Fishing From Pier In Lake Michigan

Divided back postcard, postmarked August 18, 1911, Chicago, Illinois. Number or series 575.

Price:  $6.00

Imagine today, fishing off a pier attired in a suit coat and bowler hat! Pretty cool. It’s t-shirts and baseball caps now, though. But it’s a nice card from an unknown publisher. And it may have been one of the type where the original image was a photo that appeared in a newspaper, that subsequently got tinted and made into postcards. Funny that you can read some letters on the folded newspaper that is sticking out of the jacket pocket of the young gent on the left. Wonder if that was something the postcard producer did, and I’m thinking yes, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to tell what it was supposed to be. (This is like “…inside the mind of…circa 1911”  type of thing. But not necessarily an idle thought since we know from prior research that photo images were often altered for postcard use.)

Addressed to:   “Miss Lela Hartman. 141 Hancock St. Newark, Ohio.”

The sender writes:  “Hello Lela – How are you getting along? Having a good time playing with Alice and Tom? How would you like to go fishing in Lake Michigan? Wouldn’t that be fun? Love from ‘Annie.’ “

Lela A. Hartman is only about four years old when she receives this postcard from Annie, who is probably one of her playmates. She is the daughter of Herman H. and Maude W. (Powers) Hartman. All are native to Ohio. Herman on the 1910 Federal Census is a mounter at a stove factory.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Newark Ward 3, Licking, Ohio; Roll: T624_1204; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0088; FHL microfilm: 1375217. (

Original data: Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. (

Dog And Skier, Finnish Handicraft Series

Divided back, artist-signed, unused postcard. Finnish Handicraft Series. Circa 1950s – 1980s.

Price:  $20.00

The date is unknown for this postcard, as no other cards were found online under any form of the back description:

Finnish Handcraft Series. Hemslöjdsföreningarnas Centralförbunds serie. Kotiteollisuusjärjestöjen Keskusliiton sarja. Maybe 1950s – 1980s as a broad guess. The artist’s initials “H. T.” appear at the bottom-left of the cross-country ski scene. Underneath are a reindeer and tree motif and above a diamond pattern. This is just a beautiful card. And that’s a Sami (Saami) man in traditional dress with a Four Winds Hat. I love the dog in mid-spring! as in bounce, that is. If you’re weary, the dog’s exuberance will rejuvenate you!

Sources:  Four Winds Hat. n.d. (accessed May 13, 2017).

Sami People. n.d. (accessed May 13, 2017).

Tennis Lover’s Christmas Card

Tennis Lovers Christmas Card c1

“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

Polo Grounds, National League Baseball Park, New York

Polo Grounds NL Ballpark NY pc1Polo Grounds NL Ballpark NY pc2

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1922 – 1923. Publisher:  Manhattan Post Card Co., New York City.

Price:  $15.00

Here’s one in keeping with the season:  October…nail biting time if your team has made it to the playoffs…The description on the back states:

“POLO GROUNDS, New York City, Home of the New York Giants, are located at 155th Street and Eighth Ave., covering about 16 city blocks. The Stands are built entirely of stone and concrete, being strictly fireproof. It was opened during the season of 1912, and is the largest Base Ball Park in the United States. Seating capacity over 45,000.”

A postcard with the same front and back (except for the publisher info – there were different publishers using the same front image) which is postmarked January of 1923, was found on eBay at the time of this post. That is former player, manager, and Hall of Famer John McGraw (1873 – 1934) in the insert. McGraw managed the New York Giants from 1902 – 1932. Anyway, the similar card showing on eBay was most helpful in estimating the date. However, a Wiki article indicates the stadium was being expanded for seating capacity during the 1923 season, and the article below on the left, clipped from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, dated June 1, 1923, seems to indicate the expansion wasn’t completed. One might wonder then how the caption on the postcard back would already be talking about the expanded seating capacity of over 45,000. Was the postcard printed in advance? A second article was found in the Hornell, New York Evening Tribune, dated April 16, 1923, which sheds a little light on the question. The card must have indeed been printed in advance from whatever information was available regarding the expansion project. So, perhaps this postcard was published in the latter part of 1922, or early in 1923.

Baseball CrowdsAnother Clip

The next image is part of a clip from a 1921 New York Times spread, but is just included here to get a feel for the era, as it includes photos of players and managers (including John McGraw) for that year’s World Series between the Giants and the Yankees. And it mentions how in 1911 the Stadium had been destroyed in a fire, hence the emphasis in this postcard description regarding the stadium being fireproof.

1921 NY Times Article 1

Back to 1923 again – who won the World Series that year? The Yankees beat the Giants in six at the Polo Grounds. And 1923 was a historic year for the Yankees:  It was their first of twenty-seven (as of 2014) world championships. Here’s part of the Hornell, New York Evening Times Herald page dated October 15, 1923:

Yankees Capture Series

Meusels Single

Sources:  John McGraw. n.d. (accessed October 4, 2014)

Polo Grounds. n.d. (accessed October 4, 2014)

Great Stadium Now Complete. (1923, April 16). The Hornell, New York Evening Tribune, p. 11. Web accessed October 4, 2014. (

Baseball Crowds Are Exaggerated. (1923, June 1). The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, p. 27. Web accessed October 4, 2014. (

Polo Grounds Is Historic Diamond. (1921, October 2). The New York Times, p. 123. Web accessed October 4, 2014. (

Walsh, D. (1923, October 15). Meusel’s Single and Cunningham’s Error Beat Giants. Olean Evening Times, p. 13. Web accessed October 4, 2014. (

Hockey Player


Studio portrait with cardboard frame, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $15.00

Old studio portrait of an unknown hockey player. At first glance, the name of the photography studio appearing at the bottom right seems to be “Press Studio” but upon closer inspection, you can see the imprint of what looks like an “M” before the “P” and before the “M”, the bare suggestion of an “E.” So, it looks like this was taken at “Empress Studio.” Where Empress Studio was located is, at this point, a mystery. (See update below). This photo is part of a large old family album with photos from the 1920’s and 1930’s from the Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, Canada area. The rest of the photos will be up soon, but this one needed to go up right away, since the Stanley Cup finals have started. There are other possible clues in this photo that need more research, for instance the writing (a paper sticker?) on the stick. It appears to be upside down and to possibly read as “…o to stand the s…” ?? Notice also, the wear on the stick from the player’s right glove. And is that a wide horizontal stripe across the sweater? More research will have to be done at a later date.

And yikes! What happened to the photo? Looks like it was torn in half and then glued back together. Was this guy’s girlfriend mad at him and then they made up?

Update:  Newspaper ads were found for the following photography studios in British Columbia:

The Empress Studio in Victoria, British Columbia. 1305 Government St., Victoria, BC ad in 1917.

The Empress Studio, Main and Hastings, Vancouver, BC in 1923 and another ad showing the address at 112 E. Hastings, Vancouver.

Sources:  The Victoria Daily Times, April 24, 1917. Tuesday, p. 6. (

Vancouver Daily World, March 19, 1923. Monday, p. 15. (

The Vancouver Sun, May 18, 1934. Friday, p. 11. (