To Fräulein Hedel Mandel, Halle, Germany

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 9, [1901-1909] from Striegau (Strzegom, Poland). Publisher unknown.  Number and/or series:  1117/18.

Price:  $10.00

Addressed to:   “Fräulein Hedel Mandel, Halle a/Saale, Leipziger St. 73 [?]”

A colored (hand-colored?) card of a beautiful young fräulein holding a bucket, and smiling, head tilted. We might automatically think “milkmaid” but note the potatoes? at her feet.

It’s a good guess that the publisher is German, but we didn’t find a match online for the logo below. I’m sure someone knows; I just did not want to spend too much time searching. We’ll update in future, hopefully, but here’s the view:

The postmark indicates Striegau which is the German spelling for Strzegom, Poland. And was addressed to Halle, a.k.a Saale, Germany. Here’s a map link for the postcard’s journey, as the crow flies, though it must not have been that straight-forward!

And if anyone can read the note that was sent to Hedel, please send us a comment.

Source:  Distance from Halle (Saale) to Strzegom. distancefromto.net.

Couple On Steps

Real Photo Postcard. Unused. VELOX stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $4.00

A moment in time, somewhere in rural America…..

According to the particular VELOX stamp box on the reverse, this would have been taken around 1907 to 1917. The building the steps lead up to is not a house, but maybe rather a grange hall, a train depot, a hotel. Note the metal screening on the windows, and the possibility of various small signs (enlarge the image twice – see the nails?) that had once been posted to our left of the doorway. But, I was drawn to this postcard from my impression of two people, caught in a great, candid moment of laughter – the woman seems to be, doubled over would be overstating it, but how do you describe, when someone says something unexpected, maybe ridiculous, and you have that reaction, turning off to the side in mirth, a little bent at the waist? The gentleman’s pose is in wonderful contrast, with arms folded, looking into the camera. We can’t really tell if he’s laughing, but we do take in the working clothes, the heavy gloves, the dried mud on his boots (he’s probably listed as a farmer on the 1900 and 1910 census), and of course, the metal bucket to his right.

Zola I. Proudfit, April 1916

Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. April 1916. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $12.00

“Miss Zola Proudfit, 8 years 4 months, Taking in April 23, 1916.”

A cute moment:  Zola posing on her front porch step, (assuming she was at home) in a white lace dress with a scalloped hem, dark tights and black shoes (they look new). The home is wood-framed and sided, with a wooden sidewalk leading up to it. There may have been electrical wires nearby, note the pattern of the two parallel lines, which must be shadows, appearing on the eave.

Zola, an Oregon native, is the daughter of Fred Proudfit and Rose Fitzgerald. She married California native, Robert Blake Galbraith, on November 25, 1926 in Oakland, California. At the time of their marriage, Zola was a telephone operator, and Robert a locomotive fireman. His parents are Joseph Galbraith and Elizabeth Blake.

Source:  Marriage records, select counties and years. California State Archives, Sacramento, California. (Ancestry.com).

A Snap Of John Taken Unawares

Old photo, white border. Circa 1900s to 1920s.

Price:  $2.00          Size:  3 and 1/8″ x 4 and 1/4″

I bought this one for the rather poetic description written on the reverse (We imagine it was his wife that wrote it.) But here’s John, in vest and suspenders and the inevitable hat, his surname and location unknown. He’s deep in thought, and holding what looks to be a tape measure. Maybe he was out looking at property lines. You can see some short wire fencing behind him, and then a nice view of some hills in the distance. The term snapshot came into use in the photographic sense around 1890. We found the short version, “snap” for snapshot (also written snap shot), in historical newspapers as early as 1907, (though this was from a quick search so it may have been in use a little earlier.)

Sources:  snapshot (n). https://www.etymonline.com/word/snapshot (accessed June 14, 2020).

Marshall, Carrie. “A Trip To Idaho – No. 3.” Woodford County Republican, (Eureka, IL) Thursday, September 26, 1907, Vol. 13, no. 34. (Newspapers.com).

Grandpa McInnes

Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $5.00

A beautiful photo-turned-postcard of a handsome guy in profile, with white beard, in suspenders, one hand resting on hip, the other holding his straw hat and with what we might think of as the “old homestead” in the immediate background. The only identification is written on the back as,  “Grandpa McInnes.”  The stamp box is an AZO, two triangles up and two down, which is estimated anywhere between 1910 and 1930, per Playle’s. See https://www.playle.com/realphoto/photoa.php.

Another Log Cabin

Old photo, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $4.00     Size:  2 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Might as well use the blank bar space for the watermark, kinda cool! So, here’s another cabin. We need the Barnwood Builders on this one, but from our inexpert eye, it looks like most of the chinking is gone or very hard to see (rather than a new cabin not yet chinked). Seems pretty tall, and then also there are no windows, so maybe it wasn’t finished yet? No, but then some of the logs have rotted so that doesn’t make sense. Maybe this was the view from the back and all the windows were in the front. And that supposed door there is kinda weird-looking, it almost looks like (click to enlarge) it’s been Photoshopped on – where is the door frame? Still, it’s a cabin with rather a majestic look to it. A beauty with some stories to tell.

Log Cabin Home, 1934

Photo, white border. October 2, 1934.

Price:  $5.00       Size:  3 and 1/2 x 1 and 7/8″

A child in overalls, standing outside their log cabin home, location unknown. This is a beautiful photo, for content and composition:  There’s the path, right from our viewpoint, leading up to the doorway; the home nestling in the woods and off-center of the image; evidence of the wood-burning stove currently in use; and other details to notice, such as the wash basin hanging next to the door, and the somewhat concave appearance of the cabin’s side. And it’s almost like you could hit “play” and see video – the child walking towards us, smiling face appearing out of the shadow, or maybe turning to go into the house, the stovepipe smoke blowing easterly….

On the back is written,  “At least they have a roof. A well-to-do Indian half-breed.”  Well, the individual that wrote that either didn’t think much of this snug little dwelling from their vantage point in that moment (unfair to judge, really). Maybe they had just come from seeing some homes not as well put together. Also it was 1934, so better terminology was not yet common, evidently….(That’s okay, we’re all friends here, past and present, or we can be.)

For me, it looks like a small slice of heaven (as I sit typing this with the heavy traffic rolling by).

235 N. Normal Ave, Burley, Cassia County, Idaho

Old photo, circa 1919 or 1920.

Price:  $15.00

A hipped roof house, photo a little blurry, but still a gem….And it’s been printed on the type of stock that was used for Real Photo Postcards though, as we can see, it couldn’t have been a postcard since the usual postal printing does not appear on the back.

“house faces west, this is front.  Dear Carrie  This does not Flatter the house as I really think this looks rather shabby but I dont know why this looks worse then it realy is to me. I will have another view taken not so close and more landscape. the Brick School is on the next Block south of us with no buildings between us yet. when I get it Painted it will look better. I have a little garden, a few beans, Peas, Radishes, Potatoes, tomatoes, Planted lots of seed that never came up for want of water, sowed more Beets, are coming nicely now not large but will make small Pickles hope tomatoes will too. The number on the house is 235. Can you see it? I Just got my old Shack moved the 25th. C. C. went that day, and made the man move it before he went, been Paid for ever since April, am using it for storehouse and coal house, may fix it up to rent not quite sure as it will take some money to do it, wish I could tho as it would be a good help this winter. do you write to Susie. I owe her & John a letter, do you write to Florence. I haven’t said half but good night. love from Harold to all, mother, me too.”

Ahhh, another beauty of a find that’s filled up with writing on the reverse! (We put up an RPPC a few posts ago.) This was written by Mary Bowne, who was born in Connecticut about 1866, of Irish/English descent, and widow of Linus Bowne. Mary’s occupation was private nurse, from the 1920 Federal Census for Burley, Cassia County, ID. The census and city directory show her at 235 N. Normal Avenue, and the census lists her as head of household for herself, son-in-law, Charles Moeller (a widower), and twelve-year-old grandson, Harold Moeller.

Sources:  R. L. Polk & Co.’s Polk’s Twin Falls, Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln and Minidoka Counties Directory 1920-1921. Page 351. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Burley, Cassia, Idaho; Roll: T625_290; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 134. (Ancestry.com).

Close Hauled

Divided back, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked August 8, 1910 from San Francisco, California. Artist: D. P. Crane. Publisher:  H. G. Zimmerman & Co., Chicago, IL.

Price:  $8.00

Addressed to:   “Mrs. A. Schweitzer, Napa, Calif. Box 253”

The sender wrote:   S. F.  8/8/1910   Dear Lena:- Again home with the folks again. [?] comes the 1st of Sept then we will come up for the day. All O.K. here. Love to all at home. [Dodie?]  1228 Octavia St.”

We didn’t find a match in online records for the sender of the card at the given address:  She is findable, most likely, but would require some heavy searching. So, moving on to the recipient: The 1910 Federal Census for San Francisco shows Lena Schweitzer, age 38 with husband Alvin, age 35, and their nine year old son, Seymour L. Both Albert and Lena were born in Germany, and Seymour was born in New York.

“Close-hauled” is a sailing term – one of many “point of sail” references. A quick definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary is:  “having the sails set for sailing as nearly against the wind as the vessel will go.”  But see the Wiki link below for a more detailed explanation.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Napa Ward 2, Napa, California; Roll: T624_90; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 1374103. (Ancestry.com).

Close-hauled. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/close-hauled (accessed June 9, 2020).

Point of Sail. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_of_sail (accessed June 9, 2020).

I’m In With All The Swells!

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 18, 1913 from Wichita, Kansas. Publisher:  Williamson-Haffner Co., Denver, Colorado. Artist name unknown.

Price:  $12.00

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Ida McFrederick, Harper, Kans, Route 3.”

The sender wrote:  “Dec 18 – 1913. send my mail up here. Hello Ma, Guess I won’t be home Sat. so don’t look for me until you see me. am working now. by by   Florence.”

Per Walter E. Corson’s, Publishers’ Trademarks Identified, the publishing house is the Williamson-Haffner Company, of Denver. So, the initials appearing at the bottom left corner of the illustration must be those of the artist. (Name unknown at this point, but maybe we’ll find out later.)

Thanks, Florence (for passing along) the wonderful phrase on the card, “Don’t look for me until you see me.”  Might remind you of the conundrum we find ourselves in when we contemplate time travel…..and some of the great comedic vignettes we’re familiar with:  Two that come to mind are Joe talking to Frito at the Costco Shuttle in Idiocracy, and one of Big Bang’s segments, something along the lines of, “Okay, we agree that if one of us invents a time machine, we’ll meet right here at exactly (whatever o’clock.)” They look around the room, and then….damn, disappointment. (Not sure – President Not Sure? 😉 ) what episode this was from and this is only from memory, but you probably know the one I mean.)

From the 1905 Kansas State Census, the family is parents, William and Ida McFrederick, and their children, Carl, William, Roy, Earl, Florence and Fern. With the family is a young McDowell (possibly) couple (who may or may not be related) by marriage to the McFredericks. Florence would have been about eighteen when she sent this postcard to her mom.

Sources:  Corson, Walter E. Publishers’ Trademarks Identified. Ed. James Lewis Lowe. Norwood, PA:  1993. (print).

Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; 1905 Kansas Territory Census; Roll: ks1905_62; Line: 13. (Ancestry.com).