Richest Gifts Of Christmas

Divided back, unused, embossed postcard. Series 209. Printed in Germany. Publisher and printer unknown. Circa 1907 – 1914.

Price:  $4.00

From our Ethel Main Collection, this card has a trade mark logo of either publisher or printer (or both) that is unidentified at this time:  showing below, a capital G inside a rectangular artist’s palette with brushes “attached.”

The front of the postcard shows a pretty typical moonlit tableau of a church in a snow-blanketed country setting, with Christmas bells hanging on the left and poinsettias in the background. Nice though! The verse reads:

“Christmas Greetings.

May richest gifts of Christmas cheer

Bestrew your path to=day.”

The card was addressed to someone’s mother, and the sender wrote:  “Hoping you will have a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. Love, Helen Main.”

To My Sweetheart

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A Valentine’s Day postcard with Cupid riding up in the clouds in a small golden chariot that is overflowing with forget-me-nots, and being pulled by two doves. This one is signed presumably by the sender on the bottom right of the front of the card, but the name is hard to make out. Mailed to:

“Miss Ethel Main, 299 Sunol St., San Jose Calif.”

Undivided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked February 15, 1907 from San Francisco, California. Publisher:  The International Art Publishing Co., New York.

Price:  $3.00

HNY From Sonora, CA

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“A Happy New Year”

Yet another in the Ethel Main Collection, this one is from an anonymous sender who writes:

“Dear Mrs. Main. Wishing you all a Happy New Year to all.” 

No doubt Mrs. Main knew who the card was from. Looking up Sonora, California…A historic gold mining town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range, and named in reference to the Mexican miners from Sonora, Mexico who settled the town in 1848. In 1910 it had a population of about 2,029. (The 2014 population shows about 4,802.) The name Sonora reminds me of two things:  one – that I’ve been through the town, or stopped briefly in it years ago, before the old postcard/photo/trade card love/obsession hit; I want to go back to visit to see what treasures await, and two – the line from the movie Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken where I think it’s the hunky love interest that asks for the leading young lady’s name and she answers, “Sonora, Sonora Webster.”
Cool name, I thought, in admiring the character and actress (simultaneously, lol). Based on a true story…Check out this blog article from Horse and Man,  on the subject of horse/rider jumping from a high dive platform into a pool of water. Incredible!

Having veered way off track, but it’s always fun…the postcard front is a study in tones of silver, gold and copper of a winter scene of house, stone bridge and stream. The publisher is Davidson Brothers, of London and New York. According to Metropostcard.com they operated from about 1901 – 1911.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked December 31, 1909 from Sonora, California. Publisher:  Davidson Bros., London, England and New York, New York. “Davidson Bros.’ Pictorial Post Cards.” Series 3020.

Price:  $5.00

Sources:  City of Sonora. Sonoraca.com
Accessed January 12, 2016.

Sonora, California. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonora,_California. (accessed January 12, 2016).

“Diving Horses” September 23, 2013. Horse and Man. Accessed January 12, 2016.

“D – Publishers.” MetroPostcard.com. Accessed January 12, 2016.

Fruitcake From Ethel

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“A Happy New-Year.”

A heavily-embossed postcard of a poinsettia in a bed of holly and some forget-me-nots bordering a clock which is about to mark the new year. This card is from the Ethel Main Collection and kind of personal. Sounds like it’s from her man, and he sure appreciates her and the fruitcake she sent him. Addressed to:

“Miss Ethel Main, 3622 – 18th Street, San Francisco, Calif.”

As for the publisher, it’s one we’ve not seen yet. It appears to show the initials T – I – C on a banner running round a globe.

TIC Logo

Divided back, embossed, postcard. Unused with writing. Circa 1907 – 1916. Printed in Germany. Publisher:  T.I.C.

Price:  $2.00

Christmas Greetings From Mrs. R. Behrle

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“Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Mrs. R. Behrle.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Main, 253 14th St, San Francisco, Cal.”

Another in the Ethel Main Collection, and a beauty – holly and berries on a background of pale blue and cream, with a gold-tone border. The holly, lettering and border is embossed but the background has a smaller embossing to give it a textured look. Notice on the larger sprig of holly, the brown stem sticking up at the top right, with the very small leaf – a realistic touch, since if you were to take a cutting from a tree or plant you’d not normally find each leaf, berry or whatever in top form. It’s the little details like this that let us see into the thought process of the artist.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked from San Francisco, California on December 23, 1909.

Price:  $5.00

Christmas Greetings, Period

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I find it amusing that the phrase  “Christmas Greetings.”  was printed with a period at the end – hence the title of this post. This card was printed in Germany and has a coat of arms logo on the back but the publisher name is not known at this time. The front shows a simple design of a nighttime country home in winter, framed by icicles and pine boughs. It’s another from the Ethel Main Collection and addressed to “Tottie” not Lottie –  other cards have confirmed Ethel’s nickname. The sender wrote:

“Dear Tottie. A Merry ‘Xmas’ to you all. Blanche & Bert.”  Addressed to:

“Miss Ethel Main, No 3622 18th st. San Francisco, Calif.”

The postage stamp is a one cent Balboa, for Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Spanish explorer that crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean in 1513. It was issued to promote the upcoming 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition, and one of a set that payed tribute to the opening of the Panama Canal, which would not take place until August 15, 1914. In mint condition, an online source indicates this stamp would be worth about $23.00.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 23, 1913 from Santa Cruz, California. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $4.00

Source:  Vasco Núñez de Balboa. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasco_N%C3%BA%C3%B1ez_de_Balboa (accessed December 28, 2015).

And Down Life’s Stream

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“And down Life’s Stream he begged to steer

The lovely freight to him so dear.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. B. F. Main, 233 14th St., San Francisco, Cal.”  And the sender wrote:

“Dear Grandma – Hope you arrived safely. My love-sick uncle forgot his vest so we sent it by mail to-day. It’s very warm here. Grandma & Mama’s cousin and Aunt and Minnie[?] were out yesterday. Write and let us know if Bennie got his vest.    H.[?] M.”

This will be a good one for helping track which branch of the Main family the Ethel Main Collection belongs to, since we have a name and relationship in the message. The front of the card is appropriate isn’t it, regarding the sender’s love-sick uncle Bennie. (The actual postcard is even nicer to view, as the gold border, highlights on the young woman’s blouse and belt, and the verse at the bottom come to light when viewed at an angle.)

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked from Santa Clara, California on September 14, 1909. Publisher:  Julius Bien & Co., New York. “Canoe” Series number:  201 – (3).

Price:  $5.00

To Tottie From Lucy

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“Friendship’s Offering”

Here’s the third in a little mini-series in the Ethel Main Collection. This one shows that her nickname was “Tottie” rather than “Lottie” as one might think from the handwriting on some of the others. Since there is more than one Ethel Main, and preliminary forays into this possible branch of the Main Family have shown that research time will be lengthy, we’ll save that part for later, after the rest get posted. The card is addressed to:

“Miss Ethel Main, 299 Sunol St., San Jose, Calif.”  And the sender wrote:

“Dear Tottie. Just a few lines have you got to busy again to write if so stoped for a minut and think of me. hope to see you by the last of the month some time. With Love, Lucy.”

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked 1910 from California. Publisher unknown. “Flower Series.”

Price:  $4.00

Greetings From Occidental, California

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The meaning of the word occidental is “Western” as opposed to oriental meaning “Eastern.” (Never knew that.) Occidental is a small town in Sonoma County, California, that was founded in 1876 as a railway stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad, connecting Cazadero to the Sausalito ferry. Occidental was originally called Howard’s Station, after local landowner and Danish immigrant,  “Dutch Bill” Howard (real name Christopher Thornassen Folkmann), who granted the railway access from his land. Present day online browsing shows a lovely spot that we naturally now want to visit, in the wine country of Sonoma County, nestled in the Redwoods, near the Russian River…beautiful B & Bs…

But this card, with an illustration of pink and red carnations, is another in the Ethel Main Collection. Addressed this time to:   “Miss Ethel Main, 3622 – 18th Street, San Francisco, Cal.”  And the sender wrote:

“Dear Cousin, I received your kind & welcome letter. Hope[?] I wont go down on Saturday the 8. will write you a letter in a few days. your Cousin Cordelia.”

Cordelia’s writing is a slightly hard to read but there is at least an easy way to verify part of the message:  The 1912 calendar for June, shows that June 8th was indeed a Saturday; this card bearing the postmarked date of June 6.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Publisher unknown, possibly printed in Germany. Series or number 4. Postmarked June 6, 1912 from San Francisco, California.

Price:  $5.00

Source:  Occidental. n.d https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occidental,_California. (accessed July 2, 2015).

Howard Station Cafe. http://www.howardstationcafe.com/#!ourstory/csgz. (accessed July 2, 2015).

1910 Calendar Postcard

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This one (from the Ethel Main Collection) may seem a little out of place:  It would normally go up in December, per the little calendar at the bottom (with Christmas wreath?) but then again the lovely oval image above it shows a summery, old roses and cottage scene, so that fits in with our present month of June. The calendar turns page by page and is not missing any months. We picture this postcard hanging on someone’s wall 105 years ago, though perhaps it was saved in a desk drawer or scrap book, instead. After all, it would seem very tempting to tear away each month as it went by.

The sender wrote:

“Dear Grandma – Laura wants to know how much goods it takes for a skirt and I want to know how to make scones[?] We are having lovely weather. I just took a walk. Hazel.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. B. F. Main, 253 – 14th St., San Francisco.”

(This branch of the Main family, as found in the collection, will be sorted out a little later, when we can take plenty of time to work on how everyone fits together.)

Divided back postcard, used with writing. Includes mini 1910 calendar. Publisher unknown. Circa 1909 – 1910.

Price:  $15.00