Ain’t It Hot

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This was a new one for me – the publisher logo on the back header of Zeus/Jupiter, but the card is nice, too, showing a couple of dogs commiserating on the fact that it’s hot, especially when one has a fur coat. A timely one to put up in August re the “dog days of summer.”

According to a wonderful genealogy site for Hertfordshire, U.K., this publisher, Langsdorrf & Co., who referred to themselves as “Fine Art Publishers,” started selling postcards in as early as 1901. Reference is made to a postcard found from this date with the same address that appears on our postcard here of 19 City Road, London. However, according to this same Hertfordshire genealogy source, Langsdorff & Co. didn’t apply for their trademark logo until May of 1906, and then appear to have stopped trading in 1914 with the outbreak of WWI. The “E.C.” after London in the address, stands for Eastern Central, and refers to a group of postcode districts in central London.

Divided back, unused postcard. Printed in Saxony (Germany.) Publisher:  Langsdorff & Co., 19 City Road, London E.C. Copyright number 678. Circa 1906 – 1914.

Price:  $5.00

Source:  “The Langsdorff & Co. Art Postcards of Hertfordshire”  Genealogy in Hertfordshire. June 2006 article with update November 2012. Web. Accessed 20 Aug 2014.

An Unusual Pose

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Ha, what to name this one? There are already mother and daughter type titles for other posts on this website, if memory serves, but what strikes the viewer about this one is probably the wonderful casual pose of the child with the elbow resting on the mom’s shoulder. The child looks into the camera while the mom gazes a little off into the distance. It’s a beauty of a photo. Unfortunately, the two subjects were not named, but we do at least have the photographer’s stamp on the back which is barely readable.

The photographer’s name and location is P. Tschirha ..?. – Sand Beach, Michigan. Sand Beach Township is located in Huron County, at almost the tip of the thumb, and this photo was found in an antique store in Dearborn, MI, this year, 2014.

Since the last couple of letters were so hard to read for the photographer’s name, I googled it and found a German family name under this spelling ending in “rt” – so the likely last name would be Tschirhart. The 1891 Polk’s City Directory for Sand Beach showed a Peter Tschirhart under this profession, voila!  From there it was easy to locate Peter on the 1900 Federal Census record taken in Sand Beach. This record shows him born in Canada April 1843, married to Annie E., born Canada, December 1857, and daughter Katherine M., born Canada, April 1884. Peter’s profession is photographer, the couple has been married about ten years, and although Katherine is named as a daughter, the census indicates Annie had two children and none living, so this may indicate that Katherine is a stepdaughter and Peter was previously married, or possibly just be an error on the census. Year of immigration to the U.S. for the family is given as 1890.

The 1910 shows Peter and Annie boarding in Sand Beach, Peter is about 66 years old and retired at this point. (Annie’s information re children shows mother of five, three living.) Well, there are more census records and more to look up for this photographer and his family, but I’ll leave that for another post, under the photographer heading (quite behind on these but will get to them.)

Studio photo in cardboard frame with oval setting. Circa 1891 – 1910. Photographer:  Peter Tschirhart. Studio location:  Sand Beach, Michigan.

Price:  $15.00   Size including frame:  About 6 x 4 and 1/4″

Sources:  Polk’s Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1891. p. 1422 (Google Books snippet view.) Accessed 18 Aug 2014.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Sand Beach, Huron, Michigan; Roll: 715; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0019; FHL microfilm: 1240715. (

Year: 1910; Census Place: Sand Beach, Huron, Michigan; Roll: T624_649; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0019; FHL microfilm: 1374662. (

Life On The Front Porch

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Here’s a Real Photo Postcard of a wonderful photo (though light) of two beautiful young women sitting on their (one assumes) front porch. A vase of flowers is next to the woman on our right, who is holding an open book and gazing off to the side, while the other woman is smiling into the camera and (as is explained in the message) hemming a table cloth.

On the back is written,  “Myron sent me these flowers from Peel. You can see how pleased I was over them. They were beauties. ‘Hemming a table cloth!’”

Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. AZO stamp box, circa 1904 – 1918.

Price:  $5.00

Two Cats And A Rocking Chair

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Here’s the second postcard we have for the likely publisher of R. L. Wells. (See prior post.) This one shows one kitty, who wears a red bow, inviting another kitty to sit down in a rocking chair. The caption is  “Just a Little Rocking Chair and You”  with a treble clef staff underneath. This postcard caption is the title of a song: music by Theodore Morse, lyrics by Jack Drislane and Bert Fitzgibbon, released in 1906. The sheet music cover below shows singer Ada Jones.

Rocking Chair Cover Page

Card addressed to:  “Mr. Harry Smithe, Seward  [? ], Seward, Neb.”  To the left of the address was written  “This was meant for [?] but it strayed into your hands mislead. Yes? No? Go ask papa.  [?]”  

The front of the card may or may not have been written by the same person as the above message and says,  “Did you get your comb Della? I got me a white [?] sailor suit yesterday. Have the boys from Oklahoma arrived yet. Yes? No? If the noise as great as it was when I was there go ask papa. I hear from D. (?) about every day. Mabelle Willis[?] also. Did you get my music[?] from her? I haven’t got it yet. Tell Clide I was afraid to send him one like this ??? I heard from Clide Moore today. Give my mother-in-law my love. Also my [?]  Mr. Moore”

Nothing definitive turns up in census, etc. records for Harry (or Harvey?) Smithe/Smith, and the word after Seward in the address is a mystery. It doesn’t seem to be a cross street of the Seward St. that appears on today’s map. This card is rather fascinating for the message content and writer’s or writers’ style:  Why was the sender afraid to send a postcard like this to Clide? Funny – the whole “Yes? No?” thing, and how did the postcard stray into someone else’s hands? And the “Go ask Papa” refrain would make a good song title. Speaking of which, the short research into old song titles leaves me wondering (as per usual) what we’re currently missing. Just the titles alone are worth looking at, and what about all of the music – the catchy tunes, the charming and often comic lyrics, the insight into a prior century, etc.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked July 21, 1908, Des Moines, Iowa. “Series 100, Linen Comics. 50 Subjects.” Publisher:  possibly R. L. Wells.

Price:  $7.00

Source:  “Just a Little Rocking Chair and You.”  ASU Libraries. Arizona State University sheet music collection. Web accessed 14 Aug 2014.

T’is The Wise That Visit

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Owl on tree branch with red moon in the background, with the caption  “Tis the wise that visit.”

The sender wrote:  “S.M. Anne:  Send me by return mail pattern for your blk skrt; one with a cluster of tucks at front, back, and sides. Yours lovingly, Jo.”  Inside the owl drawing Jo wrote,  “Will write – later”  and on the side,  “How many yards / how wide did you get?”

Postcard addressed to:  “Miss Annie Friyouf, Plymouth Iowa, Cerro Gordo Co”

Anne Friyouf turns up on the 1930 Federal Census for Plymouth, Iowa, as Anna Bliem, widowed head of household, born Iowa, about 1884, married at about age 31. Living with her is her widowed mother Barbara Friyouf, born Czechoslovakia about 1842; sister Mary Friyouf, single, born Czechoslovakia about 1872; and sister Barbara V.[?] Friyouf, single, born Czechoslovakia about 1874. No one in the family is listed as having an occupation on this census.

Anna married John Bliem on August 30, 1915 in Mason City, Iowa. The marriage record shows Anna as born about 1884 in Plymouth, Iowa and that her parents are Joseph Friyouf and Barbara Mar…k? (original image not available from online source.) John Bliem was born in New York City, age at time of marriage about 49, and his parents are John Bliem and Clara Claus.

The 1940 census, which shows Anna as head of household and includes her sisters, is very interesting in that it states Anna’s occupation is Postmaster.  National Archives (NARA) records shows she was nominated for the post on April 23, 1934, was confirmed on May 7th, and that she retired on December 31, 1949. You might be surprised (as I was) to learn that it was not uncommon for women to be appointed as Postmaster (this is the official title, though some say Postmistress.) There were women postmasters before the Revolutionary War when the country was still under British rule, and in fact (without going into much researching and comparison) on May 5, 2008, in the United States, there were more women than men holding the position. The NARA website indicates also that it was common in rural areas for women to be appointed.

As far as Jo, the sender of the postcard, it’s possible she was a relative. There is a Josephine Friyouf showing up in city directories in Des Moines. Regarding the publisher, this info is not given but similar postcards found online show a copyright mark for R. L. Wells.

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked May 22, 1907 in Des Moines, Iowa. Publisher possibly R. L. Wells.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:   “Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 Aug 2014), John Bliem and Anna Friyouf, 30 Aug 1915; citing Mason City, Cerro Gordo, Iowa, United States; FHL microfilm 1481039.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Falls, Cerro Gordo, Iowa; Roll: 647; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0006; Image: 695.0; FHL microfilm: 2340382.  (

Year: 1940; Census Place: Plymouth, Cerro Gordo, Iowa; Roll: T627_1146; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 17-8. (

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-Sept. 30, 1971; Roll #: 36; Archive Publication #: M841.  (

“Post Office Records” National Archives Records Administration. Web accessed 12 Aug 2014.

“Women Postmasters”   United States Postal Service. July 2008. Web accessed 12 Aug 2014.

Dilworth’s Coffee

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Old trade card for the Dilworth Brothers Company, which was located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This one shows shows an angel in a fur-trimmed coat, carrying a large mail pouch, delivering the daily postals to a young woman who’s just answered the door. There is snow on the ground, and the calendar month of February is printed at the top. As one can well imagine, trade cards like these were a great marketing scheme, to keep people coming back to get the other eleven months of the year, or the rest of the countries of Europe or for whatever other theme was being used. Dilworth’s advertised here that  “No color-poisoned, stained or damaged Coffees are ever used in it’s production.”  I don’t know what was meant by “color-poisoned” (yikes) and did not find any other online references to this term; hopefully clarification will show up in later research. I did find a similar old trade card (for Arbuckle’s) that mentioned coffee beans being glazed with a mixture of egg and confectioner’s sugar. The egg maybe as a binder for the sugar or for shine, but the sugar was to close the pores of the beans in order to preserve the flavor. The gold coffee urn in the trade card was Dilworth’s symbol and is placed here (charmingly slightly off-kilter) with it’s feet in the snow.

As for the manufacturer of this trade card, the small print at the bottom on the front shows Sackett, Wilhelms & Betzig, 45-51 Rose St. (New York, NY.) This was a lithography company and shows up in the New York City directories from at least 1884 – 1888.

Trade Card circa 1884 – 1888.  Size:  About 3 and 1/4 x 2 and 1/2″

Price:  $10.00

Sources:  Trow’s City Directory Co.’s Trow’s New York City Directories for 1884-’85, Vol. 98 p. 1520. ( U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989)

Trow’s City Directory Co.’s Trow’s New York City Directories for year ending May 1, 1888, Vol. 101. p. 1714. ( U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989)

Greyhound Depot, Grants Pass, Oregon

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Early 1940s Real Photo Postcard of the Greyhound Depot in Grants Pass, Oregon, showing the depot entrance and café with a small group of several people (a gentleman and three young women) exchanging conversation and to their right, a gentleman in a double-breasted suit, holding a cigarette, on the doorstep of the entrance. This postcard appears to have been manufactured for the Grants Pass station for travelers to purchase. The location and probably the photographer or printer information shows at the bottom left in white as  “G13 PAT. [or P^T?] At Grants Pass Oregon.” The partial view of the vehicle in the photo is the best clue in dating this postcard:  The car is a 1941 Ford Super Deluxe 2 Door Sedan.

Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1941 – 1945. EKC stamp box.

Price:  $30.00

Mystery Church

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Real Photo Postcard showing a side view of a large church in the Gothic Revival style, of stone construction, showing a tall spire, several smaller spires, many stained glass windows, and various crosses (how many do you count?) Besides the beauty of the church itself, for me the most striking thing about this photo is the contrast between the building with all of it’s intricate detail, seemingly out in the middle of a field. Of course, we can see upon closer inspection, that there is a road and some utility poles to the right, and get the sense that many, if not all, of the trees in the photo were likely planted by hand when the church was built, but still I like the initial illusion of this grand and graceful structure appearing unexpectedly placed in it’s rural, almost isolated setting.

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box, circa 1904 – 1918.

Price:  $10.00

Woman With Shoulder Yoke

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This postcard shows an artist’s close-up view of a beautiful dark-haired young woman gazing off into the distance. She wears a lace head covering, a grey blouse or dress, with a red collar or necklace, and a wooden shoulder yoke used for carrying buckets. There are several windmills in the background. I am not sure what the pom-pom looking things are that are attached at each side of the yoke.

There is no visible artist’s signature, nor publisher information, but since this is an undivided back postcard, presumably printed in the U.S., the date would be from December 24, 1901 up until March 1, 1907.

Undivided back, unused postcard. Publisher unknown. Circa 1901 – 1907.

Price:  $7.00

Oldřich Cihelka, Artist

Some of the artwork of Prague-born Oldřich Cihelka was reproduced for the postcard market and a number of postcards can be found for sale online (including our Laurel Cottage site.) Here is a cropped example of the artist’s work. (See the posting on this website under “Little Salesians” for the full postcard version.)

Cihelka Artwork

Most online sources show Oldřich Cihelka’s year of death as 1948, though some have 1958. The website Art Consulting has the following short biography:

“Oldrich Cihelka (1881 – 1948 Praha),maliar,grafik, ilustrátor. Žiak Maxa Pirnera na AVU Praha v r.1897-1903. Autor kresieb a ilustrácií, historických obrázkov pre národné školy. Bol členom združenia výtvarných umelcov- Jednota, cez ktoré prezentoval svoje maľby a kresby.”

A quick online translation for the above shows:

Oldrich Cihelka (1881 – 1948 Prague), painter, graphic artist and illustrator. Pupil [of] Max Pirner at the Academy of Arts in Prague, from 1897 – 1903. Author of drawings and illustrations, historical images for national schools. He was a member of the association of visual artists-Unity through which his paintings and drawings were presented.”

Source:  Oldřich Cihelka. n.d. Art Consulting. Web accessed 31 Jul 2014. []