Aqsunqur Mosque (Blue Mosque) Cairo, Egypt, Circa 1910s

Old photo, circa 1910s. Cairo, Egypt.

Price:  $30.00             Size:  2 and 1/2 x 3 and 3/8″

A view from Bab al-Wazir street, Cairo

We’re taking a trip to Egypt. Here’s a photo found loose in a box at an antique store in Nevada. (There’s the photographer’s journey and then there’s the photo’s journey.) But, it’s always exciting to happen across the ones from far-off places, in this case to picture the individual traveling by steamer, along with his or her trunks, exploring someplace exotic, soaking in a different culture (though it probably wasn’t viewed in that terminology back then) and then taking a moment to write in a strong hand, “Cairo -“ upon his or her return. (Also, appearing on the reverse are the initials in pencil, “M.S.D.”)

Predominant in the view, the building with the rounded dome, is the Aqsunqur Mosque or Blue Mosque, along with its minaret, and another in the background. The mosque was built in 1347 on the orders of a prince, Shams ad-Din Aqsunqur, during the reign of the Mamluks. It is one of a number of “blue mosques”, so named because of its walls of blue tile, on the interior. The tiles were not added until a period of renovation in 1652 – 1654.

Rather dark in the image (click twice to enlarge) is a man wearing a Fez hat, standing very straight next to an auto with its top down.You can read what we assume to be the license plate. The gentleman appears to be in uniform (note the sleeve cuffs that are slightly short) and the small necktie. We’re picturing him as a cabbie or the driver hired by our traveler. Behind the car, barely visible, two men in white hats. To our right, a small wooden cart with large wheels; this would have been either hooked up to an animal or have been pulled or pushed by a person. (Both instances are seen in photos and postcards found online.) Further right, a small child in long dress and head covering, probably being watched by her mother, whom we can’t see due to the shadows of the building.

Sources:  Aqsunqur Mosque. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqsunqur_Mosque (accessed May 27, 2022).

Jama’a Al-Aqsunqur (Blue Mosque). (World Monuments Fund). https://www.wmf.org/project/jama%E2%80%99-al-aqsunqur-blue-mosque (accessed May 27, 2022).

Smiling Young Man in Shaped Border RPPC

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1920s. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $7.00

A happy guy, great pose for the camera, wearing a large-check patterned suitcoat, pencils in the pocket (maybe he was an accountant, an architect, an artist….), tie, hat pushed back, and glancing up and left. He chose a nice, diamond-shaped border to frame the image, it might remind you of a Native American (i.e. design on a Navajo blanket). See our category “Shaped Borders” from the Home page for more.

Two Swedish Women

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard, circa 1907 – 1910. Photographer:  Fred A. Grinolds. CYKO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

“These two girls came 3 miles last Sunday to have me take their picture they are both Swedes and are engaged to be married soon they cant talk very good English yet write me if you are coming to Cal”

I think these ladies may be sisters, there seems to be a definite resemblance. Don’t you love the hats? In particular, I love the long cloak of the woman on our left, with that double row of decorative buttons. Too bad the photographer didn’t include their names in the above note. But still, we appreciate the fact that he did write a description, and we appreciate the sense of occasion  it would have been for the women, Swedish immigrants, both engaged to be married.

As for the photographer, he was Fred Albert Grinolds, born in Oil City, Pennsylvania, March 2, 1879, mother’s maiden name Swartz. Fred must not have been in the photography business for very long:  November 15, 1911, he married Elba Vera Lovelass in Marshfield, Coos County, Oregon, his occupation given as “ratchet setter” (at a sawmill). By the 1918 WWI Draft Registration, he was working as a millwright at the Old Dominion Company (a copper mining operation) in Globe, Arizona. Nothing was found for him online under the photographer heading, but it sounds like this would have been in California, before he got married. He and Edna had two daughters, Edna and Bertha. Below is Fred’s obit found in The Modesto Bee, August 22, 1960:

Sources:  “California Death Index, 1940-1997,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPWR-WK9 : 26 November 2014), Fred A Grinolds, 21 Aug 1960; Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Newport, Coos, Oregon; Roll: T624_1280; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0052; FHL microfilm: 1375293.

Registration State: Arizona; Registration County: Gila County. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

“Fred A. Grinolds.” The Modesto Bee, August 22, 1960. Monday, p. 10. (Newspapers.com).

Lucille Wickson, Berkeley, California

Old photo, circa 1906 – 1916.

Price:  $12.00         Size:  3 and 1/8 x 2 and 1/16″

Availability status:  ORIGINAL IS SOLD. Digital copies only are available.

We have a last name this time:  Wickson. And I thought at first that Berkeley was the surname or it was a marriage situation, Wickson marrying Berkeley, but no such records appear online. However, we do find Lucille M. Wickson, student in 1909, boarding at 2662 College Ave., Berkeley, California (and the palm tree in the background fits). Other records show Mildred Lucille Wickson was born November 17, 1890, daughter of George Guest Wickson, II and Mary Ellen Winter. She married Walter Reeve Woolpert, July 27, 1916.

I’m estimating that Lucille was at least age 16 when this photo was taken. A fashion expert would no doubt be able to narrow down the time frame. Note that she wears both a large hair bow and a hat. But, easy to miss – she’s holding some daisies in her left hand. (It’s the little things that really bring the moment to life!)

Below, the announcement of Lucille’s upcoming nuptials from The San Francisco Examiner, July 22, 1916:

Sources:  Husted’s Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda Directory, 1909. p. 1214. (Ancestry.com).

“East Bay Society Notes.” The San Francisco Examiner, July 22, 1916. Saturday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com).

Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997.

The Miser

Divided Back, unused postcard. Copyright S. S. Porter, 1907. Publisher:  The Western News Company, Chicago, Illinois.

Price:  $4.00

This postcard was titled, “The Miser,” at the bottom of the card. You can see it if you enlarge the image. For me, it doesn’t really fit the artwork, as I imagine the little boy would be dropping some crumbs for the bunnies (not that they should eat them) and the birdie. But it’s an adorable card, not in the best shape, as you can see, but still.

Addressed to:   “Master Ralph Enloe, Pinole, Contra Costa Co, Cal.”

Ralph Enloe would have been about six years old when this postcard was written. He was born November 2, 1901 in Pinole, California. Son of Anna May Morgan and Joseph Volley Enloe.

Source:  Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/47303740/ralph-thomas-enloe : accessed 23 April 2022), memorial page for Ralph Thomas Enloe (2 Nov 1901–10 Mar 1979), Find a Grave Memorial ID 47303740, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by rhale1100 (contributor 47198156) .

Masons and Tamales in San Jose, California

Old photo, circa 1907. San Jose, California

Price:  $12.00           Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/4″

Striding purposefully, two gentlemen, Freemasons by their attire, maybe on the way to a meeting. That particular headgear was sometimes called a “fore-and-aft” hat, and these in the photo would have been adorned with ostrich or possibly egret feathers. The Masonic Hall address was 262-272 S. First St., San Jose, about a half mile away from the restaurant in the background, the Salinas Tamale Parlor, address 203 Post St., northwest corner of Market St., in San Jose.

So, there was a Salinas Tamale Parlor in the city of Salinas in 1926, but the locale and age of the photo doesn’t fit. Click on the History San José site, to see what appears to be the same steeple (on the right) as the one in our photo. The church was the Swedish Lutheran Emmanuel Church, located at the northwest corner of Market and Auzerais, in San Jose.

The advertisement below appeared in the San Jose city directory for 1907. The printer apparently got the name wrong. “Gabilan Angle” should have been Angel Gabilan. There were four other tamale parlors in San Jose in 1907, however Salinas Tamale was the only one to have run an ad, at least in that directory.

Voter registrations and city directories have the misspelled “Angle”, as well as Angel and Angelo and sometimes given with a middle name, spelled Teneselo or Tanislado. Angel Gabilan relocated to San Francisco at least by 1913, according to the city directory under “Angle T. Gablian” occupation restaurant owner, address 1615 1/2 O’Farrell St.

We found no indication of there being anyone else by the same name in San Jose and later San Francisco, so it would seem that the Angel Gabilan (born 1845 in either California or Mexico) that is connected with this photo, is likely the son of Pablo Gabilan (native of Chile) and Clara Montoya. The obituary for Angel’s father, from the San Jose Evening News, January 1902, is of historical interest, and tells how the Gabilan Mountain Range got its name:

Sources:  “fore-and-aft.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fore-and-aft.

“Looking South on Market Street from City Hall, 1890.” https://historysanjose.pastperfectonline.com/photo/F753869E-035D-4D83-AC1C-204509509941 (accessed February 23, 2022).

California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4-2A; CSL Roll Number: 126; FHL Roll Number: 977290. (Ancestry.com).

Polk-Husted Directory Companies, 1907-8, San Jose City and Santa Clara County, California, pp. 595 and 809. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1913. p. 718. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Register of Voters, 1900-1968. (Ancestry.com).

Find a Grave. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/132883494/angelo-t-gabilan.

“Aged Pioneer Buried.” San Jose Evening News. Tuesday, January 21, 1902. (Genealogybank.com).

Three Gents

Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1908 – 1918. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $5.00

I believe these guys, or at least the two on our left, may be brothers, due to their resemblance to each other, though admittedly, there is a tendency to see family links where there may be none. Human nature, I think. Or, you might just imagine them as buddies or business partners. We wonder where the photo was taken. That looks like an American flag flying from that second story window on the left, crossed with another flag, which we can’t make out. Those could be decorations for some type of celebration draped over the iron balcony, like trimmings in support of an upcoming or just past Independence Day parade. The only wording that’s easily readable on the buildings behind the gents is “Free Reading Room.” Though, some historian might be able to recognize the design on the window to the left of the door to the reading room, which would be a possible clue for location. Oh, then there is some other wording showing – that last line looks like a name that starts with “McShe…” something Irish or Scottish. Easy to miss, but it’s on the building showing between the two guys on our left.

Last but not least, the stories from the background….a guy walking, and two older guys seated, passing the time of day, inside a business probably, some place that needed a large doorway, maybe for deliveries.

Having Fun Yet?

Old photo, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $8.00          Size:  About 4 and 1/4″ x 2 and 1/4″

Continuing on with a mini-theme of families or groups of people. This one is a stumper. Where were they? The major clue, if we can call it that, appears on our left….something Ranch. Had the camera been pointing slightly more in that direction (or the photographer further back), we probably could have figured it out. Maybe “something-or-other Ranch” was a restaurant. Do we imagine we see a small outdoor dining table there covered in white cloth? The other clue (for some ingenious person) is the out-of-place looking geometric metal? phone booth-ish (space ship, time portal, 😉 ) thing at the far right, that we only see a portion of. What the heck was it? Then the people depicted here….Looking like, I hesitate to say it, a family of con-artists. Maybe it’s the younger girl – the stony-faced look and the cool octagonal sunglasses, note her grip on her grandma’s arm (yes, we remember that smiling into the camera was not mandatory, like it pretty much is today – refreshing, really – scowl if you want to) and her sister – with that trick of the eye – one eye closed, the other squinting slightly, not a wink though, but different….how did the camera catch that? Now, the dark-skinned gentleman on our right, is he the dad of the girls and the (nice-looking) older brother? Dad sun-bronzed from years of outside work…..or are they a wealthy bunch and this man is their driver (but part of the family) and native to (imagining) Central America. Well, idiotic questions like these are in abundance. Notice, too, how the whole gang is dressed in white except for the matron of the bunch. Makes you think this snapshot was taken in one of the southern states, Florida or southern Calfiornia, perhaps? Anyway, every picture tells a story, as they say, and what this one tells is……open to impression….flashes of insight appearing and disappearing…..in the end, I’d say they’re a nice, very stylish family with a million stories to tell. Oh, and this photo had been in the family album for some time, as evidenced by some of the black paper still stuck to the back.

Paul Jones Harrison And Friends

Old photo, circa mid-1890s.

Price:  $15.00          Size:  About 4 x 4″

A fun time with friends and siblings…..guessing this photo may have been taken around the mid-1890s due to the large puffed sleeves for some of the women, and from the following research, possibly taken near Socorro, New Mexico:

Just as I was about to call it a day search-wise, the Harrisons were found in records. (Funny how it can take you awhile to find the answer, and if it had been a different day, you’d find it right off the bat. A difference in mindset maybe. Interesting, though.)

Madge Harrison is Esther Matilda Harrison, born April 14, 1875 in Missouri. She marries Samuel C. Edwards. Her brother, A. Houston Harrison, was born about 1877, also in Missouri and their brother, Paul Jones Harrison, was born about 1883 in New Mexico. Their parents are Andrew T. and Julia Harrison. The family is on the 1880 Federal Census living in Trinidad, Las Animas County, Colorado and on the 1885 New Mexico Territorial Census in Socorro.

From the same 1885 census for Socorro, name spelled Wickam:  Anna Wickham was born about 1874 in Pennsylvania, and brother Andy, also a PA native, was born about 1876. Their parents are Joseph and Mary Wickham.

The Tingleys would be brothers, Albert Tinguely, born about 1864 in Nebraska and Samuel Tinguely, born about 1871 in Colorado. Parents Charles and Anna, were born in Switzerland. The 1885 NM Territorial Census has them in Polvadera, Socorro County.

Jennie Cook is possibly the Jennie Griffith that married George E. Cook. George later served as mayor of Socorro, 1924 – 1928. The names on the back of the photo may have been written later, since Jennie and George were married in November 1900. That is possibly Jennie on our right, just above left of the man who is clowning around in one of the girls’ bonnets (maybe he and Jennie exchanged hats). And could this person be George Cook?

Names on the back of the photo:

Paul Jones Harrison; Madge Harrison (Edwards); Jennie Cook; Price (surname or possible given name); Andy Wickham; Anna Wickham; A. Houston Harrison; and surname Tingley.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 92; Page: 54B; Enumeration District: 066. (Ancestry.com).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Schedules of the New Mexico Territory Census of 1885; Series: M846; Roll: 5. (Ancestry.com).

Indiana, Marriages. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Socorro, Socorro, New Mexico; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0135; FHL microfilm: 1241003. (Ancestry.com).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Schedules of the New Mexico Territory Census of 1885; Series: M846; Roll: 5

“The Cook –Griffith Wedding In Socorro, N.M., A Swell Society Event Attended By 200 Guest.” Richwood Gazette (Richwood, OH). November 29, 1900. Thursday, p. 4. (Newspaper.com).

Mayors of Socorro. https://www.socorronm.org/notable-local/mayors-socorro/ (accessed June 6, 2021).

Heart Unruly

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Circa 1920s. Series or number 245. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $10.00

“Tell me dear

And tell me truly

Will you accept

This heart unruly

And be my valentine”

The leaves on the trees are all hearts!

This card is rather a beauty. The insert on the insert, so-to-speak, is really gorgeous, the colors, the woman’s sweet expression, her soft scarf in folds up to her chin, the lovely hat, fashionable curls….Whoever the artist was, we appreciate them! Also, it has a winter-y look and that always goes well with the spring view behind it. I think this was a not uncommon theme, true, maybe inadvertently in this one, but displaying that feeling that we’re still in winter but spring is just ahead.

Addressed to:   “Miss Edith Welsh, Port Vue, Pa.”

Signed:   “from Lillie Hoak.”

Lillie and Edith were neighbors, from the 1920 Federal Census for Port Vue, Allegheny County. Edith is Edith R. Welsh, born in PA about 1888, daughter of the widowed Genevra B. Welsh, and with younger siblings Nellie B. and George F. Welsh. House address 1700 Liberty Way.

Lillie is Lillie M. Hoak, born about 1905, also in PA, daughter of Leonard E. and Nancy Hoak, with older siblings Raymond H. and Clifford V. and younger sibling, Ella B. Hoak. House address 606 Liberty Way.

As for the publisher, I’m not finding them yet, the logo shows a capital B within a diamond shape, just very simple. Both the publisher mark and the distinctive “Post Card” design on the reverse were searched in Walter E. Corson’s Publishers’ Trademarks Identified, but a match was not found.

Source:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Port Vue, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1516; Pages: 19B and 20B; Enumeration District: 763. (Ancestry.com).