An Easter Of Sunshine

Divided back, lightly embossed, unused postcard. Made in the U.S.A. Series or number 556. Circa 1919 – 1920.

Price:  $8.00

From a bygone (but not forgotten) era……a young couple all decked out in their Easter Sunday finery stroll along a bright cobblestone path. In the distance is perhaps a church. Note how the buildings are elongated. We’ve seen this style before in May Your Christmas Be Merry, but the artist or artists are unknown. The stamp box for this postcard is printed as “Postage NOW one cent” and is the key to the card’s approximate date. The price for mailing a postcard in the U.S. went from 2¢ back to 1¢ as of July 1, 1919. It was changed to 2¢ again in 1925 and returned to 1¢ in 1928, so there is the possibility that this card could be from 1928 but we’re guessing the earlier change date applies. For the USPS list of changes for postcard stamp rates see Rates for Stamped Cards and Postcards. 

But, in any case…..

A Glad Easter To You

“An Easter of sunshine

Of skies that are blue

And and Easter of Gladness

I’m wishing for you.”

Mrs. Alvidsen At 11,660 Feet

Real Photo Postcard, circa 1900 – 1910

Price:  $15.00         Size:  3 and 3/16 x 5 and 3/8″

Somewhere on the planet, at 11,660 feet…..

The location for this one is a mystery. The writing on the back is  “Mrs. Avildsen at [?] 11660 feet El.”  Looks to me like that word there starts with a “C.” After some research, the best possibility found is that of Monte Cervino, aka the Matterhorn, so maybe from the Italian side of the mountain at 11,600 feet which is about 3,535 meters. That’s an ice field behind our smiling subject. Is she holding flowers?

Postcard publisher unknown, so far

The postcard publisher or printer is another mystery. I’m not seeing this particular style of Real Photo Postcard back on any other site or in Walter Corson’s Publisher’s Trademarks Identified. Also, the size is a little smaller that the average RPPC (and the bottom doesn’t seem to have been cropped). If the card was produced in the U.S. the postal regulations didn’t allow for the divided back until December 1907, though it could still be earlier if printed from another country.

Climbing the Alps in the Victorian Era

Eleven hundred plus feet is quite high, higher than the highest city in the U.S., which is that of Leadville, Colorado (elevation 10,152 feet or 3,094 meters, nicknames The Two-Mile-High City and Cloud City). And, if this was Mount Cervino, there would not have been an inn at that elevation. So, it’s not as if our lady mountaineer walked out of her hotel and up a slope and posed for the picture. Newspaper articles are numerous on early climbing, and mention employing guides and going part way by pack-mules or horses. In searching Newspapers.com for Mount Cervino, and getting a little side-tracked from women climbers, I came across a wonderful article about a guy, in need of guide, as on that particular day there was a shortage, and so the man hired someone who turned out to be a smuggler. (Imagine the endless possibilities of caching goods in the mountains). Here are four excerpts from “A Strange Guide,” clipped from The Ogden Standard (Ogden, UT) and translated from Italian.  (Not sure where Fiery was but here’s a link for Valtournenche, Italy.)

The smuggler/guide was saying he can’t afford to lose time. He asks the “guide-ee” for help searching for the missing relative, and it’s gladly given. I’m sorry to say that the story does not have a happy ending. The missing relative had stopped to rest in the heavy fog and “fallen asleep” in the cold never to awaken. The two searchers discovered that the man’s body had just been brought in that evening when they got back to the inn at Fiery. And we don’t usually put up the sad stuff here on LCG, but the article was touching – the way that the “guide-ee” changes his first negative impression of the guide, becoming, one would think, forever bonded with him through the shared experience of searching for that lost loved one.

Below, from another beautifully written account, this one from 1880, three excerpts clipped from The Standard (London, England) entitled, “Gossip From The Alps (From A Climbing Correspondent.)”  By coincidence, both articles are from newspapers called the Standard, one in Utah and the other London, UK. And, it always floors me, hitting upon a hitherto unknown subject, like for me the history of mountaineering, that very first glimpse into what would be an enormous vista of knowledge, that others have already been “living in”, so to speak, like in a living landscape of knowledge…..feels like coming to a party way late and getting a smidgen of a glimpse of everything you’ve been missing.

Gossip from the Alps, September 1880

And on the subject of women climbers!

Well, that’s enough historical articles for now, as this post has really gotten long, though of course, the Alvidsen name was searched for but nothing came up in newspapers, so we’ll just include links to a couple of excellent web articles on the history of women in mountaineering, for some great photos and insight. Just imagine climbing in a long skirt like the one Mrs. Alvildsen is wearing, and then that hat, at eleven and a half thousand feet, seemingly so incongruous from our 2019 vantage point. (Though a hat with a wide brim would have been a very good thing in the high altitude sun.) And how about the rest of what the early women climbers were up against, not just the clothing challenge, but in general, going against (or around) society’s code, to pursue their passion…..I especially love the part about Lucy Walker ditching her petticoat and stashing it behind a rock!

One of the First Female Alpinists Was A Victorian Lady

For the Lady Mountaineer

Sources:  Leadville, Colorado. n.d. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadville,_Colorado (accessed April 7, 2019).

Valtournenche. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valtournenche (accessed April 7, 2019).

“A Strange Guide.”  The Ogden Standard (Ogden, UT). April 2, 1892. Saturday, p. 3. Translated by Antonio Meli from the Italian by G. Giacosa for Boston Transcript. (Newspapers.com).

“Gossip From The Alps (From A Climbing Correspondent.)” The Standard (London, England). September 24, 1880. Friday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

Siber, Kate. “One of the First Female Alpinists Was A Victorian Lady.” outsideonline.com. July 31, 2018. (accessed April 7, 2019).

“For the Lady Mountaineer.” americanalpineclub.org. March 1, 2018. (accessed April 7, 2019).

Feat Of The 20th Century

Divided back, used Real Photo Postcard. Velox stamp box. 1909.

Price:  $12.00

A young gentleman in a suit jacket, button down sweater and derby hat displays his sense of humor. The letters “L” and “S” on the soles of his shoes are maybe his initials, and the 09 is likely for the year 1909. And it’s the way the shot was taken that makes his shoes appear so large. This would be a great card to include in a book on humor in postcards or something similar, especially because it was “homemade” so to speak. That is, an original idea, produced with instructions for the printing company. The blacked-out part was probably to cover the rest of the photo, which whatever it showed, must have detracted from the overall effect; if you click to enlarge you can see a little bit of the brown background at the bottom of the heavy black stripe in a couple of places.

U. S. Army Man, WWII

Photo, white border, WWII.

Price:  $5.00           Size:  About 5 x 3 and 1/4″

No i.d. on the back for this U. S. army man during WWII, who was enjoying a bottle of soda pop when he posed for the picture. The snapshot was found loose in a bin full of others, at an antique mall. And we’re assuming he was army due to the stamp on the back of the photo which shows:   “Passed for publication, U. S. Army press censor 62801, U. S. E. C.”  Maybe one of our readers can give us more information. Do the initials U. S. E. C. stand for United States East Coast and is the number 62801 the censor’s i.d. number?

Source:  “What does USEC stand for?” https://www.acronymfinder.com/United-States-East-Coast-(USEC).html. (accessed November 12, 2018).

U. S. Navy Man And Bride

Photo, white border. Circa 1940s – 1950s.

Price:  $3.00        Size:  2 and 13/16 x 1 and 15/16″

A beautiful couple, no i.d. on the back, posing on their wedding day in front of an automobile, which we can’t see too much of. The era is WWII or possibly the 1950s.

Couple During WWI

Photo, white border. Circa 1914 – 1918.

Price:  $2.00          Size:  3 and 3/16 x 4 and 4/16″

For Veteran’s Day…..though a day late

Even though this snapshot is very blurry, I still like it. There’s no identifying info on the back for this handsome couple. (Love the woman’s skirt – row upon row of  ruffles). But what comes to mind? The word precarious, for love during wartime. In this case the era was The Great War, as it was then called. But, in contradiction to that first thought, the word enduring. Love is forever.

The Romantic Road By Guy Rawlence

Divided back, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked August 8, 1910, England. Artist:  Wilmot Lunt. City of postmark unknown.

Price:  $30.00

The postcard artist

The beautiful artwork for this postcard is that of the frontispiece (the page adjacent to the title page of a book) and is signed Wilmot Lunt. He was Samuel Wilmot Lunt (1856 – 1939) painter and cartoonist, and was also the illustrator for R. D. Blackmore’s Lorna Doone. For more on Lunt see James Malone Farrell’s article,  “Keeping the Home Folks Laughing”  published in Cartoons Magazine, July 1918.

The reverse of the card shows:

“This book is by a cousin of mine and it would be so kind if you would ask for it in your Library. It is really quite readable and he is anxious[?] to [?] know[?] as it is his first book. Love, D. D.”

Addressed to:   “W.[?] Arthur Dolphin[?]  The College, Durham”

A great find

This postcard turns out to have been a pretty neat find:  It’s not in the best of shape but is seemingly rare, the only one found so far, plus the note to the addressee contains a little insight regarding the author’s feelings, according to his cousin, about the release of his first book. Some of the sender’s handwriting is difficult to read, but I think the word there is “anxious” rather than “curious” and who would not be anxious regarding the reception of their first major work?

Armchair research

It’s a little surprising (same for the postcard artist) that there is no Wikipedia or similar type entry yet on the author; we found mention of over twenty titles to his credit. Our web post here will not be in-depth, as that would require much more research, so we’ll just offer instead bits and pieces gleaned from the usual sources, including an article we found in which the author is quoted. But it’s fascinating how a little fact-finding can get the imagination going….while pulling up bits of information one pictures pieces of a puzzle starting to take shape. For instance, for me, I’m surmising Guy Lawrence liked dogs (therefor I like him) as he did at least four books about dogs, Doings In Dogland (1905), Biffin & Buffin (1934), Tob and His Dog (1938) and Bob et Bobby (1963) the latter being in french, and written with Julianna Ewing. But then after coming across an ad for sheepdog-training that stressed the necessity of correct instruction (the working dog would be vital to the livestock holder) next to a mention of James Rawlence, Esq., Guy’s grandfather, agriculturist and livestock breeder, it hit me that Guy probably grew up around dogs. Not that this is any great revelation, or not that one wouldn’t have assumed this anyway, but at this point this “dog” puzzle piece became something specific to the whole picture; it shimmered into view, and that seemed charming. But, I guess the bottom line is that our imagination about someone else’s life tells us, for sure, something about ourselves, and possibly, if we’ve intuited correctly, something about the person in question.

Guy Rawlence (1888 – 1971)

Edward Guy Rawlence was born March 10, 1888, baptized May 10, 1888 in Wilton, Wiltshire County, England, son of James Edward Rawlence, whose occupation at the time was given as auctioneer, and Constance (maiden name Vivian) Rawlence. That’s livestock auctioneer for J. E. Rawlence, as J. E.’s father (Guy’s grandfather) was James Rawlence, a very prominent land agent, agriculturist and livestock breeder in the area. Judging from a number of newspaper articles, Guy Rawlence’s stories received mostly positive reviews. The Romantic Road, published in 1910, was found mentioned in the following “snippet” view in the publication, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Vol. 34, and informs us that this book about a “girl highwayman” was well-reviewed and the story setting was largely in the author’s backyard. Rawlence would have been about twenty-two when it was published.

Prior to 1910, we found mention of a short story, The White Cavalier, circa 1905, and as previously stated, the children’s book Doings in Dogland (1905). The Highwayman, published in 1911, may have been, judging by the date, Rawlence’s second novel. Click the link to see the eBook.

Below, we were happy to come across this article, in which the author is quoted, from The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, IL) July 1, 1927.

Gushing reviews for Three Score & Ten, appeared in London’s The Observer, October 16, 1924.

Another book we’d like to read, in addition to the above, per the review that appeared in The Observer, November 17, 1935.

Sources:  Lunt, Wilmot 1856 – 1939. https://www.artbiogs.co.uk/1/artists/lunt-wilmot (accessed November 5, 2018).

Farrell, James Malone. “Keeping the Home Folks Laughing.”  Cartoons Magazine, Vol. 14. July 1918.

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre; Chippenham, Wiltshire, England; Reference Number: 1873/1. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007.

“Rawlence, Guy 1888 – ” http://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n50-54036/ (accessed November 5, 2018).

James Rawlence obituary. Goddard, Edward. H. (ed.) The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Vol. 27. June 1894. p. 70.

“The Romantic Road.” The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, 1910, Vol. 34. p. 641. Snippet view, Google.com.

Rawlence, Guy. “The White Cavalier.”  The Idler:  An Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol. 28. October 1905 – March 1906. (Google ebook.)

Rawlence, Guy. The Highwayman. New York:  W. J. Watt & Co., 1911. (Google ebook.)

“Guy Rawlence.” The Decatur Daily Review (Decatur, IL) July 1, 1927. Friday, p. 16. (Newspapers.com).

“Three Score & Ten.” The Observer (London, England). October 16, 1924. Thursday, p. 4. (Newspapers.com).

“Mother Christmas.” The Observer (London, England). November 17, 1935. Sunday, p. 9. (Newspapers.com).

Grandpa By The Fence

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1918.

Price:  $4.00

Well, somebody’s Grandpa most likely. No identifying information for this gentleman. I think of him of having German ancestry, but maybe that’s because I’ve been looking at breweriana items just now….But these old fences to me are beautiful, each plank and post is unique. No mass production here. (Not to mention the house with attachment.) Notice the paper bag at the man’s feet, with writing, no less. If only we could zoom in to read the print! This vein brought up the question:  When was the paper bag invented? Per Wikipedia it was 1852. Surprising. And remember when people used to call them paper sacks? (Maybe some still do.)

Source:  Paper bag. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_bag (accessed September 23, 2018).

Country Meets City

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked March 26, 1908 from Chesaning, Michigan. Publisher:  E. B. & E. Co.

Price:  $7.00

A slightly comical card of an illustrated older couple, maybe they live in the country or city outskirts, and have come to downtown Detroit. Within their outline is a photo (slightly distorted probably to fit in the frame, in a fun-house type of way 😉 check out the tower) of the old Federal Building and Post Office at the Northwestern corner of Shelby and W. Fort streets.

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Floyd Walworth, Fergus, Michigan”

Where is Fergus?

Fergus, Michigan is a “locale” located north of Chesaning, in St. Charles Township, Saginaw County, in the vicinity of Fergus and McKeighan roads (purple marker on map below). It was a station on the Michigan Central Railroad and had a post office that closed in 1933.

The sender writes:   “Josiah and Samantha are both recovering from their colds. Hope to be able to go sight seeing soon. This is not very warm weather but expect better some time. Are you well? Lovingly Aunt Minnie.”

Floyd and Myrtle

Without a doubt (we got thrown off track at first by another possibility) the recipient of this postcard was Myrtle G. Spencer, daughter of G. H. Spencer and Emma Burrows, who had married Floyd E. Walworth on August 1, 1907 in Corunna, Saginaw County, MI. Myrtle was about age 22 when she married Floyd, but was first married to John R. Wegert (June 18, 1902 in St. Charles, MI). Floyd was about age 29 at the time of marriage and both he and his bride were residents of Fergus, MI and native Michiganders. His parents were Matthew Walworth and Lucy Merrill. Floyd’s occupation was live stock shipper and Myrtle’s was music teacher.

Aunt Minnie, a mystery

The sender of this card, Aunt Minnie, was not yet found in records. She mentions family members Josiah and Samantha, names which we expected would jump out at us from old records, but no; a more time-consuming search would be needed as far as who’s who for Myrtle or Floyd’s possible aunts.

Publisher i.d.

Last but not least, according to Publishers’ Trademarks Identified by Walter E. Corson, the postcard publisher E. B. & E. Company was Ely, Boynton & Ely of Detroit.

Sources:  Austin, Dan. “Federal Building.” historicdetroit.org. (accessed September 15, 2018).

St. Charles Township, Michigan. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Charles_Township,_Michigan (accessed September 9, 2018).

Chesaning. Google Maps. google.com (accessed September 9, 2018).

“Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NQQ4-2ZB : 9 July 2018), John R. Wegert and Myrtle G. Spencer, 1902.

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 93; Film Description: 1907 Montcalm – 1907 Wayne.

Corson, Walter E. Publishers’ Trademarks Identified. Ed. James Lewis Lowe. Norwood, PA:  1993. (print).

George A. Drew’s Jewelry Store Trade Card

Trade card, 1882 – 1883, Lewiston, Maine.

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

I was picturing someone searching the web for a photo or illustration of this jeweler’s store, thinking they’d found it, all excited, only to find this trade card (beautiful though it is and a wonderful find.) Hence, the long post title (which made me think of Bob Dylan’s lyric, “It’s your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat.” Goofy sometimes, the associations we come up with 🙂 ).

The front of the card shows an illustration of a young woman in bathing attire with hand shading brow and looking off into the distance, alongside the title of “Old Reliable.”  I’m thinking it must have been second nature to the artists that designed trade cards, but note the nice 3-D effect on this one with the insert of the girl, and overlapping that, the insert for the jeweler (associating himself with the term “Old Reliable”) and then the artistically arranged cutting of some type of flower draped over both (with shadows drawn in). The store’s address is given as  “No. 93 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, Me.”

Find the typo

The back advertises:  “George A. Drew, dealer in Watches, Diamons, Jewelry, Silver & Plated Ware, Spectacles & Eye-glasses. Sole Agent for Hand Engraved and Silver Plated ware, something new and beautiful, also Agent for Rock Crystal Spectacles, the best in the world. Fine Watch work a specialty, Watches Cleaned and Warranted for $1.00. 93 Lisbon St., Lewiston, ME.”

Reliable and reliably on Lisbon

George A. Drew was born in Maine, about 1836. On the 1870 Federal Census for Lewiston, he appears with his wife Alice and their children, Nellie and Fred. City directories for a twenty-year span, show five different addresses on Lisbon. Note the 1893 address below doesn’t match the one on the card.

1874 to 1880 at 83 Lisbon

1883 at 131 Lisbon

1885 to 1889 at 93 Lisbon

1891 at 75 Lisbon

1893-4 at 71 Lisbon

Sources:  Year: 1870; Census Place: Lewiston, Androscoggin, Maine; Roll: M593_536; Page: 182B; Family History Library Film: 552035. (Ancestry.com).

Greenough Jones & Co.’s Directory for Lewiston and Auburn, 1874-5, p. 170; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory for 1883, p. 226; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1885, p. 215; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1889, p. 269; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1891, p. 286; W. A. Greenough & Co.’s Lewiston and Auburn Directory, 1893-4, p. 301. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.)