Somewhere In France

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True, the beautiful wintertime photo used for this postcard may have been taken somewhere other than France. But I’ve (internally) given it the above title every time I’ve looked at it, so…. It’s a postcard produced from a real photo, but with publisher and possibly the photographer logo, and a series number at the bottom right; so, a commercial type of Real Photo Postcard. It shows a farmhouse, with rustic wooden fence, woodpile, a couple of deciduous trees in the foreground, a wood of evergreens in the background, and last but not least a woman out working in her garden. The ground, the tree branches, some farm implements next to the fence, and of course, the rooftops, are all blanketed with snow. Maybe it is late autumn with an early snowfall, or early spring with snow on the ground still. But what vegetable would she hoeing?

The logos – one on the front and other on the back – are from an as-of-yet unidentified publisher and photographer, we presume, but which would be which is also unknown.

RPH Logo   “P” and an “H” inside a larger “R.” We’ll call it RPH.

PMM Logo  Larger “P” and smaller double “M” in a circle. We’ll call it PMM.

Real Photo Postcard, undivided back. “Carte Postale. Ce côté est exclusivement réservée à l’adresse.” Photographer and publisher unknown logos showing RPH and PMM. Series L.B. 7592. Circa 1900 – 1904.

Price:  $10.00

Merry Christmas To Mrs. Louise Franzel

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This is an intriguing postcard:  The sender wrote her message in German in very small writing, starting at the top of the bell, and continuing on all of the holly leaves. I think the message needs to be translated by someone fluent in German, as the writing is just too small to make out without one being already familiar with the language. It starts out  “Liebe Louise,”  (Dear Louise.) After that, yikes! But how very skillful of the sender! On the card is printed,  “A Merry Christmas,”  and then the sender wrote,  “for my dear friend Louise with love from Emma.”  The top right holly leaf contains the address, “New York, 1[??] W. 45th St.”  Too bad the full street number got smudged.

Searching for Emma in the city directories on in Manhattan, with a keyword of “W. 45 St.” and with a street number in the 100 range, did not bring up any matches. The next possibility would be to search for the Enumeration District for the census records of 1900 or 1910, for W. 45th Street. Fortunately, there is an excellent website that helps us narrow down the EDs. Click here to search the site. Searching for 100 – 199 W. 45th St. in Manhattan shows eleven EDs for the 1900 Federal Census and ten for the 1910. So, without knowing the exact street number, it would be a long and tedious search process, unless one were to get lucky and hit on the right ED early on. We’ll leave the search for the sender then and move on to the addressee:  “Mrs. P. Franzel, 323 Marguerite Ave, Portland, Ore.”

This one was easy:  Peter and Louise Franzel and their daughter Louise V. Franzel show up at the above address on the 1910 Federal Census for Portland. They were not living at that address on the 1900. The couple are listed as born in Austria, Peter in about 1869 and Louise in about 1879. Daughter Louise, who is ten months old, was born in Oregon, about June 1909, as the census was taken in April. Peter’s occupation is Cement Contractor, his immigration year is 1881, and the couple has been married about three years, so they must have been married in 1906, since the card is dated that year. A search for the marriage shows the date as October 30th. Finding Louise’s maiden name was a little tricky, as it turned out there was a typo for her first name in the index, showing “Souise.” But she is Louise A. Kisswetter. (A correction was submitted in

Undivided back, embossed, used postcard. Publisher unknown. Outgoing postmark December 24, 1906 from New York, New York. Incoming postmark December 28, 1906 in Portland, Oregon.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Portland Ward 7, Multnomah, Oregon; Roll: T624_1288; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0187; FHL microfilm: 1375301. (

Oregon State Library; Oregon Marriage Indexes, 1906-2006; Reel: 1; Years: 1906-1910. (

A Christmas Wish

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“A Merry Christmas and a

Happy New Year, Your Pockets

full of Money and your Hearts full of Cheer.”

Here’s a stunning card; the colors are gorgeous! (I love the pale pink and orange variation of the upper background.) It shows a mother, father and daughter, all very fashionably dressed; time-frame about mid-19th century; on their way, with wrapped presents in hand, to bring the above good wishes and cheer for Christmas. This appears to be an artist-signed card that would have been produced from a painting or drawing (how to determine the artist’s media?) however the signature, at the bottom right, is not readable. The family has that look of being “caught on camera,” as if this were a photo. As for the date of the card, the postmarked year is missing. Hopefully the addressee’s information will be able to reveal a likely time-frame. The card is addressed to:  “Mrs. L. Estelle SinClair, Pleasantdon, California.”

According to the 1920 Federal Census, Louise E. Sin Clair, born about 1883 in Massachusetts, was married to Rutherford F. Sin Clair, born about 1882 in Canada, occupation carpenter. They were living in Pleasanton on Pleasantree Avenue at this time. The 1930 census shows the couple have an adopted 8-year-old son, Gordan Sinclair, born in California. On the 1930 Rutherford R. is now listed as Frederick R. Sinclair, (a very common occurrence for the middle and first names to show up as switched around at various times) and his occupation is building contractor. The message from the sender reveals, heart-breakingly, that Estelle had lost a child, and that Cora was offering her support and caring wishes, would write a letter and was also sending a little present. Per the 1910 Federal Census the couple was residing in Pleasanton, so this postcard is probably from about 1910 – 1920.

The couple’s record of marriage shows that Frederick Rutherford Sinclair and Louise Estelle Jewett were married September 1, 1909 in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The groom was born in Scotch Ridge, New Brunswick and his parents were Dougald B. Sinclair and Margaret Babb. The bride was born in Ipswich, and her parents were Stephen Jewett and Mary E. Hall.

Divided back, artist-signed, used postcard, embossed border. Artist and publisher unknown. Postmarked December 16th, year unknown. Sent from Dover, Massachusetts? Circa 1910 – 1920.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Pleasanton, Alameda, California; Roll: T624_72; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0153; FHL microfilm: 1374085. (

Year: 1920; Census Place: Pleasanton, Alameda, California; Roll: T625_92; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 207; Image: 369. (

Year: 1930; Census Place: Pleasanton, Alameda, California; Roll: 112; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0340; Image: 131.0; FHL microfilm: 2339847. (

“Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 December 2014), Frederick Rutherford Sinclair and Louise Estelle Jewett, 01 Sep 1909; citing p 464 no 63, Ipswich, , Massachusetts, State Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 2,315,509.

A Winter Pose

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The style of Cyko stamp box on this Real Photo Postcard dates this one, since it is a divided back, around 1907 – 1920s, but I would estimate it to be older than the 1920s. It shows a young woman either in a long fitted coat, or long skirt and jacket. It’s hard to say, since the skirt appears to be a little bit paler in color than the jacket, or is that just an effect of the light? The outfit is very striking due to it’s enormous white fur collar, and matching muff, along with matching hat placed atop her Gibson-girl hairstyle. She is smiling and posing for the camera, standing outside in a snow-covered countryside setting, with some bare-branched trees in the background.

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

Price:  $5.00

Don’t Worry If You Work Hard…

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“Don’t worry if

you work hard

and your rewards are


the mighty OAK was

once a NUT like you.”


Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Daco. “A Daco Card.” Box 6194, Waco, Texas 76706. Series D-132. Circa 1960s.

Price:  $6.00

Disappointed But Fashionable

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A young woman posing in winter or late fall attire:  She wears a long checkered skirt that shows her side-buttoned boots just a little. The coat is of a large ribbed material and the hemline comes down past the knee, but it is longer in the back than the front. The front tapers up in the center, as in what we might think of as a reverse-v. Three large just-for-style buttons line up from the center of the hemline to a correspondingly angled change in the way the fabric lies; it’s ribbed vertically until the lower band of fabric that runs horizontally. The coat has wide lapels and perhaps either a velvet collar at the back or one of short-haired fur. She holds a very large dark fur muff. A white lacy blouse with loose-fitting stand-up collar shows above the lapels. Now the hat:  There must be a name for this style, but I’m not seeing a listing for it. It’s cloth, sort of a cross between a beret and mob cap; a wide band at the forehead instead of a ruffle. Tam o’ Shanter is perhaps another possible description, except we can’t see the top of the hat, so we don’t know if it has a pom-pom.

Behind the young woman is a photographer prop: a beautiful wicker chair or short bench. But describing the woman’s the expression and stance:  maybe she was just upset about something on this particular day, maybe impatient (the lean) but for me she has a look of having had more than one disappointment to deal with in life, having not yet quite gotten beyond them.

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box circa 1907 – 1918.

Price:  $6.00

Lake Louise, Laggan

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These Mr. and Mrs. O. F. Henning postcards have a real knack for finding me! I keep discovering that I have more of these. I believe they may have all been in the same postcard dealer’s collection, but in that collection there are thousands of cards. After the cards are bought, the seller organizes them all into state or country categories, or themes, like holiday or teddy bears, or what have you, so for that reason the cards from the same family tend to get separated (akkkk!)  So, it’s remarkable that I seem to keep picking out the ones that happen to be addressed to this couple. This one of Lake Louise will be the sixth in our “Dr. Oswald Henning Collection.” And the reason I chose it is because I have a fondness for Lake Louise, though I’ve never been there; and also because you don’t see as many older Lake Louise cards.

Anyway, this is addressed to Mrs. O.F. Henning (Helen Muirhead) at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, and shows a woman in a rowboat out on the lake. The sender wrote,  “Christmas Greetings”  and signed it,  “E.J.M.”  It looks like the type that would have been produced from a photograph, as it seems these normally don’t come out with an extreme amount of clarity, but it’s still lovely.

A Wikipedia entry describes Laggan as the former name of the hamlet of Lake Louise. Lake Louise was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848 – 1939.) She was the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and the wife of John Campbell, who was the 9th Duke of Argyll, and who served as Governor General of Canada from 1878 – 1883. If you didn’t already know, you probably correctly guessed, that the province of Alberta was also named after Princess Louise. Laggan, built in 1890, was a station along the Canadian Pacific Railway route.

The card is postmarked from Alberta in December 1908, the outgoing date being difficult to read. But the incoming date to Fort Sheridan, Illinois reads December 22.

Last but not least, we happen to have a beautiful trade card showing a drawing (or some type of print) of Princess Louise. This was the first posting here at Laurel Cottage Genealogy and definitely one of my favorites. It’s just gorgeous.

Divided back, Canadian, used postcard. Publisher:  J. Howard, A. Chapman, Victoria, B.C. Number or series 1180. Incoming postmark dated December 22, 1908. Sent from Alberta, Canada.

Price:  $5.00

Sources:  Lake Louise, Alberta. n.d.,_Alberta. (accessed December 10, 2014).

Alberta. n.d. (accessed December 10, 2014).

Tennis Lover’s Christmas Card

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“May Christmas Joys be Scattered round Thy head.”

Here’s an unlikely looking Christmas card, and it continues the topic of a few posts ago – non-traditional cards. No snow, no trimmed tree, no manger scene or Santa Claus, but instead some beautiful daisies, along with a summery card, and a tennis racquet in the middle of it all. This is for when you’re hoping for summer to return, to get back to the courts. Christmas joys scattered round thy head – like tennis balls you loft before the serve or the shots coming at you? I like the “card within a card” idea. It’s very nicely done, with the shadow included. You just naturally want to open that card up all the way, to see what it might say inside. There’s an old piece of gauze-type tape running along the top back edge, which you can see a little of here, along with some glue marks on the back. This might have been inserted in one of those old photo albums with the sort-of built in paper frames on each page, then taped to the back. But anyway, this was a must-have since it is so unusual.

Christmas card of heavier cardboard, and rounded edges. Missing right bottom corner. Artist and date unknown. Circa 1890s – 1910.  Size:  About 6 x 4 and 1/2.”

Price:  $6.00

Best Wishes From Mr. & Mrs. Charles Jarchow

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“With best wishes for your happiness during Christmas and thru the New Year.”

Signed  “Mr. & Mrs. Chas. Jarchow.”

Well, here is an absolutely heavenly card!  It was done in colors of gold, black, red and white on off-white. It’s design shows a 19th-century family consisting of a man, woman and little boy, outdoors singing Christmas carols. The moon is huge in the background, the snow falls through the golden night sky. The three have walked down the stone pathway from the charming Tudor cottage-style home on the left. Love the rounded door, the shutters, the tree showing bare branches behind the archway, even the little bush on the right, or rather I think that is meant to depict a tree top showing from the other side of the hill. Notice the detail of the door hinges, the stonework around the door; not to mention the clothing of the singers, the sweet expression on the woman’s face, the boy’s expression and fluttering long winter scarf, the way the gentleman is interestingly turned facing sideways so that we see his profile, while the other two face the front; his coat and top hat, the woman’s hooped skirt and fur-trimmed jacket and matching bonnet….Perhaps the artist drew the man facing to the side since his coat flares so much; it might not have worked so well to have his outline be similar to, or detract from the woman’s.

Very noticeable about this artwork are the patterns: the checkered pattern of the woman’s skirt, the swirl in the presumably wooden area under the roof peak, the contrast of the larger snowflakes with the smaller dotted fabric of the woman’s jacket, the stripes in the man’s coat. (One could gush on almost forever.) But we do have a very similarly styled Christmas card, that was put up here at Laurel Cottage early on. Check out the similarities to the card in this post entitled “May Your Christmas Be Merry.” It’s very possible that the two are by the same artist. (We’ll be on the lookout for more.)

As far as the time frame for this card, it’s hard to say – maybe 1900 through the 1930s. We do know that it was made in the United States, since it gives us that information at the bottom right of the scene. And the last name in the signature is definitely Jarchow; nothing shows up under alternate spellings. But a surprising amount of married couples show up in census records, at various times, in various states, for Charles Jarchow and spouse, so that won’t help to narrow down the date.

One last note as far as trying to date the card:  One might think that the use of  “thru” instead of “through” might be useful, as in when did we start using “thru?” However, the use of the shorter word has been around for over a century, according to numerous dictionary and word origin type references. Interesting, though (or tho!)

Christmas card, unknown artist and date. Circa 1900 – 1930s?  Size:  About 5 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/4″  Condition is very good except for the crease at the top.

Price:  $30.00

Source:  ‘ “Thru” vs. “through.” ‘ Stackexchange. Web accessed December 9, 2014. []

E. Nash, Postcard Publisher

As promised in the last post, here is a run-down of what’s up, (ha, well I guess that’s both a “what’s on this website so far” and a “whazzup?” ;-) )  for postcard publisher E. Nash, “about whom not much is known” and an unknown publisher who is identified by the “A” or double “A” in a circle logo. This unknown publisher used a very beautiful and distinctive postcard back header with a spiral design around the “C.” From looking at the postcards below, it appears that Nash may have bought the rights to the spiral header design from the double A in circle guy, approximately sometime between December 11, 1912 and September 3, 1913. As we come across more pertaining to these two publishers, we will update this post accordingly. (Click on the image to enlarge, then once again for a slightly more enlarged view.)

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“Lemons And Pink Poppies.” Postmarked November 15, 1910. Pre – Nash we presume. Publisher unknown. Note the “A” or double “A” in the circle logo, at the bottom left on the back.

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“Basket Of Forget-Me-Nots.” Dated by the sender August 15, 1912. The logo on the front, bottom left, is attributed to E. Nash. Note the Old English style postcard header.

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“May The Golden Sunrise.” Postmarked December 11, 1912. Publisher E. Nash per the logo on the front left, and with the same Old English style header on the back.

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“May You Be As Happy.” Postmarked September 3, 1913. Publisher E. Nash. The front logo is still the same but note the major change in the back header that shows “Copyright E. Nash” on the outside of the spiral. It would appear from the change that sometime between December 11, 1912 and September 3, 1913, that Nash obtained the rights to the spiral design postcard header.

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“Sincere Wishes From Sophia Hubbard.” Dated by the sender October 7, 1913. Publisher unknown. Pre – Nash logo of “A” or “A”s in circle, bottom left of back. This date obviously is after the above postcard’s date. The sender must have purchased the card prior to the publisher change for the spiral design, and sent it afterwards.

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“Here’s A Handshake.” Postmarked October 22, 1913. Publisher E. Nash logo on the front left and Nash’s name and copyright outside the spiral design in the back header.

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“Art Nouveau Violets.” Postmarked March 20, 1915. Publisher E. Nash per the logo on front left, but the beautiful spiral design header has been replaced by the simple (but elegant) “POST CARD” header on the back. It looks like the new design gave the sender more writing room.

E Nash logo

Example of E. Nash logo, taken from “Art Nouveau Violets” showing the copyright and the “N” in triangle. (The L-11 was just the number or series from that particular card.)

A logo 1

A logo 2

Regarding the unknown publisher with the “A” or double “A” in the circle, check out the subtle differences between the first logo and a presumably later dated one. (The 57 1/1 in the second one being just the series or number of that card.) The first image is from the Lemons and Poppies postcard postmarked November 15, 1910; and the second is from the Sincere Wishes postcard dated by the sender, October 7, 1913.