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 back. 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.

La Calèche De Québec

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Librairie Garneau, Québec, PQ Canada.  Circa 1931.

Price:  $3.00

La Calèche:  a popular subject for old Québec postcards

The calèche, as shown in the postcard, is a light carriage with two large wheels, drawn by one horse, and usually seen with its top folded back. After searching old newspapers (the term calèche abounds) and books online, it seems the name was perhaps used generically for carriage, maybe at some point having something to do with the hood style. (This Wiki article in french shows the different look with four wheels) and after many searches the only thing that seems clear is that when exactly the two-wheeler came into being would be a subject for a more in-depth search, but here’s an excerpt from an article in 1850 that appeared in the Christian Watchman (Boston).

And we couldn’t resist including this next snippet from a short story by Fred Hunter from the newspaper Flag of Our Union (Boston) re a mysterious woman in a blue bonnet, bringing to mind the two-wheeler, really, if conjuring an image…

Speaking of bonnets, the women’s bonnet in images below, was aptly named the “caleche capote” (carriage hood). Newspaper articles in 1879 reference this as the latest style.

Surface romance

But back to the conveyance:  Is the vehicle as seen in the postcard above still in use today? No, today we’re talking about the horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage that has been a part of the tourist industry in the cities of Montréal and Québec. This is an eye-opening topic, if you have not yet heard of the plight of the carriage horse. Glad now that we never took that carriage ride, well what –  twenty years ago in Montréal? But, still. And through the surface of charm and romance we’d probably have thought anyway, “But is the horse happy?” You know how it is when you get that feeling that you’ve bought into something fake, something glossy on the surface but behind the scenes, “not so much.” So, in many cities the use of the carriage horse has already been banned, while in other places the fight continues. Below, a couple of excellent websites:

Anti-Calèche Defense Coalition

Horses Without Carriages

On to the postcard….

After some online digging we found that our card originated from a Real Photo Postcard:  One is currently showing on eBay, “The Old World Caleche, Quebec, P. Q.,” published by S. J. Hayward, 1448 Mountain St., Montréal, and dated by the sender in 1931. The photo itself could have been taken earlier. In addition to our tinted version there is a second colorized rendition from Toronto publisher, The Post Card & Greeting Card Company, Ltd., as shown below, second from left, top row, in some images from a Google search.

_________________________________________________________________________

Sources:  Calèche. The Canadian Encyclopedia. (accessed March 18, 2017).

Calèche. n.d. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cal%C3%A8che (accessed March 18, 2017).

“A Trip to Quebec.” Christian Watchman (Boston, MA) Thursday, October 10, 1850. p. 4. (GenealogyBank.com)

Hunter, Fred. “The Blue Velvet Bonnet – A Parisian Tale.” Flag of Our Union (Boston, MA) Saturday, March 31, 1949. p. 4. (GenealogyBank.com)

“Images of caleche bonnet.” Cropping of Google.com search result. https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+caleche+bonnet&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8. (accessed March 18, 2017).

“Old World Caèche Montreal Quebec Canada 1931.” ebay.com http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/Old-World-Caleche-MONTREAL-Quebec-Canada-1931-S-J-Hayward-Postcard-3874-/192109228919?hash=item2cba9a3377:g:j~cAAOSwEzxYdbBK(accessed March 18, 2017).

“Images of Quebec postcards calèche.” Cropping of Google.com search result. https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+cal%C3%A8che+postcards+quebec&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6_9-rwODSAhUQ32MKHYs4Bf0QsAQIGQ&biw=1205&bih=522. (accessed March 16, 2017).

Valentine To Ella From Alice

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Publisher:  Whitney Made, Worcester, Mass. Circa:  1910s – 1920s.

Price:  $1.00

“To My Valentine.”

Happy Valentine’s Day! This one’s in rough shape, for sure, but so cute though. Nice outfit (gaiters and tam o’shanter hat) on the little boy that’s sending the valentine postal to the little girl in the smaller top image. Note the climate difference.

That Faraway Look, Detroit, 1894 or ’95

Cabinet Card, 1894 – 1895. Photography by Burton J. Holcombe & Co.

Price:  $6.00       Size:  4 and 1/4 x 6 and 1/2″

The above photo of the beautiful woman with the faraway gaze looks over-exposed or faded, but to me, this enhances the dreamy quality. I think it’s true that the more you study a photo, the more it comes to life for you. Was the photographer experimenting with different poses?…the glimpse of the gloved hand, index finger slightly pointing…for depth, a little mystery perhaps, even some subtle humor….“Get on the right track, at Nine Mile and Mack…”  keeps coming to mind – I know, different era, but still!

Here’s our Photoshop version below, to try to put ourselves in the photographer’s place…maybe better to have her left hand appearing somewhere, since we get the fact that her right holds….no, wait…that’s maybe not the muff (to match the fur jacket) that she’s holding but a prop she’s just standing next to that was then touched up? Though from afar the impression is of someone carrying something, about to go on a short journey.


And yes, it’s obvious the card’s in somewhat rough shape, but after you time travel back to that point it’s funny how you really don’t regard the condition. Though we have no i.d. for the woman, we, thankfully, have half a name for the photography studio, along with the address and from this we discover that the bottom of the card read as:  B. J. Holcombe & Co.   212 Woodward ave., Detroit.

B. J. was Burton J. Holcombe. The 1894 and 1895 Detroit city directories show the same address as the one on the card. Multiple directories show that Burton Holcombe had moved frequently, and more detailed information about him will be found in the next post.

Sources:  R. L. Polk & Co.’s Detroit City Directory, 1894. p. 673. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Detroit City Directory, 1895. p. 698. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

I Say Hello George

Divided back, used, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked February 3, 1908 from Chicago, Illinois.

Price:  $12.00

This card has been hanging around:  I’ve been meaning to get it posted forever but by a nice coincidence, the date it’s going up here at LCG is the exact date on the outgoing Chicago postmark, plus 109 years.

Pretty Elsie, who provided her photo to cousin George, was not identified in records. An in-depth search would be needed to trace the cousinship. (Is this a word? Yep!) She writes:

“I say ‘Hello’ George do you know you[r] loving cousin, How are you old chap, I thought perhaps you might want you[r] little cousins picture, what do you think of my boys coat, classy ‘heh!’ Love to all the family, and also you[r] cousin in Dubuque the one I like. I am with love Elsie.”

Funny how Elsie drops the “r” in “yours” each time, and don’t we get a sense of who she was, from her handwriting, the note itself and the photo? I think she was fun to hang out with. As far as history and fashion it’s always nice to have a dated reference but it’s doubly nice to have the wearer’s comment about what they were wearing. And not that it, by any means, took 109 years for the bow to go out of style, but we can appreciate the irony in the coat being the main subject for comment while today it’s the hat with the huge bow that jumps out at us!

Card addressed to:  “Mr. George Letch, Jr., East Dubuque, Ills.”

Our girl Else, wasn’t found in records but George Leroy Letch, Jr., was born September 19, 1887 in East Dubuque, IL, son of George L. Letch and Theresa Erdenberg. The 1910 Federal Census for Dunleith Township of East Dubuque finds George, Jr. with parents, George L., born IL, October 1864 (occupation freight train conductor) and Teresa, born IL, April 1867 and George, Jr.’s sister Roena, born IL, August 1889.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Dunleith, Jo Daviess, Illinois; Roll: T624_294; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0021; FHL microfilm: 1374307.
(Ancestry.com)

Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007. (Ancestry.com)

Lulu And Paulie Kalunas, Brooklyn, 1915

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. December 19, 1915. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

Continuing on with our cold weather theme, a mother and son in Brooklyn, NY posing in winter coats and hats….

A proud mom, Mrs. Lulu Kalunas, writes about her four and a half year old son, who we found in records as Ivan Paul Kalunas, born June 2, 1911 in New York. We take into account that photos were not a dime a dozen in those days, hence the detailed explanation as to young Paul’s expression:

“Brooklyn, N. Y. Dec. 19, 1915. To Ratchel, From Lu Lu. Paulie is 4 years & 6 months old, and has golden hair & dark brown eyes. Note the peculiar expression of his mouth. Paulie has a pretty mouth, but he closed it too tight. He was afraid of the photographer, maybe ???”

Lulu is Clara Louise Dawson (or Louise Clara) born New Jersey, January 1887. On the 1900 Federal Census for Brooklyn, she is living with her mother Clara, stepfather Frederick Koster, and younger sister Helen. It must have been a family member that had written Lulu’s name in pen on the card, and now we can see that what looks like “Kodu” is actually Koster.

The 1920 Federal Census for Brooklyn showing the surname misspelled as “Kluanas” lists Paul’s father as born in Riga, Russia (now Latvia) and Lulu working as a pianist at a theater. Their address is 11a Woodbine St.

The 1925 New York State Census shows Lulu and Paul listed twice:  Clara and Paul Kalunas living with Fred and May Koster (stepfather and May must be Lulu’s mother) and again as Lulu and Ivan P. Kalunas, with Lulu as head of household. Looking at the census one imagines a conglomeration of apartments, and maybe 11 Woodbine St., apt. A, had a separate entrance and the census taker was unaware that he’d been to the same household twice. Just a thought!

Sources:  Year: 1900; Census Place: Brooklyn Ward 28, Kings, New York; Roll: 1066; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0511; FHL microfilm: 1241066. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1920; Census Place: Brooklyn Assembly District 20, Kings, New York; Roll: T625_1177; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 1305; Image: 482. (Ancestry.com)

History of Riga. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Riga (accessed January 26, 2017).

New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 27; Assembly District: 20; City: Brooklyn; County: Kings; Page: 33. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1945; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 6905; Line: 29; Page Number: 130. (Ancestry.com)

Bundled Up For The Cold

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, circa 1910s. CYKO stamp box.

Price:  $4.00

This particular style of CYKO stamp box enjoyed a pretty broad range, from about 1904 to the 1920s per Playle.com. Presuming with the divided back it would start at 1907 at the earliest, but I think the most likely time-frame for the photo might be the 1910s. The children look to be between about two and four years old, posing outside on the top porch step with wooden door behind them. The little guy wears a button-down wool sweater with dark contrasting band at the neck, cuffs and below the waist (the latter giving the sweater that tunic effect) short pants, high leather boots, mittens and a striped knit cap. The little girl wears some type of raised pile or plush coat that falls halfway below the knee, slightly puffed at the shoulder seam, leggings and hat of the same material and mittens. We’re guessing the ribbon bow was part of the bonnet, after seeing similar styles on Pinterest for a 1915 Sears & Roebuck ad.