Mystery Language

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. Circa 1904 – 1918. Printed in Canada.

Price:  $8.00

The snow is piled up in front of two stylish ladies (check out all the trim on the young woman’s coat) who have posed for this photo. Their dog is beside them, and prominent in the background is what looks to be a church, just from the shape of the windows, and next to the church, a house. The branches of the bare trees are beautiful in this scene, too. Possibly the postcard photo originated in the same area as the sender’s address, so the card may be of historical interest for Saskatoon history buffs, as well as any Abrams descendants.

Baffled….for now

But the note from the sender of this card is a stumper. What language is it written in?  Deciphering can be tricky for old postcards in other languages due to abbreviations and sometimes misspelled words or former spellings of words used, let alone a person’s particular style of cursive, although the name and address are easily read on this one as:   “Mrs. Wm. Abrams, Saskatoon, Sask.”

Without being able to decipher but one or two words on the back (if that) we turned to searching for the receiver of this card to find their native tongue as stated on census records. There is a William Abrams and his wife Maria and their children listed on the 1911 and 1916, residing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. This would coincide with the postcard date of circa 1904 to 1918, per the AZO stamp box (all four triangles pointing upward, along with divided back starting December 1903 in Canada.) William was born in Russia and Maria in Germany. William’s declaration of intent, in his U. S. naturalization process, appears to show that he was born in Ekaterinoslav, Russia, which is now called Dnipro and lies within Ukraine….No other possible Abrams were found to fit our postcard, so this is all good info, even though it doesn’t help us figure out the writing on the back. Hopefully, we’ll get some help on the translation from somewhere!

Sources:  Year: 1911; Census Place: 30 – Saskatoon Ward 1, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Page: 26; Family No: 236. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1916; Census Place: Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, 03B; Roll: T-21944; Page: 22; Family No: 247. (Ancestry.com).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1887-1940; Microfilm Roll: 21; Microfilm Serial: M1524.

Dnipro. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dnipro (accessed January 16, 2018).

Happy 1911

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked December 30, 1910, Visalia California. Copyright John Winsch. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $6.00

With best New Year Wishes

One more for the New Year…..backtracking 107 years…a profusion of pansies to welcome 1911.

The name or initials of this sincere sender is open to interpretation, but the card was sent to:   “Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Blake, 1426 J. St., Fresno, Cal.

John H. Blake appears on the 1911 city directory at the above address, working as a clerk for the S J L & P Corp (San Joaquin Light & Power Corporation). The 1910 Federal Census for Fresno shows he is single, boarding, and living next door at 1424 J. Street, working as a self-employed electrician, and born in California, about 1885. From an Ancestry tree, John Howard Blake married Lydia Mae Clewett in June 1910 (after the census was taken). They didn’t stay at the J Street address long, as the 1912 Fresno directory shows 1019 R Street, with John working as an electrician for Valley Electrical Supply Company. By the 1920, the couple had moved to San Jose.

See Metro Postcard’s entry on John O. Winsch for more on the publisher.

Sources:  Polk – Husted Directory Co.’s Fresno and Coalinga City and Fresno County Directory, 1911. p. 48. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Polk – Husted Directory Co.’s Fresno and Coalinga City and Fresno County Directory, 1912. p. 53. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Fresno Ward 2, Fresno, California; Roll: T624_76; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0037; FHL microfilm: 1374089. (Ancestry.com).

“John Howard Blake.” Clewett/Larson Family Tree. (Ancestry.com). accessed January 14, 2018.

Year: 1920; Census Place: San Jose, Santa Clara, California; Roll: T625_148; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 177. (Ancestry.com).

“John O. Winsch. 1910 – 1915.” W – Publishers. Metropostcard.com. (accessed January 14, 2018).

CDV By Mrs. E. B. Chappell

Carte de Visite, circa 1870s – mid-1880s. Photographer:  Mrs. E. B. Chappell.

Price:  $10.00        Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 13/16″

Like the last post, here’s a beautiful child posing for a Carte de Visite photo, also in that common “casual” style pose (just my take on it, as in….It’s casual Dudette 😉 but all about what to do with placement of arms and hands, etc. in a photo, so as not to look awkward)  standing, with one arm resting on the fringed armrest of the photographer’s chair and a leg crossed at the ankle. The little girl in the image wears a watch or pendant chain necklace as well as a  bracelet on both wrists, so perhaps the family was somewhat well-to-do.

Sort of a mystery

The photographer, Mrs. E. B. Chappell of Sturgis, Michigan, was not verified in directories or census records. Several websites have a little info on her as Mrs. Eliza B. Chappell, operating in Sturgis and Athens, Michigan, with dates ranging from 1884 – 1889 on Cabinet Cards, but finding a Mrs. Edith Chappell living in Sturgis on the 1870 Federal Census (maiden name Reeves in other records) leaves one to wonder if they could be the same person. (Edith changed to Eliza?…middle initial “B” as the next letter in Elizabeth?) Edith and her husband Edward Chappell had three children, Charles, William and Sarah (Sarah died in infancy in 1873.) Edith and Edward were both born in England, and it seems they might have separated (she is on the 1870 in Sturgis with her boys in August, but almost a month earlier the family is together on the 1870 in Jackson. By the 1880, Edward Chappell is still in Jackson, has the boys with him, and is listed as single. Edith is not found on the 1880 census (nor is Eliza B.) This is just a theory for now. And true, there may be city directories for Sturgis and/or Athens that list the photographer, but if they exist, they are not online, so a more in-depth search is needed.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Jackson, Jackson, Michigan; Roll: 585; Page: 294A; Enumeration District: 117. (Ancestry.com).

Willliam Henry Chappell. Find A Grave Memorial #79180039. Findagrave.com (accessed January 12, 2018).

Julia Driver Collection of Women in Photography. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

Treadwell, T. K. and Darrah, William C., comp., Photographers of the United States of America. (National Stereoscopic Association, copyright 1994. Updated 2003).

Death Records. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing, Michigan. Ancestry.com. Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Jackson Ward 1, Jackson, Michigan; Roll: M593_678; Page: 143B; Family History Library Film: 552177. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1870; Census Place: White Pigeon, St Joseph, Michigan; Roll: M593_700; Page: 345A; Family History Library Film: 552199. (Ancestry.com).

Ed Anderson, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Carte de Visite, circa 1875 – 1883. Photographer:  Charles H. Tebo, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Price:  $12.00            Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/8″

Confident Ed

Ed, a sturdy and confident-looking boy of about five or six years old, has posed for this Carte de Visite, and there are at least a couple of possibilities for him from online records:  On the 1880 Federal Census there is the Edward H. Anderson, born about 1877 in Wisconsin, parents Joseph D. and Elizabeth A. Anderson, living in the town of Washington (just southeast of Eau Claire) or the Edward Anderson, born about January 1870 in Wisconsin from the 1870 Federal Census for Eau Claire, son of Norwegian born Ole and Emily Anderson.

Charles Hamilton Tebo, photographer

The photographer for this Carte de Visite was New York State native Charles Hamilton Tebo, born 1850 and per the CDV his studio location was on the “north side of Broadway”. Only one record was found for him under this occupation which was the 1880 census for Eau Claire, and surprisingly, no city directories were found for him as a photographer –  the closest directory record found after 1880 is not until 1889, in which he is listed as a grocer. So, this makes it a little more difficult to try to narrow down dates, to see if the photo is more likely of one of the two Ed Andersons mentioned above, or if it might be of a different Ed Anderson entirely. (Photos of the photographer and his family have been posted on Ancestry.com. family trees.)

Definition given

One more thing of note:  Look closely and you’ll see that someone drew lines on Ed’s hair in the photo. And in taking a look at the actual CDV, it appears this may have been done by the photographer, before processing the image. He probably thought the hair blended too much with the background and needed some definition.

Sources:  Edward H. Anderson. Year: 1880; Census Place: Washington, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Roll: 1425; Page: 472D; Enumeration District: 135. (Ancestry.com).

Edward Anderson. Year: 1870; Census Place: North Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Roll: M593_1712; Page: 285B; Family History Library Film: 553211. (Ancestry.com).

Charles H. Tebo. Year: 1880; Census Place: Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Roll: 1425; Page: 439A; Enumeration District: 132. (Ancestry.com).

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Eau Claire Directory, 1889 – 1890. p. 311. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Par La Lumière De La Lune

Divided back, unused postcard. Made in France. Series Nivôse. Publisher: SR. Série Nivôse. Reproduction Interdite. Fabrication Française.

Price:  $10.00

Bonne Année

Happy New Year….by the light of the moon:  A rustic but romantic artist’s rendition of a home in winter, that you could travel under by boat, almost like a toll gate building, but then not. It’s rather unusual.

Nivôse, from the Latin word nivosus, meaning snowy, was the fourth month in the French Republican Calendar, and the first month of the winter quarter.

The date of the card is unknown, as is any information on the publisher, though we presume the publishing company used the initials “SR.”

Source:  Nivôse. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niv%C3%B4se (accessed January 6, 2018).

To Willard Osburn From Uncle Fred

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 29, 1909 from Symerton, Illinois. printed in Germany.

Price:  $7.00

With New Year Greetings

“How are you, are you catching any rabbits these days. from Uncle Fred.”   Addressed to:

“Willard Osburn, Wilmington, Ill.”

A century or so ago, it seems that postcard artists were unconcerned with providing images of drooping roses like the one we have here. I don’t think you’ll see this much today, if at all. But while looking closely at the front of the card we noticed it has a beautiful almost leaf-like pattern with very fine, close vertical lines, maybe to help give the card a little bit of shimmer.

As for Willard, the addressee, he was found on the 1910 Federal Census for Wilmington, Will County, Illinois, born about 1899. So, he’s about ten when he receives this postcard from his Uncle Fred. On the 1910, the household members, all native to Illinois, are:  parents, Charles A. and Della B. Osburn; children ages eighteen to five: Blanche A., Leonard L., Hazel H., Edith S., Willard W. and Mildred M.; and domestic servant Howard J. Broderick. Their home was located on Braidwood Road near First Street.

Source:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Wilmington, Will, Illinois; Roll: T624_335; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0203; FHL microfilm: 1374348. (Ancestry.com).

A New Year Wish

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1920s. Publisher unknown. Series 1258 A.

Price:  $5.00

A pretty card of a home in the country for 2018:

A New Year Wish

“I wish you luck, indeed I do,

The best of luck for the year that’s new,

And may it last ’till the year is old

And never leave you out in the cold.”

To Lena From Gladys

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked December 29, 1913, Almena, Kansas.

Price:  $3.00

A Happy New Year

A pink rose and some forget-me-nots are framed in blue. (The embossing from the reverse is maybe even nicer – very elegant in white.) And this card was sent to our old friend Lena Davis who we haven’t visited in a while – her cousin Gladys writes:

“Almena Kans. Dec. 30 1913. Dear Cousin, Rec’d your card glad to hear. How is Grandma & all the rest. John’s mother and Sophie are sick took down Wed. We went Sat. and just got home they are better now. Don’t know when we will be up but don’t wait on us. How is Laura, Write soon, Glad.”

Filipina In Baro’t Saya, Real Photo Postcard

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. Juan Dela Cruz Studio. AZO stamp box, circa 1924 – 1949.

Price:  $12.00

A beautiful young woman in the traditional Filipino dress, baro’t saya, is posing for this portrait that was taken at the Juan Dela Cruz Studio. An unrelated online image was found on Flickr listing this studio location as Tondo, Manila, Philippines, and with an estimated date for that image as 1927. Our photo above of the unknown beauty may have been taken around this time, as well. The broader time frame of circa 1924 – 1949 comes from the AZO stamp box style on the reverse of the card.

The sender of this RPPC signed the back of the postcard but unfortunately, her signature is mostly covered by the black photo album paper the card had been glued to. We can only read what looks like the last two letters of her name (e-t). She wrote:

“Dear Aquiong, A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. Lovingly….”

Sources:  Ensemble-Philippines-The Met. Metropolitan Museum of Art. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/158138. (accessed December 30, 2017).

De Leon, Eduardo. “A studio portrait of a Filipina named Loleng. Juan Dela Cruz Studio, Tondo, Manila. 1927.” 25 Nov 2014. Online image. Flickr. 30 Dec 2017. https://www.flickr.com/photos/edlei/15695528537/in/photostream/

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes ” AZO (squares in all four corners). Playle.com. (accessed December 30, 2017).

Amelia, December 1911, Binghamton NY

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, December 1911. CYKO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

“Dec – 1911. A Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to you, Amelia.”

Addressed to:   “Laura Weed, 23 College st, City.”

Here’s a pretty lady, maybe in her seventies, posing for the photographer and wearing a satin dress over a lace blouse with high-neck ruffled collar, wire-rimmed eyeglasses and an unusual-looking “hat-box” shaped hat. The name for this style of head wear is unknown (maybe someone can help us out with this one) and its really not terribly outlandish in comparison to many others from this time period. And though we probably think that the blouse under the dress rather spoils the look, I bet the overall effect of the colors in the hat and of the dress (wish we could see) were gorgeous….and uplifting!

So, with the name and street address on the card we were able to trace Laura’s location to Binghamton, New York. She was Mrs. Laura A. Weed, wife of Manford Weed. Most likely, Amelia lived in the same city as her friend Laura, however there are a number of Amelias that might fit:  Some possible surnames for Amelia are Wilcox, Tierney, Parsons, Gregory, Back, Bailey and Couse.

Sources:  Calkin-Kelly Directory Co.’s Binghamton City Directory, 1914. p. 491. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Calkin-Kelly Directory Co.’s Binghamton City Directory, 1915. p. 491. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Kirkwood, Broome, New York; Roll: T624_926; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0045; FHL microfilm: 1374939. (Ancestry.com).