To Fräulein Hedel Mandel, Halle, Germany

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 9, [1901-1909] from Striegau (Strzegom, Poland). Publisher unknown.  Number and/or series:  1117/18.

Price:  $10.00

Addressed to:   “Fräulein Hedel Mandel, Halle a/Saale, Leipziger St. 73 [?]”

A colored (hand-colored?) card of a beautiful young fräulein holding a bucket, and smiling, head tilted. We might automatically think “milkmaid” but note the potatoes? at her feet.

It’s a good guess that the publisher is German, but we didn’t find a match online for the logo below. I’m sure someone knows; I just did not want to spend too much time searching. We’ll update in future, hopefully, but here’s the view:

The postmark indicates Striegau which is the German spelling for Strzegom, Poland. And was addressed to Halle, a.k.a Saale, Germany. Here’s a map link for the postcard’s journey, as the crow flies, though it must not have been that straight-forward!

And if anyone can read the note that was sent to Hedel, please send us a comment.

Source:  Distance from Halle (Saale) to Strzegom. distancefromto.net.

Couple On Steps

Real Photo Postcard. Unused. VELOX stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $4.00

A moment in time, somewhere in rural America…..

According to the particular VELOX stamp box on the reverse, this would have been taken around 1907 to 1917. The building the steps lead up to is not a house, but maybe rather a grange hall, a train depot, a hotel. Note the metal screening on the windows, and the possibility of various small signs (enlarge the image twice – see the nails?) that had once been posted to our left of the doorway. But, I was drawn to this postcard from my impression of two people, caught in a great, candid moment of laughter – the woman seems to be, doubled over would be overstating it, but how do you describe, when someone says something unexpected, maybe ridiculous, and you have that reaction, turning off to the side in mirth, a little bent at the waist? The gentleman’s pose is in wonderful contrast, with arms folded, looking into the camera. We can’t really tell if he’s laughing, but we do take in the working clothes, the heavy gloves, the dried mud on his boots (he’s probably listed as a farmer on the 1900 and 1910 census), and of course, the metal bucket to his right.

A Snap Of John Taken Unawares

Old photo, white border. Circa 1900s to 1920s.

Price:  $2.00          Size:  3 and 1/8″ x 4 and 1/4″

I bought this one for the rather poetic description written on the reverse (We imagine it was his wife that wrote it.) But here’s John, in vest and suspenders and the inevitable hat, his surname and location unknown. He’s deep in thought, and holding what looks to be a tape measure. Maybe he was out looking at property lines. You can see some short wire fencing behind him, and then a nice view of some hills in the distance. The term snapshot came into use in the photographic sense around 1890. We found the short version, “snap” for snapshot (also written snap shot), in historical newspapers as early as 1907, (though this was from a quick search so it may have been in use a little earlier.)

Sources:  snapshot (n). https://www.etymonline.com/word/snapshot (accessed June 14, 2020).

Marshall, Carrie. “A Trip To Idaho – No. 3.” Woodford County Republican, (Eureka, IL) Thursday, September 26, 1907, Vol. 13, no. 34. (Newspapers.com).

Holiday Ice Skater

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  P. F. Volland & Co., Chicago and New York. Copyright 1917.

Price:  $7.00

“To extend

the greetings of the season

and to wish you

a happy and prosperous

New Year.”

An illustration of a very stylishly dressed young lady, ice skating amidst whirling snow. You wonder who the artist was and whether we have, unbeknownst to us, seen their work before. Because this is such a nice one, with a magical quality to it, and I hope the artist was happy with their work (and in general), because he or she has brought us happiness!

The publisher, P. F. Volland & Co. was founded by Paul Frederick Volland.

Source:  P. F. Volland. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._F._Volland_Company (accessed January 5, 2020).

With Affectionate Regard

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1910 – 1920s. Series or number W1017. Publisher unknown. Printed in the U.S.A.

Price:  $3.00

“I send you my New Year greetings on this tiny little card.

They are prompted not by custom, but affectionate regard.”

The clarity is not the greatest on this postcard, but still, it’s a very cute illustration……and dig those duds on the gent!

Holiday Ice Skaters

Christmas card, circa 1900s – 1910s. Publisher unknown. 

Price:  $7.00       Size:  About 3 and 1/2 x 3 and 5/8

Greeting! Funny they left off the “s.” A charming card, though, done in browns and gold with red and green accents, of two children ice skating. The card opens up to say,

“Just to wish you dear, a bright and Joyous Xmas”  and is signed,  “your Agnes.” 

Thanksgiving Day From Anna Budd

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked November 25, 1907 from Pensacola, Florida. Publisher:  Raphael Tuck & Sons. “Thanksgiving Day Post Cards” Series Number 123.

Price:  $12.00

Happy Thanksgiving!  Here’s a charmer from publisher Raphael Tuck & Sons, a turkey couple out for a drive in 1907.

Mailed to:   “Miss Grace Snyder. Stevensville, Sull. Co., N. Y.”  That’s Sullivan County. Stevensville later became Swan Lake.

The sender wrote:   “We are all well and hope this finds you all the same. I wish you and your mamma a happy Thanksgiving – With love from Anna Budd.    will write soon.”

Grace Snyder, born about 1892, was the daughter of Nelson H. Snyder and Evelyn Racine. On December 4, 1911 Grace married William Hathaway, born about 1887, son of Eli Hathaway and Lettie Van Orden. Bride and groom were both living in Stevensville, NY at the time of marriage.

Anna is Anna H. Budd, born January 1893, daughter of Morris D. and Carrie E. Blackmon. The 1900 census shows Anna, her parents, her old brother John (all born in New York) and her younger sister Florida, who was born in……..Florida (awww!)

Sources:  Marriage Records. New York Marriages. Various New York County Clerk offices.  (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Kupfrians Park, Escambia, Florida; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0013; FHL microfilm: 1240168. (Ancestry.com).

“Mrs. Carrie E. Budd” obituary. The Herald-News. (Passaic, NJ). December 1, 1941. Monday, p. 8. (Newspapers.com).

Swan Lake, New York. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swan_Lake,_New_York. (accessed November 28, 2019).

Photo Op By The Lake

Vintage photo, circa 1950s.

Price:  $4.00       Size:  About 3 and 3/8 x 2″

Maybe Michigan, probably 1950s

An African-American family possibly taken in Michigan, where the photo was found. Were they on their way out to breakfast or church? Was the location a vacation spot for them or taken near home or were they visiting relatives? We’ll probably never know unless by some amazing serendipitous event someone’s browsing and happens to recognize these people. Not unheard of. I’ve been reading Henry Z. “Hank” Jones, Jr.’s Psychic Roots, Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy.”  If you do family research, for example, chances are excellent that you can recount multiple instances of that feeling of “being led” to a spectacular find. Or, on the opposite side, if you sell or post family photos or other items you may have a story of someone walking into your store and finding their relatives’ “lost” family album, or seeing someone happen upon a postcard that they themselves had written and mailed fifty years ago. In our talks with sellers we’ve heard a surprising number of such accounts. The kind that make your hair stand up on the back of your neck (in a good way!). Here’s one from my family:

Serendipity in Montréal

Maybe fifteen or twenty years ago, I’ve forgotten by now, I was with some family members vacationing in Montréal. Sitting on the beds in the motel we were trying to figure out what to do for the day, looking at brochures. I was drawn to the one on the Pointe-à-Callière Museum and felt we “had to” go there, that it was important to go. In one of the exhibits we saw an artist’s rendition of a mother holding a child. Standing in front of this drawing I had a strong urging to take a photo. Immediately the thought came into my head,  “Why? It’s not like you’re related to her or anything.”  Ahhh, but as you’ve guessed 🙂 she (beautiful Charlotte, specifically Marie Charlotte Gloria dit Roch or DesRoches) turned out to be, not just any relative necessarily, but mine and my siblings’ 6th-great grandmother. (See Collections archéologiques for a photo of the handle of a tool? with Charlotte’s name carved on it. This was one of many artifacts that had been uncovered at the site of what is called “the birthplace of Montréal” and what later became the museum.) Now, at that point I hadn’t yet researched that particular line, and had never even come across her name. It was not till a few years later, while searching my Dufour side online, and “climbing the tree” by finding my direct ancestor Pierre Dufour that there, lo and behold, was his wife, Charlotte Roch. Wait, what??? (Jaw-dropping, falling out of chair.) Not the end of the story, though. For about a week after that, what seemed like every time I got into the car, I heard Chuck Berry’s, “You Never Can Tell” either just playing or as the next offering by the d.j. You know the lyrics, ♪ “It was a teenage wedding and the old folks wished them well. You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle.” ♪ True, Pierre was not a teenager when they wed, and though Charlotte was, that was not unusual in the least at that time, but it was the true love part that seemed to be the point of what felt like a message bridging “time.” (What is time? 😉 ) Records show that Pierre and Charlotte had eleven kids and, of course, have many many descendants. Notable is the birthplace of their second child. Their first was born in Montréal, and the youngest nine in Detroit. But the baptismal record (all are in French) for their second child, Marie Charlotte Dufour, states she was born in the  “8yattenons.”  (French-Canadian priests sometimes wrote a number to denote a sound or abbreviate a word, for instance “7bre” for septembre, which by the way, can be confusing when reading the record, the digit 7 but the 9th month!) The appellation 8yattenons was used for Fort Ouiatenon. This has been verified in other unrelated records, and the fact that Pierre was a soldier when he and his young family left Montréal adds credibility to daughter Charlotte having been born at or near this fort. Well, this ended up to be a lengthy sidetrack off the subject of this post, that of the vintage photo from the 1950s, yikes! But definitely, if you’d like to share your own stories of the serendipity-amazing luck-small world type we’d love to hear them.

Back to the photo…..

Amazing how every photo transmits so much. An everyday moment maybe, but no less special, as when we look we see the smiles, and the grace and humor, maybe get a sense of the struggles, and yet the joy, in a backdrop, no, make that of a oneness with, a particular place and time, and somehow in total it all washes over us like a blessing…. No identifying info on the back, but maybe we’re looking at a photo of a husband and wife and mother or auntie or older sister of either? All three are very stylish. Love the striped tie on the gentleman. I think of him as Clarence (heehee, he’s likely laughing somewhere now). There’s the flashy belt the older woman wears that’s caught the lens light……there’s the very chic pose of the younger woman, and….her skirt. Check out the pattern on the fabric, a surprise and a delight:  Chickens!

Young Man And Wooden Fishing Boats

Old photo, circa late 1910s – 1920s.

Price:  $5.00         Size:  5 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/4″

No writing on the back of this one:  a young man posing for the camera perched on the bow (well, maybe stern) of a wooden fishing boat, one of several grouped together. He wears a suit and tie and a somewhat unusual striped hat. And, this could have been taken in so many possible places. The shot reminds me of Ireland though, because of the old wooden boats that Mom and I saw one time, having gotten out of the car to take a stroll by the sea. So, naturally, I had to look up coastal photos of Ireland….not with any hope of finding the location (because one would need psychic abilities on this one!) but just because I’m always compelled. Once you get that idea in your head you find yourself typing something in Google no matter what the odds are…..so this image of Skerries in County Dublin, with it’s similar look of sweeping coastline came up right away, by chance having a chance 🙂  to fit the criteria in our image. (If you click to enlarge ours you can see the background better where maybe some mistiness makes the land seem lower than in the “what-are-the-odds-Skerries-photo” or maybe it’s the angle at which it was taken.) Here’s Skerries, Fingal, County Dublin.

And wouldn’t that be hilariously something if it were indeed a match?…..On the other hand, maybe this is Massachusetts….

Source:  “The Top Ten Most Beautiful Seaside Towns in Ireland.” (www.irelandbeforeyoudie.com). Accessed September 7, 2019.

Girl With Boat Oar

Lithograph, printing company unknown. Circa 1870s – 1890s.

Price:  $6.00       Size:  1 and 3/8 x 2 and 3/4″

Nothing printed on the back but one assumes this small card may have been part of a series, maybe of seaside scenes or women in regional dress or bathing attire. And it’s a colorful outfit she wears:  peach skirt, sleeveless top with wide vertical stripes in wine and light blue. And the lighter rose-colored material that encircles her hips, is this part of the skirt or top? Note the emblem of some sort on the skirt, and the peach tam o’shanter hat. Was that a mistake by the printer to have that line going from the hat to behind the girl’s back? And we can’t also help but wonder at the small landmark (like something manmade – a statue perhaps) that appears on the distant horizon; as if this card was fashioned after a specific location, somewhere well-known to the lithographer but that leaves us in the dark today. Lots of questions without answers on this one but maybe that’s part of it’s charm!