War I and the first months after the Armistice in November 1918.

US Navy photo of USS Cacique

Regarding the smokestack colors:  The Grace line’s steamship colors changed in 1913 from green with a black top to the smokestack that we see in the top photo which, if we could see it in color, would show what became known as Grace’s signature stack colors (used from 1913-1969) of green with a white band and black top. The excellent The Ships List website contains detailed entries for the numerous vessels in the Grace Line. Cacique in these photos here is not to be confused with two other Grace ships under the same name. The first was a vessel built in 1893 that was lost to fire in 1908 off of the Ecuador coast; (owned by New York & Pacific Steamship Co., Ltd. and listed as chartered by W.R. Grace & Co. at the time of her unfortunate demise, which tragically included lives lost); the other Cacique being the ship Garfield, built in 1918, renamed Nosa Chief in 1929 and then Cacique in 1935, and scrapped in 1946. Also, not to be confused with another Cacique:  built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Ltd. in Newcastle, England 1908, sunk by a torpedo from a German submarine on February 20, 1917, (21 lives lost) and owned at the time of her loss by Cie. Générale Transatlantique. (Cie. is the french abbreviation for company.)

Old snapshot, sepia-toned, white border. Circa 1922.    Size:  5 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Price:  $275.00    Condition:  Good though “wavy” overall (does not lay flat). This photo was taken from someone’s photo album or scrapbook. Small crease in top left corner of white border.

Sources:  USS Cacique (ID-2213). n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Cacique_%28ID-2213%29. (accessed November 1, 2014).

“Grace Line (W. R. Grace & Co.), New York, 1882 – 1869.”  The Ships List. Web accessed November 10, 2014. [http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/grace.shtml]

William Russell Grace. n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Russell_Grace. (accessed November 2, 2014).

Michael P. Grace. n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_P._Grace. (accessed November 2, 2014).

Clayton, Lawrence A. Grace:  W.R. Grace & Company. The Formative Years, 1850-1930. Ottawa, Illinois:  Jameson Books, 1985. Web accessed Nov. 1, 2014. (Google eBooks.)

United States. Cong. House of Representatives. Foreign Vessels Admitted To American Registry. 63rd Cong., 3rd sess. Washington:  GPO, 1915. Web accessed Nov. 2, 2014. (Google eBooks.)

Frank Waterhouse & Company’s Pacific ports. ed. Welford Beaton. 3rd ed. Seattle:  Terminal Publishing Company, 1917. Web accessed Nov. 2, 2014. (Google eBooks.)

Baltimore. The Merchant’s and Manufacturers Association of Baltimore. Vol. 15, No. 11 (September 1922):  p. 25. Web accessed November 10, 2014. (Google eBooks.)

Moody, John. Moody’s Analyses of Investments, Part 2. Moody’s Investors Service. (1917):  p. 2013. Web accessed November 10, 2014. (Google eBooks.)

Who’s Who in America. A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of the United States, 1901-1902. ed. John W. Leonard. Chicago:  A.N. Marquis & Company, 1901. Web accessed Nov. 2, 2014. (Google eBooks.)

The New York Lumber Trade Journal, Vol. 60. (March 1, 1916):  p. 33. Web accessed November 10, 2014. (Google eBooks.)

Naval History Heritage Command. Department of the Navy – Naval Historical Center. US Navy photo of USS Cacique. Web accessed November 10, 2014. [http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-civil/civsh-c/cacique.htm]

“Cacique.” Tyne Built Ships.  Web accessed November 23, 2014. [http://www.tynebuiltships.co.uk/C-Ships/cacique1908.html]

Taking Care Of What He Has

This is the first post in a new category here at Laurel Cottage, under the heading of Unusual Occupations. I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile; there are some eye-catching entries out there on old census records, city directories and that type of thing.

Taking Care occ1

This one could be interpreted a couple of different ways, and shows John J.[?] Duryea, age 57, along with (one assumes) a brother or cousin or some other male relative, S. Duryea, age 56. Their occupations were listed as  “taking care of what he has.”  How funny to see an occupation transcribed as such! This 1880 Federal Census for New York City shows that the two Duryea men were boarding with S. M. Tweed, age 30, occupation printer. Perhaps the Duryeas were caretakers working for Mr. Tweed; on the other hand, perhaps the entries meant they were taking care of their own things, in which case, one might wonder if they were unemployed. The address is given on the census as the Grand Hotel, at 1226 Broadway, and the several census pages for this location show 115 occupants at that time. This building was designated as a city landmark in 1979 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Below is a 1910 photo from Wikipedia showing the hotel on the left.

Grand Hotel in 1910

Taking a quick look at the next available Federal Census, the 1900, shows a listing for a John J. Duryea, age 70 and wife Julia, age 49, living in Middletown, New York. This may or may not be the same John J., but his occupation is listed as landlord. So, that is the third possibility for what was meant on the 1880. That “taking care of what he has” could have meant landlord.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: New York City, New York, New York; Roll: 880; Family History Film: 1254880; Page: 289C; Enumeration District: 289; Image: 0519. (Ancestry.com)

Grand Hotel (New York City). n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Hotel_%28New_York_City%29. (accessed November 23, 2014).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Middletown, Orange, New York; Roll: 1140; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0025; FHL microfilm: 1241140. (Ancestry.com)

Frederick Russell Pope

Frederick Russell Pope cc1Frederick Russell Pope cc2

Cabinet Card showing a beautiful photo of young Frederick Russell Pope, estimated age about four years old, taken by the Duryea photography studio, Brooklyn, New York. Russell was born May 25, 1892, in Brooklyn, according to his passport application made twenty-three years later. He is dressed and with hairstyle in the mode of the day, when it was common for young boys to be outfitted in what we today would just think of as girls’ clothing, and with longer haircut, shoulder length in this photo. The outfit is a plaid, pleated skirt; white blouse with scalloped lace edging, a ruffled collar and cuffs that turn up as far as the elbow; and a large light-colored plaid ruffled bow at the neck.

Here is Russell’s photo from his passport application:  a handsome young man at age 25. The passport shows his residence as 412 Avenue C, Brooklyn; that he was applying for the passport to travel to Germany and Switzerland, to reside abroad temporarily for about a year; and that his occupation was “Student & Teacher.”

Frederick R Pope Passport App Photo

Russell’s parents are William Pope and Annie Long, both born in England. He married M. Irene Decker, and he died July 16, 1940 in Greensboro, North Carolina, at age 48 (always sad to see the death certificates of people we feel we just got to know slightly through their photos, especially when the person dies young or relatively young.) The death cert shows he was a teacher, and residing at Guilford College, NC.

The 1930 Federal Census for White Plains, NY shows Russell, wife Irene and their three daughters, Ethel, Virginia and Joyce. Russell’s occupation on this census is Professor at “New York University” which may not have been the actual university name.

As to the photographer, there is more than one possibility for this last name in Brooklyn. We’ll do more research and update here asap.

Cabinet Card, circa 1896. Photographer:  Duryea, Brooklyn, New York.

Price:  $20.00

Sources:  National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 277; Volume #: Roll 0277 – Certificates: 11501-11900, 20 Nov 1915-30 Nov 1915 (Ancestry.com)

North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1930; Census Place: White Plains, Westchester, New York; Roll: 1666; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0370; Image: 408.0; FHL microfilm: 2341400

Mullen & Bluett Clothing Company

Mullen & Bluett Clothing Company pc1Mullen & Bluett Clothing Company pc2

Here’s an old postcard that was used for advertising purposes by the Los Angeles, California-based Mullen & Bluett Clothing Company, and shows an illustration by Hamilton, Ontario-born artist Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert. The clothing company wrote:

“The chill, cool days are coming, to remind the boys of our attractive assortments of Fall and Winter Clothes – Good styles and good values in the newest Suits, Overcoats, Hats and Furnishings.  Mullen & Bluett Clothing Co – Los Angeles, Cal.”

Two similar postcards were found (at the time of this post) for sale on eBay. They show the exact same format – illustrations by the same artist, calendar in top right, postcard back with the same “Mailing Card” heading, same publisher and the exact same writing style for the message. One is a summer scene with the calendar for August 1910 for the H.M.& R. Shoe Company,Toledo, Ohio, and the other a winter scene with a January 1910 calendar for The Luke Horsfall Company. This was really quite clever of the publisher, American Commercial Advertising:  You have designs by a popular artist, a new possibility every month, a small calendar (always handy) included on the card, and a space for the clothing company, shoe company or whatever, to write a few short lines to their existing and potential customers.

A third postcard, and one made for Mullen & Bluett, like the one we have here, can be found on the excellent Plummer & Associates’ Blog. They also show some old postcards of the various Mullen & Bluett stores.

Lastly, the postcard back showing “Mailing Card” and “This Side for Address Only” does not seem to have been as common as those that say “Private Mailing Card.” Probably this one was printed either in late 1909 or early 1910, but the company must have been using old card stock, since on March 1, 1907 the U.S. postal regulations had changed to allow the divided back.

Undivided back, artist-signed, unused postcard. Publisher:  American Commercial Advertising Company, New York. Circa 1909 – 1910.

Price:  $25.00

Source:  Plummer, John. “Downtown Los Angeles History.” Plummer & Associates’ Blog. February 6, 2011. Web accessed November 21, 2014.

German Yeast Company Trade Card

German Yeast Company Trade Card tc1German Yeast Company Trade Card tc2

Here’s a lovely old trade card from about 1890 with an autumn-winter theme. For the design, the artist has “gathered” three outdoor scenes, some maple leaves, some acorns on their branches, and some long blades of golden grass. If you are doing a double-take, and thinking, “I thought acorns were on oak trees,” then, of course, you are right. As, at first glance, one might assume the leaves are attached to the oak branches; unless they are supposed to be leaves from the red oak, but the leaves don’t look long enough for that. But it’s more likely that the artist just meant to depict a nice autumn arrangement with the pictures. As you can see, this trade card has some writing on it (which is a bit unusual.) Someone with the initials R.L.B. signed the bottom and wrote  “Dalis, Texas.”  at the top left, which was just a misspelling of Dallas.

The German Yeast Company shows up online in an 1890 publication entitled Seeger and Guernsey’s Cyclopaedia of the Manufactures and Products of the United States. They were reported at that time to be manufacturing
“dry hop yeast” in contrast to the other companies that had been reported to be producing compressed yeast, yeast cakes, yeast powder, and even sugar-coated yeast cakes.

Trade card, circa 1890.  Size:  5 and 1/4 x 3 and 5/8″

Price:  $15.00

Source:  Seeger and Guernsey’s Cyclopaedia of the Manufactures and Products of the United States. New York:  The Seeger & Guernsey Company, 1890. p. 619. Web accessed November 19, 2014. (Google eBook)

Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert


Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1879 and was the son of Francis Edwin Kilvert, mayor of Hamilton, Ontario(1877-78), Conservative Member of Parliament(1878-1887) and Collector of His Majesty’s Customs for the Port of Hamilton(1887-1910).

As a very young man, Kilvert left Canada to study at the Art Students’ League in New York City, where his instructor was Robert Henri(1865-1929) a member of the so-called Eight, whose members in painting life as it actually appears without making any attempt to romanticize it were stigmatized as “The Ashcan School”. Kilvert was strongly influenced by this approach to painting as were many of Henri’s other students who included George Bellows, Rockwell Kent and Edward Hopper.

Kilvert was extremely well known for his illustrations that appeared in many books and magazines in both the USA and Canada from approx. 1902 to the mid 1930’s.

He was less well known as a fine arts painter, but his work was greatly respected by critics and his fellow artists. He was a member of The American Watercolor Society and also of two prestigious organisations for artists and writers, namely the Salmagundi Club and the Dutch Treat Club, both of which were located in New York City where he lived for many years. A painting of his is in the collection of the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine, which, arguably, holds the best collection of Maine art in the USA as probably the entireworld.

Kilvert, his wife and two children summered for many years on the coast of southern Maine where he created many of his paintings. In his earlier years in Upstate New York, he worked in oils and tempera and created landscopes and still lifes. In later years, he turned to watercolors and this proved to be his best medium. He painted many fine seascapes in Maine and in the fall and winter of 1934, he painted scenes of Charleston, South Carolina, where he and his family went so he could recover from a heart attack.

In the early 1930’s, he was commissioned to paint several very large illustrated maps. Specifically, these showed the history of the St. Lawrence River Valley in Canada(these were done for a steamship company in Canada and was in the stairwell of one of its transatlantic ships, the name of which is no longer known). He also did two maps for the Pine Valley Golf Club in Pine Valley, New Jersey. One of these shows the Pine Valley course, and the other shows the St. Andrews course in Scotland. Each of these clubs thinks the other’s golf course is the second best one in the entire world. So it’s doubtful if this difference of opinion will ever change.

Kilvert’s son, Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert Jr., has in his possession an illustrated map of the Belvoir Hunt in England, that Kilvert’s widow bought at a Sotherby auction in New York City in the 1950’s. No information is available on who commissioned it in 1931, but it may have been the Duke of Rutland whose ancestral home is Belvior Castle in Lincolnshire. It’s possible that he put it in the auction to raise some cash, but this is only a guess. This particular map measures 5 by 6 feet and is painted on wood.

There is a fine Kilvert oil painting in the lobby of the Hotel des Artistes on West 67th Street in New York City. It hangs over the two elevators and shows a scene of galleons a popular subject for several artists in the 1920’s who interpreted the discovery of the New World with canvases showing galleons at sea and in port.

Cory Kilvert died in 1946 at the Salmagundi Club in New York City while playing pool with some of his artist friends. In the 1970’s one of his illustrations was included in an exhibit of renderings by North America artists at the New York(City) Historical Society.

(This biography can be found on Genealogy.com but is originally from the archives of AskART.com and was written by B. Cory Kilvert Jr. – son of the artist)

Sources and further reading:  Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert (1879-1946). Genealogy.com, June 20, 2003. Web accessed November 18, 2014 [http://genforum.genealogy.com/kilvert/messages/217.html]

Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert (1879-1946). myHamilton.ca. Web accessed November 18, 2014.

View Of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1906

View Of Cincinnati Ohio 1906 pc1View Of Cincinnati Ohio 1906 pc2

A view of Cincinnati, Ohio, looking south from Mount Adams, circa 1906:  This is the fifth postcard we’ve found for the Dr. Oswald Henning Collection. (See prior posts for more information.) They were all in the same dealer’s collection for sale at an antique and vintage paper fair in California. However, they were not all together, and at the time they were purchased, the relationship between Oswald Henning and Helen Muirhead was unknown. So, it’s really unusual and interesting that they were chosen that day out of thousands in the dealer’s collection. Helen and Oswald were married on June 30, 1906, in Chicago. See the first in this series, entitled The Lake, Belle Isle Park, Detroit, Michigan for more information. As you can see, this card was postmarked only ten days before the couple got married! The card was addressed to:  “Miss Helen Muirhead, 901 Hamilton Court, Chicago.”  Oswald dated the card on the top right and he wrote:

“Dear Helen – Homeward Bound – Can hardly wait am so anxious to see you all again. Oswald”  and at top left he added,  “Am obliged to lay over here for four long hours.”

The bridge on our left appears to be the L&N (Louisville & Nashville) Railroad Bridge, which was first opened under the name of the Newport & Cincinnati Bridge, on April 1, 1872. The name changed to the L&N in 1904. The bridge was rehabilitated (and painted purple) and in 2003 re-opened for pedestrians only under the name of the Newport Southbank Bridge but is commonly called “The Purple People Bridge.”

The bridge on our right appears to be the Central Bridge (Cincinnati Newport Bridge) which opened in 1890 and was demolished in 1992. In it’s place today is the Taylor Southgate Bridge. Don’t let the church steeples in the photo fool you when you look at the Central:  They almost line up with the bridge’s two highest points.

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked June 20, 1906 from Cincinnati, Ohio. Publisher:  The Cincinnati News Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. Printed in Berlin, Germany by Leipzig. No. 3216.

Price:  $20.00

Sources:  Crowley, Patrick. “Meet the Purple People Bridge.” The Purple People Bridge. Web accessed November 16, 2014. [http://www.purplepeoplebridge.com/History/tabid/536/Default.aspx]

Mecklenborg, Jake. “Central Bridge.”  Cincinnati-transit.net. Web accessed November 16, 2014. [http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/central.html]

Teddy B.

Teddy B pc1Teddy B pc2

“Hello Little Bessie. I just happened to think that this was your birthday. So I am going to send you Teddie picture. He was very tired when he had it took he had been climbing the Mts that day. from your sister Lena”

Addressed to  “Miss Bessie Ellison, 26th & Cheyenne Ave, Pueblo, Colo.”

This one has two postmarks:  the outgoing from the sender’s location at Copperfield, Colorado on October 11, 1907, and the incoming to the Pueblo, Colorado post office, the next day. And what a wonderful postcard – sure, Teddy is pretty rough looking by this time, but isn’t he cool! (And does he remind you of Teddy Roosevelt? It’s just that when we see these old timers we think of the original teddy bears and their origin. Or he might remind you of an early Smokey the Bear – because of the hat.) The message is adorable, too.

The eagle publisher logo on the back of the card is for the publisher identified as Illustrated Postcard, who were located at 520 84th Street, New York, NY according to the excellent website Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City.

Divided back, heavily embossed, used postcard. Postmarked October 11, 1907 from Copperfield, Colorado and October 12, 1907 at Pueblo, Colorado. Publisher:  Illustrated Postcard, 520 W. 84th Street, New York, NY.

Price:  $10.00

Source:  Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City. Web accessed November 14, 2014. [http://www.metropostcard.com/publishersi.html]

If You Are Not A Bear

If You Are Not A Bear pc1If You Are Not A Bear pc2

“The children too

must have a pet –

If you are not

a bear you

may be one yet.”

Here’s another postcard in the Dr. Oswald F. Henning collection, showing an artist’s rendering of two absolutely adorable bears, dressed in clothing with ties and hats. The one has his arm on the other one’s shoulder and is confiding the above verse. There is no message or signature from the sender, and the card is addressed to:  “Mrs. O.F. Henning, Fort Sheridan, Illinois.”

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked June 14, 1907 from Chicago, Illinois. Publisher:  Tower M & N Company, New York. Series or number 97-6.

Price:  $10.00

A Bird In The Hand

A Bird In The Hand pc1A Bird In The Hand pc2

” ‘A bird in the hand’ is worth two on a card.

But a word on a card is better than none:

So here are two birds and a very few words

And that’s doing better than some.  – L.F.P.”

Another charmer from publisher L.F. Pease:  This is the second postcard that we have from them, so far, and shows two rather adorable crows wearing eyeglasses, each at one end and gazing down at the beautiful green banner with the above verse. The card is addressed to:  “Mrs. Jessie Laier, 180 Aspen Rd, Swamkscott, Mass.”  And the sender wrote:

“Dear Mummie, don’t come after me Wed. they are going to have a concert Saturday at the chapel. Barby.”

The 1930 Federal Census for Swampscott, Essex County, shows the same street address as the postcard, and the Laier family:  Carl C. Laier, born about 1887, occupation purchasing agent for a printing and lithograph company; his wife Jessie E., born about 1888; daughter Barbara E., born about 1915; and son Carl R., born about 1918. All are natives of Massachusetts.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked August 16, 1925 from North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Publisher:  L.F. Pease, 258 Laurel St., Buffalo, New York, List no. 311.

Price:  $15.00

Source:  Year: 1930; Census Place: Swampscott, Essex, Massachusetts; Roll: 903; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0280; Image: 1027.0; FHL microfilm: 2340638 (Ancestry.com)

Source Information