Hearts On A String

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Julius Bien & Co., New York. Valentine series 360. Copyright 1907.

Price:  $7.00

“The More the Merrier……Me too.”

A cute card! A large heart, wearing spats, is asking to be taken up with the others. This is from one pal to another – it’s signed,  “from Robert,” and addressed to  “Lugvig Olson, Chetek, Wis.”

From his 1942 WWII Draft Registration Card, Ludvig Ole Olson, was born October 1, 1904 in Barron County, Wisconsin, and living in Chetek, Barron Co. He would have been maybe three or four, when he received this Valentine postcard, going off of the copyright date. Per his confirmation record, he’s listed as Ole Ludvig Olson, son of Mike L. and Louisa Olson.

Sources:  The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Draft Registration Cards for Wisconsin, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 530. (Ancestry.com).

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives; Elk Grove Village, Illinois; Congregational Records. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Maple Grove, Barron, Wisconsin; Roll: T624_1701; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0016; FHL microfilm: 1375714. (Ancestry.com).

Heart Unruly

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Circa 1920s. Series or number 245. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $10.00

“Tell me dear

And tell me truly

Will you accept

This heart unruly

And be my valentine”

The leaves on the trees are all hearts!

This card is rather a beauty. The insert on the insert, so-to-speak, is really gorgeous, the colors, the woman’s sweet expression, her soft scarf in folds up to her chin, the lovely hat, fashionable curls….Whoever the artist was, we appreciate them! Also, it has a winter-y look and that always goes well with the spring view behind it. I think this was a not uncommon theme, true, maybe inadvertently in this one, but displaying that feeling that we’re still in winter but spring is just ahead.

Addressed to:   “Miss Edith Welsh, Port Vue, Pa.”

Signed:   “from Lillie Hoak.”

Lillie and Edith were neighbors, from the 1920 Federal Census for Port Vue, Allegheny County. Edith is Edith R. Welsh, born in PA about 1888, daughter of the widowed Genevra B. Welsh, and with younger siblings Nellie B. and George F. Welsh. House address 1700 Liberty Way.

Lillie is Lillie M. Hoak, born about 1905, also in PA, daughter of Leonard E. and Nancy Hoak, with older siblings Raymond H. and Clifford V. and younger sibling, Ella B. Hoak. House address 606 Liberty Way.

As for the publisher, I’m not finding them yet, the logo shows a capital B within a diamond shape, just very simple. Both the publisher mark and the distinctive “Post Card” design on the reverse were searched in Walter E. Corson’s Publishers’ Trademarks Identified, but a match was not found.

Source:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Port Vue, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1516; Pages: 19B and 20B; Enumeration District: 763. (Ancestry.com).

Double Exposed Car

Old photo, white border. Circa 1910s – early ’20s.

Price:  $10.00

Young man posing in front of….perhaps a Model T (just a guess). Looks like maybe he’s going camping, with the gear strapped in somehow on the running board. Though, at first glance, this looks like an x-ray of the car with….surprise, much different innards than expected. 😉 I’m struck just now by the synchronicity of the man and vehicle both sporting a soft “cap” (Yeah, we’re all a little crazy lately, eh? 🙂 )

Gas Pump – Verdun, France

Photo, white border, deckled edge. Circa mid-1930s, France.

Price:  $10.00

Verdun, France, a man refuels his vehicle, a 1934 or 1935 Peugeot 401.

Two members of the Antique Automobile Club of America came to the rescue (lightning quick responses, as usual) to identify the make, model and year of the car in the photo, and for clarification on the Castrol sign appearing to the left of the large Essences – Huiles.

Of course, it’s one of the first things to do (and so fun) when enlarging old photos – try to decipher any blurry or murky-looking wording, and that word under Castrol had me stumped (was guessing Brewster, haha) but it turned out to be something simple, in french, brevetée, patented. (See link in Sources.) And that’s a Gargoyle Mobiloil sign, to the right of Essences – Huiles. Gargoyle was a brand name under the Vacuum Oil Company. Also, noteworthy in the photo, is the small piece of machinery on the concrete, to the left of the man. Per my mechanic hubby, this is maybe an air compressor or pressure washer. Last but not least, we love the intricate wrought ironwork over the doorway of the Bureau de something, not quite readable – another of those, if you already knew what it said, it would be perfectly clear. 😉

Sources: Photo and video forums. What is it? Antique Automobile Club of America. Response to query of February 7, 2020. https://forums.aaca.org/forum/66-what-is-it/.

Vacuum Oil Company. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_Oil_Company (accessed February 7, 2021).

“French Castrol Oil Double-Sided Porcelain Flange”. Mecum Auctions Road Art. mecum.com. (accessed February 13, 2021).

Silas D. King Calling Card

Calling Card. Circa 1880 – 1900.

Price:  $6.00

A deep blue morning glory flower, some leaves and berries, and a bird carrying “A Token of love” adorn this calling card for Silas D. King. The fringed banner displays the following:

“The cold in clime are cold in blood,

Their love can scarce deserve the name.

But mine is like the lava flood,

That boils in Etna’s breast of flame!”

This is from The Giaour, an epic poem by George Gordon, the 6th Baron of Byron, better known as Lord Byron.

There are a number of potential matches for the original owner of this card. None show in city directories with the middle initial (unexpected) but there are lots without, and then two or three possible matches in census records with the initial, so we’ll skip the major searches and be content, as is. Always interesting though, to track the source for the verse or poem.

Source:  Lord Byron. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Byron (accessed January 3, 2021).

Alfred J. Hines Calling Card

Calling Card. Circa 1880 – 1900.

Price:  $5.00

Flowers and a feather in orange and peach tones for this calling card…..

There will be multiple possibilities for who this card had belonged to……But wow, as it turns out, not as many as you’d think. City directories for a search anywhere in the U.S., that includes the middle initial, show much later records than this time-frame (1919 at the latest and that person in Saginaw was born too late to fit this card). Many hits that come up under all categories, and without the middle initial, can be eliminated right off the bat – either too young, too old, middle initial not matching, and duplicates – later or earlier records of the same person. We could spend days to really narrow it down, but won’t, believe me, that would be really too much! (But yes, it is always tempting.) So, maybe the three best possibilities are:

Alfred John Hines, born December 17, 1867 in Wolcott, CT. His obituary states he was educated in the schools of Wolcott and Montpelier Seminary and married Agnes Conant in October 1901.

Alfred Joseph Hines, born November 13, 1873, PA. Lived in Cresson, PA, occupation clutchman? for P.R.R. Co. (Pennsylvania Railroad Company) per his WWI Draft Registration Card, in 1918. See if you can figure out what that says there:

An interesting fact on the “Pennsy” Railroad:  By 1882, the company had become the largest corporation in the world, with a budget second only to the U.S. government.

Or had this calling card belonged to the Alfred J. Hines, who was married to Dorothy E., living in Rochester, NY, per the Rochester city directory, occupation engineer (but employer name not listed). We don’t know the age of this Alfred J. Hines. Oddly, no census records were found on him.

Sources:  “Alfred J. Hines.” Hardwick Gazette (Hardwick, VT). January 8, 1942, Thursday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).

Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Cambria County. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

Pennsylvania Railroad. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Railroad (accessed January 3, 2021).

Drew Allis’ Rochester Directory, 1919, Vol. 70. p. 518. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

Happy New Year From Stafford Hannah

Calling card. Circa 1880s – 1900.

Price:  $12.00

The holiday cards are scarce right now at my house, for website posting that is. Haven’t gone on any buying binges lately….then again it’s nice to put up ones that have only been languishing in an (acid-free, of course) storage bin, without any attention…..;-). What I like about this one is that second comma. Kind of amusing, maybe a typo? Or maybe it was on purpose – so that Stafford could write a short note under his name, or have a space for a business stamp. Also, love the “face” in semi-profile, top right corner. Like a line drawing, with a little bit of shading, of a benevolent spirit. Of course, the shells and forget-me-nots are lovely….

On to Stafford Hannah…..a nice name, and not too common, for searching purposes:

As it turns out, there’s only one Stafford Hannah that fits the time-frame for this calling card. He was Stafford Cross Hannah, son of Irish immigrants, James and Ann. He was born about 1852 in Manhattan and had older siblings Mary E., Martha J. and younger Ellen, Sarah and William. He worked as a ship carpenter and later as a grocer. His wife was Jennie, and they had two sons, William J. and Alexander. We imagine Stafford having many stories to tell his boys about the ships he worked on, due to the yacht-building mention in the obit, below:

Sources:  Census of the state of New York, for 1855. Microfilm. Various County Clerk Offices, New York. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Brooklyn, Kings, New York; Roll: 846; Page: 679A; Enumeration District: 102. (Ancestry.com).

1892 New York State Census. New York State Education Department, Office of Cultural Education. New York State Library, Albany, NY. (Ancestry.com).

New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 07 E.D. 20; City: Brooklyn; County: Kings. (Ancestry.com).

“Stafford Cross Hannah”. The South Brooklyn Home Talk, March 25, 1914. Wednesday, p. 10. (Newspapers.com).

Greetings And Heaps Of Good Luck

Christmas card, publisher and date unknown. Circa 1900s – 1930s.

Price:  $4.00       Size:  About 3 and 1/4 x 4 and 1/4″

In looking up Christmas pudding images we linked to a lovely website (one of many, for sure, but we stopped at the one) with a recipe, and discovered an unlooked-for but welcome answer to the full meaning behind the title of the card:  A silver coin or trinket was traditionally baked into the dessert and whoever found it was supposed to be granted good luck. How nice that the children are offering the dessert to Santa (a skinny Santa, at that). And he must be taking a break from deliveries, as he still has toys spilling out of his very full bag of goodies. Back to the pudding – not a pudding in the American sense, but in the British use of the word (a dish, either savory or sweet, that’s steamed or boiled in something). In this case, a steamed cake made weeks ahead with dried fruit and spices…..then topped with brandy and set aflame (remember the scene in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?) then topped off with cream sauce and garnished with holly.

Sources:   “Traditional British Christmas Pudding (a Make Ahead, Fruit and Brandy Filled, Steamed Dessert).” December 3, 2016. (www.christinascucina.com).

Nelson, Libby. “British desserts, explained for Americans confused by the Great British Baking Show.” November 29, 2015. (www.vox.com).

A Folk Victorian Home, About 1910

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Unused. KRUXO stamp box. Circa 1908 – 1910.

Price:  $10.00

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this house style is Folk Victorian. Two such features are the lace-like decorative spandrels (side-brackets) that help form the archways on the front porch and porch posts that are either turned spindles, or in this case, square with chamfered (beveled) corners. Enlarge the image twice to see the detailing. The thing that seemed weird at first, to me anyway, is that each porch support appears to rest on a short and very narrow piece. Seems like that would be the opposite of what any builder would want to do. However, I’ve been informed that those narrow pieces are likely steel secured from below and going up into each post. The advantage is that rain won’t collect as in a wood-on-wood situation, won’t pool underneath and rot the deck and won’t wick up to create rot in the wooden posts . Smart builder and/or designer!

Other details: We see part of a barn on our right, behind the house, and part of maybe an outbuilding on our left. And….not really noticeable at first, there’s a little boy in one of the windows! Too bad there is no identifying information on the back of the card, but it’s such a nice house, looking brand new, and so charming, almost like a doll house that was just set down on someone’s farmland.

The estimate of the postcard date was determined from scrutiny of the KRUXO stamp box examples online at Playle.com. (Two examples are really similar but I think ours is like the one Playle’s has dated 1908 to 1910.)

Sources:  McAlester, Virginia, and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. 1984. New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. Print.

Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes. K-L. Playle.com. (accessed December 12, 2020).

Fannie and Walter’s House

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked August 4th from Seattle Washington. Year not readable. Circa 1910s – 1926.

Price:  $7.00

Addressed to:   “Leo H. Ouellette. 113 North Norah St. Fort William Ont. Canada.”

“Leo – This is the little house where Fannie and Walter lived when she taught at Manchester. Harold and I often went over and stayed with them for weeks at at time. It was a nice little house. She liked it too. [signature not readable] ”

A very nice little house, indeed, and with a wrap-around porch! No luck in finding out the surname of Fannie (or Frances) and Walter, though. And we’re not sure if Manchester was the name of a school or a town, but either way, no definite results were found. If a town, then likely it’s the Manchester that’s west of Seattle, across Puget Sound. And though this photo was postmarked in August, it must have been taken in winter – note the bare deciduous trees.

The address of Leo Ouellette, 113 Norah St. N., appears to be an empty lot today, in what was formerly Fort William, now the city of Thunder Bay. Leo’s obit appears below. He was born April 16, 1893 in Duluth, Minnesota, father’s name Henry, and died January 23, 1927 in Seattle. His WWI Draft Registration Card, dated Jun 5, 1917, shows he was, at that time, single, living in Evanston, Wyoming and employed as a brakeman for the Union Pacific Railroad. His prior service was two months in the National Guard in Colorado. (B. P. O. E. in the notice below, stands for Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.)

Sources:  Fort William, Ontario. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_William,_Ontario (accessed December 12, 2020).

Microfilm. Washington State Archives, Olympia, Washington. Ancestry.com. Washington, U.S., Death Records, 1883-1960.

Registration State: Wyoming; Registration County: Sweetwater County. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

Seattle Daily Times, January 25, 1927. Tuesday, p. 21. (genealogybank.com).