Greetings From Mabel Crogan

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

Price:  $7.00

In this Real Photo Postcard two very cute blonde kids are posing standing directly in front of a beautiful two-story, wooden-sided home in the country. (Note the nice detail on the porch posts and brackets.) The location is probably Minnesota or one of the surrounding states.

The reverse shows:  “Greetings from your friend Mabel Crogan”  and addressed to  “Mrs. Johanne[?] Torkelsen.”

There are a number of Johanne or variations (Hanna, Anna, Annie) Torkelsens that might fit the for married friend of Mabel Crogan. On the other hand, we might be looking at “Mrs. Johan Torkelsen.” Crogan is also found spelled Krogan. After searching through multiple records, we can’t be sure, but one possibility may be that the photo was taken in or near Folden, Otter Tail County, Minnesota, of Mabel Crogan, born Minnesota around 1906 and brother Marvin, born Minnesota around 1907, children of John Crogan and Kristi (Joten) Crogan. This is only a guess. Below, a closeup of the kids:

Farm Wagons At Biltmore Village, North Carolina

Old photo, Biltmore Village, NC. Circa 1905 – 1910.

Price:  $20.00        Size:  3 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/4″

At first glance, one might think this photo was taken on a special occasion, because of the striking contrast between the line of three oxen-driven covered wagons and the row of Dutch Colonial Revival style homes and manicured lawns in the suburban-looking setting. But rather than some type of commemorative event, it may have just been a “working day” wagons-carrying-supplies scene in Biltmore Village, NC. Note the partial glimpse of horse and rider on our right. And with scrutiny one can make out the vague image in the middle vehicle of a driver wearing a hat.

The book, Around Biltmore Village, (see p. 38) by Bill Alexander provides a couple of photos of this same street, Brook St., circa 1906 and 1909. Those are Linden trees in the images (and we hope they’re still there.) The rental houses in the village were referred to as “cottages” which seems unusual but then decidedly not…..when viewed in relation to the Biltmore Estate mansion built by George W. Vanderbilt, II. The village was a planned community for the estate workers, and was also designed to be an aesthetically pleasing entrance to the estate, modeled to have the feel of an English village. Biltmore Village was formerly known as Best but also referred to as Ashville Junction and Swannanoa Bridge. Today, Biltmore Village is a part of the city of Ashville, and is a popular shopping, dining, art, spa and historical destination. Below, another photo (Wikepidia Commons) from around the same time period.

Sources:  Alexander, Bill. Around Biltmore Village. Charleston:  Arcadia Publishing, 2008. Web accessed November 11, 2017.

Biltmore Estate. n.d. (accessed November 11, 2017).

File:Biltmore, NC-Lindon Trees (5167651749).jpg. Original Collection: Arthur Peck Collection, P99, Item Number: P099_C_278. (accessed November 11, 2017).

Another Horse And Buggy RPPC

Another Horse And Buggy RPPC pc1Another Horse And Buggy RPPC pc2

Another Real Photo Postcard with horse and buggy:  this one showing two gents in suits and derby hats. It looks to be maybe late winter, as the trees in the background are not leafed out yet. Also showing is a utility pole, and a house (or church or school?) with a cupola. We see some buildings further back:  the one on the left makes us think this is farm land.

The always helpful website dates this particular Sailboat stamp box as from year 1908.

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Sailboat stamp box, circa 1908.

Price:  $4.00

Source:  “Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes, R – T.” (Web accessed April 10, 2016.)

Stilt House, 1907

Stilt House 1907 pc1Stilt House 1907 pc2

A Real Photo Postcard showing a sepia-toned, faded image of four men, one woman and a small dog, posed in front of a home on stilts. The very faint writing, in pencil at the bottom, says, “taken during Dec. 1907.”  The location is unknown, somewhere in the U. S. we presume, though unless it was in the South, it seems to have been unseasonably warm for December, since the group is all in shirtsleeves. Here is the image darkened in Photoshop:

Stilt House 1907 pc1 darkened

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Dated December 1907. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $5.00

A Boy And His Wagon

A Boy And His Wagon pc1A Boy And His Wagon pc2

A Real Photo Postcard, VELOX stamp box this time, (they seem to be not as common as AZO) showing an image, a little blurred and the worse for wear, of a boy about age three, with wagon in tow, heading up the walkway to his house. Maybe he is coming home for lunch. We have no major clues to the location, somewhere in the U.S. we presume; the houses are pretty big, with nice big front porches. Is that a flag pole in the photo?

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. VELOX stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $2.00

Three Generations In Winter

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Another winter scene in an unknown location:  This Real Photo Postcard shows a house, guessing the style might be Folk Victorian with a four-square layout; note the spindle work or gingerbread trim and the decorative running piece, that we can just see part of, on top of the roof. An older woman standing on the front porch holds a little boy who is perhaps her grandson, and two men, perhaps the woman’s sons, pose a little off to each side. The house appears at an angle, and in the foreground a picket fence runs most of the way across the photo. The fence is painted white except for the tops of the pickets, which are either painted a darker color or left unpainted. It looks like this was by design to be able to find the fence when the snow piled up high.

The time-frame for this card would be about 1907, due to the divided back, through about 1918, due to the AZO stamp box with all four triangles pointing upward. Wonder if it was the boy in the photo who wrote on the back. Looks like he addressed the card to someone and with a short message on the left 😉

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

Price:  $8.00

Photos From A Family Album


This gallery contains 63 photos.

Here are a bunch of old photos from someone’s family album, that have been waiting around to finally get scanned and posted. This is WWI Era (the date from the army barracks photos appears to be 7/20/18) and several show … Continue reading

Household Sewing Machine Trade Card

Household Sewing Machine Trade Card tc1

Trade card, circa 1882 – 1890s, for the Household Sewing Machine Company. Many differently designed trade cards can be found online for this company, some showing Household as the manufacturer and the earlier showing Providence Tool Company. This particular one shows a winged imp or fairy opening the back of an envelope (a common theme back in the day) to reveal a beautiful Gothic Revival (?) mansion nestled back among some surrounding trees.

The illustrations and company info below can be found in the 1889 publication The Industrial Advantages of Providence, R. I. (Google eBook).

Households Machine Works

Household’s Machine Plant at 103 Wickenden Street, Providence, Rhode Island

Households Cabinet Works

Household’s Cabinet Plant at Crary and Langley Streets, Providence, Rhode Island

The Household Sewing Machine Company was incorporated in August of 1882, having purchased the Providence Tool Company (where the first Household sewing machines were made.) Both the machine and cabinet plants were steam-operated and in 1889 employed about 325 skilled workmen. The cabinet shop produced  “…high class cabinet work for all kinds of other manufacturers…”  as well as the wooden cabinets and cases for Household sewing machines, though the company’s chief product was it’s sewing machine.

Household went out of business in 1905 (or perhaps officially in 1906 if various online sources are correct.) The following are two newspaper clips showing their auction ad, and shortly afterward, someone advertising his purchases from this auction, which he was then selling…. All a little sad, but imagine today what a picker’s dream it would have been!

Household Auction

November 1905 auction ad from the Boston Daily Globe

Corliss Engines Ad

December 1905 ad from the Boston Daily Globe for Corliss Engines for sale

Note:  Since we do keep finding these “Into Or Out Of The Envelope” type designs on trade cards, postcards and the like, a separate category will go up now, under this ridiculously long title. I thought about lumping them in with our Breakthrough category, but really they deserve their own space, since the two themes are related but not the same.

Trade Card. Circa 1882 – 1890s. Household Sewing Machine Co.

Price:  $10.00           Size:  About 2 and 3/4 x 4 and 3/4″

Sources:   McKinney, James P. (Ed.). (1889).  The Industrial Advantages of Providence, R. I.  Providence, RI:  Jas. P. McKinney. (Google eBook).

The Boston Daily Globe. 22 November 1905, Wednesday, p. 1. (

The Boston Daily Globe. 6 December 1905, Wednesday, p. 20. (

217 E. 11th Ave, Hutchinson, Kansas

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This Prairie-style house is still standing and beautiful today! It shows up on Zillow, the real estate website, as being constructed in 1913, though it may have been 1910. The 1910 is the earliest city directory listing for this address and shows that the inhabitants were Parmer P. and Mary Lorimor. And with closer scrutiny of the present-day house it looks like an upstairs addition was added on in the back at some point.

This particular photo, from a cropped Real Photo Postcard, shows an AZO stamp box on the back, with two triangles up and two down, giving a broad estimate from around 1910 – 1930. However, we can see two ladies posing on the porch for the photo, and judging by their dress style, I would say it would have been taken in the 1910s (not necessarily 1910 as the house doesn’t look brand new) or maybe very early 1920s. Likely the two women are either Mary A. Lorimor and her daughter Eloise, or Minnie Siler and daughter, Mabel, Lettie or Flossie. The Lorimers lived there from around 1910 to about 1915; the Silers from about 1917 to about 1920, and the Nichols family moved in sometime between 1920 and 1924.

1910 – Federal Census. Parmer P. and Mary Lorimor

1913 – Parmer P. and Mary A. Lorimor; Eloise Lorimor (student).

1915 – Palmer P. and Mary Lorimor; Eloise Lorimor (student).

1917 – George K. and Minnie Siler; Flossie E. and Mabel O. Siler (students).

1919 – George K. (trucker for the C R I & P Railroad) and Minnie E. Siler; George and Minnie’s three daughters, Flossie E., Lettie E., and Mabel O. (teacher) Siler. The entry for George and Minnie shows 217 11th Ave W. for West – just a typo.

1920 – Federal Census – George and Minnie and their three daughters, Mable, Lettie and Flossie.

1924 – Della (widow of Henry) Nichols; living with Della are Marie Nichols (stenographer for the Hutchinson State Bank) Whitney Nichols (student) and Wilbur L. Nichols (salesman for Kansas G & E Company).

Divided back, cropped, Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. AZO stamp box. Circa 1913 – 1920.

Price:  $20.00       Size:  3 and 1/2 x 2 and 1/2″

Sources:  R. L. Polk & Co.’s Hutchinson City Directory, 1910. p. 209. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

Year: 1910; Census Place: Hutchinson Ward 6, Reno, Kansas; Roll: T624_453; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0173; FHL microfilm: 1374466. (

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Hutchinson City Directory, 1913. p. 220 – 221. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Hutchinson City Directory, 1915. p. 211. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Hutchinson City Directory, 1917. p. 311. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Hutchinson City Directory, 1919. p. 325. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

Year: 1920; Census Place: Hutchinson Ward 6, Reno, Kansas; Roll: T625_546; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 182; Image: 893. (

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Hutchinson City Directory, 1924. p. 284. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

McAlester, Virginia, and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. 1984. New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. Print.

Mrs. Antoinette Skelton’s Dining Room

Mrs. Antoinette Skeltons Dining Room pc1Mrs. Antoinette Skeltons Dining Room pc2

“Dear Mrs. Brown – May I have the pleasure of your and your daughter’s (both) company to 1 o’clock luncheon on Wednesday, May 27th? Come as early as you can. Sincerely, Antoinette Skelton, 497 S. El Molino Av. Pasadena. May 22 – 08.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. T. W. Brown, 2659 Romeo Str., Los Angeles, Cal.”

What a nice way to send a luncheon invitation – via a Real Photo Postcard of the dining area of the hostess. This home, alas, is no longer in existence:  it’s address – 497 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, is now an apartment complex. Antoinette Skelton appears to have been Mrs. Antoinette H. Skelton, widow of L. L. Skelton according to city directory listings. Mrs. T. W. Brown is Mrs. Ophelia Brown, of 2659 Romeo St., Los Angeles, widow of Thomas W. Brown. The 1910 Federal Census for Los Angeles shows Ophelia and her two daughters, Rolla A. and Ruth W. Forward (Ruth later shows under the last name of Brown.)

As to the dining room, probably most or all of the items, (furniture, paintings, the room screen, clock etc.) could be identified for style and period by experts in their respective fields of antiques….but without getting technical it’s been fun to look at the room in detail and ponder….who’s likenesses appear in the paintings above the mantel (these gentlemen look familiar), what is that message in the framed embroidery?, what type of chandelier would hold a place for houseplants (was this just a temporary decorating flourish by the hostess or was the chandelier designed this way?) who were the small framed photos of (on the mantel) and how about that whimsical pottery-type face that hangs on the wall, and the mantel and faux? fireplace itself with the unusual indentation for small decorative objects….

Divided back, used, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked May 22, 1908 from Pasadena, California.

Price:  $20.00

Sources: Los Angeles Directory Co’s Thurston’s Residence and Business Directory of Pasadena, 1915 – 1916. p. 369. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

Los Angeles City Directory Co’s Los Angeles City Directory, 1909. p. 213. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

Year: 1910; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 70, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_80; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0221; FHL microfilm: 1374093.