Gator Couple

Divided Back, artist-signed, used postcard. Postmarked August 21, 1917, Brimfield, Illinois. Postcard artist:  Hans Horina.

Price:  $15.00

A gator (the “husband” we presume) standing in a river or pond, calls out,“Oh, I don’t know!” to his wife, who is walking off, holding a small parasol. This card was part of a series of comic gator cards that told a story, so the caption would have made sense when seeing the full set.

We found a short description for the German postcard artist, Hans Horina (1865 – 1918) from the wonderful site, Lambiek – Comix Strips (lambiek.net) under the Comiclopedia section. (Check it out if you have time.)

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Ida Ost, 609 Abington Str., Peoria, Illinois.”

The sender wrote:   “From the bunch. Brimfield, Ill. Aug. 21st, 1917. Dear Peorians, We missed the mail yesterday after-noon so if your card didn’t go on through you wouldn’t get it to-day but hope you did. It is a rainy day here. Toodles is playing and has got Teddy in that little wagon now. Harland is going up town now and will mail this card. Oscar says to tell you that he got that piece of pie alright so he didn’t lose out after all. Does this look like the aligator in Central Park [grand-pa] ha ha ha. Oscar says for you Edie to meet him at the depot Wednesday night. Good-bye. Write soon.”

The above message was written by Clara (Wizeman) Pemble, wife of Harland Pemble. Clara, born in Illinois about 1886, was the daughter of William Wizeman and Louisa Mohler. Harland, born in Illinois about 1882, was the son of James H. Pemble and Mary Cavender. “Toodles” is probably Harland and Clara’s daughter Ida, who in 1917, when this card was sent, would have been about four or five.

Ida Ost, the addressee, is Clara’s sister. Ida was born in Illinois about 1875. She is listed as widowed on the 1900 Federal Census.

Sources:  “Hans Horina.” (https://www.lambiek.net/artists/h/horina_hans.htm). Accessed October 17, 2023.

Peoria County Courthouse; Peoria, IL, USA; Peoria County Marriages, 1825-1915; Collection Title: Peoria County Marriages, 1825-1915. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Brimfield, Peoria, Illinois; Roll: T625_398; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 47. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Peoria Ward 3, Peoria, Illinois; Roll: 334; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0097; FHL microfilm: 1240334. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1860; Census Place: Elmwood, Peoria, Illinois; Roll: M653_217; Page: 554; Family History Library Film: 803217.  (Ancestry.com).

Hotel Turpin Autobus, San Francisco

Divided Back, used postcard. Postmarked July 23, 1916 from San Francisco, California. Stamp removed. Publisher:  Edward H. Mitchell. 

Price:  $12.00

Auto Bus meets trains and Steamers. Hotel Turpin Auto Bus. 17 Powell St. at Market, San Francisco, Cal. F. L. Turpin. A. W. Turpin.

This postcard was likely produced from a newspaper or magazine photo. Interesting that there are no women in this picture. Wonder what type of event it might have been? You have your businessmen on the left and some of the staff next to them; all the passengers and the driver of the bus are men, and then there’s the guy standing behind the bus. Note the suitcases on the running board. There’s a Touring Club of America sign on the hotel awning. And apparently there was a pool. The business next door was Kingsbury & Unger, (G. Kingsbury and F. Unger) a liquor store at 21 Powell St.

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Bell Brown, 1415 26th st, Bakersfield, Calif.”

The sender, Bell’s sibling, wrote:

“San Francisco, Calif. July 23rd – 1916. Dear Sister. I were in Stockton Friday. The land lady said she sent mail to the place I wrote to you from so I am going there tonight & will write from there.   M – “

Curiously, nothing definitive comes up in records when trying to find Bell (Belle). Nothing under Brown at this address in city directories. Maybe they were only there temporarily.

From the 1920 Federal Census for San Francisco, Edward H. Mitchell, postcard publisher, was born about 1869 in California, married to Idelle and they have three daughters, Gertrude, Bernice and Marion.

Sources:  H. S. Crocker Co.’s, San Francisco Directory, 1912, p. 963. Google book search.

Year: 1920; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 28, San Francisco, California; Roll: T625_140; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 278. (Ancestry.com).

Postcard To Mabel L. Schultz, Halsey, Oregon

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked June 9, 1910 from Portland, Oregon. 

Price:  $15.00

The image on this postcard is of Tressa or Tessa, surname unknown. She writes:

“Wish you were here this week enjoying the Rose carnival. Dude is here and she is to be with me tonight. Edna C. is staying with Oda this week but she will visit me next week. Met her intended yesterday. Suppose you are sorry that school is out? I haven’t heard from Neta in a long time, jog up her memory a little. Write soon and tell me if you are coming down. Much love to you from Tressa.”

“My dear Mibs:- Just recv’d your card so will answer right away. I am sorry I haven’t written before. The schools here close the 22nd. Are you coming down then? I hope you are and you know you must stay longer this time than you did before.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Mabel L. Schultz. Halsey, Oregon.”

Such a charming photo from the sender, she in her wide-brimmed hat, trimmed, in part, with ostrich feathers. (The details of the whole ensemble stand out pretty well for such a small photo.) But, we can’t be sure whether her given name is Tressa or Tessa and we’ll have to skip a long, drawn-out search for her, too many possibilities, even factoring in  trying to tie in the names she mentions in the note to Mibs. (Though some time was spent – as the mystery always beckons.)

As for Miss Mabel L. “Mibs” Schultz:  She is likely the person appearing on the 1910 Federal Census, in Albany, Oregon (about 26 miles north of Halsey) born about 1887 in Nebraska, daughter of Herman and Belle Schultz (spelled Shultz). Mabel’s occupation in 1910 is schoolteacher at a public school, and that definitely fits with the references in Tressa’s note.

Source:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Albany Ward 1, Linn, Oregon; Roll: T624_1283; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0198; FHL microfilm: 1375296. (Ancestry.com).

Mena House And Pyramids, Giza, Cairo

Undivided back postcard. Postmarked April 6, 1905, Cairo, Egypt. Artist unknown. Publisher:  Lichtenstern & Harnel. Stamps:  Used Deux Milliemes, Sphinx and Pyramid, Green; Unused Un Millieme, Sphinx and Pyramid, Brown. Enlarge images to view condition for stamps.

Price:  $30.00

An unknown artist’s tableau of Mena House, a luxury hotel established in 1886, with the Pyramids of Giza behind it. Closer to us in the scene, the figure of a white-robed Egyptian standing next to a dirt road.

For comparison, a photo below, retrieved from the Library of Congress website, and taken from almost the same angle, but a little closer in:

The postcard is addressed to:   “M. J. M. Sluiter, Barendzstroat No. 40, Amsterdam (Hollande)”

The sender wrote:   “Voilà une adresse – Madme[Madame?] Egizia Romani. Minet-el-Bassal. Alexandrie (Egypte)       Ida Romei”

So, it’s kind of funny but “Egizia Romani” translates from Italian as “Egyptian Romans.” This leads us to think that maybe this was part of the street or district address, rather than a name. But not necessarily, as Egizia is an Italian given name and Romani an Italian surname.  What appears to be “Madme” then might be an incorrectly written abbreviate for Madame (Mme), since French is likely not the sender’s native language. (Ida’s an Italian living in Egypt, writing in French, to someone in the Netherlands. I love these types of criss-crossed connections across the globe!) The fact that Ida Romei had a stamp for her name and address (Ida Romei, Scharawe 22 Cairo Egitta – showing on the reverse) is unusual and may indicate she was a woman of some means.

Minet El-Bassal is a district in Alexandria, on the western harbor, that was built around 1810 and became famous as an industrial and trade center for Egyptian exports, including grains, sugar and most notably, Egyptian cotton. At the time this postcard was sent, in 1905, it was certainly prospering. It is one of numerous places on the planet that for economic and political factors had later fallen into terrible decline, with somewhat recent studies showing online regarding hopeful proposed revitalization. We’d be interested to hear from any readers who might be able to give us any up-to-date information.

A last thought:  In typing the above, the term “urban decline” of course comes to mind. But I wonder how easy it’s become to name something and then become blasé or cynical about it, in part, because it has been “categorized.” As in, we learn to react to the words and become indifferent to the events.

Sources:  “Mena House Hotel (1886)”. Historic Hotels of the World:  Then and Now. https://www.historichotelsthenandnow.com/menahousegiza.html. (Accessed June 23, 2022).

Maison Bonfils, photographer. Hotel Mena-House et pyramides / Bonfils. Egypt Jizah Jīzah, None. [Between 1867 and 1899] [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2004666753/.

Minet El-Basal, Alexandria, Egypt:  Urban Revitalization. https://www.behance.net/gallery/37446209/Minet-El-Basal-Alexandria-Egypt-Urban-Revitalization. (Accessed June 23, 2022.)

La Crue du Nile Old Postcard

Divided Back postcard. Postmarked June 22, 1912, Alexandria, Egypt. Publisher:  POF or OPF. Stamp:  Postes Egyptiennes, Cinq Milliemes, rose color.

Price:  $15.00

La Crue du Nile…..The Flood of the Nile

The flooding of the Nile was usually an event each August before the Aswan High Dam was built in 1970. If you have time, take a look at this great article on the Saudi Aramco World site, “The Last Nile Flood,” by John Feeney.

This postcard was produced from a photo; at the time of this post, there’s a colorized version of the same scene available on eBay, but from a different publisher. The scene is two boys seated on a water buffalo, a man in charge of the animal at the reigns, and two men in charge of a camel, the one holding onto the camel’s tail. The boys and men are all posing for the camera.

Addressed to:   “Yonge juffrouw Lucie van Veen, Keizersgracht 254, Amsterdam Holland.”

The sender wrote:

“Alexandrië 22 Juni 1912. Beste Lucie, Ik ben nog niet op en kameel geweest, maar ik hed er al meer dan een op straat ontinoef. Ik denk heel dikwyils aan jullie allen en hoop dat je je niet te veel verveelt. Vele groeten.”

Translated from Google as:   “Dear Lucie, I haven’t ridden a camel yet, but I’ve seen more than one in the street already. I’m thinking of you all very often and hope you’re not bored too much. Many regards, Anie Schulthess.”

What a great way to start a postcard line, “I haven’t ridden a camel yet.” Love it! Neither Anie nor Lucie are showing up on Ancestry, however it’s always possible their descendants will find this card. We listed the type of stamp for the stamp collectors out there. The publisher’s a bit of a mystery:  Assuming that the initials go in the order of POF, if not OPF, however we’re not finding any other like this online right now or in the usual sources we consult (Metropostcard, Walter Corson’s Publishers’ Trademarks Identified and several others). Here’s the logo that’s appearing on the front of the card, bottom right:

Source:  Feeney, John. “The Last Nile Flood.” May/June issue of 2003, Volume 57, Number 3. https://archive.aramcoworld.com/issue/200603/the.last.nile.flood.htm (accessed June 1, 2022).

Port Said Entrée au Canal Old Postcard

Divided Back, Used postcard. Postmarked November 11, 1913, Port Said, Egypt. Publisher:  The Cairo Postcard Trust. Series 306. Postally used stamp:  Postes Egyptiennes, Deux Milliemes, Green.

Price:  $15.00

Colored scene of Port Said, Egypt, entrance to the Suez Canal. Publisher or printer would have added the colors to this card which would have based upon a black and white photo.

Addressed to:   “Monsieur Foray, rue Pierre-Gay, Décines-Charpieu, Isère, France”.  The front is signed and dated by the sender. The signature (Springer?) is open to interpretation.

This card would be of interest to the Foray family. One possibility is Bernard Foray, who was married December 4, 1886 to Annette Vittoz in Décines-Charpieu.

Décines-Charpieu is located in Lyon, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France.  “Isère” in the address, was a little difficult to decipher, and then we wondered why it was included, but the question got sorted out by Wikipedia (in the History section):

“Décines left the department of Isère to join the department of Rhône in 1968, and became a member of the Communauté urbaine de Lyon in 1969. On 1 January 2015 Décines left the department of Rhône to join the Metropolis of Lyon.”

Sources:  Décines-Charpieu. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9cines-Charpieu (accessed May 28, 2022).

Archives départementales du Rhône; Lyon, France; Actes de naissance, de mariage et de décès. (Ancestry.com).

Easter Greeting Lilies And Cross

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked March 25, 1910 from Santa Clara, California.

Price:  $2.00 or contact us for pricing on the set

From The Ethel Main Collection

Addressed to:   “Mrs. B. F. Main, 253 – 14th St., San Francisco Cal.”

The sender wrote:   “Dear Grandma, Have a boil on the side of my cheek. Girl bit me when I was dancing. Hate to see her do that. Easter greetings to all. Elmer W. Main  Top heavy.”

This guy was quite the card, or is he being serious about the girl? No, don’t think so. But either way 🙂

Forget-Me-Not Easter Greetings

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked March 24, 1910 from San Jose, California

Price:  $2.00 – Or contact us for price on the whole set.

This is part of our Ethel Main Collection……Ethel’s nickname was “Tottie.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. L. Main, 253 14th St., San Francisco Cal.”

The sender wrote:   “Dear Ma, Will you please put my postals in my album and look at my post card and photo album to see that that mouse don’t eat them. Love to all, Tottie.”

Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico

Divided back, used postcard. April 13, 1940. Artist unknown. Publisher:  Fischgrund, Mexico (Eugenio Fischgrund). Printed in Mexico. Printer:  F. Sanchez H. y Cia, México, D.F. (Mexico City).

Price:  $15.00

Moving from California to Mexico in our posts – we’ll start off with a colorful card of a Taxco street scene by an unknown artist. In the background is the Church of Santa Prisca. And it’s sometimes assumed, on these type, that F. Sanchez (per the printing at the bottom right on the reverse) is the artist, but Sanchez is actually the printer. This was confirmed by finding another card by publisher, Fischgrund, with the same F. Sanchez info, but by a very well-known artist.

The card is addressed to:  Mrs. May Babcock, 3828 Belmont Ave., San Diego, Calif. U.S.A.

The sender wrote:

“Mexico City. Apr. 13 – 1940. Dear Mrs. Babcock:  There are 2200 miles between you, my fiddle & yours truly. We have been serenaded all along the way & have observed that none of the fiddlers hang on to their bows the way you have taught us. This has been quite a trip so far, & plan to visit several other places before leaving. Hope you are making the class work hard. With love – Helen Tucker”

Mrs. May Babcock, per an article in 1941, was the director of the Oneira Club violin orchestra, in San Diego County. The Oneira club was a charter of the San Diego Chapter of the Federated Women’s Club. Per census and other records, Mrs. Babcock was born May Andrews, in 1867, New York. She married Lee Roy Babcock in about 1897, and taught music for many years. Their daughter Joy May Babcock, who remained single, also became a music teacher and had her own studio.

As for our traveler and postcard sender, Helen Tucker, it’s unclear from records whether there is more than one Helen Tucker (Mrs. Helen C. or Mrs. Helen R. Tucker) but it seems she was married. She is found mentioned in the clipping below:

Sources:  Church of Santa Prisca de Taxco. n.d.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Santa_Prisca_de_Taxco. (accessed March 4, 2022).

“Women’s Clubs Hold Annual Spring Festival.” National City Star-News. Friday, May 30, 1941. (Newspapers.com).

“Oneira Orchestra To Play Program At Club Friday.” The San Diego Union, Wednesday, May 25, 1938, p. 7. (Genealogybank.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: San Diego, San Diego, California; Roll: T625_130; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 234. (Ancestry.com).

San Diego Directory Co.s San Diego City Directory 1940, p. 40. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Register of Voters, 1900-1968. (Ancestry.com).

“Orchestra to Play.” San Diego Union. Sunday, May 25, 1941, p. 6D. (Genealogybankcom).

Fannie and Walter’s House

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked August 4th from Seattle Washington. Year not readable. Circa 1910s – 1926.

Price:  $7.00

Addressed to:   “Leo H. Ouellette. 113 North Norah St. Fort William Ont. Canada.”

“Leo – This is the little house where Fannie and Walter lived when she taught at Manchester. Harold and I often went over and stayed with them for weeks at at time. It was a nice little house. She liked it too. [signature not readable] ”

A very nice little house, indeed, and with a wrap-around porch! No luck in finding out the surname of Fannie (or Frances) and Walter, though. And we’re not sure if Manchester was the name of a school or a town, but either way, no definite results were found. If a town, then likely it’s the Manchester that’s west of Seattle, across Puget Sound. And though this photo was postmarked in August, it must have been taken in winter – note the bare deciduous trees.

The address of Leo Ouellette, 113 Norah St. N., appears to be an empty lot today, in what was formerly Fort William, now the city of Thunder Bay. Leo’s obit appears below. He was born April 16, 1893 in Duluth, Minnesota, father’s name Henry, and died January 23, 1927 in Seattle. His WWI Draft Registration Card, dated Jun 5, 1917, shows he was, at that time, single, living in Evanston, Wyoming and employed as a brakeman for the Union Pacific Railroad. His prior service was two months in the National Guard in Colorado. (B. P. O. E. in the notice below, stands for Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.)

Sources:  Fort William, Ontario. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_William,_Ontario (accessed December 12, 2020).

Microfilm. Washington State Archives, Olympia, Washington. Ancestry.com. Washington, U.S., Death Records, 1883-1960.

Registration State: Wyoming; Registration County: Sweetwater County. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

Seattle Daily Times, January 25, 1927. Tuesday, p. 21. (genealogybank.com).