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.

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. (

Kitties On Moving Day

Kitties On Moving Day 1

Non-postal card by artist Eugen Hartung. Publisher the Alfred Mainzer Co. Circa 1940s – 1950s.

Price:  $2.00 digital image only

The “kitty kids” are having a high time of it here while the “kitty movers” are looking understandably a bit beleaguered. There’s the mom in the window (trying unsuccessfully to contain one of her charges?) and maybe that’s the dad trying to help, but tripping with the stack of dishes. This is one of the many colorful and comical drawings by Swiss artist Eugen Hartung (1897-1973) commonly called “Mainzer Cats” referring to publisher Alfred Mainzer of New York. (They were first published in Zurich by Swiss publisher Max Kunzli and known as “Kunzli Cats”.) The majority of Hartung’s dressed animal drawings were kitty scenes which often included other animals, like mice, dogs and birds; many of the other animals were anthropomorphized like the kitties here, but some were not, depending upon what was needed to tell the story.

This card (possibly originally a postcard) was trimmed a little on both sides and pasted to fit in the card “frame” by someone. This cut off the artist’s heart-shaped logo that, on this one, would have appeared at the bottom left. It was given to a friend so is only up for display on this website but can be found for sale on other sites.