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 back. 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).

Dog And Skier, Finnish Handicraft Series

Divided back, artist-signed, unused postcard. Finnish Handicraft Series. Circa 1950s – 1980s.

Price:  $20.00

The date is unknown for this postcard, as no other cards were found online under any form of the back description:

Finnish Handcraft Series. Hemslöjdsföreningarnas Centralförbunds serie. Kotiteollisuusjärjestöjen Keskusliiton sarja. Maybe 1950s – 1980s as a broad guess. The artist’s initials “H. T.” appear at the bottom-left of the cross-country ski scene. Underneath are a reindeer and tree motif and above a diamond pattern. This is just a beautiful card. And that’s a Sami (Saami) man in traditional dress with a Four Winds Hat. I love the dog in mid-spring! as in bounce, that is. If you’re weary, the dog’s exuberance will rejuvenate you!

Sources:  Four Winds Hat. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people (accessed May 13, 2017).

Sami People. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people (accessed May 13, 2017).

The Road To The Dance

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Velox stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $4.00

The who and where are unknown in this RPPC (for some reason I keep thinking Oregon) of three young men and a young woman, dressed up for the evening, heading up the dirt road to….a country dance, we think. The young lady carries a parasol, and per the norm for the time-period, all four are wearing hats. That’s a wide hat band ribbon around the fellow’s hat, second from left:  You can just barely discern the crown that’s blending in with the background.

Women In Greek Costume

Divided back, unused Greek postcard. Publisher:  Delta, Athens, Greece. Circa 1960s.

Price:  $3.00     Size:  4 x 5 and 13/16″

Just something to go with the prior post, for Greece….specifically regarding the traditional dress of Ίωάννινα or Ioannina in English, though the photo was actually taken near Acropolis at Athens. See the comment on this post from Maria.

Publisher Delta Editions was owned by Emmanuel Diakakis & Son. Address:  4 Apelou St., Athens. Greece.  “Έμμ. Διακάκης & Υίός – Άπελλοϋ – 4 – Τηλ – Άδήυαι.”

Source:  Ioannina. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ioannina (accessed April 2, 2017).

View From The Pier, 1930s

Real Photo Postcard, cropped. ECK stamp box. Circa 1930s.

Price:   $1.00      Size:  About 4 and 5/8 x 3 and 1/2″

This is a mystery spot. Okay, we’re off to drive up and down the West Coast of the U.S….leaving now, with digitized photo in hand for comparison 😉 (Wouldn’t that be nice!) Seems like that’s almost the only way to pinpoint the location of this photo and we’d be peering through the layers of development down thru the years, too….but, maybe someone will recognize this place. We hope so! Guessing it’s West Coast, but that’s just a guess. The stamp box on the back, per Playle’s, is circa 1930 – 1950, but the vehicles look more like ’20s and ’30s rather than later. Some signs on the buildings are readable: We see a hotel, a building with big lettering advertising “Refreshments” and toward our left…Cabins.

Cabin(s)…backwards…

This is odd:  The one sign showing “Cabins” that appears backwards makes sense since the lettering stands alone above the building its perched on and we’re just looking at it from the other side; the other, “Cabin” appearing lower, just further left, looks like it’s painted backwards on the side of a building. Since that doesn’t make sense, then is it also a stand-alone type of sign? Or, could it be a reflection? Or maybe our photo is two photos spliced together, one reversed? But that seems highly unlikely.

Source:  “Real Photo Stamp Boxes, D-E.” playle.com. (accessed April 1, 2017)

La Calèche De Québec

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Librairie Garneau, Québec, PQ Canada.  Circa 1931.

Price:  $3.00

La Calèche:  a popular subject for old Québec postcards

The calèche, as shown in the postcard, is a light carriage with two large wheels, drawn by one horse, and usually seen with its top folded back. After searching old newspapers (the term calèche abounds) and books online, it seems the name was perhaps used generically for carriage, maybe at some point having something to do with the hood style. (This Wiki article in french shows the different look with four wheels) and after many searches the only thing that seems clear is that when exactly the two-wheeler came into being would be a subject for a more in-depth search, but here’s an excerpt from an article in 1850 that appeared in the Christian Watchman (Boston).

And we couldn’t resist including this next snippet from a short story by Fred Hunter from the newspaper Flag of Our Union (Boston) re a mysterious woman in a blue bonnet, bringing to mind the two-wheeler, really, if conjuring an image…

Speaking of bonnets, the women’s bonnet in images below, was aptly named the “caleche capote” (carriage hood). Newspaper articles in 1879 reference this as the latest style.

Surface romance

But back to the conveyance:  Is the vehicle as seen in the postcard above still in use today? No, today we’re talking about the horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage that has been a part of the tourist industry in the cities of Montréal and Québec. This is an eye-opening topic, if you have not yet heard of the plight of the carriage horse. Glad now that we never took that carriage ride, well what –  twenty years ago in Montréal? But, still. And through the surface of charm and romance we’d probably have thought anyway, “But is the horse happy?” You know how it is when you get that feeling that you’ve bought into something fake, something glossy on the surface but behind the scenes, “not so much.” So, in many cities the use of the carriage horse has already been banned, while in other places the fight continues. Below, a couple of excellent websites:

Anti-Calèche Defense Coalition

Horses Without Carriages

On to the postcard….

After some online digging we found that our card originated from a Real Photo Postcard:  One is currently showing on eBay, “The Old World Caleche, Quebec, P. Q.,” published by S. J. Hayward, 1448 Mountain St., Montréal, and dated by the sender in 1931. The photo itself could have been taken earlier. In addition to our tinted version there is a second colorized rendition from Toronto publisher, The Post Card & Greeting Card Company, Ltd., as shown below, second from left, top row, in some images from a Google search.

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Sources:  Calèche. The Canadian Encyclopedia. (accessed March 18, 2017).

Calèche. n.d. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cal%C3%A8che (accessed March 18, 2017).

“A Trip to Quebec.” Christian Watchman (Boston, MA) Thursday, October 10, 1850. p. 4. (GenealogyBank.com)

Hunter, Fred. “The Blue Velvet Bonnet – A Parisian Tale.” Flag of Our Union (Boston, MA) Saturday, March 31, 1949. p. 4. (GenealogyBank.com)

“Images of caleche bonnet.” Cropping of Google.com search result. https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+caleche+bonnet&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8. (accessed March 18, 2017).

“Old World Caèche Montreal Quebec Canada 1931.” ebay.com http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/Old-World-Caleche-MONTREAL-Quebec-Canada-1931-S-J-Hayward-Postcard-3874-/192109228919?hash=item2cba9a3377:g:j~cAAOSwEzxYdbBK(accessed March 18, 2017).

“Images of Quebec postcards calèche.” Cropping of Google.com search result. https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+cal%C3%A8che+postcards+quebec&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6_9-rwODSAhUQ32MKHYs4Bf0QsAQIGQ&biw=1205&bih=522. (accessed March 16, 2017).