Railbirds, Kent, 1925

Old photo, Kent, 1925.

Price:  $2.00               Size:  4 and 3/8 x 2 and 3/4″

I thought railbirds would be railroad workers, but no. The definition of railbird from Dictionary.com is:

Noun, informal

  1.  a horse-racing fan who watches racing or workouts from the railing or along the track.
  2. any kibitzer or self-stylized critic or expert

Origin:  1890-95, Americanism; rail + bird in sense of “frequenter,” as in jailbird, yardbird.

The term is also used today for billiards and poker spectators. But the estimated time frame for the word origin, 1890 – 1895, seems accurate at least as far as old newspaper mentions go. Prior to 1890 – ’91 one can find many articles and clips on an actual bird called a railbird (rail-bird, rail bird). From the Reading Times, 1869:

“Railbirds have been less numerous this season on the Delaware marshes….”

And from the Ashtabula Weekly Telegraph, 1879, a good description of the feathered ones:

Which Kent?

Back to the photo….Kent, 1925, but which Kent? Ohio….England….or other? And it could have been taken at a horse racing event, either that or it was just a clever caption, because the guys (all but one) are perched (back to the bird theme, no pun intended) on an outdoor railing. We can read wording behind them that says “Billiards.” And there’s some lettering on the awning, but not enough to figure out a business name. But the guys’ boots…almost all the same, that makes it seem like they were workers of some type.

Sources:  railbird. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/railbird. (accessed September 19, 2017).

Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania) October 13, 1869. Wednesday, p. 2 (Newspapers.com)

“English Rail-Birds in Monroe County.” Ashtabula Weekly Telegraph (Ashtabula, Ohio) December 5, 1879. Friday, p. 4.

Delivery Men, Circa 1937

Old photo, white border. Circa 1937.

Price:  $2.00      Size:  5 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

This photo was found in Michigan but where it was taken is unknown. The license plates don’t appear to be Michigan plates, and we’re looking around the year 1937, as the two cars in the middle should be 1937 Ford Sedan Delivery models. Here’s some examples below from a Google image search. You can see the distinctive grill and side vents, and the teardrop-shaped headlights. The car on the far left in our photo may be something different, and we didn’t research the one on the right. But the four guys (nice smiles!) clearly work for the same outfit, wearing their uniforms and company hats. And we can almost make out the sign on the building behind them. That second word is Storage, so the building must have housed some type of storage company, or showed an ad for one. (This was just to see if we could find any clues for the location of the photo, and it would be one, a good clue that is, if we could just figure out that first word, arrrgg! 😉 It looks like it starts off H-o-t-k-k? ) But don’t the two guys on our right look like they might be brothers?

Source:  “Ford Sedan 1937 Delivery.” Google.com image search. Accessed July 16, 2017.

Andy, Mikey and Johnny Gogola, Circa 1930

Old photo, white border. Circa 1930.

Price:  $10.00           Size:  2 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

“Andy, Mikey, Johnny Gogola. all farmers.”

From left to right:  Johnny, Andy and Mikey Gogola:

A Gogola family of three brothers (and siblings) shows up on the Menallen, Fayette County, Pennsylvania 1930 Federal Census. If this is correct, the trio are the sons of Polish immigrants Clement and Eva Gogola. From older brothers’ marriage records (Wyandotte, MI) Eva’s maiden name is recorded as Mijol and Nijol.

Andy and older brothers, Stanley and Frank, all make their way to the Detroit, Michigan area. This photo was found in the Dearborn antique shop that I recently visited (and will be back to next year). No other possibilities of a different Gogola family were found.

My Forrer Street connection

Wow! What a surprise for me, finding Andy Gogola’s WWII vet record listing he and his wife and two kids living on Forrer St., Detroit. I rented an upper flat some decades later on Forrer, just a block away.

Sources:  Year: 1930; Census Place: Menallen, Fayette, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2040; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 0056; Image: 298.0; FHL microfilm: 2341774. (Ancestry.com)

Marriage record for Frances Gogola; marriage record for Stanley Gogola. Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867–1952. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics. (Ancestry.com)

Andrew L. Gogola. Pennsylvania (State). World War II Veterans Compensation Applications, circa 1950s. Records of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Record Group 19, Series 19.92 (877 cartons). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Ancestry.com)

French Waterman, Goulais Lake, Algoma Co., Ontario

Vintage photos, circa 1940s – 1952, deckled edge border.

Price for the set of two:  $15.00

“French and guide at launch place”  or possibly “at lunch place.” That is probably French Waterman on our left and either his unidentified fishing guide, center (or, if some humor was employed in the description, French’s dad, Warren…just a possibility, no assumptions.) On the canoe bow, we see what may be the manufacturer logo of a circle and one wing. Maybe someone familiar with vintage canoes will recognize it. (Click on the image to enlarge.)

 

French is John French Waterman, born about 1904 in Tennessee, younger son of Warren Gookin Waterman, Sr., born in Southport, Connecticut 1872 and died in Frankfort, Michigan 1952 and Anna (Hannah Meuller) Waterman. Warren, Sr. may have taken the shots (we hope, or was in the top one, even better, but either way, these photos seem to be a remembrance from a nice father-son trip!) and written on the back, along with stamping his address at that time:

“W. G. Waterman, Riverbend Farm, Frankfort, Michigan”

French Waterman at Goulais Lake Camps, Algoma County, Ontario. There’s French, we believe, on our far right, blending in a little with the background. In the center, nestled in the pines, one of the sixteen guest cabins. Here is Goulais Lake from a Google map search.

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Evanston Ward 7, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_358; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 87; Image: 533. (Ancestry.com)

Original data: Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867–1952. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1940; Census Place: Crystal Lake, Benzie, Michigan; Roll: T627_1730; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 10-9. (Ancestry.com)

Goulais Lake, Algoma, Unorganized, North Part, ON, Canada. Google.com map search. Accessed July 2, 2017.

Find A Grave memorial# 36874914. Findagrave.com. Accessed July 2, 2017.

Young Man’s Dream, Circa 1910

Two pals in Newsboy caps, skinny tie, bow tie and sweaters

Our guy from the top left, looking distinguished and contemplative, with pipe

Divided back, Real Photo Postcards, unused. Cyko stamp box. Circa 1910.

Price for the set of two:  $35.00

I had just spent a ridiculous amount of time comparing these two images to see how they were done. 🙂 Looks like the charming lake scene of an attractive young woman on a lake, with a partial border of lilies (very Art Nouveau) is the same size on both cards, one being just the reverse of the other. The shaped border, however, is slightly larger on the second postcard, so that part must have involved a separate process, then, of course, arranging the trimmed photos in the border would be next….but why dissect? The end result is beautiful and unusual, and possibly two-of-a-kind.

One can’t help but look for an artist name though, and in so doing might imagine seeing a signature (John something) in the shadow of the oar (top image) but a name glimmering on the water, so to speak, could just be coincidence.

As for time-frame, I’m guessing late 1900s to mid-1910s, in looking for men’s narrow necktie style, women wearing neckties, Art Nouveau, etc. There do not seem to be many examples of women in neckties in the 1900s – 1910s, and that was surprising. But here’s one below in the bottom right corner from a Google search for the popular British actress, Madge Crichton:

Mostly Madge

A 1910 advertisement from The Marion Star:

Sources:  Art Nouveau. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Nouveau (accessed July 1, 2017).

“Images for old postcards Madge Crichton.”  Google search, July 1, 2017. Google.com.

Marx Bros. & Hess collar and necktie ad. The Marion Star, (Marion, OH) May 14, 1910. Saturday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com)

Hugh Ester Bayles

Divided back, unused with writing and/or photographer stamp. Three Real Photo Postcards of Hugh Ester Bayles, taken in San Jose, CA, by photographer Enrico Bambocci. Circa 1913 and 1918. Solio stamp box.

Price for the set:  $20.00

So, we’re a little late with this military-related post, for the prior Memorial Day, but nevertheless….three wonderful RPPCs of Hugh Ester Bayles. Hugh was the son of Levi Bayles and Lydia Mitchell, and was born August 21, 1892 in Paxico, Kansas (still a small town today). The 1910 Federal Census shows Hugh, his parents, and his siblings, Charles, Ruth and Homer, living in Mokelumne, Calaveras Co., CA. At the time of the first World War draft registration, he was living at 918 Harliss Ave., San Jose, CA, and working as a truck driver for the Raisch Co.[?] located on Auzerais Ave. He enlisted April 30, 1918. He was married to Bessie Irene Way, prior to 1939. He died November 30, 1982 at age 90.

At age 21, about 1913, San Jose, California. The photographer props at this time include an animal skin (uggh) of….is that a badger? (poor guy) and a vase holding geraniums.

Hugh, age 21. Different day, as he is wearing a different (pin-striped) suit and a wider tie.

In uniform, at about age 26, circa 1918.

Sources:  Registration State: California; Registration County: Los Angeles; Roll: 1544322. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (4th Registration) for the State of California; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147. (Ancestry.com)

Paxico, Kansas. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paxico,_Kansas (accessed May 30, 2017).

Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Mokelumne, Calaveras, California; Roll: T624_73; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0011; FHL microfilm: 1374086. (Ancestry.com)

State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. (Ancestry.com)

Find A Grave Memorial# 140189413 for Bessie I. (Way) Bayles

Norge, Lappekone (Med Barn)

Divided back, unused postcard. Date unknown. Publisher:  Mittet & Co., A/S, Oslo, Norway. All rights reserved. Number or series:  3000/54.

Price:  $15.00

Norway, Lapp Wife With Child

The translation for the publisher’s description is just “Norway. Lapp wife” so we added med barn (with child) to the title to be correct for the view. And this is the perfect postcard for being (1.) the third in a short Norwegian theme (see prior two posts) and (2.) the first for Mother’s Day, this year.

A little about the publisher

Mittet & Co., A/S was started in 1899 by Ingebrigt Mittet (1875 – 1950) and carried on and expanded by his sons Knut and Søren Mittet. It was a major Norwegian publishing firm and produced thousands of postcards as well as books and art literature. It appears to have been sold in 1987, but in the 1950s about 15,000 to 20,000 negatives and some albums were sent to the Riksantikvaren (Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage) some of which then went to the Norwegian Folk Museum and Norwegian Technical Museum. The National Library took over the Mittet archived material in 2007. A/S is the abbreviation for Aksjeselskap, the Norwegian term for a stock-based company.

Northern lights

The indigenous Lapp people, Laplanders and People of the Reindeer, as the terms Westerners have traditionally known them by, are today referred to as the Sami, also spelled Saami or Sámi. They live in the region called Sápmi:  northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. And, we’ll not try to summarize further but instead share this Google search result (a picture says a thousand words, as maybe a jump start to further reading, or visiting in person?) for images of Sami people…the colors (!) the patterns, the beautiful faces, the reindeer….beauty in the northern light.

Life is in the details….

As per usual, you can click on all of Laurel Cottage’s images to enlarge them, but we added the two crops below, as they seemed to warrant scrutiny:  Look under the white printing and you’ll see the very faint original wording. You can see the rectangular outlines of the newer info, as if it was taped on. So, it says “Norge Lappekone” in the top image, that’s pretty easy to read, but for the “Mittet” one we’re not so sure. Maybe it says the same publisher, or maybe not, or maybe it holds the photographer’s name. See what you think….Oh (well, duh!) after further searching, it’s likely that the first word there is “Enerett” which in English is “all rights reserved.” It says the same on the reverse of the postcard. (Enerett:  Mittet & Co., A/S, Oslo.) So, darn, no great mystery solved, or anything exciting but it does hint at the card maybe being a more modern production of the same image. (Indeed, there’s another one out there that must of been the earlier version.) And, you can see that someone had x’d over the “Co.” and scribbled after it, probably to make the original wording less noticeable when they were adding the new.

Sources:  “Fotoarkivet etter postkortforlaget Mittet & Co.” Preus Museum. (www.preusmuseum.no) Accessed May 14, 2017.

Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Directorate_for_Cultural_Heritage (accessed May 14, 2017).

Aksjeselskap. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aksjeselskap (accessed May 14, 2017).

Sami history. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_history (accessed May 14, 2017).

“images of Sami people” Google search. (accessed May 14, 2017).

Dog And Skier, Finnish Handicraft Series

Divided back, artist-signed, unused postcard. Finnish Handicraft Series. Circa 1950s – 1980s.

Price:  $20.00

The date is unknown for this postcard, as no other cards were found online under any form of the back description:

Finnish Handcraft Series. Hemslöjdsföreningarnas Centralförbunds serie. Kotiteollisuusjärjestöjen Keskusliiton sarja. Maybe 1950s – 1980s as a broad guess. The artist’s initials “H. T.” appear at the bottom-left of the cross-country ski scene. Underneath are a reindeer and tree motif and above a diamond pattern. This is just a beautiful card. And that’s a Sami (Saami) man in traditional dress with a Four Winds Hat. I love the dog in mid-spring! as in bounce, that is. If you’re weary, the dog’s exuberance will rejuvenate you!

Sources:  Four Winds Hat. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people (accessed May 13, 2017).

Sami People. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people (accessed May 13, 2017).

Next To Nature

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked July 8, 1907 from Los Angeles, California.

Price:  $12.00

” ‘Next to Nature.’  Got your cards. B.J.”  Addressed to:

“Harry W. West. Inglewood, Cal.”

Had this card not already have been captioned (love it, thank you!) by the sender, I think I would have given it the title:  “What We Were Wearing In 1907”  as it seems a nice example of some varying styles in women’s fashion. And aren’t they beautiful…these five friends posing and smiling for the camera, seated on a stretch of lawn, on a sunny July day.

Addressee, Harry W. West is most likely the person named as such on the 1910 Federal Census for Pasadena, born Iowa about 1887, of Swedish-born parents, occupation driver with an ice company; spouse Freda L. West, born Sweden, about 1887. From an Ancestry.com family tree, Freda’s maiden name is stated as Lundgren. Below, a crop from the 1909 Pasadena city directory, showing Harry West, employee of the Pasadena Ice Co., residence 988 Glen Ave.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Pasadena Ward 5, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_86; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 0315; FHL microfilm: 1374099. (Ancestry.com)

Thurston’s Residence and Business Directory of Pasadena, 1909-1910. p. 357. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

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.