Papa’s Old Home

Old photo, circa late 1890s – early 1910s.

Price:  $5.00       Size:  3 and 1/16 x 5 and 3/16″

God bless this home and the previous one….the land and the people, past, present and future

“Papa’s old home where he lived when the cyclone took[?] the house away, this is the one they built after and at the corner is the cave that they would run[?] for when a big storm would come up.”

Wouldn’t it be awesome to know the exact locale of this beautiful little house? What’s on the property now? (A million possibilities, there). Who, if anyone, walks on this land now? Who did in the past, what tribes of Native Americans lived or hunted here before the settlers came….?

An Old Outbuilding

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1907 – 1910s.

Price:  $4.00    

Rural America….a glimpse back

This postcard’s pretty beat up but still, or probably partly because of that, I love it. I love the pattern in the wooden shingles on the face of the, what would one call this, big shed? (Guess that’s why outbuilding works so well 😉 ) Maybe it was used for storage, or was once a chicken coop, though no evidence of chickens at this time. If you click to enlarge, and look inside, you can see what looks like a patchwork quilt covering up something. I love the window that looks like it was thrown together (sorry to whoever built it) and the short boards underneath the one end to make it all somewhat level. (Was it built that way or shored up later after heavy rains?) And last but not least, the young woman, laughing, the little girl with her toy wheeled cart, and their dog (caught in the middle of a bark or a yawn.) It’s a happy photo, and a glimpse back a hundred years or so, of life on the farm.

A Very Unusual Front Porch Entrance

Old photo, white border. Circa 1910s – 1920s.

Price:  $15.00          Size:  5 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

What was the inspiration for the front porch entryway on this wooden shingle-sided house or cottage? Some gingerbread porches have similarly shaped designs, albeit hugely different in their airi- and elaborateness…..But, we’ve never seen one like this. The location is unknown. How nice would it be (this seems to be a common refrain with old photographs) to be able to pop in and wander around (if we went around the house to our left, we’d probably see another cutout looking into the porch – note the long curve next to the corner) first to see if any other homes in the area share this architectural feature, and secondly to look for street signs and at the surrounding terrain…..as ideas for our whereabouts start filtering through……and then, putting us out of our suspense, finding a passerby to ask what city we’re in, and if we’re brave enough, what year!

Country Meets City

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked March 26, 1908 from Chesaning, Michigan. Publisher:  E. B. & E. Co.

Price:  $7.00

A slightly comical card of an illustrated older couple, maybe they live in the country or city outskirts, and have come to downtown Detroit. Within their outline is a photo (slightly distorted probably to fit in the frame, in a fun-house type of way 😉 check out the tower) of the old Federal Building and Post Office at the Northwestern corner of Shelby and W. Fort streets.

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Floyd Walworth, Fergus, Michigan”

Where is Fergus?

Fergus, Michigan is a “locale” located north of Chesaning, in St. Charles Township, Saginaw County, in the vicinity of Fergus and McKeighan roads (purple marker on map below). It was a station on the Michigan Central Railroad and had a post office that closed in 1933.

The sender writes:   “Josiah and Samantha are both recovering from their colds. Hope to be able to go sight seeing soon. This is not very warm weather but expect better some time. Are you well? Lovingly Aunt Minnie.”

Floyd and Myrtle

Without a doubt (we got thrown off track at first by another possibility) the recipient of this postcard was Myrtle G. Spencer, daughter of G. H. Spencer and Emma Burrows, who had married Floyd E. Walworth on August 1, 1907 in Corunna, Saginaw County, MI. Myrtle was about age 22 when she married Floyd, but was first married to John R. Wegert (June 18, 1902 in St. Charles, MI). Floyd was about age 29 at the time of marriage and both he and his bride were residents of Fergus, MI and native Michiganders. His parents were Matthew Walworth and Lucy Merrill. Floyd’s occupation was live stock shipper and Myrtle’s was music teacher.

Aunt Minnie, a mystery

The sender of this card, Aunt Minnie, was not yet found in records. She mentions family members Josiah and Samantha, names which we expected would jump out at us from old records, but no; a more time-consuming search would be needed as far as who’s who for Myrtle or Floyd’s possible aunts.

Publisher i.d.

Last but not least, according to Publishers’ Trademarks Identified by Walter E. Corson, the postcard publisher E. B. & E. Company was Ely, Boynton & Ely of Detroit.

Sources:  Austin, Dan. “Federal Building.” historicdetroit.org. (accessed September 15, 2018).

St. Charles Township, Michigan. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Charles_Township,_Michigan (accessed September 9, 2018).

Chesaning. Google Maps. google.com (accessed September 9, 2018).

“Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQQ4-2ZB : 9 July 2018), John R. Wegert and Myrtle G. Spencer, 1902.

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 93; Film Description: 1907 Montcalm – 1907 Wayne.

Corson, Walter E. Publishers’ Trademarks Identified. Ed. James Lewis Lowe. Norwood, PA:  1993. (print).

Mrs. Frederick Mason

Silhouette dated 1935, artist-signed.

Price:  $7.00          Size including background:  About 2 and 2/3 x 3 and 1/4″

A beautiful little silhouette of a Mrs. Frederick Mason done in 1935. The signature of the “scissor artist” appears to be F. Castelhun, but we couldn’t find any reference to an artist by this name, or under the possible name of Castelton. Note the faint oval outline surrounding the figure, indicating that this elegant piece was once in a frame.

Mark Twain Shadow Card

Trade card, Woolson Spice Co., Toledo, OH. Gast Lithography Co., New York & Chicago. Copyright Woolson Spice Co., 1895.

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

This trade card of beautiful poppies, and charming scene of a couple and their dog by the seaside, likely was included in a package of Lion Coffee. The back states for “30 Lion Heads” cut from Lion Coffee wrappers, and a 2 cent stamp, you could get a ladies’ scissors,  “The delight of every girl and married lady. Length 4 1/2 inches. Just the thing for cutting, trimming, and general household use.”  Or you could send 20 Lion Heads and 7 cents.

This is the first shadow picture we’ve run into, though eBay currently has an Abe Lincoln,  also by the Woolson Spice Co. Did the copyright extend to the exclusive rights for shadow pictures? Not sure, and there’s no telling how many others survived, possibly not a whole lot.  But they did a good job with Mark Twain, or is it that he had one of those profiles that was easily recognizable? Anyway, if you did some careful work, cutting on the line, you could set up the card on its “easel” in a good spot that would show off the scene on the front, and throw the shadow of this beloved literary figure on your wall. Pretty unique!

And this is our second card from the Woolson Spice Company. See Lion Coffee Parallelogram.

Source:  Mark Twain. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain (accessed September 8, 2018).

C. B. Eaton & Co., Worcester, Mass

Trade card, C. B. Eaton & Co. Stationers, Worcester, Mass. Circa 1881 – 1892.

Price:  $10.00           Size:  About 3 and 7/16 x 1 and 13/16″

I used to work at a call center and we took calls from all over, so I learned to say “Mass” (after a city) for Massachusetts from the people that live there, which is why you will often find the state typed as such on this website (rather than MA); in my mind I’m hearing layer upon layer of beautiful people’s voices stating (whatever city) Mass…..Just as in I picked up the, what I think of as a southern expression, “I appreciate you” by way of saying “thank you.” So lovely! Not just thank you for doing something for me, but I appreciate you, in your entirety, so to speak. (And I appreciate you, dear readers and browsers.) So sentimental this morning as I’m typing this – Mush, mush forty dogs in Alaska! But on to our trade card with its pink horseshoe:

“C. B. Eaton & Co., Stationers, 505 Main Street, –   –  Worcester, Mass., Headquarters for Blank Books, School Books, Paper of all kinds, Staple & Fancy Goods, &c.

C. B. was Charles B. Eaton, born about 1832, listed there on the 1880 Federal Census for Worcester, living at 690 Main St., occupation  “paper store” with his wife Mary C. and daughters Alice C. and Cora B. Eaton. All are native to the state of Massachusetts.

The time frame for C. B. Eaton & Co. was found in bookseller and stationer journals:  Charles B. Eaton and J. Edgar Dickson succeeded Sandford & Dickson in 1879. Eaton & Dickson was then succeeded by C. B. Eaton & Co. in 1881 and C. B. Eaton & Co. was succeeded by Lewis & Emerson in January 1893 or possibly December 1892.

Sources:  Drew, Allis & Company’s The Worcester Directory, No. XXXIX, for 1882, p. 123. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Drew, Allis & Company’s The Worcester Directory, No. XLI, for 1884, p. 386. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts; Roll: 568; Page: 444D; Enumeration District: 896.

The American Stationer, Vol. 7, No. 23. June 5, 1879, p. 10. (Google.com ebook).

The American Bookseller, Vol. 11, No. 1. January 1, 1881, p. 279. (Google.com ebook).

The American Stationer, Vol. 33, No. 1. January 5, 1893, p. 128. (Google.com ebook).

Maxwell B. McClain’s Calling Card

Calling card, circa 1870s – 1900.

Price:  $5.00        Size:  3 and 3/4 x 2 and 1/4″

Amazing that the rather delicate fold-back portion, the hand offering violets (with a flower faerie choosing to be viewed) of this calling card is still intact.  After peering under or folding back (we tried to be careful when scanning) we see the full name, Maxwell B. McClain. And I was getting ready to type in how many entries under this name were found in census records, city directories, etc. but curiously, none were found that would fit the time-frame for a card of this type, which would probably have been from the later 1800s to the turn of the century.

Mellier’s High Class Perfumes

Trade card, Oberdeener’s Pharmacy and Mellier’s Perfumes. Circa 1889 – 1901.

Price:  $15.00          Size:  4 and 1/2 x 3″

A lovely trade card in blue, pink and yellow showing a ladies shoe, a fan, a flower, a butterfly and a paper memento of some sort, resting in a large sea shell. This particular design was not the only one with this theme. There is another to be found for sale online showing a yellow shoe facing in the opposite direction. Mellier’s, based out of St. Louis, Missouri, was very prolific in creating fragrances over the years. We’ve counted a total of eighty, found on the web, including one called Ping Pong (!) The titles shown on this card are:

Ascension Lily, Sweet Crab Apple, Favorita, Violet Bouquet, Bon Silene Rose, Lilac Spray, Golden Pansy, Arabian Nights, Peach Blossom and Allien Bouquet (sometimes seen as Allen Bouquet).

The advertiser on the trade card was S. Oberdeener, of Santa Clara, California, who stated,  “We can confidently recommend – Mellier’s ‘High-Class’ Perfumes – and will take pleasure in showing our patrons how closely they imitate the natural flower and how they possess at the same time both wonderful delicacy and great permanence.”

1038 Franklin Street, Santa Clara, CA

Samuel Oberdeener, per Find A Grave, son of Moses and Libby Oberdeener, was born in San Francisco, September 14, 1860 and died May 20, 1901 in Santa Clara, California. He was married to Emma Lauck. They had one daughter, Mildred. Sam Oberdeener was a graduate of the California College of Pharmacy in 1880, a member of the State Board of Pharmacy, Board of Town Trustees and an active member in the Masonic order, the Odd Fellows, Elks and Foresters. Oberdeener’s would have been well-known in the area, at the time of Sam’s passing, the store had been in business for over thirty years, Samuel having taken over from his father in 1882.

Dating the trade card

All of the perfume titles listed on the trade card, with the exception of Peach Blossom, were found advertised in The American Drug Clerks Journal, January 1889, Vol. 3. (A date for Peach Blossom was not located.) And since Samuel Oberdeener died in 1901, we would estimate this card to be from about 1889 to 1901. The pharmacy continued for some years after Samuel’s death. Below, an ad from the 1913 Santa Clara directory:

Sources:  “Dr Samuel Oberdeener” Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

“Dr. Samuel Oberdeener.” Los Angeles Times, May 21, 1901. Tuesday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

The American Drug Clerks Journal, January 1889, Vol. 3.(Google.com).

Polk-Husted Directory Co.’s, San Jose City and Santa Clara, 1913-14, p. 470. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Birthday Wishes For Felix Schneble

Divided back postcard. Postmarked August 17, 1917 [?] Perrysburg, New York. Publisher:  NAF Co. [?] Series 101G.

Price:  $10.00

Forget-me-nots and beautiful block lettering with the following sentiments from father to son…..

“A Birthday of happiness,

Radiant with hope’s rosy light.

And many another to follow.

As years take their flight.”

Addressed to:   “Felix Schneble, 157 Rauber St., Wellsville, N.Y.”

“Dear Son:  I didn’t forget your birthday. Meet me at the depot Sat. night. We will have a big time next week. Pa.”

A nice card from Elmer Schneble to his son Felix, the postmarked year looks like it might have been 1917 and from the sound of the note (hope they had a great time) that sounds about right. Felix, from his WWI Draft Registration Card was Felix Covill Schneble, born August 16, 1900. In September 1918, he was going to school and working at Kerr Turbine Company, and living at home at the Rauber St. address. Eight years earlier, the 1910 Federal Census for Perrysburg at 157 Rauber shows Elmer F. and Lena Schneble and children Felix, Edwin and Isabella. All are natives of New York.

And not to leave readers with a vague (or pronounced) question in mind since we mentioned WWI….and we don’t know if Felix was actually in the war, but thankfully, he appears on the 1925 New York State Census, with his family again, same address, and at this time his grandparents, Felix H. (native of Germany) and Hannah M. Schneble, are also in the household.

Last, but not least, the publisher is undetermined at this time. Cropped from the back of the card, their logo:

Sources:  Registration State: New York; Registration County: Allegany; Roll: 1711955; Draft Board: 1. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Wellsville, Allegany, New York; Roll: T624_924; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0039; FHL microfilm: 1374937. (Ancestry.com).

New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 04; Assembly District: 01; City: Wellsville; County: Allegany; Page: 13. (Ancestry.com).