A Happy Easter To Irving Felix

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1914 – 1919. Publisher unknown. Easter series number 36, design 103.

Price:  $10.00

“A Happy Easter – Here’s a wish from a friend

And a greeting true

Just a remembrance, – from me to –

You.”

There are layers to everything, the history of an object, for instance – who made it and how it ended up in where it did, and we’ve remarked on this thought in prior posts, but this card has a special poignancy. And it’s a strange feeling to hold a postcard in your hands that was sent over a century ago and know the fate of the little boy it had been given to. And if our perception of time is normally felt as linear, this is one of those instances that stands out as something different, as if you could walk into the next room and meet the Felix family over Easter dinner. For it was a gut-wrenching discovery to find that Irving Arthur Felix was one of the men serving on USS Houston (CA-30) the heavy cruiser that went down during the Battle of Sunda Strait, off the northern coast of Java during WWII, along with her ally, Australian light cruiser, HMAS Perth (D-29).This after a valiant and greatly outnumbered Allied fight against the Imperial Japanese Navy forces in the vicinity. The numbers vary slightly in different accounts, but of Houston’s crew of 1,068, the survivors numbered 368, surviving only to be taken prisoner and interred in various POW camps. Seventy-nine of the prisoners died, of which Irving Felix was one. According to articles in Iowa newspapers, his family (wife, parents and brother and sister) found out around March 1942 that he was reported missing in action, and learned of his death sometime before July 15th ’43. He died April 26, 1943 at age 29 and was buried in Batavia, (now Jakarta) Java with full military honors. His grave site was later moved (or added, not sure if the original still exists) to Riverside Cemetery, Charles City, Iowa.

The postcard:

Addressed to:   “Mr. Irving Felix, Floyd Iowa.”

The sender wrote:  “Dear Irving: – Here is a card for you even if you can not read it. Inez you can read it. how is that song he sings with the rooster on his arm.    Aunt Tena[?]”

 1920 census info….

Irving Felix was found on the 1920 Federal Census for Rudd Township, Floyd County, Iowa, age 6, and we’re not sure at what age he learned to read, but Inez is his older sister who, like their aunt had suggested, could have read the card to him. From the 1920:  Parents Clarence A. Felix (age 33) and Ida Felix (age 36) and children Inez (age 11) Ivan (age 8) and Irving (age 6). All are born on Iowa, and both the parents are of German heritage. Clarence’s occupation is farmer.

In closing….

To the boy who sang a song about a rooster, and to paraphrase the verse on this card,  “Here’s a wish from friends true, and a heartfelt thank you, from us to you.”  (In remembrance of all lives lost during wartime and a prayer for peace and unity of all on our planet.)

Sources:  USS Houston (CA-30). n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Houston_(CA-30) (accessed April 12, 2020).

HMAS Perth (D-49) n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Perth_(D29) (accessed April 14, 2020).

Battle of Sunda Strait. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sunda_Strait. (accessed April 12, 2020).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Rudd, Floyd, Iowa; Roll: T625_490; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 120. (Ancestry.com).

“St. Ansgar Man Is Missing After Java Sea Battle With Asiatic Fleet; Irving Felix of Rudd, Also Reported Lost.” The Courier (Waterloo, Iowa). March 17, 1942. Tuesday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com).

“Sailor Dies in Japanese Camp.” Globe-Gazette (Mason City, Iowa). July 15, 1943. Thursday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 14 April 2020), memorial page for Irving Arthur Felix (15 Jan 1914–28 Apr 1948), Find a Grave Memorial no. 32213511, citing Riverside Cemetery, Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Kathy Gerkins (contributor 39861343) .

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!)

Frank Corbyn Price Christmas Postcard

Divided back, unused, artist-signed postcard, dated 1923. Raphael Tuck & Sons “Oilette” postcard. “Wonderful White Winter.” Copyright London, Printed in England. Artist:  Frank Corbyn Price.

Price:  $12.00

Christmas Greetings…..

At sunset, a farmer has opened the gate for a shepherd and his dog driving their sheep along a snow-covered road. This Tuck postcard was one of a set of six, under the series title “Wonderful White Winter.” The scene is by British artist Frank Corbyn Price (1862 – 1934). And though the card is dated by the sender at Christmastime in 1923, the work was first used in December of 1914, according to the website, TuckDB Postcards.

On the reverse, the unknown sender writes:

“To Chuckie – Good old Santa Claus greets you & wishes you the very happiest time possible in the present, & in the future. Christmas 1923.”

Sources:  Ancestry.com. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995.

Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA), 1911. (Ancestry.com).

“shepherd in bright green driving sheep along road in snow, greeting old man gate, red sunset.” TuckDB Postcards. https://tuckdb.org/items/71829. (accessed December 25, 2018.)

Scottish Lass Trade Card

Scottish Lass Trade Card tc1

A beautiful red-haired lassie in Rob Roy MacGregor-Black (?) plaid skirt and jacket, and a tam-o-shanter with red wings, holds a peacock feather-designed fan. She is posed standing on a path in the forest, with her arm draped protectively around a lamb, who rests just next to her on a grassy ledge. Girl and lamb are looking off to their right. The design ends up to be a little comical – it appears that the lamb wears a little pointed hat (!) but really that is just the bonny lassie’s arm showing through her sleeve – her long sleeves being slit almost up to the shoulder. Very stylish!

At the bottom of this Victorian Era trade card is the wording:   “Washington. Trade Mark Registered.”  What this refers to is a mystery:  coffee, flour, fabric, cough syrup…who knows? Breed of sheep? Was it one of maybe a series of cards for each state? Nothing was found to enlighten us yet, so it will go into the mystery category!

Victorian Era trade card. Washington registered trade mark. Circa 1880s – 1890s. Condition:  Poor, regrettably, due to top middle piece having become torn away from the whole; creases in top and bottom left corners; top right corner missing.

Size:  4 and 1/2 x 6 and 1/2″

Price:  $10.00