Myrle and Kitten

Old photo, white border. Circa 1920s.

Price:  $4.00        Size:  About 2 and 7/8 x 2 and 11/16″

This photograph has optical illusions…..

The young lady is holding a kitten, not a baby raccoon. But the little guy looks like a raccoon – his chin is blending in with the stucco background of the house, giving his snout a more pointed look, and the girl’s fingers of her left hand, supporting the kitty, are creating a pronounced striped look for his tail, like that of a raccoon. Then the barely noticeable name written in ink at the bottom left – that long downward stroke of the capital “M” coincides with the horizontal mortar of the bricks, making the name appear to begin with “F.”

For the name Myrle, we can’t be sure on this, but with trying out different possibilities, it seems the best fit. It comes up fairly often in online records and we can find it’s origin:  Old French, meaning blackbird. (So pretty, like the young woman, of course!). And said to have peaked in popularity in 1915.

The writing on the reverse, in pencil and which looks to have blended somewhat with the general soiling over the years, is a major challenge and not seeming to fit the norm for a description. We can make out what looks like “J. J.” and “Belmont[?] Road” and “Jenson.” We’ll have to try to revisit this one from time to time, maybe the rest of the wording will “break through” at some point in the future.

Sources:  “Myrle.” Accessed March 2, 2023.

“Myrle – Meaning of Myrle.” Accessed March 2, 2023.

Warmest Wishes From Kate And Charles Tegtmeier

Christmas card, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $5.00

Find the “hidden” cat on this card!

A charming American Colonial or Old English style illustration in black and green….

“With warmest wishes

and a hope sincere

For a Merry Christmas

and a Glad New Year.”

Deciphering the surname of Kate and Charles was a good challenge, and after some tries we found the best guess to be Tegtmeier, or not quite so likely, Fegtmeier, and there are at least two couples that might fit, one in New York and the other in Illinois, from census records.

Our Horseback Adventure

Old photo, white border. September 1922.

Price:  $15.00            Size:  About 2 and 1/2  4 and 1/4″

A great remembrance of a wonderful day:  Three friends, identified on the back as Florence Gallison, Zilda Smith and Maude Fields, September 1922. The three cowgirls at heart are posed on horseback in front of a scenic view in, it’s a safe bet to say the Sierras, maybe in or near the Stanislaus National Forest, or Yosemite National Park. Reason being is that the three were only found in reasonable proximity, living in the Central Valley of California: Florence and Maude in Turlock and Zilda in Stockton.

Note: There were two Florence Gallison’s in the area, but Florence G. Gallison was ruled out as she was a Gallison by marriage, and was not married until after 1922.

Below, a short news blip that appeared in the Modesto Evening News, June 17, 1914, informing that Florence (she would have been about fourteen) was spending the summer in Sugar Pine, California (near the south entrance to Yosemite National Park.)

UPDATE re a banjo:  Please be sure to read the comment below from Jay, who so kindly provided the color photos. As you will note from one of the photos, our three horseback adventurers were part of a musical endeavor called the Yosemite Blind Bats. As of March 28, 1923, the band members were:

F. C. Alexander; H. A. “Red” Halls; A. I. or A. L. Mill; F. M. Gallison; M. A. Stout; A. B. Leavitt; Gene DePaul or Depauli; Maude Field; Zilda Smith; “Edythe” Leavitt.

From our research, F. C. Alexander was Fred Colville Alexander, born Kentucky 1885. A. B. Leavitt was Amy Belle Leavitt, born San Francisco, California, April 1897. Fred and Amy married in September 1923. They were both residents of Yosemite at the time. From Fred’s WWI Draft Registration Card in 1918, his occupation was property clerk and storekeeper at Yosemite National Park, and interestingly from a musical standpoint, deaf in his right ear. By at least 1926 he was postmaster at Yosemite. (Scroll to the bottom of the page for a clip from the Santa Cruz Evening News.)

“Edythe” Leavitt was Amy Belle’s sister. Spelled Edith in records, we love the hinting toward some type of running joke re the quotation marks. She was born in California, about 1901.

And, rather grainy, but still a nice find – a photo of Zilda Smith that appeared in the Stockton Evening and Sunday Record, July 1924:

Other readable names from the banjo photos are:  Pete Van Bake; Thelma Britton; Philip Patterson; [?] Van Wormer; Bob Davison; B. B. Harlett; E. M.[?] Metcalf; G. E. Comstock; [?] Thompson; The Brockway Splashes. (Brockway is an unincorporated community on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, at the California-Nevada border.)

Photos from Jay:

Below, Postmaster, Fred Alexander of Yosemite is involved in the arrest/custody of two n’er do wells:

Sources:  Florence Gallison. Year: 1920; Census Place: Turlock, Stanislaus, California; Roll: T625_152; Pages: 1B; Enumeration District: 188. (

Maude Fields. Year: 1920; Census Place: Turlock, Stanislaus, California; Roll: T625_152; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 184. (

Zilda Smith. R. L. Polk and Co.’s Stockton City and San Joaquin County Directory, 1925. Vol. 18, p. 59. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Modesto Evening News, June 17, 1914. Wednesday, p. 7. ( California, U.S., Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1850-1941.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Stockton Ward 4, San Joaquin, California; Roll: T624_103; Page: 1a; Enumeration District: 0144; FHL microfilm: 1374116. (

“Planting Young Trout in Lakes and Streams Requires Extreme Care.” Stockton Evening and Sunday Record, July 26, 1924. Saturday, p. 29. (

“Former Postmaster of Arkansas Town Arrested With Female Companion.” Santa Cruz Evening News, June 25, 1926. Friday, p. 1. (

Queen Anne Soap, Kitties And Basket

Trade Card. Detroit Soap Company. Circa 1871 – 1890s.

Price:  $7.00       Size:  4 and 9/16 x 2 and 13/16″

“Use Detroit Soap Co.’s Queen Anne Soap. The Best Family Soap in the World.”

This is the third trade card that we’ve found so far, for Queen Anne’s Soap and the Detroit Soap Company. See the prior post for the second.

Queen Anne Soap, Kitty With Yarn

Trade card. Detroit Soap Co. Circa 1881 – 1890s.

Price:  $6.00        Size:  4 and 7/16 x 3″

We’ve got a short kitten theme going here…the second of three. Nothing on the back of this trade card. But see a previous post on the Detroit Soap Company and Queen Anne Soap. The slogan, “The Best Family Soap in the World,”  appearing on our trade card above, seems to be the most common one seen on cards for Queen Anne Soap, so it’s possible that that particular wording became the standardized saying, but that’s a theory, no proof at this point.

See also, our third Queen Anne’s Soap find.

Kitty Photographer For Nudavene Flakes

Nudavene Flakes Trade Card. Circa 1887 – 1890.

Price:  $12.00        Size:  3 x 4 and 7/16″

From a Throwback Thursday entry from Rockford Buzz:

“The A. M. Johnston Oat Meal Company, said to have been the first oatmeal mill west of the state of Ohio, was located in Rockford in the 1870’s. This firm later became the Rockford Oatmeal Company, and eventually the American Cereal Company, which was the forerunner of the Quaker Oats Company.”

TBT: A. M. Johnston Oatmeal Company

Numerous newspaper ads can be found for Nudavene Flakes and Cormack’s Nudavene Flakes. The example below, from June 1895 in the Detroit Free Press, shows a listing of a particular Monday’s prices from the Hull Brothers Company. Ten pounds of Nudavene Flakes for 25 cents, imagine! (Or, ten pounds of anything for 25 cents.) And how ’bout the canned brook trout and mackerel, there’s a couple of items we don’t see on the shelves anymore. (That’s a typo on the word “Sardeiles.” It should be “Sardelles” – a term used for a small sardine-like fish.)

Sources:  TBT Rockford: A. M. Johnston Oatmeal Company. December 15, 2016. (accessed August 7, 2017).

Hull Bros. Grocery Ad. Detroit Free Press. June 16, 1895. Accessed August 7, 2017. (

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

A Saucer Of Milk

A Saucer Of Milk mc1

Here’s a lithograph from an unknown company of a little lady, perhaps the domestic help, giving the family kitty cat a saucer of milk. I love the expectant pose of the kitty; the lady’s ensemble with mob cap and flounced dress with large bow in the back, and her fingerless gloves; and the background showing the pitcher of milk on the little wooden stand, with the greenery in front of what appears to be a leaded glass diamond patterned window.

Lithograph, publisher unknown. Circa 1890s – early 1900s.     Size:  3 and 1/2 x 5″

Price:  $6.00

The William S. Cox Family, Otselic NY


This gallery contains 12 photos.

Set of six Real Photo Postcards, unused with writing. 1904 – 1910. Availability status:  SOLD Here’s a wonderful set of six Real Photo Postcards, taken from 1904 to 1910, showing William S. Cox, his son Frank E. Cox, Frank’s daughter … Continue reading

Two Cats And A Rocking Chair

Two Cats And A Rocking Chair pc1Two-Cats-And-A-Rocking-Chair-pc2

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked July 21, 1908, Des Moines, Iowa. “Series 100, Linen Comics. 50 Subjects.” Publisher:  possibly R. L. Wells.

Price:  $7.00

Here’s the second postcard we have for the likely publisher of R. L. Wells. (See prior post.) This one shows one kitty, who wears a red bow, inviting another kitty to sit down in a rocking chair. The caption is  “Just a Little Rocking Chair and You”  with a treble clef staff underneath. This postcard caption is the title of a song: music by Theodore Morse, lyrics by Jack Drislane and Bert Fitzgibbon, released in 1906. The sheet music cover below shows singer Ada Jones.

Rocking Chair Cover Page

Card addressed to:  “Mr. Harry Smithe, Seward Democrat, Seward, Neb.”  To the left of the address was written  “This was meant for [?] but it strayed into your hands instead. Yes? No? Go ask papa.  [?]”  

The front of the card may or may not have been written by the same person as the above message and says,  “Did you get your comb Della? I got me a white [?] sailor suit yesterday. Have the boys from Oklahoma arrived yet. Yes? No? Is the noise as great as it was when I was there go ask papa. I hear from D. (?) about every day. Mabelle writes[?] also. Did you get my music[?] from her? I haven’t got it yet. Tell Clide I was afraid to send him one like this ??? I heard from Clide Moore today. Give my mother-in-law my love. Also my [?]  Mr. Moore”

Editor and publisher William H. Smith

Thanks to the corrections (see comment below) from Leo, we found that Harry or Harvey, was William H. Smith, born in 1873 in Henry County, Illinois, son of William L. Smith and Maria (Edwards) Smith. William H. Smith came to Seward about March 1897 and bought the Seward County Democrat and then the Independent, consolidating them into the Seward Independent Democrat. Della (Fletcher) was his wife. They were married June 12, 1901 in Seward.

This card is rather fascinating for the message content and writer’s or writers’ style:  Why was the sender afraid to send a postcard like this to Clide? Funny – the whole “Yes? No?” thing, and how did the postcard stray into someone else’s hands? And the “Go ask Papa” refrain would make a good song title. Speaking of which, the short research into old song titles leaves me wondering (as per usual) what we’re currently missing. Just the titles alone are worth looking at, and what about all of the music – the catchy tunes, the charming and often comic lyrics, the insight into a prior century, etc.

Sources:  “Just a Little Rocking Chair and You.”  ASU Libraries. Arizona State University sheet music collection. Web accessed 14 Aug 2014.

“Memorial and Biographical Record and Illustrated Compendium of Biography.” (1899). Chicago:  George A. Ogle & Co. (Google Books).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Seward Ward 2, Seward, Nebraska; Roll: T624_855; Page: 22A; Enumeration District: 0176; FHL microfilm: 1374868. (

Marriage record for William H. Smith and Della Fletcher. Library and Archives of the Nebraska State Historical Society; Lincoln, Nebraska. (