A Prosperous New Year To Vera Willson

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked December 31st, circa 1910, year missing. Publisher:  International Art Publishing Co. “New Year Post Card Series No. 19.”

Price:  $6.00

Two adorable bluebirds (artist interpretation) resting on an evergreen branch, are sheltering from the falling snow under an umbrella. This is the first item in The Willson Family Collection. Photos of some of the family members have been found, and will go up early this year. Lots to research!

Addressed to:   “Miss Vera Willson, Bx 543, Gilroy, Cal.”

Vera’s friend wrote:   “My dear friend:-  I thank you for the Christmas card. I am very glad you remembered me.Yours sincerely[?] HL. Bx 238.”

The front of the postcard has the sender’s last name but we didn’t find anything for him in census or city directories, likely due to the full surname being hard to read. Looks like Linden-something. We tried various possibilities but nothing came up.

Happy New Year To Mrs. B. F. Main

Divided back, embossed postcard. Made in Germany. Postmarked from Santa Clara, California, December 30th. Circa 1909. Year missing in postmark.

Price:  $4.00

A Happy New Year….with lilacs, from The Ethel Main Collection, and we’re estimating 1909 for this postcard due to the others in the collection that were sent to the address on the card showing 1909.
The sender wrote:   “Wishing you a Happy New Year. Hazel.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. B. F. Main, 253 – 14th St, San Francisco, Cal”

To Olaf Liljenberg

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 29, 1918, Chicago, Illinois.

Price:  $10.00

For The New Year

“Though I can’t be with you

To share your joys, my dear,

I send these lines to greet you;

May they bring a Happy Year!”

One can always lose oneself for a few moments in little scenes like the one above; common though they often were, they are no less charming. In this case, an (almost) half-circle bordered by snow-covered holly, highlights a country scene at sunset. The background is a repeating pattern of blocks and “j”s and elongated backward “c”s (how can one describe them? 🙂 ) in muted gray-green and tan. And if you click on the image to enlarge, look at the lower right of the scene and you’ll see what looks like a signature.

The sender is Magda (Liljenberg) Kawell. Magda married Arthur Kawell on June 23, 1917 in Lake County, Indiana. She writes to her dad, Olaf Liljenberg:

“Wishing you a Happy New Year. From Magda & Art. Dear Dad. Juist a few lines thanking you very much for the nice Christmas present we recieved.”

Addressed to:   “Mr. O. Liljenberg, 242 Oakland ave., Detroit Mich.”

Olaf’s occupation from the 1919 Detroit city directory is baker. Also at the 242 Oakland Avenue address in 1919 is Erice Liljenberg. The prior year he’s listed under Olaf Liljenbery, baker, residence 10 Mulberry Ave. (The incorrect “y” at the end was either a typo or maybe phonetically appearing due to the correct pronunciation with the subtle “y” sound in place of the anglicized hard “g” in “berg.”)

From the 1930 Federal Census taken in Chicago, Magda was born in Sweden about 1901 and came to the U.S. at about age one. Both of her parents were born in Sweden. The household in 1930 is Arthur and Magda Kawell and their children Dorothy, Katherine and Arthur.

Sources:  Ancestry.com. Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001.

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Detroit City Directory, 1919. p. 1328; R. L. Polk & Co.’s Detroit City Directory, 1918. p. 1166. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 1696; FHL microfilm: 2340223. (Ancestry.com).

An Alpine Christmas

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard, dated December 25, 1907.

Price:  $7.00

Merry Christmas….

“Dec. 25-07. Dear Cousin. I received yor pretty Christmas greeting we are having an easy time shut down last night until Jan 2-d. I found funston St. today did not stop. hope you had a Merry Christmas Both well. Will look for you on the 8.59  Cousin A.B.B.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Katie S. Covert, 730 Centre St., Trenton N. J.”

This card was printed for the change in postal regulations in the U.S. that took place in December 1907. You’ll note how the publisher included instructions on the back of the card, as to which side to write the message on, and which side for the address.  The ivy, holly, clover, and horseshoes (great detail on the horseshoes) are embossed and in the background there’s a framed alpine mountain scene of a shepherd’s hut.

Katie S. Covert shows up on the 1908 Trenton city directory as Kate S. Covert, clerk, residence address 730 Centre St., and on the 1900 Federal Census for East Windsor, Mercer County, NJ:  a single boarder, working as a clerk and cashier, born in New Jersey, May 1875, living with C. S. and Mary B. Appleget.

What is the reference in the message about “Funston St?” Possibly the sender is referring to the Philadelphia street by that name. This seems to be the closest match to the Trenton area, and the cousins probably lived fairly close to each other, as A.B.B. was looking for Katie on the 8.59 train.

Sources:  Fitzgerald’s Trenton and Mercer County Directory, 1908. p. 308. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1900; Census Place: East Windsor, Mercer, New Jersey; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0047; FHL microfilm: 1240981. (Ancestry.com).

I Hope You’re Happy, Too.

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 22, 1920, Oakland, California. Series or number 425A.

Price:  $8.00

“I Hope You’re Happy Too

I feel so fine and Christmassy

And generally good,

I want to share the feeling

As a good friend rightly should.”

Signed, Florence Thickle.

These postcard captions are funny sometimes, which is definitely part of the charm of the old cards. And well, imagine trying to come up with something slightly different for yet another Christmas postcard….As for the illustration, it’s beautiful – a full moon lights a wonderful view looking up a set of steep steps (be careful on the way down!) toward a manor house, we presume (due to the grandeur of the approach).

The sender, Florence, wrote:

4427 Evans ave., Oakland, Calif. Dec. 21, ’20. Dear Grandma Waiters:  This is to wish you happy Xmas, and a fine new year. I’m not doing much for this Xmas; but hope I’ll be able to be at work again before very long. How are you all? Hope old Santa treats you all real good. Lots of love from – Florence.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. V. C. Waiters, Paso Robles, California.”

V. C. Waiters is Vesta C. Waiters, wife of William A. Waiters (second marriage for both) found on the 1910 Federal Census for Paso Robles, born Iowa, about 1847. Her name at birth was Vesta Catherine Fry. On the 1920 she is widowed, head of household in Paso Robles; with her is her brother William H. Fry and granddaughter, Sarah E. Gesser. Curiously, nothing definitive was found for Florence Thickle in records, though we did not trace the grandmother-granddaughter relationship as that tends to be quite time-consuming. Florence must not have been at the Evans Avenue, Oakland address for very long as city directories show a different family in 1920.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, California; Roll: T624_104; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0038; FHL microfilm: 1374117. Year: 1920; Census Place: Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, California; Roll: T625_144; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 45. (Ancestry.com).

A Waterwheel Christmas

Antique embossed, die-cut Christmas card. Date and publisher unknown.

Price:  $10.00              Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 2 and 3/4″

This is a beautiful little card of a wooden waterwheel, the water having frozen, showing icicles hanging from the rungs. The details of the wood and ice are gorgeous, not to mention that of the snow-covered lettering with the message:  “A hearty Christmas, greeting.”  Yes, that appears to be a comma after the word, Christmas. I think they sometimes forgot themselves when making cards….made the mistake and just left it in. The blue background was used for scanning purposes and not part of the card. Click the image to enlarge.

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.)

Santa’s Aeroplane

Vintage Christmas card, publisher unknown.Circa 1917 – 1930s.

Price:  $4.00           Size:  3 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/2″

“I hope that Santa’s aeroplane

Is coming straight your way,

To bring you lots of good things

And a happy Christmas Day.”

Signed,  “Carrie R. Libbey.”

The biplane in this artwork may have been inspired by the Sopwith Camel, due to the bullseye designs under the lower wing. (Maybe these designs have a specific name per Camel aficionados, and someone can let us know.) Note the lack of landing gear on the plane, but the pilot was Santa so maybe he didn’t need any! And hey, the initials S.C. on the hull work for both Santa Claus and Sopwith Camel!

Source:  Sopwith Camel. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopwith_Camel (accessed December 25, 2018).

Merry Xmas From 2305 Oahu Ave

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked December 15, 1937, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Price:  $15.00

“Dear Mrs. Fisher: Our recent visit is still like a dream – it doesn’t seem possible that we were over there & had such a grand time. We’re going to miss the snow again this Xmas. All we have is a good rain. Merry Xmas & a very Happy New Year to you, Kirk & Rea. We still hope some day you can visit us here. Do try. Much love, from Nita, Nils and Shirley Ann.”

Addressed to: “Mrs. Mae E. Fisher, 803 Kingsley St., Ann Arbor, Michigan.”This postcard is the perfect segue from our last post, set in Honolulu, to welcome our Christmas offerings for this year. And from an internet search, it appears this home, sadly, no longer exists. But it was a beauty, cozily nestled between two grand, I’m thinking oaks, but no idea really, and a beautiful big evergreen. Don’t you love the striped effect on the curb, and is there a sidewalk in there somewhere? Anyway, the family living here at this time is attorney Cyrus Nils Tavares, born in Hawaii about 1904, his wife Unita (Gillet) Tavares, born in Michigan about 1908, and their daughter Shirley Ann, born in Hawaii about 1928. The recipient of the postcard is Mae E. Fisher, widow on the 1940 Federal Census, born in Michigan, about 1873, her son Kirkland, born in Ohio, about 1905, and Kirk’s wife Rhea, born in Michigan, about 1908.

Sources:  Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and HealthStatistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 223; Film Description: Washtenaw (1927 – 1933).
Year: 1940; Census Place: Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Michigan; Roll: m-t0627-01823; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 81-25.
Year: 1940; Census Place: Honolulu, Honolulu, Hawaii; Roll: m-t0627-04585; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 2-43.