“A deer they found in ‘balking’ ”

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Vintage photo of swimming deer and seven men on a cruiser boat. Circa 1940s.

Price:  $5.00          Size:  4 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/4″

Here we go again with trying to figure out the date of a photo (and possible place) by the vehicle:  In this case the vehicle is a cruiser or yacht! Nothing found yet, so more research needs to be done. You can almost make out the name on the life preserver, but not quite. I thought it was maybe “Janeeva” at first, then looked a couple of days later, thinking, “Where did I get Janeeva from?” Looks like it might start with “A.” (An interesting phenomenom, this change in perception!) Then there’s the other mystery:  Where in the world is “balking” ? Since it was put in parentheses by whoever wrote the note on the back, it seems to not be an actual place name. This makes sense, since Balking is not showing up online. Or did they mean, “A deer they found when ‘balking’ ” ? (whatever that might mean!) But last, which should be first….the deer! What an unexpected sight this must of have been! If he’d been in line with the front of the boat, it would have looked like he was towing it 😉 And unbeknownst to many (like me up till now) deer are good swimmers!

King Of The Yard

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Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1910s – 1920s. Cyko stamp box.

Price:  $7.00

A boy standing with his arms folded back behind his head, feed bag hanging from one shoulder, surveying his charges:  a yard full of about 35 chickens. Directly behind him is a wagon, it’s two rear wheels standing just taller than the boy. In the background is what we take to be the chicken coop:  a good-sized structure with wooden siding, tall windows and door, and a steep roof with cupola.

Proud Poser

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Old photo of unidentified shorebird or wader. Circa 1920s – 30s.

Price:  $8.00         Size:  4 and 1/2 x 2 and 3/4″

Is this a heron or egret or some other type of long-legged wader? Unknown, unless someone can help us out, but he’s sure a beauty and is posing near the doorway of a building, maybe somebody’s house. He’s light in color with very dark wing tips and a long, straight bill. The day I found this photo up in San Francisco (at the paper fair) a crane or egret flew very close over my car, to glide in and stand, posing for photo ops for the park-goes. (Beautiful!)

My Birdie And Me

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Old photo, circa 1913, young woman holding bird

Price:  $4.00       Size:  4 and 1/4 x 2 and 1/2″

Awww, this is nice:  the joyful expression on the young woman’s face, posing on the porch steps, the way she’s sitting sideways, head turned and smiling, the graceful and caring way she’s holding the bird (a wild bird that was rescued?)….the detail in the all-wood background – steps, house siding, posts of the porch railing and door. As for dating the photo, the high-waist skirt might indicate around 1913 or so. No, doubt the blouse was gorgeous, too – note the ruffled-edge, wide cuffs of the elbow-length sleeves.

“My Dog and I”

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Set of two photos, circa 1920s, of girl and puppy.

Price:  $3.00        Size:  About 2 and 7/8 x 2″ each.

Apparently, the grammar is incorrect, as it’s supposed to be “my dog and me.”  Take out “dog” and you wouldn’t name the photo “I”  🙂 but I didn’t know that either, till I looked it up. Proof we’ve been confused for decades on this point, I guess. But how adorable are these photos:  young girl with a bobbed haircut, in her backyard, bottle-feeding her little puppy.

DeSoto Firedome 8 Engine

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Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1952.

Price:  $4.00

“New! Sensational! 160 Horsepower! DeSoto Firedome 8 Engine. America’s Most Powerful Engine Design.”

The reverse starts off,  “More Power To You – Now!”

Huh, more power to ya! Wondering how old this expression is, so we did a quick search in online newspapers and found the idiom, “more power to you” in use at least as far back as 1835 (Dublin Penny Journal, Dublin, Ireland, Aug 22, 1835). And it sure works well for automotive….But the engine advertised in this postcard was a Hemi V8 for the DeSoto Firedome, a full-sized auto manufactured from 1952 to 1959. DeSoto was a division of Chrysler.

Sources:  Dublin Penny Journal. (Dublin, Ireland) August 22, 1835, p. 2. (Newspapers.com)

DeSoto Firedome. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeSoto_Firedome (accessed July 3, 2016).

Dague Siblings With Model T

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Old photo, some of the Dague siblings, circa 1925

Price:  $10.00         Size:  About 3 and 7/8 x 2 and 1/2″

It’s always heaven to find names on the backs of photos! The three girls from left to right are Isabelle, Lucille, and Virginia. (At least, that is definitely Lucille sitting higher up on the hood, and guessing the dark-haired girl is Isabelle who is about two years older than Virginia.) That is probably younger brother Robert on the left and whoops, he got left off by whoever wrote on the back. But he is kind of blending with the background in this photo. As for the car, it looks to be a Ford, Model T, four-door sedan, probably 1924 (help courtesy of AACA, and we have them listed under helpful websites now). You’ll notice the license plate has the year 1925, and the state appears to start with the letter “O”. Ohio fits perfectly, for one, the wording on the plate looks too short to be Oregon, and for another, the Dague Family that is matching up, lived in Ohio.

About five years prior to the photo being taken, the 1920 Federal Census for Harrisville Township, Medina County, Ohio shows:  Harvey and Bessie Dague, with children Edna (Lucille Edna in family trees online), Vernon, Willard, Isabel, Lowell, Virginia and Robert, along with Harvey’s brothers-in-law William and James Parks[?]. The Dagues and Parks are all native Ohioans.

Source:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Lodi, Medina, Ohio; Roll: T625_1417; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 68; Image: 128. (Ancestry.com).

Me In My Olds

Me In My Olds

Old photo, man in Oldsmobile, circa 1917.

Price:  $5.00         Size:  5 x 3″

Youngish gentleman in suit, tie and Newsboy-type cap, posing for the camera in a circa 1917 Oldsmobile. (We presume it’s his. He looks proud.) That would likely be the toolbox that is resting on the running board. The shape of the rear window seems uncommon:  like a long, narrow rectangle with the edges rounded off, we’re not seeing an exact match online.

Scott Fountain, Belle Isle, 1942

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Old photo of the James Scott Memorial Fountain, Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan. August 29, 1942.

Price:  $3.00               Size:  3 and 1/2 x 2 and 1/2″

Since we were in Detroit (Hamtramck to be exact) for the last post, here’s a snapshot from 1942 of the James Scott Memorial Fountain. (Wonder if the guy who picked up his car at the factory stopped off to visit Belle Isle?) This thought conjured up the image of a scattering of hundreds of thousands of photos taken since the fountain’s completion in 1925, some that didn’t survive, but many resting in old photo albums and shoe boxes, and tons now in digital format (professional shots, wedding photos, group shots, selfies, etc.). Our photo above had made it out to San Francisco and was snatched up at the paper fair; a pocket-size repository of great memories of times spent on Belle Isle and the magnetic pull of a mini water-and-marble paradise.

Fountain Magic

Let’s go see the fountain! All fountains have an enchanting quality, don’t they? There’s the beneficial negative ions from the water’s spray, and if built into the design, the sheer beauty and whimsy and magic of characters so often depicted in fountain architecture, like the Scott’s turtles with their attendant frogs, it’s guardian lions with expressions so sweet you want to hug them (the lions, not their expressions, oh well, both), it’s winged beasties with ram-like horns, it’s devilish-looking water spirits riding happy fish….Surely too, we’re soaking up magic from the form of the fulfilled dream and hard work of the architects and sculptors, (in this case Cass Gilbert and Herbert Adams) the often-haggling city council members, (the Scott’s creation being controversial due to it’s namesake’s reputation; there’s the statue of the man himself overlooking the whole scene) the general laborers (of course) in the construction; and then the magic reinforced by all of us:  the residents and visitors that have and will come to a fountain to cool off, dream, celebrate, recharge, marvel and leave inspired.

Source:  James Scott Memorial Fountain. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Scott_Memorial_Fountain. (accessed June 24, 2016).

The Old Dodge Main, Hamtramck, 1940

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Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked April 17, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan.

Price:  $7.00

Built in 1910 and demolished in 1981, “Dodge Main” as it was commonly called, was the largest of the Chrysler plants, and located in Hamtramck, Michigan. The card’s caption in the “cloud” or maybe that’s factory steam 😉 shows,  “Where Dodge Passenger Cars Are Built – The Home Of Dependability. Detroit, Michigan.”

The postcard’s condition is poor due to the big crease down the middle, but the message on the back is a wonderful example of when a person could drive to the factory to pick up their new car. A. E. Schweitzer, the author of the article in the link above, mentions that many would plan their summer vacations around the purchase of the new vehicle. Whether this was common with car companies at this time or was exclusive to Dodge is a good question to research, but in any case, our sender writes:

“Dear George. We are at the Factory. Will get our car in a short time now. Hope every thing is O.K. at home. Regards to all. Tony[?]”

Sent to:   “Mr. George Hume. Truckee, Calif. Nevada co.”

Source:  Schweitzer, A. E. “Inside the Dodge Main plant:  1910 – 1981.” Allpar. (Web accessed June 25, 2016).