Before You Fool With A Fool

Divided back, unused postcard. Copyright 1913, Walker’s Post Card Shop. Rochester, New York.

Price:  $5.00

Words of wisdom from E. C. March:

“Before you fool with a fool, be sure you have a fool to fool with.”

The name E. C. March sounds like someone we ought to know, or maybe someone we’ve heard of in passing, a writer, humorist, poet….and perchance they were, but no references were found for them. So, possibly this wise person was just someone that had worked for Walker’s Post Card Shop. The shop, according to ads found in Rochester’s  Democrat and Chronicle, was a wholesale and retail venue for postcards, which also offered letters, folders, tags, seals and calendars. They were first located at 475 Main Street East, but by December 20, 1914, had moved to 30 Main Street East, across from the Hippodrome.

Below, from Rochester, New York’s Democrat and Chronicle, August 21, 1909:

Sources:  “Ask to see Walker’s ‘Foolish Thoughts by Clever Men.’ ”  Democrat and Chronicle, August 21, 1909. Sunday, p. 18. (Newspapers.com)

“Walker’s Post Card Shop.” Democrat and Chronicle, December 20, 1914. Sunday, p. 26. (Newspapers.com)

Young Woman With Rose, Detroit

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Photographer:  Władyslaw Jakubowski. Circa 1911 – 1916. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

A Real Photo Postcard, not in good shape, as you can see by the “foxing” marks and the creases, most notably in the top right corner. More by Władyslaw Jakubowski can be viewed at Michigan Polonia and Polish Mission. His stamp on the back shows:

“W. Jakubowski. 1525 Michigan Ave., Detroit, Mich.”

And it’s a beautiful image of the lovely young woman, whom we might presume to be of Polish descent, posed standing with one hand resting on an open French window, and holding a rose in the other. Her dress (or matching skirt and blouse) is possibly silk (wonder what color) with long sleeves of a see-through material. She wears a white lace fichu (or maybe a long-sleeved white blouse underneath) over which lays a cross on a choker-length chain, and a large-link bracelet on her left wrist.

Our Front Stoop At 8562

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. Circa 1910 – 1930.

Price:  $2.00

Somewhere there was a beautiful house with a beautiful family….a mom takes a minute away from the cooking and cleaning to pose with her four kids, on the front stoop of their house, numbered 8562….This one was found during the recent Detroit excursion that we’ve been mentioning lately. No way to know what city this was in. If it was Detroit, there were a number of houses, circa 1910 to 1930, numbered 8562, that might fit the bill, but it’s proving to be a needle in a haystack search. We’ll look for more that might be related to this one when we go back next year.

Twelve In A Skiff

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

Price:  $4.00

A nice family photo made into a postcard, circa 1907 – 1918, showing twelve family members in a skiff named Elizabeth, either just about to head out on the water or just returned. Most likely the latter though because there’s the family dog, laying down in the sand (tired after all the excitement, swimming, etc?) and there’s one of the kids huddled in a towel. This RPPC would be a nice reference for the era’s bathing suits, family outings at the lake, and that type of thing. Love those bathing caps!

Young Man’s Dream, Circa 1910

Two pals in Newsboy caps, skinny tie, bow tie and sweaters

Our guy from the top left, looking distinguished and contemplative, with pipe

Divided back, Real Photo Postcards, unused. Cyko stamp box. Circa 1910.

Price for the set of two:  $35.00

I had just spent a ridiculous amount of time comparing these two images to see how they were done. 🙂 Looks like the charming lake scene of an attractive young woman on a lake, with a partial border of lilies (very Art Nouveau) is the same size on both cards, one being just the reverse of the other. The shaped border, however, is slightly larger on the second postcard, so that part must have involved a separate process, then, of course, arranging the trimmed photos in the border would be next….but why dissect? The end result is beautiful and unusual, and possibly two-of-a-kind.

One can’t help but look for an artist name though, and in so doing might imagine seeing a signature (John something) in the shadow of the oar (top image) but a name glimmering on the water, so to speak, could just be coincidence.

As for time-frame, I’m guessing late 1900s to mid-1910s, in looking for men’s narrow necktie style, women wearing neckties, Art Nouveau, etc. There do not seem to be many examples of women in neckties in the 1900s – 1910s, and that was surprising. But here’s one below in the bottom right corner from a Google search for the popular British actress, Madge Crichton:

Mostly Madge

A 1910 advertisement from The Marion Star:

Sources:  Art Nouveau. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Nouveau (accessed July 1, 2017).

“Images for old postcards Madge Crichton.”  Google search, July 1, 2017. Google.com.

Marx Bros. & Hess collar and necktie ad. The Marion Star, (Marion, OH) May 14, 1910. Saturday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com)

Sea Gull – A Boat

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1907 – 1918.

Price:  $6.00

Per Playle’s (a great reference for dating RPPCs, thus we use it all the time) this particular style of AZO stamp box, with all four triangles pointing up, is dated at 1904 – 1918, however, since it’s a divided back card, it would need to be December 1907 at the earliest. The type of watercraft is, for me, non-boat expert that I am, in question. Houseboat…?…. maybe, maybe not. In any case, we see her name on the bow,  “Sea Gull.”  And there’s the vague image of the skipper at the helm, standing, facing the sun. Amidships (can this term be used for small craft?) we see the silhouette of a seated man in a hat. On shore, in the background are some buildings and a large stand of evergreens.

Source:  “Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes. A – B.” playle.com. (accessed June 13, 2017).

Grand River Dam And Lake, Northeastern Oklahoma

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Dewey Post Card Co., Dewey, Oklahoma. Printer:  Curt Teich. Genuine Curteich – Chicago. “C. T. American Art.” No. or series:  2B88 – N. Circa 1953.

Price:  $5.00

“Length of dam 5680 ft., height 150 ft., length of lake 60 miles with 1000 miles shoreline. A playground of four states. Power plant capacity 200,000,000 KWH. Four 20,000 h. p. turbines, four 16,000 KVA generators.”

There’s a few similar-view-of-the-dam linen postcards that we see online, however none at the moment by this publisher, the Dewey Post Card Co. Per the publisher research we’re estimating the date of this postcard at 1953.

The Grand River Dam is an a.k.a. for the Pensacola Dam, in Northeastern Oklahoma, which is the longest multiple-arch dam in the world. Construction was started in 1938 and completed in 1940.

Source:  Pensacola Dam. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pensacola_Dam (accessed June 12, 2017).

Indian Post Souvenirs, Algonac, Michigan

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa late 1940s – early 1950s. EKC stamp box.

Price:  $25.00

What is revealed…

There’s a lot to take note of in this vintage RPPC of the Indian Post souvenir shop, Algonac, Michigan:  First and foremost, the two men posing for the photo, one in full headdress; then the address on the building of 717 – this may have been Michigan St. or St. Clair River Dr; the hand-painted artwork on wood of the Indian maiden (love it); the “Railway Express Agency – Packages Received Here” sign, the striped folding deck chairs on the lawn, and how about the very cool window silhouette of the guy on our right? Then there’s the small sign behind him that we can’t read – that looks like part of a wing there; the U.S. souvenir-type flag in the window, and little plastic “windmills” – maybe this was taken around Memorial Day or Fourth of July. And, we impart this fact to you, the readers – this postcard was made from a photo that had some folds in it. The card itself is in great condition, but note the three vertical creases at the top, in the image.

Probably in 2022…

If it’s of great import (for sure, why not?) the shop owner’s name will probably turn up on the 1950 Federal Census, but that won’t be out till April of 2022. City directories for the area were not found online; maybe they exist at a local library. But in moving over to search Newspapers.com we hit the jackpot with a full page spread on Algonac (Chris-Craft enthusiasts you already know the connection) in Port Huron’s, The Times-Herald, (the River Section) dated July 21, 1950, with the photo below.

Proprietor in “chief”

The Times-Herald photo showing the Post’s owner with two potential buyers, and displaying some of the baskets the store was known for. Our shop owner then, is the man on our left in the postcard image, up top. We also now know that the Indian Post was situated between two buildings. The Railway Express sign is still up, visible just next to the 5-story birdhouse…..and as for that particular item for sale, who bought it, is it still happily in use, and if so where?…Picturing the now grown-up kid contacting us with a great story to tell….the day he met the “chief” and his parents bought the bird condo. Stranger things have happened!

Two clippings from the article

Algonac, Michigan on the Saint Clair River

Sources:   “Color A-Plenty Awaits Visitors In Lovely Algonac.”  The Times-Herald (Port Huron, MI) Wednesday, July 21, 1950. p. 90. (Newspapers.com)

Algonac, MI 48001. Google.com map. (accessed May 25, 2017).

Further reading:  Walpole Island First Nation. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpole_Island_First_Nation (accessed May 25, 2017).

Bkejwanong. Walpole Island. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~ksands/Warpole.html. (accessed May 28, 2017).

Picking Flower, Near Mississippi Headwaters, Minnesota

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1950s.

Price:  $15.00

This Real Photo Postcard is one of (at least) four that we see that had been taken, circa 1950s, of an Indian woman named Picking Flower. The other three vintage cards are currently on ebay:  One shows a very similar view to the photo taken for this card, and the other two show Picking Flower standing at the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, Minnesota, with captions. My guess is that she’s Chippewa, a.k.a. Ojibwe or Ojibwa, and it’s possible she might have been a member of the Mississippi River Band Chippewas, but of course, that is mere speculation. The artwork of flowers and leaves that she’s working on (or more likely it was some finished work that was used for the photo shoot) and that which adorns her dress, is very distinctive to Chippewa beadwork design (not to mention stunningly beautiful). Here’s a quick screen shot of a Google search for examples (note the similarity in the top right design to that in the postcard.)

And, if you enlarge the postcard image, you’ll notice the little pair of moccasins that’s attached to the dress (on her left) and the shells interspersed in the shoulder areas. Always the case, we get to wondering about the circumstances surrounding a photo session, about the person themselves, how they felt at the time, what the rest of their life was like. I think Picking Flower is maybe in her 50s, from the graying hair we note, and she looks like she was squinting a little from the sun, when the photo was taken.

Sources:  Mississippi River Band of Chippewa Indians. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_River_Band_of_Chippewa_Indians (accessed May 21, 2017).

“Images of Chippewa beadwork”  Google.com search. (accessed May 21, 2017).

Norge, Lappekone (Med Barn)

Divided back, unused postcard. Date unknown. Publisher:  Mittet & Co., A/S, Oslo, Norway. All rights reserved. Number or series:  3000/54.

Price:  $15.00

Norway, Lapp Wife With Child

The translation for the publisher’s description is just “Norway. Lapp wife” so we added med barn (with child) to the title to be correct for the view. And this is the perfect postcard for being (1.) the third in a short Norwegian theme (see prior two posts) and (2.) the first for Mother’s Day, this year.

A little about the publisher

Mittet & Co., A/S was started in 1899 by Ingebrigt Mittet (1875 – 1950) and carried on and expanded by his sons Knut and Søren Mittet. It was a major Norwegian publishing firm and produced thousands of postcards as well as books and art literature. It appears to have been sold in 1987, but in the 1950s about 15,000 to 20,000 negatives and some albums were sent to the Riksantikvaren (Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage) some of which then went to the Norwegian Folk Museum and Norwegian Technical Museum. The National Library took over the Mittet archived material in 2007. A/S is the abbreviation for Aksjeselskap, the Norwegian term for a stock-based company.

Northern lights

The indigenous Lapp people, Laplanders and People of the Reindeer, as the terms Westerners have traditionally known them by, are today referred to as the Sami, also spelled Saami or Sámi. They live in the region called Sápmi:  northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. And, we’ll not try to summarize further but instead share this Google search result (a picture says a thousand words, as maybe a jump start to further reading, or visiting in person?) for images of Sami people…the colors (!) the patterns, the beautiful faces, the reindeer….beauty in the northern light.

Life is in the details….

As per usual, you can click on all of Laurel Cottage’s images to enlarge them, but we added the two crops below, as they seemed to warrant scrutiny:  Look under the white printing and you’ll see the very faint original wording. You can see the rectangular outlines of the newer info, as if it was taped on. So, it says “Norge Lappekone” in the top image, that’s pretty easy to read, but for the “Mittet” one we’re not so sure. Maybe it says the same publisher, or maybe not, or maybe it holds the photographer’s name. See what you think….Oh (well, duh!) after further searching, it’s likely that the first word there is “Enerett” which in English is “all rights reserved.” It says the same on the reverse of the postcard. (Enerett:  Mittet & Co., A/S, Oslo.) So, darn, no great mystery solved, or anything exciting but it does hint at the card maybe being a more modern production of the same image. (Indeed, there’s another one out there that must of been the earlier version.) And, you can see that someone had x’d over the “Co.” and scribbled after it, probably to make the original wording less noticeable when they were adding the new.

Sources:  “Fotoarkivet etter postkortforlaget Mittet & Co.” Preus Museum. (www.preusmuseum.no) Accessed May 14, 2017.

Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Directorate_for_Cultural_Heritage (accessed May 14, 2017).

Aksjeselskap. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aksjeselskap (accessed May 14, 2017).

Sami history. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_history (accessed May 14, 2017).

“images of Sami people” Google search. (accessed May 14, 2017).