The Dock At Patchogue, Long Island

Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked July 23, 1914, Patchogue, New York. Publisher:  H. O. Korten. Panel Card No. 174. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $8.00            Size:  About 6 and 1/8 x 2 and 1/2″

A lovely RPPC, though a big chunk of the right-hand upper corner is missing. It might be relevant for anyone interested in the history of Patchogue, and definitely so if their ancestor owned a sailboat christened Nancy Hanks.

What degree of separation….mother, horse, sailboat…?

One naturally assumes the boat may have been named after a then present-day (1914) person, maybe a relative of someone who lived in Patchogue. So, we went to census records for Nancy Hanks, but found nothing; then went to historical newspapers and found a reference to someone running off at “a Nancy Hanks trot.”  Intriguing…..Ahhhh, a little further searching revealed that Nancy Hanks (named after Abe Lincoln’s mother) was a Standardbred trotting mare, a record-breaker that was later inducted into the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame.

The trotter Nancy Hanks circa 1892, photo by Schreiber.

As for the card’s sender and recipient…..

Addressed to:   “Miss Elsie Blum, 481 E – 11th st., Brooklyn, N.Y.”

The sender wrote:   “Dear Ones, just got mother’s letter & will write soon. Wieder[?] is very very happy with you. Love & a big kiss. Tanta Lahy.”

The Blum family were of German origin, and maybe “Tanta” is a nickname for tante (aunt). It sounds like the sender’s son received a gift from Elsie and was thrilled with whatever it was. As for the addressee, there’s an Elsie Blum on the 1910 Federal Census that might fit for the addressee of this card. Born in Ohio about 1890, parents Adam and Elsie, address 812 Cortelyou Road in Brooklyn, with a near cross street being E. 7th. Nothing coming up for the address on the postcard in city directories at either 481 11th (apt. E) or 481 E. 11th, which is surprising. But it is an address today, if the numbering is the still the same, 481 11th St., a condo, and so beautiful on the inside! ( If Elsie could see it now!)

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Brooklyn Ward 29, Kings, New York; Roll: T624_983; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 1023; FHL microfilm: 1374996. (Ancestry.com).

Nancy Hanks (horse). n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Hanks_(horse). Accessed September 15, 2019.

Young Man And Wooden Fishing Boats

Old photo, circa late 1910s – 1920s.

Price:  $5.00         Size:  5 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/4″

No writing on the back of this one:  a young man posing for the camera perched on the bow (well, maybe stern) of a wooden fishing boat, one of several grouped together. He wears a suit and tie and a somewhat unusual striped hat. And, this could have been taken in so many possible places. The shot reminds me of Ireland though, because of the old wooden boats that Mom and I saw one time, having gotten out of the car to take a stroll by the sea. So, naturally, I had to look up coastal photos of Ireland….not with any hope of finding the location (because one would need psychic abilities on this one!) but just because I’m always compelled. Once you get that idea in your head you find yourself typing something in Google no matter what the odds are…..so this image of Skerries in County Dublin, with it’s similar look of sweeping coastline came up right away, by chance having a chance 🙂  to fit the criteria in our image. (If you click to enlarge ours you can see the background better where maybe some mistiness makes the land seem lower than in the “what-are-the-odds-Skerries-photo” or maybe it’s the angle at which it was taken.) Here’s Skerries, Fingal, County Dublin.

And wouldn’t that be hilariously something if it were indeed a match?…..On the other hand, maybe this is Massachusetts….

Source:  “The Top Ten Most Beautiful Seaside Towns in Ireland.” (www.irelandbeforeyoudie.com). Accessed September 7, 2019.

Girl With Boat Oar

Lithograph, printing company unknown. Circa 1870s – 1890s.

Price:  $6.00       Size:  1 and 3/8 x 2 and 3/4″

Nothing printed on the back but one assumes this small card may have been part of a series, maybe of seaside scenes or women in regional dress or bathing attire. And it’s a colorful outfit she wears:  peach skirt, sleeveless top with wide vertical stripes in wine and light blue. And the lighter rose-colored material that encircles her hips, is this part of the skirt or top? Note the emblem of some sort on the skirt, and the peach tam o’shanter hat. Was that a mistake by the printer to have that line going from the hat to behind the girl’s back? And we can’t also help but wonder at the small landmark (like something manmade – a statue perhaps) that appears on the distant horizon; as if this card was fashioned after a specific location, somewhere well-known to the lithographer but that leaves us in the dark today. Lots of questions without answers on this one but maybe that’s part of it’s charm!

Stereograph of Portobello Beach, Scotland

Stereograph, Portobello Beach, Scotland, circa 1860s – 1890s. Possibly 1860s.

Price:  $20.00        Size:  About 6 and 3/4 x 3 and 1/4″ including matting

Bathing machines at Portobello Beach, Scotland

Portobello was a coastal town situated three miles east of Edinburgh’s city center, and today is a suburb of that city.

Here’s two of the same image mounted on cardboard to make a stereograph, also commonly called stereo view, the type used for 3-D viewing (or an approximation of) that was popular “in waves” (per Wikipedia’s entry and no pun intended 😉 ) from around 1870 – 1920.

Various historical notices and letters can be found in The Caledonian Mercury (Edindburgh, Scotland) on the subject of bathing at Portobello. A little background info:  Men had been used to bathing in the nude, both sexes used the bathing machines, women were segregated from the men, and bathing laws were changing in the 1860s. Here’s a few newspaper clippings – below left, appearing July 17, 1851 and on the right, dated June 23, 1862:

Below, another letter to the editor, dated April 4, 1863, and signed “Common Sense.”

Forsyth

Note the surname Forsyth on a few of the conveyances, which we discovered was one of the rental companies at the time the photo was taken. (Could the W. F. in the 1862 letter to the editor have been a Forsyth?) Other machines in the photo show different company names, but they’re too blurred to make out.

Below, a Forsyth’s baths ad clipped from The Caledonian Mercury, August 21, 1861, which leads one to think that our stereograph photo may have been from the 1860s, though more research would need to be done to hopefully find how long the company was in the machine rental business.

High topper gents

Also notable, are two men gazing back at the camera, sporting high top hats. Note that the hat on the right is what we think of as “stovepipe” as in Abe Lincoln, but the other (or maybe too much imagination in play here) looks like it might be of the variety that was more rounded on the sides and top. The term “chimney pot” was also used, but it seems both nicknames have come to be used interchangeably, and understandably so, because one can find photos of chimney pots that have either straight, convex or concave sides. But we’ll stop ourselves here from going off on a hat tangent, (a whole other realm….hat history, hats and public opinion, hats and politics, how fashion influenced politics, etc.)

Sources:  Stereoscope. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereoscope (accessed August 31, 2019).

Bathing machine. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathing_machine (accessed August 31, 2019).

“Portobello – The Bathing Machines” The Caledonian Mercury, July 17, 1851. Thursday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

“Letter to the Editor” The Caledonian Mercury, June 24, 1862. Tuesday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

“Bathing at Portobello” The Caledonian Mercury, April 6, 1863. Monday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

“Baths” The Caledonian Mercury, August 21, 1861. Wednesday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

Top hat. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_hat (accessed August 31, 2019).

Lake Michigan Fun, 1938

Photo, white border. Dated July 28, 1938.

Price:  $4.00         Size:  3 and 9/16 x 2 and 1/2″

We’re still at Lake Michigan from the last post….This time at one of the beaches at South Haven, Michigan on July 28, 1938, where a young girl in an inner tube and an adult, pose for the snapshot. No names on the back but we just like this old reminder of summers at the beach in days past.

Choose The Best Shade

Trade Card. J & P Coats. Circa1880s – 1890s.

Price:  $15.00               Size:  About 4 and 1/8 x 2 and 5/8″

Such a pretty card and with a clever caption! The stripes going through the waves remind me of the zigzag pattern in clothes that has materialized (just a happy coincidence on the pun) on the scene in the world of fashion in recent years, and the design on the back of the card that surrounds the lettering in bold, is delicate and almost mechanical-looking.

J & P Coats you will instantly recognize as a mega company in the world of thread. I checked my sewing tin just now and found all the labels as either Coats, under the current Coats Group logo, Clark O.N.T. (Our New Thread) or Coats & Clark.

Sources:  Coats Group. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coats_Group (accessed February 25, 2018).

Coats. TRC Leiden. (accessed February 25, 2018).

Love At The Beach

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Theodor Eismann, Leipzig, Saxony. Th. E. L., Series 950. Circa 1907.

$7.00

Segueing from a valentine (the prior, the only one we had this year) to a couple’s theme. And, by the way, posts are sparse at the moment due to much overtime at the regular j.o.b. But we’ll return to something more normal (yes, I know, define normal) shortly…..A beautiful German postcard from publisher Theodor Eismann of Leipzig, Saxony from maybe around 1907. I’m guessing this approximate date after looking at the prior link under the excellent The Postcard Album website; not sure if the series numbers were running in numerical order or not. If you click on the image to enlarge it you’ll see all the gold glitter accents for the couple and on the rattan high-backed domed beach chair.

Source:  “Theodor Eismann, Leipzig Saxony.” The Postcard Album. (web accessed February 18, 2018.)

Hotel Delos, Mykonos, Greece, 1950s

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Publisher:  Leonar. Circa 1950s – 1960s.

Price:  $10.00        Size:  5 and 7/8 x 4″

Boats and waterfront scene on Mykonos (Horus) Cyclades Islands, Greece

The cars in this photo are possibly late 1950s, at least the one might be…if it’s a 1957 Plymouth (the one with the “fin” on the quarter panel – quarter panel being in the rear as opposed to fender which is the term used for the front – this info from my mechanic hubby.) But was much time spent looking at various cars to try to narrow down the era? No. And no time was spent trying to identify the watercraft (from experience this can be a very time-consuming endeavor.) In any case, our best guess is late ’50s early ’60s.

As far as the most identifiable business in the photo, that of the Hotel Delos, I believe the location must have changed at some point, as a current aerial photo found online shows no buildings to the left of the hotel, and a “stock photo” found of the building no longer shows the hotel’s name on the front. The cropped version below, gives us a better look at the two cars to our right, and the hotel on our left:

Source:  Mykonos. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mykonos (accessed April 04/02/17).

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)

Brace’s Rock, Cape Ann, Mass.

Braces Rock Cape Ann Mass pc1Braces Rock Cape Ann Mass pc2

Initially, four postcards were found that were addressed to Ida L. Vance; since then we ran across a fifth. This is just the third one getting up on the website, and though it was postmarked in May, it reminds me of chilly November weather (in keeping with a fall-going-into-winter theme.) It’s a view in shades of black and grey on a cream-colored background, of Cape Ann with the lighter-colored rock formation being Brace’s Rock.

See this Wiki article regarding American artist Fitz Henry Lane (1804 – 1865) for another view:  the artist’s painting, Brace’s Rock, Eastern Point, Gloucester (circa 1864).

Braces Rock Eastern Point Gloucester by Fitz Henry Lane

But from browsing through historical newspapers, what is striking, is the sense of forgotten history, but also of the contrast between today and “yesterday” when the East Coast waters seemed to be full of schooners, steamers, whalers, and newspapers and journals were full of reports on the same. Stepping back a little further in time (just through the fog…)

Storms and wrecks

From a December 1859 article in American Traveler, regarding the wreck of the schooner Prudence Nickerson, who’s crew (or captain or both) mistook another ship’s light for that of (presumably) a lighthouse:  “The light proved to be that of the steamer M. Sanford, lying at anchor between Ten Pound Island and the Point, and was seen over the low land at Brace’s Cove. The Prudence ran a short time when she struck on the eastern end of Brace’s Rock, and went to pieces in about two hours. The captain and crew succeeded in getting on the rock by means of the main bottom, although one of them was nearly washed off in the attempt. They saved nothing but what they had on and remained on the rock till daylight, when they waded ashore.”

From the Shipping News, Vol. VI, Issue 314, an article that had appeared in the Salem Gazette, regarding a violent storm in October of 1792,  “Capt. Samuel Ingersoll, of Beverly, homeward bound from Port-au Prince, ran upon rocks at Brace Cove, and lost all but the people’s lives.”

On a lighter note

Regarding the steamer Reindeer’s pleasure excursion in July of 1865 reported in the Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph:

“Leaving Fort Wharf at half past twelve, the steamer soon passed around Eastern Point and turned her head to the eastward. To those who had not sailed in that direction before, it was pleasing to note the different points of local interest that had been visited time and again from the land. Brace’s Rock and Cove, Pebble Stone beach, Bass rocks, Little Good Harbor beach, Salt Island, Long beach and Milk Island, each in succession presented a different aspect from what the landsman had been accustomed to observe when visiting those places.”

A sea “monster”

Two offerings from February and January 1870, appearing in the Cape Ann Advertiser:

“The great curiosity found by Mr. Barrett, at Brace’s Cove, is on exhibition at No. 108, Front street. It is pronounced something remarkable, and no one, as yet, can tell what it really is.” 

Further investigation showed the earlier report:

A Great Curiosity. – Mr. Moses Barrett, of East Gloucester, recently found at low water mark, at Brace’s Cove, a most singular object, which resembles the head of some kind of marine monster. It is in form of an owl’s head, with large bony projections which look like ears. Its weight is about seventy-five pounds, and it bears evidence of having been in the water some years. Hundreds have visited it the present week, and all pronounce it a remarkable curiosity.”

Wow – was it a hoax or real? If real, here’s to hoping though that the poor sea creature was given some thought (by many) to being something more than just a curiosity or scientific specimen. (Cecil and Beanie was my favorite cartoon.)

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked May 3, 1906 from Gloucester, Massachusetts. Publisher:  The Rotograph Co., New York. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $7.00

Sources:  Fitz Henry Lane. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitz_Henry_Lane. (accessed November 28, 2015).

“Ship News. Disasters &c”. American Traveler. Boston. Saturday, December 17, 1859. (Genealogybank.com)

“Marine Intelligence”. Salem Gazette. Tuesday, October 16, 1792. Shipping News, Vol. VI, Issue 314, p. 3. (Genealogybank.com)

“Isle of Shoals”. Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph. Saturday, July 22, 1865, p. 2. (Genealogybank.com)

“Off-hand Local Jottings”.  Cape Ann Advertiser. Friday, February 4, 1870, p. 2. (Genealogybank.com)

“A Great Curiosity”. Cape Ann Advertiser. Friday, January 28, 1870, p. 2. (Genealogybank.com)