Acme Bar And Oyster Saloon

Trade card, circa 1882 – 1883, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Price:  $15.00                 Size:  2 and 1/2 x 4 and 5/8″

Acme Bar and Oyster Saloon. 9 and 11 Royal Street, Open at All Hours. J. M. Shannon, Proprietor.

“All are welcome to my shrine,

Call day or night, or any time,

My address is nine and eleven,

Embark for Royal street, then you are in Heaven.”

I’ve been away from posting new items a ridiculously long time, too much of the regular job rolling around upstairs and the laundry and dishes and gardening, etc. threatening to overtake, as usual. Or, at least that’s how it’s seemed. But back now, so here’s a leprechaun in a cabbage patch for St. Patrick’s Day, put out by J. M. Shannon, proprietor of the Acme Bar and Oyster Saloon. Oysters were big back in the day! My own great-grandmother, Sarah Durning, worked for a short time at the W. H. Dewey Ice Cream and Oyster House in Detroit, so we believe, from a city directory entry in 1880. Anyway, that’s nothing to do with J. M. Shannon’s Acme, but just mentioning, because Sarah was of Irish descent, like Shannon must have been. Notice how the  first letters of the verse above spells ACME. Clever!

So, where was the Acme Bar and Oyster Saloon? New Orleans and that’s a fact. There’s an Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter, present-day, established 1910, and one would think there might be a connection, at least as inspiration, since as we found out from newspaper clippings, the 19th-century Acme business had been a popular one of pretty long-standing, though it had changed ownership multiple times.

Appearing in the St. Tammany Farmer, April 21, 1883:

Below, two clippings from Commercial Bulletin, Price-Current and Shipping List. July 5, and July 12, 1882:

John M. Shannon, prior steward of the Pickwick Club

John Shannon, along with Peter McGrath to be more precise

Prior to Shannon in 1882-’83 we find the Acme Saloon, aka Acme Oyster Bay and Saloon under Gerome M. Borges, proprietor, circa 1876 – 1878, per city directories. This gem of an ad below is clipped from The New Orleans Daily Democrat, February 13, 1877:

Appearing in the Louisiana Review, September 11, 1889, the Acme was owned by Henry Langhetee:

By at least October 1893, the Acme had changed ownership again, this time to James McGowan, well-known in the New Orleans, according to the clipping below:

Sources:  “Acme Bar.”  St. Tammany Farmer, April 21, 1883. Saturday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).

“The Acme.”  Commercial Bulletin, Price-Current and Shipping List. July 5, 1882. Wednesday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

“The prestige….”  Commercial Bulletin, Price-Current and Shipping List. July 12, 1882. Wednesday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

L. Sourds & Co.’s New Orleans City Directory, 1878. Page 97. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

“Citizens and Strangers!”  The New Orleans Daily Democrat, February 13, 1877. Tuesday, p. 4. (Newspapers.com).

“The Acme bar, oyster saloon and restaurant.”  Louisiana Review, September 11, 1889. Wednesday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).

“The Acme, 9 and 11 Royal Street.”  The Times-Picayune, October 2, 1893. Monday, p. 8. (Newspapers.com).

Snow-covered Oldsmobile

Old photograph, 1949 – 1950s.

Price:  $3.00         Size:  3 and 3/16 x 3 and 1/16″

This is definitely an Oldsmobile, maybe a 1949 or ’50 Series 76 or a 1951 Oldsmobile 88. The styles were very similar for those three years, but it’s not the ’52 due to the front bumper re-design at that time.

This image brings back lots of memories! Michigan, a wet cold, pushing off mountains of snow from the car, getting snow under your sleeves, scraping at the ice on the windshield while waiting for the car to heat up….the scraper was either the short one with the pale yellow handle (but the scraper part was the color of an icicle) or the long one with the brush along one end (the brush didn’t do well with heavy inches, thus you resorted to using your arm.) The fun sometimes, riding with Dad while he let the car slide a little on the ice, on purpose. The not-so-fun part of getting stuck – it was especially tricky going around the “islands”  but an old rug under that spinning tire worked good (if you’d remembered to put one in the back seat). And there was the camaraderie of neighbors helping each other, the Good Samaritan coming along and pushing while you finessed the gas pedal…..and then what stands out for me (some pride here) as the ultimate winter driving experience – the city didn’t have the money to plow our residential streets, so we were forced to learn (knowledge is power) how to share that one and only set of tire tracks (that had been carved out previously by prior vehicles) when meeting an oncoming car. A beautiful thing – you and the other driver – the recognition, the skill (when there was a lot of snow) and the feeling of unity/harmony/good will/accomplishment, relief if the snow was really deep (you’d gotten by each other unstuck and unscathed) and that little bit of pride – who needs snowplows?

Branch Brook Park In Winter, Newark NJ

Undivided back postcard. Series or number 1969. Postmarked March 7, 1909.

Price:  $5.00

Branch Brook Park is known for its Cherry Blossom Festival and was the first county park in the United States.

Though the postmark is dated 1909, this card would have been produced prior to the change in U.S. postal regulations in December 1907, which saw the advent of the Divided Back cards.

On the reverse, part of the address is unreadable, looks like this postcard was once glued in an album or just had something stuck on the back. But….mystery solved:   We actually have another Canning postcard with the full name on it. So, our card above would have been addressed to either (or both) Mr. M. J. Canning (Montgomery J. Canning) or Mrs. M. J. Canning (Louise Canning). The address from the 1909 city directory was 406 Clayton St., San Francisco, California.

See Surprise Us – Write for more on the Cannings.

Reading wrong between the lines….

Straight to the point with a rather catchy phrase, the sender (Mame?) wrote:   “You are reading wrong between lines. Your postal was all O.K.  need not take it back.    Mame”

Sources:  Branch Brook Park. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branch_Brook_Park (accessed January 13, 2019).

Crocker-Langley’s San Francisco Directory for 1909, p. 362. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

For Nora From Jessie

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Unused, circa 1910s.

Price:  $4.00

“Dear Nora. This was taken when I was at home. They aren’t very good but will send them any way, what did you do with you Kodack, don’t you take any more. Jessie”

Sounds like Jessie had more postcards or photos that she had sent to Nora, and funny, but oftentimes we see the sender leaving off question marks in their message. In this case, Nora was asking what Jessie had done with her Kodak camera, isn’t she taking any more photos? No last name or location for this image, but it’s so charming. Wintertime or maybe early spring on the farm:  Posing for the shot, three beautiful children, and a handsome young man, (who looks to be about sixteen, I thought, but click to enlarge, and you’ll notice it looks like he wears a wedding ring.)  I love it when everyone in a photo is looking in different directions.

Feat Of The 20th Century

Divided back, used Real Photo Postcard. Velox stamp box. 1909.

Price:  $12.00

A young gentleman in a suit jacket, button down sweater and derby hat displays his sense of humor. The letters “L” and “S” on the soles of his shoes are maybe his initials, and the 09 is likely for the year 1909. And it’s the way the shot was taken that makes his shoes appear so large. This would be a great card to include in a book on humor in postcards or something similar, especially because it was “homemade” so to speak. That is, an original idea, produced with instructions for the printing company. The blacked-out part was probably to cover the rest of the photo, which whatever it showed, must have detracted from the overall effect; if you click to enlarge you can see a little bit of the brown background at the bottom of the heavy black stripe in a couple of places.

A Prosperous New Year To Vera Willson

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked December 31st, circa 1910, year missing. Publisher:  International Art Publishing Co. “New Year Post Card Series No. 19.”

Price:  $6.00

Two adorable bluebirds (artist interpretation) resting on an evergreen branch, are sheltering from the falling snow under an umbrella. This is the first item in The Willson Family Collection. Photos of some of the family members have been found, and will go up early this year. Lots to research!

Addressed to:   “Miss Vera Willson, Bx 543, Gilroy, Cal.”

Vera’s friend wrote:   “My dear friend:-  I thank you for the Christmas card. I am very glad you remembered me.Yours sincerely[?] HL. Bx 238.”

The front of the postcard has the sender’s last name but we didn’t find anything for him in census or city directories, likely due to the full surname being hard to read. Looks like Linden-something. We tried various possibilities but nothing came up.

Happy New Year To Mrs. B. F. Main

Divided back, embossed postcard. Made in Germany. Postmarked from Santa Clara, California, December 30th. Circa 1909. Year missing in postmark.

Price:  $4.00

A Happy New Year….with lilacs, from The Ethel Main Collection, and we’re estimating 1909 for this postcard due to the others in the collection that were sent to the address on the card showing 1909.
The sender wrote:   “Wishing you a Happy New Year. Hazel.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. B. F. Main, 253 – 14th St, San Francisco, Cal”

To Olaf Liljenberg

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 29, 1918, Chicago, Illinois.

Price:  $10.00

For The New Year

“Though I can’t be with you

To share your joys, my dear,

I send these lines to greet you;

May they bring a Happy Year!”

One can always lose oneself for a few moments in little scenes like the one above; common though they often were, they are no less charming. In this case, an (almost) half-circle bordered by snow-covered holly, highlights a country scene at sunset. The background is a repeating pattern of blocks and “j”s and elongated backward “c”s (how can one describe them? 🙂 ) in muted gray-green and tan. And if you click on the image to enlarge, look at the lower right of the scene and you’ll see what looks like a signature.

The sender is Magda (Liljenberg) Kawell. Magda married Arthur Kawell on June 23, 1917 in Lake County, Indiana. She writes to her dad, Olaf Liljenberg:

“Wishing you a Happy New Year. From Magda & Art. Dear Dad. Juist a few lines thanking you very much for the nice Christmas present we recieved.”

Addressed to:   “Mr. O. Liljenberg, 242 Oakland ave., Detroit Mich.”

Olaf’s occupation from the 1919 Detroit city directory is baker. Also at the 242 Oakland Avenue address in 1919 is Erice Liljenberg. The prior year he’s listed under Olaf Liljenbery, baker, residence 10 Mulberry Ave. (The incorrect “y” at the end was either a typo or maybe phonetically appearing due to the correct pronunciation with the subtle “y” sound in place of the anglicized hard “g” in “berg.”)

From the 1930 Federal Census taken in Chicago, Magda was born in Sweden about 1901 and came to the U.S. at about age one. Both of her parents were born in Sweden. The household in 1930 is Arthur and Magda Kawell and their children Dorothy, Katherine and Arthur.

Sources:  Ancestry.com. Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001.

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Detroit City Directory, 1919. p. 1328; R. L. Polk & Co.’s Detroit City Directory, 1918. p. 1166. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 1696; FHL microfilm: 2340223. (Ancestry.com).

An Alpine Christmas

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard, dated December 25, 1907.

Price:  $7.00

Merry Christmas….

“Dec. 25-07. Dear Cousin. I received yor pretty Christmas greeting we are having an easy time shut down last night until Jan 2-d. I found funston St. today did not stop. hope you had a Merry Christmas Both well. Will look for you on the 8.59  Cousin A.B.B.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Katie S. Covert, 730 Centre St., Trenton N. J.”

This card was printed for the change in postal regulations in the U.S. that took place in December 1907. You’ll note how the publisher included instructions on the back of the card, as to which side to write the message on, and which side for the address.  The ivy, holly, clover, and horseshoes (great detail on the horseshoes) are embossed and in the background there’s a framed alpine mountain scene of a shepherd’s hut.

Katie S. Covert shows up on the 1908 Trenton city directory as Kate S. Covert, clerk, residence address 730 Centre St., and on the 1900 Federal Census for East Windsor, Mercer County, NJ:  a single boarder, working as a clerk and cashier, born in New Jersey, May 1875, living with C. S. and Mary B. Appleget.

What is the reference in the message about “Funston St?” Possibly the sender is referring to the Philadelphia street by that name. This seems to be the closest match to the Trenton area, and the cousins probably lived fairly close to each other, as A.B.B. was looking for Katie on the 8.59 train.

Sources:  Fitzgerald’s Trenton and Mercer County Directory, 1908. p. 308. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1900; Census Place: East Windsor, Mercer, New Jersey; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0047; FHL microfilm: 1240981. (Ancestry.com).

I Hope You’re Happy, Too.

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 22, 1920, Oakland, California. Series or number 425A.

Price:  $8.00

“I Hope You’re Happy Too

I feel so fine and Christmassy

And generally good,

I want to share the feeling

As a good friend rightly should.”

Signed, Florence Thickle.

These postcard captions are funny sometimes, which is definitely part of the charm of the old cards. And well, imagine trying to come up with something slightly different for yet another Christmas postcard….As for the illustration, it’s beautiful – a full moon lights a wonderful view looking up a set of steep steps (be careful on the way down!) toward a manor house, we presume (due to the grandeur of the approach).

The sender, Florence, wrote:

4427 Evans ave., Oakland, Calif. Dec. 21, ’20. Dear Grandma Waiters:  This is to wish you happy Xmas, and a fine new year. I’m not doing much for this Xmas; but hope I’ll be able to be at work again before very long. How are you all? Hope old Santa treats you all real good. Lots of love from – Florence.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. V. C. Waiters, Paso Robles, California.”

V. C. Waiters is Vesta C. Waiters, wife of William A. Waiters (second marriage for both) found on the 1910 Federal Census for Paso Robles, born Iowa, about 1847. Her name at birth was Vesta Catherine Fry. On the 1920 she is widowed, head of household in Paso Robles; with her is her brother William H. Fry and granddaughter, Sarah E. Gesser. Curiously, nothing definitive was found for Florence Thickle in records, though we did not trace the grandmother-granddaughter relationship as that tends to be quite time-consuming. Florence must not have been at the Evans Avenue, Oakland address for very long as city directories show a different family in 1920.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, California; Roll: T624_104; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0038; FHL microfilm: 1374117. Year: 1920; Census Place: Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, California; Roll: T625_144; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 45. (Ancestry.com).