A. H. Taylor, Pianos And Organs

Trade Card. Salem, Massachusetts. 1880 – 1881.

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

“A. H. Taylor, Pianos And Organs, 293 Essex St., Salem, Mass.”

This could be the only surviving trade card for this company in existence, though that might be “doing it too brown” as they say in Regency terms. (I wonder if Georgette Heyer interspersed that era’s vocabulary into her own present-day conversation, and if so, what the response was, blank looks?) In any case, this is a charming card showing a young maid setting up for a small outdoor tea party.

A. H. Taylor was Albert H. Taylor, born about 1857 in Manchester, Massachusetts, son of John M. Taylor and Ann H. Lee. He married Cora B. Kenney June 11, 1879. The 1880 Federal Census for Salem, shows Albert’s occupation as piano tuner, and the household at that time was Albert, Cora and their one month old son, Albert H., living at 88 Federal St.

By 1900 they have another family member, Louis C, and the family is now in Bridgeport, Connecticut, at 111 Hicks St. Albert, Sr.’s occupation is listed as music dealer.

And by 1910, Albert and Cora have relocated to Springfield, Mass. Albert’s occupation appears to read as “com. traveler, pianos,”  so, commercial traveler or traveling salesman in the piano industry.

As for city directories, the 1881 for Salem lists A. H. Taylor at the 293 Essex St. address, under headings of Music Stores, Piano Dealers and Piano Tuners. Evidently, he ran an ad on the front cover of that directory, but the cover is missing. The 1879 directory shows a music store belonging to H. R. Perkins & Co., the 1880 directory wasn’t found and nothing shows for the 293 address after 1881 until 1888 (a house furnishing store). So, this trade card can pretty accurately be said to be from 1880 or 1881.

Sources:  Sampson, Davenport & Co.’s The Salem Directory for 1879, No. XVIII. p. 279. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Sampson, Davenport & Co.’s The New England Business Directory for 1881. pp. 284, 285 and 278. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Salem, Essex, Massachusetts; Roll: 532; Page: 686A; Enumeration District: 235. (Ancestry.com).

New England Historic Genealogical Society; Boston, Massachusetts. Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0036. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Springfield Ward 7, Hampden, Massachusetts; Roll: T624_593; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 0649; FHL microfilm: 1374606.(Ancestry.com).

Girl in Wicker Chair, Reading PA

Old photo on cardboard frame. Circa 1900 – 1901. Photographer:  Ammon M. Lease.

Size including cardboard frame:  3 and 7/16 x 4 and 11/16″

Price:  $10.00

Here’s a portrait of someone about teenager age, a young girl right at the turn of the last century, in skirt and blouse and wonderful hat, posing in a beautifully ornate, but common for the time-period, wicker photographer’s chair.

Lease is Ammon M. Lease, photographer, who was listed at the address of 742 Penn Street in 1900 and 1901. Below, from the 1901 Reading city directory, and this seems a little unusual, there are eight photographers on Penn St., who all must have been fairly close to one another, per the street numbers.

Sources:  W. H. Boyd & Co.’s Directory of Reading, 1900. p. 58. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.)

W. H. Boyd & Co.’s Directory of Reading, 1901. p. 60. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.)

Sweet Home Soap

Trade card, circa 1880s – 1890s.

Price:  $3.00          Size:  About 3 and 1/4 x 4 and 5/16″

Young love in an old trade card

Here’s a trade card, a little worse for wear, but still….a beauty:  depicting a lovers’ scene of a young man cutting roses for his sweetheart (or maybe clearing a path for her, or both).

From small cake soap manufacturer to industry giant

Buffalo, New York native John Durrant Larkin (1845 – 1926) was the founder of J. D. Larkin & Co., manufacturer of Sweet Home Soap, a bar laundry soap, and with the help of the marketing genius of his brother-in-law Elbert Hubbard (1856 – 1915), became one of Buffalo’s most successful businessmen. Hubbard is reported to have been Larkin & Co.’s first salesman, and pioneered the strategy of selling direct to the consumer, thereby cutting costs to be able to offer many incentives to buying the company’s products (which became numerous, a “laundry list,” pun happily intended, of household, food and other items). These incentives or “premiums” as they were called, were first small enough to be included with the customer’s order, until the idea was expanded to include the redemption of beautiful pieces of furniture, as well as pottery and glassware, lamps, bed frames and other items.

Below, a clipping from a Google search for Larkin & Co furniture:

Glove buttoners and biscuit cutters

Below, a clipping from an 1888 ad appearing in The Appleton Crescent, listing the bonus items one could get, along with 100 cakes of Sweet Home Soap. We’re wondering if any of the pictures mentioned titled, “Desdemona”, “Skye Terrier”, “Jockey Joe”, “Love’s Young Dream” etc. still grace any walls today. Then too, when we look at the artwork in the average working family’s home, as in….after gazing at our ancestor’s photo, then looking past them to see what was in those picture frames (if we can see, sometimes it’s just barely, and always to the point of wanting to jump in the photo for a moment)….we can imagine what might have been the humble soap origin of that prized piece of wall decor (as in our related post, The Village Belle.)

Factory girls in ’04

Below, a photo courtesy of the Buffalo Courier, May 29, 1904 of Larkin factory girls packing products (and if your ancestor worked in Buffalo for Larkin’s it’s rather nice to think that she might be one of these ladies.) Last thought:  Are those wreaths hanging on the pillars?

Sources:  John D. Larkin. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Larkin (accessed May 6, 2018).

Elbert Hubbard. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elbert_Hubbard (accessed May 6, 2018).

“images of Larkin & Co. furniture.”  Google.com search. (accessed May 6, 2018).

“Twin Babies” Larkin ad. The Appleton Crescent (Appleton, WI). November 24, 1888, Saturday, p. 4.

“One of Buffalo’s Most Successful Manufacturers.”  Buffalo Courier, May 29, 1904. Sunday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

Melvin E. Noel

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. NOKO stamp box. Circa 1925.

Price:  $12.00

I think we can say beyond a reasonable doubt that this gentleman is Melvin Eustace Noel, born September 18, 1899 in Palermo, California, as no other possibilities were found. Melvin was the son of Daniel Noel and Daisy E. (Darby) Noel. We’re estimating maybe he was around 25 years old when the photo was taken. From records it appears he had never married and had made his living in the ranching industry. Makes sense as to his work boots and maybe best work pants he wears for the photo, along with the suit jacket and tie. His WWII Draft Registration Card shows he was employed at that time by Amadee Ranch, address Wendel, CA with employer’s contact name and address given J. L. Humphrey of Reno, NV. Below, a Google map showing the town of Wendel, just north of Honey Lake, and moving eastward, the California-Nevada border.

Sources:  The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1320. Ancestry.com. U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Ophir, Butte, California; Page: 24; Enumeration District: 0020. (Ancestry.com).

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

Wendel, California map (Google.com).

A Proud Owner

Divided Back, unused Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1910s – 1930s.

Price:  $5.00

“The window is not broken, it is the reflection of the sun.”

This is a Tudor-style house, as we can see from the steep-pitched roof, the tall windows, and the decorative half-timbering on the gable. If you look at the upper portion of the side of the house you might think you’re seeing wood shingle siding but that overlapping effect must be just an illusion – look at the lower half and you’ll see brick. There’s a small built-in front porch with a rounded archway, and the front facade of the house is stuccoed above the, would one say, brick wainscoting? The top segments of the bay windows are called awning windows, and it’s one of these that appears to be broken, but like the proud owner says, it’s a reflection of the sun. And there’s the gentleman himself, posing to the side, in suit and fedora. There are two small potted evergreens that look like they might be for planting elsewhere, and note the key that’s hanging in the door. Looking closer still, we see a zigzag pattern of tile for the porch floor. And the windows in the door and on each side (does this remind anyone of the 1960s or ’70s?) are done in some type of privacy glass with a pebbled effect.

A Postal Telegram….Don’t Worry!

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1907 – 1910s. Publisher APC or AP Co. Series or number 2119.

Price:  $7.00

“Postal Card Telegram. From ______. I get the blues every time I think of leaving this place; I’m thinking of locating here permantly. Don’t Worry!

A tricky spelling for many….

Ha, well permanently was misspelled above. Interesting. In looking for “permantly” in Newspapers.com (I wondered for a sec if the spelling had changed) from years 1832 to the present, over 13,000 entries were found, the last one dated in 2016. Sure, compared to the over 8 million entries found under the  correct spelling of permanently, 13k is not so very much, but still, it’s proof that the word has permanently confounded some of us English-speakers. 😉 And most definitely we can find the incorrect spelling in abundance still today, in ads, social media, etc. and though some is hasty typing, ignore spell check, no biggie type of thing, others are well, not so much.

No worries

The “not to worry” instruction to the receiver…hmmm:  Guessing that is because telegrams were often needed to send bad news, especially during the war. Or maybe, the sender is saying don’t worry, I’ll be coming back, or even don’t worry about me after I leave because I’ll be fine just as soon as I get back to you! And the image, though not of the best quality, is a charmer, of a happy couple, she in her high-brimmed bonnet and he in his straw boater, holding an umbrella.

Publisher name unknown

A nice header on the reverse shows the logo of the publisher:  maybe standing for AP or APC Company. If memory serves, this is one we haven’t come across yet.

Love At The Beach

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Theodor Eismann, Leipzig, Saxony. Th. E. L., Series 950. Circa 1907.

$7.00

Segueing from a valentine (the prior, the only one we had this year) to a couple’s theme. And, by the way, posts are sparse at the moment due to much overtime at the regular j.o.b. But we’ll return to something more normal (yes, I know, define normal) shortly…..A beautiful German postcard from publisher Theodor Eismann of Leipzig, Saxony from maybe around 1907. I’m guessing this approximate date after looking at the prior link under the excellent The Postcard Album website; not sure if the series numbers were running in numerical order or not. If you click on the image to enlarge it you’ll see all the gold glitter accents for the couple and on the rattan high-backed domed beach chair.

Source:  “Theodor Eismann, Leipzig Saxony.” The Postcard Album. (web accessed February 18, 2018.)

Amelia, December 1911, Binghamton NY

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, December 1911. CYKO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

“Dec – 1911. A Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to you, Amelia.”

Addressed to:   “Laura Weed, 23 College st, City.”

Here’s a pretty lady, maybe in her seventies, posing for the photographer and wearing a satin dress over a lace blouse with high-neck ruffled collar, wire-rimmed eyeglasses and an unusual-looking “hat-box” shaped hat. The name for this style of head wear is unknown (maybe someone can help us out with this one) and it’s really not terribly outlandish in comparison to many others from this time period. And though we probably think that the blouse under the dress rather spoils the look, I bet the overall effect of the colors in the hat and of the dress (wish we could see) were gorgeous….and uplifting!

So, with the name and street address on the card we were able to trace Laura’s location to Binghamton, New York. She was Mrs. Laura A. Weed, wife of Manford Weed. Most likely, Amelia lived in the same city as her friend Laura, however there are a number of Amelias that might fit:  Some possible surnames for Amelia are Wilcox, Tierney, Parsons, Gregory, Back, Bailey and Couse.

Sources:  Calkin-Kelly Directory Co.’s Binghamton City Directory, 1914. p. 491. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Calkin-Kelly Directory Co.’s Binghamton City Directory, 1915. p. 491. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Kirkwood, Broome, New York; Roll: T624_926; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0045; FHL microfilm: 1374939. (Ancestry.com).

Bounteous Gifts For Sadie Barbettini

Divided back, artist-signed, embossed, unused postcard. Painting copyright by Frances Brundage. Printed in Germany. Publisher unknown. Series or number 219. Circa 1907 – 1914.

Price:  $10.00

A Merry Christmas.

Bounteous gifts from heaven’s choicest store

May you find Christmas morning,

showered at your door.”

Addressed to:  “Miss Sadie Barbettini, Guadalupe.”  The sender wrote:

“Accept my little present and my wish for a merry Christmas and happy new year, you[r] loving cousin Rose d’ “

Sadie Barbettini (spelled Barbetini) shows up in the 1900 Federal Census for Township 9, Santa Barbara County, California with her mother Mary P. Barbettini and older sisters Emma and Minnie. Sadie was born September 1895 according to this census. A number of earlier pages on this census show the name crossed off township name of Guadalupe, so this census should be the correct record for Sadie.

The 1910 census appears also for the family, still in Township 9. The girls’ mother is now Mary Jenkins, widowed, and she has two additional children, John and Mary Ann Jenkins.

Sources:  Frances Brundage. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Brundage (accessed December 20, 2017).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 9, Santa Barbara, California; Roll: 110; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0254; FHL microfilm: 1240110. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Township 9, Santa Barbara, California; Roll: T624_105; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0185; FHL microfilm: 1374118. (Ancestry.com).

Some Edison Girls

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

Price:  $5.00

We’ve got sort of a cold weather theme going here for December before we move on to Christmas…..This charming postcard was promising as far as finding names and a location, due to the description on the back. But come to find out the names written there are pretty hard to read, with the exception of “Mrs. Gilkie” –  she is the lady on the left. Next to her is “Ma” (the sender’s mother probably) and the other two, too difficult to read. It appears the card was addressed to either Dara or Dora. As for Edison…maybe it’s the name of their employer, such as Edison Electric or Edison National Bank. The other possibility is a town name, but Gilkie didn’t come up in the various towns named Edison, or even nearby counties, so that is not so likely. Neither did any matches come up for Edison as a maiden name, married to a Gilkie. This one will go in our mystery category with the hopes that someone will recognize any of the four beautiful women on this card.