Kenton Baking Powder Trade Card

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The trademarked design on this Kenton Baking Powder trade card seems to fit the fall season with the weather having turned chilly. Notice the red-tipped nose on the man in the moon. And we hope the owl has seen the shooting star and made a wish! ūüėČ

The oval stamp on the back of this one says:¬†¬† “W. W. Hough, Dealer In Groceries & Crockery. Empire Block, Boonville, N. Y.”

The 1880 Federal Census for Boonville shows William W. Hough, grocer, born about 1846; his wife Nancy M. born about 1850; and their sons Clinton W., born about 1877 and William D., born about 1879. All are native to New York.

According to online city directories, Hough was a grocer in Boonville at least as early as 1878 and up until at least 1884. However, he more likely operated until about 1904, according to the ad below for H. B. Belknap, successor to W. W. Hough, from the Boonville Herald, dated January 26, 1905.

HB Belknap Ad    

As to Potter, Parlin & Co., of Cincinnati – they were the manufacturer of Kenton Baking Powder, here advertised as 20 cents for a 1 lb. can, 10 cents for a 1/2 lb. can and 5 cents for a 1/4 lb. can. (Hmmm, got me wondering what size I have in my cupboard. For the record, 7 oz. – which translates to a little less than a 1/2 lb. The Calumet brand I have currently costs about $5.00 for 7 oz. $5.00 – funny, coincidentally the price of the Williams’ Utica city directory for 1894 per below.)

As an aside….the politics of city directories

Williams Utica City Directory 1894

The above page is from Williams’ Utica City Directory and Williams’ Street and Block Directory, 1894 – including Boonville and other towns. Check out the¬† “convicted pirates”¬† reference. In general city directories contain wonderful information for researchers and historians, and this particular directory was a great one, with items such as a breakdown of the total length of paved (27.09 miles) and unpaved (74.05 miles) streets in Utica in 1894;¬† a historical listing of appointed and elected mayors year by year; a list of fire alarm signal boxes (of which there were many) and their locations; a table of wages; and an official death register (the first we’ve come across in city directories) for those over age eighteen and excluding state hospital deaths. In short, $5.00, the price for this particular directory, bought you a lot!

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Boonville, Oneida, New York; Roll: 902; Family History Film: 1254902; Page: 71B; Enumeration District: 083; Image: 0145. (

Kimball’s Oneida County Directory, 1878. p. 308. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

C.N. Gaffney’s Gazeteer & Directory of the County of Oneida, 1884. p. 422. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989.)

H. B. Belknap advertisment. Boonville Herald, 26 Jan. 1905. (

Morrison, Abraham Cressy. (1907) The Baking Powder Controversy, Vol. 2. New York:  The American Baking Powder Association.

Trade Card. Kenton Baking Powder. Circa 1878 – 1884.

Price:¬† $7.00¬†¬†¬†¬† Size:¬† 3 x 2 and 3/4″

Le Lièvre Et La Tortue

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The Hare and the Tortoise…more commonly known in the U.S. as The Tortoise and the Hare….

This is an antique postcard produced from a work by an unknown artist. It appears to have been modeled after an illustration of Le Li√®vre et la Tortue, that was printed in France, which in turn may have been taken from the work of French artist Gustav Dor√© rather than being by him. Check out the set of trade cards for¬†Solution Pautauberge¬†(a product which was in it’s day said to be a cure for rheumatism and bronchitis and a prevention for tuberculosis.) The set is entitled Fables de LaFontaine, (and you’ll notice the indication showing “d’apres Gustav Dor√©”¬† which might mean “modeled after” in this context.)

The back of the postcard indicates “Authorized By Act of Congress of May 19, 1898″ so this is a Private Mailing Card or PMC. The short PMC era ran from May 19, 1898 to December 24, 1901 when the new postal regulations ushered in the Undivided Back era. The size is smaller than what we consider the standard for postcards and measures about 5″ x 3”.

This beautifully done postcard is in very good shape for it’s approximate 115 year age, and includes glued on glitter highlights. In particular, the expression on the poor bun’s face is priceless, that panicked¬† “Oh, no!”¬† feeling, and note the beautiful, and correctly done, long bunny eyelashes!

Private Mailing Card. Circa 1898 – 1901. Unused. Publisher unknown, number 32.

Price:¬† $20.00¬†¬† Size:¬† About 5 x 3″

Sources:  The Tortoise and the Hare. n.d. (accessed February 26, 2015).

Gustave Doré. n.d. (accessed February 26, 2015).

“Solution Pautauberge.” Creighton University. Web accessed February 28, 2015.

T’is The Wise That Visit

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Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked May 22, 1907 in Des Moines, Iowa. Publisher possibly R. L. Wells.

Price:  $15.00

Owl on tree branch with red moon in the background, with the caption¬† “Tis the wise that visit.”

The sender wrote: ¬†“S.M. Anne: ¬†Send me by return mail pattern for your blk skrt; one with a cluster of tucks at front, back, and sides. Yours lovingly, Jo.” ¬†Inside the owl drawing Jo wrote, ¬†“Will write – later” ¬†and on the side, ¬†“How many yards / how wide did you get?”

Postcard addressed to: ¬†“Miss Annie Friyouf, Plymouth Iowa, Cerro Gordo Co”

Anne Friyouf turns up on the 1930 Federal Census for Plymouth, Iowa, as Anna Bliem, widowed head of household, born Iowa, about 1884, married at about age 31. Living with her is her widowed mother Barbara Friyouf, born Czechoslovakia about 1842; sister Mary Friyouf, single, born Czechoslovakia about 1872; and sister Barbara V.[?] Friyouf, single, born Czechoslovakia about 1874. No one in the family is listed as having an occupation on this census.

Anna married John Bliem on August 30, 1915 in Mason City, Iowa. The marriage record shows Anna as born about 1884 in Plymouth, Iowa and that her parents are Joseph Friyouf and Barbara Mar…k? (original image not available from online source.) John Bliem was born in New York City, age at time of marriage about 49, and his parents are John Bliem and Clara Claus.

The 1940 census, which shows Anna as head of household and includes her sisters, is very interesting in that it states Anna’s occupation is Postmaster.¬† National Archives (NARA) records shows she was nominated for the post on April 23, 1934, was confirmed on May 7th, and that she retired on December 31, 1949. You might be surprised (as I was) to learn that it was not uncommon for women to be appointed as Postmaster (this is the official title, though some say Postmistress.) There were women postmasters before the Revolutionary War when the country was still under British rule, and in fact (without going into much researching and comparison) on May 5, 2008, in the United States, there were more women than men holding the position. The NARA website indicates also that it was common in rural areas for women to be appointed.

As far as Jo, the sender of the postcard, it’s possible she was a relative. There is a Josephine Friyouf showing up in city directories in Des Moines. Regarding the publisher, this info is not given but similar postcards found online show a copyright mark for R. L. Wells.

Sources:¬†¬† “Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 Aug 2014), John Bliem and Anna Friyouf, 30 Aug 1915; citing Mason City, Cerro Gordo, Iowa, United States; FHL microfilm 1481039.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Falls, Cerro Gordo, Iowa; Roll: 647; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0006; Image: 695.0; FHL microfilm: 2340382.  (

Year: 1940; Census Place: Plymouth, Cerro Gordo, Iowa; Roll: T627_1146; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 17-8. (

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-Sept. 30, 1971; Roll #: 36; Archive Publication #: M841.  (

“Post Office Records” National Archives Records Administration. Web accessed 12 Aug 2014.

“Women Postmasters”¬†¬† United States Postal Service. July 2008. Web accessed 12 Aug 2014.