Zola I. Proudfit, April 1916

Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. April 1916. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $12.00

“Miss Zola Proudfit, 8 years 4 months, Taking in April 23, 1916.”

A cute moment:  Zola posing on her front porch step, (assuming she was at home) in a white lace dress with a scalloped hem, dark tights and black shoes (they look new). The home is wood-framed and sided, with a wooden sidewalk leading up to it. There may have been electrical wires nearby, note the pattern of the two parallel lines, which must be shadows, appearing on the eave.

Zola, an Oregon native, is the daughter of Fred Proudfit and Rose Fitzgerald. She married California native, Robert Blake Galbraith, on November 25, 1926 in Oakland, California. At the time of their marriage, Zola was a telephone operator, and Robert a locomotive fireman. His parents are Joseph Galbraith and Elizabeth Blake.

Source:  Marriage records, select counties and years. California State Archives, Sacramento, California. (Ancestry.com).

Grandpa McInnes

Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $5.00

A beautiful photo-turned-postcard of a handsome guy in profile, with white beard, in suspenders, one hand resting on hip, the other holding his straw hat and with what we might think of as the “old homestead” in the immediate background. The only identification is written on the back as,  “Grandpa McInnes.”  The stamp box is an AZO, two triangles up and two down, which is estimated anywhere between 1910 and 1930, per Playle’s. See https://www.playle.com/realphoto/photoa.php.

Marchande de Poissons, Côte d’Argent, Bordeaux, France

Divided back, unused postcard. Phototypie by Marcel Delboy, Bordeaux, France. Series or number 46. Circa mid – late 1910s.

Price:  $15.00

It’s always exciting to find a card like this – filled, or nearly so, with words. You know it meant something to the person that wrote it – it was not a casual thing. (And for us, the reader – anticipation, often resulting in…..delight!)  This one is pretty special:

“A fish woman merchant. It is remarkable how there old women will balance and carry great heavy loads. They are always women – never have seen any men. One day I was walking on the road at a good pace one of these women with a basket like this on her head overtook and passed me. There was a tin can in the centre of the basket which looked like a milk can but whether full or empty I can’t say of course. On each side of the can was a live duck with their necks stretched out over the edge of the basket looking this way and that way evidently enjoying the scenery as much as any one would in a “rubber neck wagon.”

The term phototypie that appears before the photographer (or printer’s) name is, in English, collotype.

Source:  Collotype. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collotype (accessed May 3, 2020).

A Greek Happy New Year

Divided back, unused postcard dated December 1933. Publisher:  Fotocelere, Torino. Printed in Italy.

Price:  $8.00

ΕΥΤΥΧΕΣ το ΝΕΟΝ ΕΤΟΣ or Happy New Year, literal translation from Greek found online as “Happy the New Year” which is nice, rather poetic.

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Frances Gunaris, Box 26B, Wellesley Mass. U. S. America”

The sender wrote:   “December 6 1933      Dear Aunt. I wish you all merry xmas and a happy New year. Since I received the illustrated book, for which I thank you very much, I have to hear from you. I desire to be informed about your [health] and to receive agreeable news. My compliments to Louise and Erthios[?]. we feel all well. Andrew.”

Frances appears on the 1930 Federal Census for Needham, born about 1883 in Massachusetts, parents born in Bavaria, married, with son Theodore, who was born about 1909 also in Mass., father born in Greece. Frances’ husband is not listed on this record.

As it turns out, we have another card from the Gunaris family, that we posted back in April 2018. See Chebeague Island, Maine 1923.

Source:  Year: 1930; Census Place: Needham, Norfolk, Massachusetts; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0069; FHL microfilm: 2340670. (Ancestry.com).

To Lena From Sophia B. Freeman

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. “Christmas” Series – Postcard No. 207. Printed in Germany. Circa early to mid-1910s.

Price:  $5.00

“To = Lena Davis.   From = Sophia B. Freeman. Handsworth, Sask.”

Re-visiting our friend, Lena…..it’s been a while, but here’s one from our Lena Davis Collection. The publisher name needs research, will get to that shortly, but the card showing Merry Christmas and poinsettias, extends this verse to us:

“Thine be all the joy and treasure,

Peace, enjoyment, love and pleasure.”

The sender wrote:

“Dear Friend, Will answer your kind letter after Xmas. Charles and the little boys are with me for Xmas so I am busily engaged in cooking the usual amount of cake & plum puddings. I wish you a very happy Xmas with lots of fun. Truly[?] yours, Mrs. J. W. Freeman.”

It looks like Sophia is found on the 1916 Canadian Census taken in Stoughton Village, Saskatchewan, which is about 25 miles southwest of Handsworth, the address on the card. Both she and her husband, John William Freeman, were born in England. Sophia was born about 1889. They have two daughters, Mary Sophia, age 2, and Esther Francis, 2 months old. Also in the household is Charles Henry Braithwaite, sister to Sophia, so Sophia’s maiden name is Braithwaite. And this Charles then, must be the one mentioned on the card.

Source:  Year: 1916; Census Place: Saskatchewan, Assiniboia, 17; Roll: T-21935; Page: 2; Family No: 15. (Ancestry.com).

Irene Francis Zink and Virgil Emerson Zink

Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. 1922.

Price:  $12.00

Continuing on with a kid theme before we get to some Christmas posts…..Here’s one very nicely identified as:

“Joel Cox’s grandchildren Irene Francis Zink age 3 1/2 yrs. and Virgil Emerson Zink age 11 wk.”

Per the Find A Grave entries Irene was born May 4, 1919 and Virgil March 31, 1922. Both are natives of Kansas. Parents are Virgil E. Zink and Lena M. Cox. The ages given on the back of the postcard appear to be a little off, according to their birth dates, but this photo must have been taken in 1922. And if you enlarge the image (I was admiring Irene’s dress and the crochet work for both dresses) you’ll notice that Virgil’s eyes were “enhanced” a little. This was done by the photographer at some point during the photo processing.

Sources:  Find A Grave. Virgil Emerson “Bud” Zink, Jr. Find A Grave i.d. number 106961463. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

Find A Grave. Irene Zink Pound. Find A Grave i.d. number 96094840. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

Boyd Roland Gibbs, 4th Field Artillery, Battery B

Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1916 – 1919. Arax Photo Studios. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

“Mr. Boyd Roland Gibbs. 4th Field Artillery. Battery B. Atlanta, Georgia.”

Hey, well I fibbed 😉 evidently in the last post. Thought I had no military, but found this one. And a great one it is. Full name, artillery and location on the back for this handsome guy in WWI army uniform. Someone’s current great or great-great uncle today. Boyd Gibbs was born in South Carolina in 1898, son of James Patrick Gibbs and Leila Ida (Prince) Gibbs. U.S. Army transport records 1918 – 1919 list Boyd’s rank as wagoner.

Sources:  Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 27 May 2019), memorial page for Boyd Roland Gibbs (May 1898–13 Nov 1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 143151272, citing First Baptist Church of North Spartanburg Cemetery, Spartanburg, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Margaret (contributor 46516145).

The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 440. (Ancestry.com).

“The Duties of the U.S. Army Wagoner.” (http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~gregkrenzelok/genealogy/veterinary%20corp%20in%20ww1/wagonerduties.html) Accessed May 27, 2019.

O Rhyme Of Sweet Saint Charity

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1913. Number or series 7212.

Price:  $12.00

Looking more like a Saint Patrick’s Day card in design than Easter……a beautiful bouquet of lilies of the valley with a country home scene in the background and the following verse by James Russell Lowell:

“O rhyme of sweet Saint Charity,

Peal soon that Easter Morn,

When Christ for all shall Risen be

And in all hearts New Born.”

“March 15     Dear Sister, How are you. We are well, hope you are getting along all right. let me here as soon as it happens. have James to write, from Indie.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Maggie Dice, Neosho Falls, Kans.”

From Indie’s note to her sister, Maggie, it sounds as if Maggie is about to deliver a baby, which is a major clue for the year this card would have been written. Appearing on the 1915 State census for Kansas are James Dice, age 26, with wife M. R. Dice, age 22, and their son Morris M. Dice, age 2. Looking back to 1913, Easter was on March 23rd, and this card was written on the 15th. In 1912 Easter was not till the 31st of March, so 1913 seems to be the best fit….From later records, Morris is Merris Myron Dice and Maggie’s maiden name is Miller.

Sources:  James Russell Lowell. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Russell_Lowell (accessed April 21, 2019).

Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; Roll: ks1915_257; Line: 6. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1930; Census Place: Iola, Allen, Kansas; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0017; FHL microfilm: 2340427. (Ancestry.com).

From Mother to Roas and Mike

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Printed in Austria. Circa late 1900s – early to mid-1910s.

Price:  $5.00

Hearty Easter Greetings

A sheep pulling a cart (note the wheels are made of or covered in flowers) holding a large red Easter egg. Underneath is a beautiful embossed spray of violets, roses, forget-me-nots and lilies of the valley, and in the background green snow-topped mountains and embossed snow falling in a  pink (!) sky. The age of this card is just an estimate, guessing it might be pre-WWI. And the recipients of the postcard, Roas? and Mike. Guessing Roas might have been short for Rosalinda (with odd spelling). Notice how two lines were drawn with a straight edge for the sender to write on. (These details seem to transport us back to the moment it was being written!)

Mrs. Alvidsen At 11,660 Feet

Real Photo Postcard, circa 1900 – 1910

Price:  $15.00         Size:  3 and 3/16 x 5 and 3/8″

Somewhere on the planet, at 11,660 feet…..

The location for this one is a mystery. The writing on the back is  “Mrs. Avildsen at [?] 11660 feet El.”  Looks to me like that word there starts with a “C.” After some research, the best possibility found is that of Monte Cervino, aka the Matterhorn, so maybe from the Italian side of the mountain at 11,600 feet which is about 3,535 meters. That’s an ice field behind our smiling subject. Is she holding flowers?

Postcard publisher unknown, so far

The postcard publisher or printer is another mystery. I’m not seeing this particular style of Real Photo Postcard back on any other site or in Walter Corson’s Publisher’s Trademarks Identified. Also, the size is a little smaller that the average RPPC (and the bottom doesn’t seem to have been cropped). If the card was produced in the U.S. the postal regulations didn’t allow for the divided back until December 1907, though it could still be earlier if printed from another country.

Climbing the Alps in the Victorian Era

Eleven hundred plus feet is quite high, higher than the highest city in the U.S., which is that of Leadville, Colorado (elevation 10,152 feet or 3,094 meters, nicknames The Two-Mile-High City and Cloud City). And, if this was Mount Cervino, there would not have been an inn at that elevation. So, it’s not as if our lady mountaineer walked out of her hotel and up a slope and posed for the picture. Newspaper articles are numerous on early climbing, and mention employing guides and going part way by pack-mules or horses. In searching Newspapers.com for Mount Cervino, and getting a little side-tracked from women climbers, I came across a wonderful article about a guy, in need of guide, as on that particular day there was a shortage, and so the man hired someone who turned out to be a smuggler. (Imagine the endless possibilities of caching goods in the mountains). Here are four excerpts from “A Strange Guide,” clipped from The Ogden Standard (Ogden, UT) and translated from Italian.  (Not sure where Fiery was but here’s a link for Valtournenche, Italy.)

The smuggler/guide was saying he can’t afford to lose time. He asks the “guide-ee” for help searching for the missing relative, and it’s gladly given. I’m sorry to say that the story does not have a happy ending. The missing relative had stopped to rest in the heavy fog and “fallen asleep” in the cold never to awaken. The two searchers discovered that the man’s body had just been brought in that evening when they got back to the inn at Fiery. And we don’t usually put up the sad stuff here on LCG, but the article was touching – the way that the “guide-ee” changes his first negative impression of the guide, becoming, one would think, forever bonded with him through the shared experience of searching for that lost loved one.

Below, from another beautifully written account, this one from 1880, three excerpts clipped from The Standard (London, England) entitled, “Gossip From The Alps (From A Climbing Correspondent.)”  By coincidence, both articles are from newspapers called the Standard, one in Utah and the other London, UK. And, it always floors me, hitting upon a hitherto unknown subject, like for me the history of mountaineering, that very first glimpse into what would be an enormous vista of knowledge, that others have already been “living in”, so to speak, like in a living landscape of knowledge…..feels like coming to a party way late and getting a smidgen of a glimpse of everything you’ve been missing.

Gossip from the Alps, September 1880

And on the subject of women climbers!

Well, that’s enough historical articles for now, as this post has really gotten long, though of course, the Alvidsen name was searched for but nothing came up in newspapers, so we’ll just include links to a couple of excellent web articles on the history of women in mountaineering, for some great photos and insight. Just imagine climbing in a long skirt like the one Mrs. Alvildsen is wearing, and then that hat, at eleven and a half thousand feet, seemingly so incongruous from our 2019 vantage point. (Though a hat with a wide brim would have been a very good thing in the high altitude sun.) And how about the rest of what the early women climbers were up against, not just the clothing challenge, but in general, going against (or around) society’s code, to pursue their passion…..I especially love the part about Lucy Walker ditching her petticoat and stashing it behind a rock!

One of the First Female Alpinists Was A Victorian Lady

For the Lady Mountaineer

Sources:  Leadville, Colorado. n.d. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadville,_Colorado (accessed April 7, 2019).

Valtournenche. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valtournenche (accessed April 7, 2019).

“A Strange Guide.”  The Ogden Standard (Ogden, UT). April 2, 1892. Saturday, p. 3. Translated by Antonio Meli from the Italian by G. Giacosa for Boston Transcript. (Newspapers.com).

“Gossip From The Alps (From A Climbing Correspondent.)” The Standard (London, England). September 24, 1880. Friday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

Siber, Kate. “One of the First Female Alpinists Was A Victorian Lady.” outsideonline.com. July 31, 2018. (accessed April 7, 2019).

“For the Lady Mountaineer.” americanalpineclub.org. March 1, 2018. (accessed April 7, 2019).