H. Thompson’s Grand Soap

Trade Card for H. Thompson’s Grand Soap, Buffalo, NY. Lithographer:  Gies & Co., Buffalo, NY. Circa 1874 – 1890s.

Price:  $15.00           Size:  3 and 1/16 x 4 and 11/16″

“Ask your grocer for H. Thompson’s Grand Soap, Manufactured only by H. Thompson, 270 to 280 Perry, & 233 to 241 Chicago St., Buffalo, N.Y.”

Here’s a gorgeous card in peach and blue of a little girl holding her doll, and standing in front of a wooden trellis upon which a flowering vine is supported. Though the card says “over” at the bottom right, there is nothing on the reverse. This is another card by Gies & Co.

Hugh Thompson, soap and candle manufacturer

According to his obituary appearing in the Buffalo Commercial, “Mr. Thompson was born in Carhill, Ireland, February 29, 1824. He came to this country with his parents as a young boy. After spending about two years in parts of New York state and Ohio, the family settled in Buffalo in 1833.”

Hugh Thompson manufactured soap and candles (and was a dealer in soap making supplies) at the corner of Perry and Chicago streets in Buffalo for around thirty-seven years. He and his wife, Rebecca (Bell) Thompson, also native of Ireland, had four children, Mary, William, Louisa and Clara, all born in New York. Hugh died April 1, 1905 at his home in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Per the below 1881 Buffalo city directory ad, the business was established in 1853:

A kind-hearted man

Where was Carhill, Ireland? It’s not found on a present-day map, but may have been the same “townsland” mentioned in The Guardian (London, England) news clipping from 1858, shown below:

Sources:   The Courier Co.’s Buffalo City Directory, 1881. pp. 173, 656. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. (Ancestry.com).

“Obituary. Hugh Thompson.” The Buffalo Commercial, April 3, 1905. Monday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Buffalo, Erie, New York; Roll: 828; Family History Film: 1254828; Page: 8C; Enumeration District: 119. (Ancestry.com).

Hugh Thompson. Memorial # 75112709. Findagrave.com.

“Counties Of Wexford And Carlow.” The Guardian, (London, England) June 8, 1858. Tuesday, p. 1. (Newspapers.com).

Another TJ Tourist RPPC

Another TJ Tourist RPPC pc1Another TJ Tourist RPPC pc2

“See my Straw Mule. Wellie look like he was drunk but he wasn’t. J.T. is about ready to take off. ha ha.”

A group of four tourists in sombreros and serapes, the one gentleman is astride a donkey (no stripes this time) wearing a sombrero. I don’t get the reference to the straw mule. Maybe somebody out there does and can comment. The younger woman holds a woven straw doll, though. Click on the image to enlarge. And how do you like the use of “wellie” for “well he” or is Wellie a nickname for either of the guys in the photo?

Divided back, unused with writing, Real Photo Postcard. Circa late 1940s or 1950s.

Price:  $7.00

Ruth E. Dimond, Stamford CT, 1905

Ruth E. Dimond March 1905 pc1Ruth E. Dimond March 1905 pc2

“This is not a little boy but your friend. Ruth E. Dimond. March 29/05.”

An oval photo of Ruth, on the porch steps, in double-breasted caped coat with belt and cap. Just behind her to her left you can see her doll. (Awww!)

Addressed to:   “Miss Nellie Irene Hexamer, 48 Grove Street, Stamford, Conn.”

Well, the sender believed in being detailed! (What with the name, and assuming that Ruth was probably her daughter, and then the addressee’s first, middle and last name.) And that’s good for us.

Though Ruth’s last name is a little hard to read on the postcard, she was easily found in the 1910 Federal Census for Norwalk, CT, along with her family. This census shows:  Charles J. Dimond, age 43, born in CT about 1867, occupation Superintendent at a Corset Factory; his wife, Nora J[?]. Dimond, same age, also born in CT; Ruth E., age 7, born about 1903 in CT; Harriet C., age 4, born about 1906 in CT; and Annie Kovac, “Servant” age 35, born about 1875 in Hungary.

As for Nellie Irene Hexamer, she is the daughter of Adolf C. and Nellie Hexamer, and found on the 1920 Federal Census for Stamford at the address given on the postcard, along with Nellie Irene’s younger brother Adolf. Nellie Irene is listed as Irene on this census, born about 1901 in CT, so Ruth and Nellie Irene must have been playmates.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Norwalk, Fairfield, Connecticut; Roll: T624_130; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0100; FHL microfilm: 1374143. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1920; Census Place: Stamford Ward 4, Fairfield, Connecticut; Roll: T625_179; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 174; Image: 577. (Ancestry.com)

A Singer For The Girls

A Singer For The Girls tc1A Singer For The Girls tc2

True, this trade card is not in the best of shape, with some major creasing at the top right, and the name Ella written in childlike handwriting on the front and back (Ella Ellison.) But as of the date of this posting, there do not appear to be any others showing online (though Pinterest shows an ad of the same design that contains some adding wording and appears in brighter colors.) Anyway, the front shows a charming illustration of a little girl in pink, seated at a small wooden table, sewing on the Singer 20. Her dolly in high chair is keeping her company, as well as her toy monkey (looking rather politically incorrect) who is seated on the table. The front of the card reads:

“A Singer for the Girls. Not a Toy But A Practical Singer Sewing Machine. Price $3.00.”

The back shows:   “The Singer ’20’  Practical and Instructive. Useful and Amusing. Price $3.00”  and an illustration of the machine with a girl’s face in the center.

Here are two excellent websites regarding this model:   Alex I. Askaroff’s,  The Sewalot Site and  ISMACS International.

According to Alex Askaroff, the Singer 20 was made at the Elizabeth factory in New Jersey, starting around 1910. It was first billed as a toy, but those in charge must have quickly realized the value of marketing for adults as well. (See the second link for the illustration of the machine fitting in the palm of the hand.) Later called the Sewhandy, production ran all the way until the 1970s, with some changes along the way, of course. The original name came from it’s being the 20th unique machine after Isaac Singer’s very first model No.1 (awarded patent No.1 in 1851). The Singer 20 was the most popular of any toy sewing machine, came in different colors, was copied by other manufacturers after patents ran out, sold worldwide and manufactured in other countries. This particular trade card is said to be pre-WWI.

Trade card. Circa 1910 – 1914.  Publisher unknown, Form 1653.   Size:  5 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/2″

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Askaroff, Alex I., “Singer Toy Sewing Machine.”  Sewalot. Web accessed May 17, 2015.

“Singer No. 20.”  ISMACS International. Web accessed May 17, 2015.