The Road To The Dance

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Velox stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $4.00

The who and where are unknown in this RPPC (for some reason I keep thinking Oregon) of three young men and a young woman, dressed up for the evening, heading up the dirt road to….a country dance, we think. The young lady carries a parasol, and per the norm for the time-period, all four are wearing hats. That’s a wide hat band ribbon around the fellow’s hat, second from left:  You can just barely discern the crown that’s blending in with the background.

Hen And Chicks On The March

Divided back, unused postcard. Unknown Parisian publisher. Printed in France, Series or number 595. Dated by the sender:  October 1944.

Price:  $5.00

A very cute French postcard for Easter (though dated in October) showing a hen and her three chicks, marching off to une Fête de Pâques. The hen is a cut-out that is pasted on for a slight 3-D effect, and some of the card’s silver glitter still remains after seventy-three years. But we love the details:  the differing expressions for each of the feathered-four, and the red balloon, the green umbrella, the Pierrot-like clown hats worn by the chicks, and the artist’s realistic touch with the four-leaf clover….The card was, poignantly, sent home during WWII, from probably an American soldier, to his little girl, Elsa. He writes:

“Special for my sweet little daughter, Elsa-pie from her loving Daddy. France, October 1944.”

A close-up of the publisher logo appears below, but the company name is, for the moment, a mystery. For sure, that’s “Paris” at top and underneath would be “Marque Déposée”  for trademark, but what’s the first letter there…? Our best guess for the publisher initials is either T.D.A or Y.D.A.

Giesecke Boot & Shoe Manufacturing Co.


Trade card for the Giesecke Boot & Shoe Manufacturing Co. Circa 1885 – 1901.

Price:  $12.00

Grand!  And it is, this lithograph from an unknown company showing two children riding a duck (or goose?) The girl, sitting “side-saddle” holds a parasol, while the boy sits astride holding the reigns and is turning back to gaze at her. The duck or goose, take your pick, is about to be happily paddling his way thru some lily pads. The reverse shows:

“Not how cheap, but how good

For Fit. For Wear. For Economy buy

‘Little Shoes for Little Men and Little Women’

None genuine unless stamped on bottom ‘Little Shoes for Little Men’  trade mark registered.

The Giesecke Boot & Shoe M’f’g Co.    Makers”

Owner and president of the company, William Frederick Giesecke, was born in Germany December 4, 1833. He emigrated to the U. S. around May 1, 1858. City directories show that he was manufacturing shoes and boots in St. Louis, Missouri at least from 1870, with addresses centering on Washington Ave. He paired (no pun intended) with Edward A. Meysenburg from about 1876 – 1881. And 1885 thru 1901 directories show the business name as it appears on this trade card. By 1904 the business is under the name of Giesecke – D’Oench – Hays Shoe Co., and the 1908 directory shows there were factories in both St. Louis and Jefferson, Missouri. The obit below from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, dated March 21, 1910, gives more information:


Sources:  Edwards’ St. Louis Directory, 1870. p. 360. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Gould’s St. Louis City Directory, 1876. p. 343. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Gould’s Street and Avenue Directory, 1881. p. 428. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, 1795-1905; Roll #: 329; Volume #: Roll 329 – 20 May 1889-24 May 1889. (

Gould’s St. Louis Directory, 1895. p. 554. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Gould’s St. Louis Directory, 1901. p. 707. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Gould’s Street and Avenue Directory, 1904. p. 757. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Gould’s Street and Avenue Directory, 1908. p. 658. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

“W. F. Giesecke, Retired Shoe Manufacturer, Buried Monday.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 21 March 1910, main edition. (

Just Missed The Rain

Just Missed The Rain pc1Just Missed The Rain pc2

I love these type where the sender has written in their own caption, so to speak….And for me, this should be titled,  “Blessed Rain”  since we don’t get enough of it here in California. Reminds me of a bumper sticker on the back of a truck that I see often, when driving to work, which says,  “Pray for rain”  and it tickles me that I think the exact same response every time, that of  “I always do.” 

Anyway, this is a lovely, slightly comical silhouette type postcard postmarked in 1909, but the sender was still thinking 1908…it was February, and he or she was not used to writing the new year yet. It’s wonderful how much is going on in this scene…the couple kissing under the umbrella; the ladies running to the street car which is already full; the people that were prepared and have their umbrellas, and the poor guys who were caught unprepared, getting soaked, one looking a little zombie-ish, and the other one, bent over staring at the pavement. Is he marveling at the amount of water that is pouring off of him, or just thinking,  “Gawd!”  I like to think a combination of both. Not to forget to mention the kissing couple on the streetcar; the guys watching the ladies running, the one has his hand up, either waving or trying to signal to them, “Hey, the car’s full…it’s not going to work.”

The sender wrote:

“2 – 3 – 1908   Your card received. I am bound for Sonora – I’m in Stockton now – address Sonoma Ave – M.H.C.”  and addressed the postcard to:

“Roy J. Andrus – 1608 – 48 Ave – Ocean Beach, S. F.     Sea Shells”

Sea Shells?…Maybe the addressee was supposed to be saving sea shells for M.H.C. or it’s some kind of running joke, or any number of other possibilities. (I don’t see anything coming up regarding a district or neighborhood under this name.) But the address is clearly a San Franciscan one. This exact street number doesn’t show, but it’s residential, near Lawton Street. 48th runs parallel to the Coast and the addressee would have lived just a short walk from the beach. Lucky guy!…And just think, this was just a little less than three years after the Great San Francisco Earthquake, which was April 18, 1906.

After looking at the census records and city directories, it appears most likely that the addressee is John R. Andrus on the 1910 Federal Census. He is divorced, occupation Cutter at a paper box factory, born in California, about 1882, and living with his parents, John and Gertrude Andrus. The address given is 1612 48th Avenue, so 1608 might have been a designation for a separate entrance or the numbering could have changed or even have been incorrectly written by the sender. By 1911 Roy had changed occupations and was working as a manager for the Golden Gate Butter Co., and by 1912 was listed as a Horse Dealer.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked February 3, 1909 from Stockton, California.

Price:  $12.00

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 39, San Francisco, California; Roll: T624_100; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0241; FHL microfilm: 1374113. (

Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory, 1911, p. 192. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory, 1912, p. 193. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

That Summertime Smile

Smiling Woman With Parasol pc1Smiling Woman With Parasol pc2

Per Playle’s guide for dating stamp boxes on Real Photo Postcards, this NOKO design ranged from about 1907 – 1929; a broad range to be sure! My feeling is it might have been taken in the 1910s or early ’20s. But in any case, it shows a beautiful woman with an absolutely radiant smile (you can enlarge the photo twice for best view.) From afar one might get the impression that she’s in her late 30s or early 40s, but I think this is more of an effect of where the sun highlights her hair, making it appear gray on top, thus aging her appearance a little. With a closer look she appears to be maybe in her 20s. Anyway, our subject sits cross-legged, holding a parasol, and smiling at the person taking the photo. She wears a dress with white sailor collar with dark bow; white cuffs and wide decorative white band near the hemline. The dress material is possibly seersucker; a up-close view shows pale stripes; and pinned to the collar is a round locket or watch. The location, like the woman’s name, is unknown; she sits just inside a length of grass and wildflowers (why call them weeds?) and the photo appears to have been taken in a courtyard of some type. Is that a set of apartments showing in the back with pillars supporting a trellis canopy? Did she live there or work there? We may never know but aren’t we lucky to be graced with such beauty around us, in the past, present and yes, future? To quote Janis Joplin on the subject of time,  “It’s all the same fucking day, man!”  and Mother Teresa on the power of the smile,  “Peace begins with a smile.”

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. NOKO stamp box. Circa 1910s – early 1920s.

Price:  $6.00

Sources:  “Ball & Chain” (W.M. Thornton) Recorded live by the Full Tilt Boogie Band on July 4, 1970 at the Canadian Festival Express in Calgary, Alberta.

Quotes About Smile. Goodreads. Web accessed March 8, 2015. []

Wilmot’s Clothing House Trade Card

Wilmots Clothing Trade Card tc1Wilmots Clothing Trade Crd tc2

Victorian Era trade card, Boston, circa 1885.

Cheap Suits On Newspaper Row

Wilmot’s, at the time this trade card was printed, was located at 259 and 261 Washington Street; this was next door to the location for the newspaper publication the Boston Herald; the Herald’s address being part of Washington Street’s “Newspaper Row.” It looks like this card was saved for the charming image on the front, since it had been, in all likelihood, glued in a scrapbook; it’s removal from which caused the print to be missing in the four corners. This makes the full company name, that would have appeared at the top, hard to figure out, as there are definitely more than a few possible letter combinations. But whoever they were, they had the misfortune to have needed to declare bankruptcy, and Wilmot’s must have bought part or all of their remaining stock. Imagine buying a man’s suit for as low as $2.98 and boy’s suit for as low as 90 cents! (I know, inflation, inflation, but a 90-cent suit is just so funny-sounding.) The Herald’s six-story structure was built in 1877-1878, and their address was 255 Washington Street in Boston. Though the prior location for the Herald had been in close proximity to their new address, it’s more likely that, at the time this card was printed, Wilmot’s was located next door to the Herald’s more recent one at 255 Washington St. The Herald’s address is a great help in dating the card, but we find that we can narrow it down a little further below.

H. B. Wilmot

It turns out that Wilmot’s got it’s name from owner H. B. Wilmot. Below shows the full page ad from an 1872 Cambridge city directory showing the business name as H. B. Wilmot & Co. An earlier 1870 Boston directory shows the same name and address. Other years (1880-1886) show addresses in Salem, Lynn, Lawrence and Taunton. In the 1885 Boston, under Wholesale Clothing, we see the 261 Washington St. address, so this trade card is likely from this year or close to it. Manager names Joseph W. Rice (Lawrence 1881), J. F. Boynton (Salem 1880) and H. C. Reed (Taunton 1881) also show in directories under Wilmot’s, so it looks like there were several locations running at one time. And from at least 1884-1913, H. B. Wilmot had a summer home in Gloucester, with the latter part of those years, showing a regular residence in Somerville, outside of Boston. It seems, from looking at all these city directories, that H. B. Wilmot had a very successful career in the clothing business.

H B Wilmot & Co Ad

On the Front

I suppose this is a lithograph though I am really not sure. But as far as the wonderful artwork we see here: Was the image supposed to be of two ladies, one of whom pushes a baby in a carriage, or is it an image of two little girls, dressed in adult-like fashion, one of whom pushes their dolly in a carriage? From the short hemlines we see here, I would guess that these two are little girls, otherwise it would seem that the hems would have been at, or much closer to, the ground. I love the way we see the profile of the girl on the left (love the parasol) who gazes dreamily off into the distance; contrasting to the girl on the right, contentedly pushing the carriage and concentrating on the path ahead.

Size:  About 4 and 1/2 x 2 and 5/8″

Price:  $20.00

Sources:  The Boston Herald and It’s History by Edwin A. Perry. Published Boston, Mass., 1878. (Google eBooks) U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Gloucester, Massachusetts Directories, 1888-91 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003.

The Lawrence Directory 1881, No. XIV. By Sampson, Davenport & Co., Publishers of the Boston Directory, Boston Almanac and Business Directory, New-England Business Directory, Etc. Office, 155 Franklin Street, Boston. Lawrence:  W. E. Rice, 265 Essex Street. Page 252. (Google eBooks)