Lion Coffee Parallelogram

Trade card, Lion Coffee. Circa 1882 – 1890s

Price:  $5.00

I like the effect of these two images together, as if you’re looking at a roof from above, and what a roof it would be! (although the front of the card should be upside down for that to really make sense.) But the background on this is just the back of a book (because we’re always searching for something handy to use when scanning odd-shaped cards.) The back reads:

“If you want a picture card like this buy a package of Lion Coffee. It is composed of a successful combination of Mocha, Java and Rio. And it is roasted with the greatest care, but is not ground. Is never sold in bulk. Beautiful picture in every package. Lion is the king of coffees. Manufactured by Woolson Spice Co., Toledo, Ohio.”

Here’s a great article on the history of Lion Coffee and the Lion’s subsequent reawakening in Hawaii.

Source:  “The Amazing True Story of Lion Coffee.” May 14, 2015. (http://www.lioncoffee.com/amazing-true-history-lion-coffee/). Accessed May 13, 2018.

Worcester & Greenfield, Newsdealers And Stationers

Trade card, circa 1881 – 1899.

Price:  $15.00        Size:  About 2 and 1/8 x 3 and 1/8″

A beautifully stylish little girl, with a wreath of flowers on one arm and just picked roses overflowing from her makeshift cloth “basket,” advertises:

“Worcester & Greenfield. Newsdealers & Stationers, Central Square, Rochester, N. H. Cards for Sale.”

We’re finding no other trade cards for this company online, at the time of this post.

Worcester & Greenfield were Horace L. Worcester and his partner and brother-in-law Frank Greenfield. The firm started in 1881 and in 1899 Hiram, having earlier bought out Frank’s share, sold out of the business. Hiram Worcester was twice mayor of Rochester, according to his biographical sketch, which includes this photo:

From another Google eBook search we found the following entry for the business in Leading Manufacturers and Merchants of New Hampshire:

“Worcester & Greenfield, Books, Central Square. – The popular headquarters in Rochester for books, stationery, periodicals and literature of all kinds is the establishment of Messrs. Worcester & Greenfield, on Central Square. The business was originally established about fifteen years ago by Mr. I. D. Mooney, the present proprietors succeeding to the control in 1881. To the stranger, from its literary attractiveness, it is a place not to be overlooked, while it is the chief rendezvous to the literature-loving people of this community. To drop in here for the daily paper and a glimpse at the last new book or magazine is an every-day duty with the majority of the people resident here. The stock is large, choice and complete in every department, including the works of standard authors in prose and poetry, the latest publications of English and American writers, in fine bindings and pocket style; toys, games, picture books, writing desks, portfolios, leather goods, and desirable gifts for the holidays in great variety and profusion. The firm also have a circulating library, containing six hundred volumes, which is very liberally patronized by both old and young. There is also a fine assortment of cigars, tobacco and confectionery, and the store is the headquarters in Rochester for the Boston daily and state papers. The members of the firm, Messrs. H. L. Worcester and Frank Greenfield, are young men of enterprise and popularity.”

Sources:  Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the State of New Hampshire. Boston:  New England Historical Publishing Company, 1902 (Google.com).

Leading Manufacturers and Merchants of New Hampshire. New York:  International Publishing Co., 1887. (Google.com).

Sweet Home Soap

Trade card, circa 1880s – 1890s.

Price:  $3.00          Size:  About 3 and 1/4 x 4 and 5/16″

Young love in an old trade card

Here’s a trade card, a little worse for wear, but still….a beauty:  depicting a lovers’ scene of a young man cutting roses for his sweetheart (or maybe clearing a path for her, or both).

From small cake soap manufacturer to industry giant

Buffalo, New York native John Durrant Larkin (1845 – 1926) was the founder of J. D. Larkin & Co., manufacturer of Sweet Home Soap, a bar laundry soap, and with the help of the marketing genius of his brother-in-law Elbert Hubbard (1856 – 1915), became one of Buffalo’s most successful businessmen. Hubbard is reported to have been Larkin & Co.’s first salesman, and pioneered the strategy of selling direct to the consumer, thereby cutting costs to be able to offer many incentives to buying the company’s products (which became numerous, a “laundry list,” pun happily intended, of household, food and other items). These incentives or “premiums” as they were called, were first small enough to be included with the customer’s order, until the idea was expanded to include the redemption of beautiful pieces of furniture, as well as pottery and glassware, lamps, bed frames and other items.

Below, a clipping from a Google search for Larkin & Co furniture:

Glove buttoners and biscuit cutters

Below, a clipping from an 1888 ad appearing in The Appleton Crescent, listing the bonus items one could get, along with 100 cakes of Sweet Home Soap. We’re wondering if any of the pictures mentioned titled, “Desdemona”, “Skye Terrier”, “Jockey Joe”, “Love’s Young Dream” etc. still grace any walls today. Then too, when we look at the artwork in the average working family’s home, as in….after gazing at our ancestor’s photo, then looking past them to see what was in those picture frames (if we can see, sometimes it’s just barely, and always to the point of wanting to jump in the photo for a moment)….we can imagine what might have been the humble soap origin of that prized piece of wall decor (as in our related post, The Village Belle.)

Factory girls in ’04

Below, a photo courtesy of the Buffalo Courier, May 29, 1904 of Larkin factory girls packing products (and if your ancestor worked in Buffalo for Larkin’s it’s rather nice to think that she might be one of these ladies.) Last thought:  Are those wreaths hanging on the pillars?

Sources:  John D. Larkin. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Larkin (accessed May 6, 2018).

Elbert Hubbard. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbert_Hubbard (accessed May 6, 2018).

“images of Larkin & Co. furniture.”  Google.com search. (accessed May 6, 2018).

“Twin Babies” Larkin ad. The Appleton Crescent (Appleton, WI). November 24, 1888, Saturday, p. 4.

“One of Buffalo’s Most Successful Manufacturers.”  Buffalo Courier, May 29, 1904. Sunday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

To Ilma From Edna

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked April 12, 1911, San Francisco, California. Publisher:  International Art Publishing Co. Series 1262. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $7.00

Fond Easter Greetings

“Hope and gladness, peace and rest

Make your Easter truly blest.”

Wow, where did the time fly? Easter already! Here’s the first offering for this year, and we’ll try to get a few more up today. This one hearkens back to 1911, a beautiful card of a bunny in an Easter egg, framed by lilies of the valley and a few violets, from the International Art Publishing Co. It was sent by Edna Steacy to Miss Ilma Rogers of 3651 20th St., San Francisco, CA.

Ilma, an unusual name (I kept trying to type Alma) was found on the 1900 Federal Census, born in California, January 1893, the daughter of Charles S. and May C. Rogers. In the household are the parents Charles and May, Charles’ mother Jenny M. Rogers and children Oris R., Ilma F. and Charles S. Rogers, address 227 Chattanooga, San Francisco. So, Ilma was eighteen when she received this card.

Source:  Year: 1900; Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0108. (Ancestry.com).

A Flower Fairy Valentine

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Publisher:  S. Berman, copyright 1917. Series or number 7025. Printed in the U.S.A.

Price:  $5.00

Valentine Wishes….

“Dear Valentine,

What fun ‘twould be

If you would just

Do this with me.”

A charming postcard for Valentine’s day of a bouquet-offering flower fairy – atop a heart decorated with forget me nots. Her wings are gorgeous in maroon and blue (etc.) and she wears a hat of pink flower petals fastened by a garland. Note how the artist has the wings just overlapping the card’s red border. (A common design trick to add some flow and dimension.) This is another from our Alice Ellison Collection.

“To Grandma from Maebelle. Papa & mamma & I have been to Los Angeles a couple of days & mamma & I got a new hat. & I got two new dresses. Yours with love.”

Happy 1911

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked December 30, 1910, Visalia California. Copyright John Winsch. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $6.00

With best New Year Wishes

One more for the New Year…..backtracking 107 years…a profusion of pansies to welcome 1911.

The name or initials of this sincere sender is open to interpretation, but the card was sent to:   “Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Blake, 1426 J. St., Fresno, Cal.

John H. Blake appears on the 1911 city directory at the above address, working as a clerk for the S J L & P Corp (San Joaquin Light & Power Corporation). The 1910 Federal Census for Fresno shows he is single, boarding, and living next door at 1424 J. Street, working as a self-employed electrician, and born in California, about 1885. From an Ancestry tree, John Howard Blake married Lydia Mae Clewett in June 1910 (after the census was taken). They didn’t stay at the J Street address long, as the 1912 Fresno directory shows 1019 R Street, with John working as an electrician for Valley Electrical Supply Company. By the 1920, the couple had moved to San Jose.

See Metro Postcard’s entry on John O. Winsch for more on the publisher.

Sources:  Polk – Husted Directory Co.’s Fresno and Coalinga City and Fresno County Directory, 1911. p. 48. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Polk – Husted Directory Co.’s Fresno and Coalinga City and Fresno County Directory, 1912. p. 53. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Fresno Ward 2, Fresno, California; Roll: T624_76; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0037; FHL microfilm: 1374089. (Ancestry.com).

“John Howard Blake.” Clewett/Larson Family Tree. (Ancestry.com). accessed January 14, 2018.

Year: 1920; Census Place: San Jose, Santa Clara, California; Roll: T625_148; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 177. (Ancestry.com).

“John O. Winsch. 1910 – 1915.” W – Publishers. Metropostcard.com. (accessed January 14, 2018).

To Willard Osburn From Uncle Fred

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 29, 1909 from Symerton, Illinois. printed in Germany.

Price:  $7.00

With New Year Greetings

“How are you, are you catching any rabbits these days. from Uncle Fred.”   Addressed to:

“Willard Osburn, Wilmington, Ill.”

A century or so ago, it seems that postcard artists were unconcerned with providing images of drooping roses like the one we have here. I don’t think you’ll see this much today, if at all. But while looking closely at the front of the card we noticed it has a beautiful almost leaf-like pattern with very fine, close vertical lines, maybe to help give the card a little bit of shimmer.

As for Willard, the addressee, he was found on the 1910 Federal Census for Wilmington, Will County, Illinois, born about 1899. So, he’s about ten when he receives this postcard from his Uncle Fred. On the 1910, the household members, all native to Illinois, are:  parents, Charles A. and Della B. Osburn; children ages eighteen to five: Blanche A., Leonard L., Hazel H., Edith S., Willard W. and Mildred M.; and domestic servant Howard J. Broderick. Their home was located on Braidwood Road near First Street.

Source:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Wilmington, Will, Illinois; Roll: T624_335; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0203; FHL microfilm: 1374348. (Ancestry.com).

To Lena From Gladys

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked December 29, 1913, Almena, Kansas.

Price:  $3.00

A Happy New Year

A pink rose and some forget-me-nots are framed in blue. (The embossing from the reverse is maybe even nicer – very elegant in white.) And this card was sent to our old friend Lena Davis who we haven’t visited in a while – her cousin Gladys writes:

“Almena Kans. Dec. 30 1913. Dear Cousin, Rec’d your card glad to hear. How is Grandma & all the rest. John’s mother and Sophie are sick took down Wed. We went Sat. and just got home they are better now. Don’t know when we will be up but don’t wait on us. How is Laura, Write soon, Glad.”

A Wish For Your Gladness

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 22, 1928 from Sacramento, California. Series or number 1181 D. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $8.00

A beautiful Christmas postcard from The Alice Ellison Collection of a ringing bell with a poinsettias, mistletoe and a scene of a cozy home at sunrise in the background:

Christmas Greetings

“A wish for your gladness

As Christmas bells ring,

And all the bright blessings

These holidays bring.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Ellison & Family, 1015 O Street, Sacramento, California”  and signed, “Greetings of the Season from Mr. and Mrs. Gomes.”

Ringing The Bell

Victorian Era card. Circa 1870s – 1890s

Price:  $3.00        Size:  3 and 15/16 x 2 and 3/8″

A trade-type card that never got stamped with owner info. Very beautiful design – a sturdy-looking little boy or elf-type guy. What’s he doing exactly? Flower-wrangling 😉 comes to mind. A made-up term. Not that it matters, but the best guess is he’s ringing the bell-like flower (to call someone, across the misty, dreamy-looking expanse that would have held advertising.)