Some Edison Girls

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. Circa 1907 – 1918. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $5.00

We’ve got sort of a cold weather theme going here for December before we move on to Christmas…..This charming postcard was promising as far as finding names and a location, due to the description on the back. But come to find out the names written there are pretty hard to read, with the exception of “Mrs. Gilkie” –  she is the lady on the left. Next to her is “Ma” (the sender’s mother probably) and the other two, too difficult to read. It appears the card was addressed to either Dara or Dora. As for Edison…maybe it’s the name of their employer, such as Edison Electric or Edison National Bank. The other possibility is a town name, but Gilkie didn’t come up in the various towns named Edison, or even nearby counties, so that is not so likely. Neither did any matches come up for Edison as a maiden name, married to a Gilkie. This one will go in our mystery category with the hopes that someone will recognize any of the four beautiful women on this card.

Four Varied Expressions

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1907 – 1917. VELOX stamp box.

Price:  $7.00

Besides the stylish winter coats and hats that these beautiful ladies are wearing, one might be struck by their expressions, each so different from one another. The eye of the beholder is purely subjective, of course, but for me, left to right of the grown women and then the little girl:  Uplifted, sardonic, distrusting and joyful….(How would you describe them?) But we’re not trying to pin a label on anyone, as for one thing, it’s just one moment in time, for another the sun was bright, and anyway it’s a good thing maybe to not feel you have to do the “automatic smile” when posing for a photo.

Confident, In An Ostrich Feather Hat

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1907 – 1918. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $10.00 

Here’s an awesome “big hat” (wide brim topped with ostrich plume) photo of a radiant young woman, dressed warmly for the weather in a long coat, scarf and holding a muff. Note the braiding at the sleeve cuffs and note the coat buttons – too bad we can’t see more detail on the buttons – we picture them now residing in a bin in an antique store somewhere. The spring/summer look to the photographer’s backdrop is a little at odds with the lady’s cold weather outerwear, and if you look closely at the bottom of the image you can see that the floor covering had gotten mussed, revealing the type of tile on the actual flooring. Too bad there was no name written on the postcard, but these unidentified types can be wonderful for anyone researching fashion history (this would have been around 1907 through 1918, according to the AZO stamp box type that has all four triangles pointing upward.)

Reward Of Merit For Arthur Berryman

Reward of Merit. Circa 1880s – 1890s.

Price:  $3.00         Size:  About 4 and 1/2 x 6 and 1/2″

Here’s another card from teacher to student, as a token of recognition for something well-done. No teacher’s name, but the student’s name is written on the back:  “Arthur Berryman.”  And it’s another winter scene, no action this time, well, other than the setting or rising sun, but lovely, of a large rambling home with snow laden roofs, icicles on trees, and a stream that’s not frozen, I guess, hmmm.

Reward Of Merit For Charles Schindler

Reward of Merit. Circa 1880s – 1890s.

Price:  $10.00         Size:  About 3 and 7/8 x 5 and 1/4″

What fun! That must have been the perfect sledding hill. 😉 This really is a nice Reward of Merit card, still in decent condition. The artist and printer are unknown, but it’s lovely, with all those “snow colors” contrasting with the burnt orange jacket (and hat) and the blue trim and the brighter blue on the sled rope. And there’s a great example of gaiters, the tan leggings that button up the side. It’s tempting to try to locate which Charles Schindler received this card from which teacher N. Mulcahy, but there’s about thirty possibilities in the 1900 Federal Census records for Charles with an estimated year of birth from 1870 to 1890, so that would take way too long.

Barbara Ann Gerhart

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa December 1923.

Price:  $10.00

“Barbara Ann Gerhart. She will be 16 months old 30 of this month. She walks and sais a few words we all think she is so nice. We all enjoy that dear child, from the Gerharts”

“To Brother Herman & Alice and family.”

This charming Real Photo Postcard was never mailed but does have a Christmas sticker on it in the place of a stamp. So, it’s probable that the card was written in December, but what year? Well, just by the general look of it, it’s probably 1920s. Since the stamp box is covered by the sticker, that potential clue can’t help us, though there’s probably not anything printed there anyway, as we’ve come to find out by looking for postcard backs at Playle’s in “Unknown Manufacturers.” The match on the style indicates the time frame to be from around “unknown – 1925,” which confirms the 1920s guess as a possibility. The next clues are in the sender’s message:  Firstly, Barbara Ann will be sixteen months on the 30th of “this month,” and if the card was written in December, then her birthday is August 30th; secondly, the way the sender describes beautiful Barbara, is….a little different. We found a match in death and marriage records, and the 1930 Federal Census for Marietta, Ohio, revealing Barbara Ann Gerhart, born August 30, 1922, the adopted (now it makes sense) daughter of Walter Gerhart and Carrie (Preston) Gerhart. (The Herman and Alice reference would need a more time-consuming search to see if they were related to the Gerharts, but no other different matches were found for Barbara Ann.)

Sources:  Issue State: Ohio; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 for Barbara G. Vanpetten.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Marietta, Washington, Ohio; Roll: 1887; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 0023; FHL microfilm: 2341621. (Ancestry.com)    Walter E. and Carrie Gerhart   adopted daughter Barbara A. Gerhart.

Marriage Records. Ohio Marriages. Various Ohio County Courthouses. Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriages, 1774-1993.

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Backs – Unknown Manufacturers.” playle.com. (accessed December 16, 2017.)

Rose and Adele Triebel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1909

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked February 13, 1909, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Price:  $15.00

Addressed to:   “Miss Amalie Ueberall, 838 – 13 Str., City.”  (The “city” in the address is Milwaukee.)

The sender wrote in German:  “Fiele Grüsse fon Rose und Adele Triebel.”  and she must have been substituting the letter “f” for the letter “v” unless maybe this was an old-fashioned spelling. Otherwise it would be written as:

“Viele Grüsse von Rose und Adele Triebel,”  translating as “Kind regards from Rose and Adele Triebel.”  And the Triebel sisters couldn’t be any cuter in their rather unusual-looking winter outfits!

The Triebel Family was found on the 1920 Federal Census for Milwaukee:  Charles, born in Germany, about 1878; his wife Marie, born Germany about 1887; and their daughters Rose and Della, born Wisconsin, about 1905 and 1906, respectively. Charles was working as a machinist for a cab company, and the family lived at 773 47th St.

Source:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Milwaukee Ward 22, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Roll: T625_2005; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 272. (Ancestry.com)

Braunlage, Germany, January 1928

Old photo taken in Braunlage, Germany, January 1928.

Price:  $8.00         Size:  About 3 and 5/8 x 2″

The back of this photo is written in German. The first word is someone’s name but I’m unable to figure it out. Perhaps someone who speaks the language can let us know. It reads as:

….?…..und ich in Braunlage, Januar 1928….Hans.” [?]  So it’s “Me and so-and-so in Braunlage, January 1928.” I’m not sure if that says the man’s name “Hans” at the bottom right or not.

But, in any case, it’s a beautiful moment captured in time:  a smiling young man whose gaze has met the camera, in beret, plaid scarf and open overcoat and an equally stylish young woman, her smile and gaze caught looking downward, in cloche hat and fur trimmed coat, walking down a snow-lined street in the town of Braunlage. (The fur was much more lovely on its original owner, of course.)

Boy On Front Stoop

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. VELOX stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $5.00

A door stoop seems to have been a great place to have a photo taken, and likely we have more of these type already posted, but it would be fun to view them all together. So we’ll make a separate category, thereby creating (yet another – always a good thing) point of interest to look for in our travels to paper fairs and the like. 🙂 The details in the photo, as always, are fun to pick out:  In this one we notice the very worn mat the little boy is standing on, which is atop the stone stoop which looks hand-chiseled; and the bucket on our left; the beautiful circles pattern in the screen door which is swung wide open on our right; and the nice double-breasted coat the boy wears with an anchor on the left sleeve.

Devil’s Canyon From Saddle #2

Photo, white border, circa 1920s – 1930s. Photo developer:  Hirsch & Kaye, San Francisco, California. Velox photo paper.

Price:  $12.00

The location of this beautiful winter mountain scene is a bit of a mystery. There is, not surprisingly, more than one Devil’s Canyon, or Cañon as it was meant to be spelled in the description on the front. The Spanish spelling was common until more recent decades, just as the word “today” was formerly seen as “to-day” and “puerto” was formerly written as “porto.” But what a breathtaking scene….just imagine yourself in the picture, taking big gulps of the crisp, clean air!

Definitions for the geographic term “saddle” vary somewhat, for details see Wiki’s Saddle (landform).

For guesses for the location of the photo, our best is the San Gabriel Mountains in Angeles National Forest.

The back is stamped:   “PlaTone Print. Hirsch & Kaye. 239 Grant Avenue, San Francisco.”  A city directory ad for the firm of Hirsch & Kaye was found as early as 1922, at this address. Directories and newspaper ads show that they were in the optometry, photo supply and photo and film developing business.

Below, the obituary of Alphonse Hirsch, pioneer optometrist, that appeared in the Santa Cruz Evening News, September 1923. Per the obit, son, Alphonse, Jr., was associated with the firm, Hirsch & Kaye:

Below, a Hirsch & Kaye ad, from the San Francisco Chronicle, September 24, 1923:

A 1938 ad from Santa Clarita’s The Signal:

Sources:  Saddle (landform). n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddle_(landform) (accessed December 15, 2017).

San Gabriel Mountains. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gabriel_Mountains (accessed December 15, 2017).

H. S. Crocker Co., Inc.’s Crocker – Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1922. p. 1956. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.   photo supplies

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Crocker – Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1941. p. 1687. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.  optometrists

“Death Claims Alphonse Hirsch.” Santa Cruz Evening News (Santa Cruz, CA) September 7, 1923. Friday, p. 8. (Newspapers.com).

“Better Vision.” San Francisco Chronicle, September 24, 1923. Monday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

“Cameras.” The Signal (Santa Clarita, CA) July 21, 1938. Thursday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).