Boy Eating Watermelon

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1918.

Price:  $7.00

I was in mind to post this one in July for summertime and here it is almost October. So, before summer slips completely away this year, here it is. And laughing at my title now, does it remind you of “man-eating shark”? ūüôā Anyway, it’s a great shot, a little boy in shorts and an old straw hat, on his porch steps. Posed between two large watermelons, he’s holding up a large slice that has a big bite out of it. A woman, maybe his mom, half out of camera range, looks on.

I’ve got two whole watermelons in the pantry right now and another half in the fridge. (Yes, I know I am truly blessed.) Large mugs of blended watermelon are on the agenda for breakfast again. (Nirvana!) For the 411, health-wise, on watermelon and melons, in general, see the Medical Medium blog posts:¬† Watermelon¬†and Healing Powers of Melon.

“Watermelon” and “Healing Powers of Melon”.¬† (Accessed September 24, 2022.)

Livingston’s Perfection

Trade card for Rice’s Seeds. Circa 1880 – 1881.

Price:¬† $12.00¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Size:¬† 4 and 1/2 x 2 and 5/8″

“Livingston’s Perfection (New). Warranted to produce ripe fruit in 100 days from the sowing of the seed.”

“Rice’s Seeds have spoken their own praise wherever planted for upwards of 40 years.”

Here’s a beauty (and incidentally sorry to say we missed a Memorial Day post due to working on another project and then running out of time and energy. Poor time management, alas! Next year, though.) But this beauty of a trade card shows an older couple, in their nightgowns and nightcaps, being awoken, to their joy, by a giant tomato, ripened to perfection, that has overflowed from the garden through their open window.

We find mention of Livingston’s Perfection, as early as 1881 and as late as 1918, in trade journals, so from this info and the word “new” in parentheses on the card’s tomato, one might infer both the card and, of course, the variety, to have emerged in 1881, or maybe 1880.

Who was Livingston?

From “Pomodoro!:¬† A History of the Tomato in Italy”:

“In Ohio between 1870 and 1893, Alexander Livingston, developed or improved thirteen major varieties for the tomato trade. He named most of them after himself, such as ‘Livingston’s Marvel’, ‘Livingston’s Magnus’, ‘Livingston’s Paragon’, and ‘Livingston’s Perfection.’ Some of these varieties eventually found their way to Parma, Italy, suited as they were to the production of concentrate.”

And Rice?

Rice was Jerome Bonaparte Rice, born in Salem, New York, July 19, 1841, son of Roswell Niles Rice and Betsy Ann (Hodges) Rice. He became hugely successful in the seed business which was started by his father around 1834 – selling seeds via wagon, which the younger Rice returned to, after coming home from the Civil War. A few other tidbits of information:¬† J. B.’s capture by the Confederate Army and imprisonment at Libby and Belle Isle led to rheumatism (no wonder) which later confined him to a wheelchair. He was “the father” of the Cambridge Valley Agricultural Society – the president of the Cambridge, New York fair, as shown in the illustrated ad below, and the 3-story mansion (which included a beautifully ornate “birdcage” style elevator) that he and his wife built (1902 – 1904) in Cambridge. The home had stood vacant in recent years, but was thankfully restored starting in 2004 and today serves as a historic inn currently available for group reservations. See Rice Mansion Inn. J. B. Rice died June 8, 1912, at the age of 70, leaving his wife Laura (Chandler) Rice, and their son and three daughters. Partial obit below, from The Poultney Journal (Poultney, VT) June 14, 1912:

See The Rice Seed Company – Cambridge, NY for more historical photos and information.

Clipped below from the Bennington Banner (Bennington, VT) for August 30, 1895, a charming ad for J. B. Rice’s Great Fair at Cambridge, NY.

Sources:  Gentilcore, David. (2010) Pomodoro!:  A History of the Tomato in Italy. NewYork:  Columbia University Press. (

Memorial #37438546. Find A Grave. Find A Grave.

Libby Prison. n.d. (accessed June 2, 2018).

Zombek, Angela. M. Belle Isle Prison. Encyclopedia Virginia. (accessed June 2, 2018).

Kumar, Anne. “Couple restores historic Rice mansion.” October 24, 2004. Sunday, pp. C1, C8. (

Rice Mansion Inn. ( Accessed June 2, 2018.

The Poultney Journal (Poultney, VT). June 14, 1912. Friday, p. 3. (

The Rice Seed Company – Cambridge, NY. ( Accessed June 2, 2018.

“Every Body’s Going This Year!” Bennington Banner (Bennington, VT) August 30, 1895. Friday, p. 5. (

A Very Glad Thanksgiving

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“May Yours Be A Very Glad Thanksgiving”

Ditto from Laurel Cottage (!) Here’s a beautiful postcard, a little time-worn, but understandable as it’s now 103 years old. It shows a bunch of grapes with leaves – end of the season grapes surely, with a frosty look appropriate for November (or are we just reading into the season?) What is the darker object on the left underneath the fruit? Sausage? (Chuckling) The writing style of the sender(s) is pretty great. One could find the greeting humorous, (in a nice way) and the second line an elegant, space-saving turn of phrase. They wrote:

“Dear Parents. Your letter at hand. Letter will follow soon. We are going in the country Thanksgiving day. Wish you all a joyful Thanksgiving from Nic & Emma.”

Addressed to:

“Mr. & Mrs. A Baade, Enid, Okla. RR 2.”

Nic is German-born Nicholas Marxen, age 30 at the time of his marriage to Missouri native Emma Baade, who was age 24. They were married May 3, 1910 in Garfield County, Oklahoma. The marriage record shows his residence as Beloit, Kansas and hers as Enid, Oklahoma. Emma’s parents are German-born August Baade and Missouri-born Anna. The 1910 Federal Census for Enid was taken just a couple of weeks before the marriage took place. The census shows the parents and their eight children:¬† August, Jr., Emma, Henry, Minnie, Laura, Lyda, Walter and Charley.

The postcard back shows a beautiful line drawing creating rectangles and triangles with the words “Post Card” in the center, and with the divided back line flowing into the publisher logo, a capital G in a triangle at the bottom of the card. The publisher is unidentified at this time.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked November 26, 1912 from Beloit, Kansas.

Price:  $10.00

Sources:¬† “Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 November 2015), Nicholas Marxen and Emma Baade, 1910.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Garland, Garfield, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1251; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 1375264. (

Joy And Happiness

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This card is probably vintage rather than antique; it appears to maybe be a copy, as the back of the card is white, rather than yellowed with age. If it is a copy, then I’d estimate the original to have been from about the 1880s – 1900. It shows a print of a little girl with rosy cheeks and light brown curls, wearing a yellow dress and white floppy hat and holding two red roses. Her image appears on the inside of an oval tambourine, the surface of which, (they call it the skin or membrane) has broken away to reveal the little girl. Above and below the tambourine are two bunches of grapes with their leaves, in two varieties. The phrase¬† “To Wish You Joy and Happiness”¬† appears on a rustic wood plank tied with a blue ribbon with the flower of one forget-me-not. I think this card’s design is perhaps linked to the grape harvest festival where this musical instrument may have been commonly played.

Vintage card. Date, artist and publisher unknown.¬†¬† Size:¬† About 3 and 1/2 x 5 and 1/2″

Price: $5.00

You Are The Peach

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Beautiful 1907 postcard printed in Germany. The sender wrote,

“07/24/07¬† –¬† You are the peach of my eye¬† –¬† G.S.”¬† which is kind of funny as I think these are apples. Maybe G.S. couldn’t find a postcard with peaches ūüėȬ† The card is addressed to:

“Miss Laura Beck, 1408 Old Manchester Ave, Local” ¬†and as the card was postmarked from St. Louis, Missouri, this must have been a St. Louis address. Laura L. Beck is found at this address on the 1910 Federal Census, living with her parents and uncle. The 1910 shows:¬† Herman P. Beck, born Illinois, about 1862, his parents born in Germany, occupation harness maker for wholesale; wife Maggie C., born Missouri, about 1867, her father born in Rhode Island, mother Missouri; Laura L., born Missouri, about 1890, occupation music teacher – piano from home; Gustave C. Beck, born Missouri, about 1863, occupation printer. This census shows Laura’s parents to have been married about 26 years, and have had another child that had died. The marriage appears online for them on May 12, 1884, Carroll County, Missouri. Maggies’s maiden name is Bradley.

I wondered whether Laura married her admirer, G.S. and did find that she had married, not to G.S. though (unless this was a nickname or something other than first and last initials) but to a Mr. Walmsey per the website Find A Grave. Sadly, Laura Leah Wamsley died in 1915, at only about age 25.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked July 24, 1907, St. Louis, Missouri. Publisher unknown. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $6.00

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: St Louis Ward 23, Saint Louis City, Missouri; Roll: T624_821; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0354; FHL microfilm: 1374834. (

“Missouri, Marriages, 1750-1920,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01 Sep 2014), Herman P. Beck and Maggie C. Bradley, 12 May 1884; citing Carroll,Missouri; FHL microfilm 955961.

“Laura Leah Beck Walmsey” Find A Grave Memorial# 128599068, added April 26, 2014. Web accessed 1 Sep 2014.


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Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked May 1908, Thomasville, Alabama. Publisher:  K РWin & Co., Art Publishers, Chicago, Illinois.

Price:  $8.00

“Hello Cousin – how are you fine I hope. I am all ok. I guess you got my picture now you must send me one of yours! I am sending Sister Edna a card. She sent me one. From you loving cousin Doc Spinks¬†¬† Winnie said to tell you to ans. her letter soon.”
And on the front of the card the sender wrote¬† “ans this card soon from your Little Cousin Doc.”

Addressed to:¬† “Miss Leua Hinson, #63 St. Stephens Rd., Mobile Ala”

The exact date of the postmark is hard to read but we can see that it is May 1908 and postmarked in Thomasville, Alabama. The postcard’s a beauty showing a fig tree branch with leaves and fruit, and with the caption:

“A beautiful form is better than a beautiful face:¬† It gives a higher pleasure than statues or pictures. It is the finest of the fine arts.”

Leua Hinson (an odd first name) wasn’t found online in general, nor specifically in the 1900 or 1910 census records for Mobile; nor was the exact address of 63 St. Stephens Rd found in either census, but the house number could have changed at some point. From there we move over to try to locate the sender’s name in records. A little difficult without a first name, however Doc is relaying a message from Winnie, so Winnie might be Winnie Spinks, found with her parents and siblings on the 1910 Federal Census in the Thomasville area, Choctaw Corner, Clarke County. Winnie has a younger brother named Daniel, so we wonder if Doc could be Daniel. Would we write nowadays and call ourselves a “little cousin?” I can’t picture it, but I’ve seen other references to “little cousins” on other old postcards, so it was not uncommon back then. Getting back to the subject of the addressee’s first name:¬† Maybe it’s a nickname or a misspelling of something but that third letter there does not seem to be anything other than a “u.” By the way, Doc’s handwriting is cool. Just look at that “H” ! Imagine if, first of all, we were writing, not typing or texting, and secondly, if we took the time to write like this:


Lastly, “Sister Edna” was researched a little, though not extensively; her last name could have been Spinks, Hinson or other, or perhaps this was her title, as in a religious order.

Source:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Choctaw Corner, Clarke, Alabama; Roll: T624_6; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 0035; FHL microfilm: 1374019. (

Lemons And Pink Poppies

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Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Unable to read postmark location. Postmarked November 15, 1910. Publisher or printer unknown. Logo shows capital “A” or two capital “A”s inside a circle. Series or number 675 – 5.

Price:  $5.00

The sender wrote,¬† “Did you think I had forgotten you, well I havn’t but ain’t had time to write. we are all well hope you are the same. from cousin Sarah.”

Addressed to:¬† “Miss Lena Davis, Pomona Kans. c/o J. Johnson.”

I love this one because of the unusual combination on the front of lemons, and I believe those are poppies. Whoever the artist was certainly got it right, as far as those lemons, and their leaves and stems (from someone who has a lemon tree.) We don’t have poppies here at Laurel Cottage (though would like to) but they seem very well done, also.

This is the first one posted in the “Lena Davis Collection.” There will be many more to come. She is a cousin of our friend J. W. Carter, whom we’ve had the pleasure to get to know a little from his postcards to Lena. The Lena Davis cards will not be in date order, as I prefer to post the holiday cards around their proper date, plus wanted to get this one and the following post up as they pertain to publisher E. Nash, about whom not much is known, as of the date of these posts. And also, if you’re following this E. Nash “not much is known about” mystery then please see the prior post, as well.

So, this postcard was done by an unknown publisher or printer, whose logo appears on the back of the card at the bottom right, which is a capital “A” inside a circle, or two capital “A”s inside a circle, depending upon your point of view. The postcard header is very distinctive, (very cool) and the design around the “C” in Card may remind you of a spiral staircase. This header design appears in all the postcards that I’ve seen (so far) with the “A” in circle logo. Shortly after this we start seeing this header with “Copyright E. Nash” appearing to the left of the spiral design. So, perhaps Nash bought out the unknown publisher or printer that did this postcard. This one is dated 1910 and the following one I’ll post is dated 1913. This is just a theory. I don’t know if any other publishers used the spiral design, or the exact dates involved for these two guys (assuming they were men.) We’ll see what else comes along to clarify all of this in the future, and post something accordingly.