Greetings And Heaps Of Good Luck

Christmas card, publisher and date unknown. Circa 1900s – 1930s.

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

In looking up Christmas pudding images we linked to a lovely website (one of many, for sure, but we stopped at the one) with a recipe, and discovered an unlooked-for but welcome answer to the full meaning behind the title of the card:  A silver coin or trinket was traditionally baked into the dessert and whoever found it was supposed to be granted good luck. How nice that the children are offering the dessert to Santa (a skinny Santa, at that). And he must be taking a break from deliveries, as he still has toys spilling out of his very full bag of goodies. Back to the pudding – not a pudding in the American sense, but in the British use of the word (a dish, either savory or sweet, that’s steamed or boiled in something). In this case, a steamed cake made weeks ahead with dried fruit and spices…..then topped with brandy and set aflame (remember the scene in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?) then topped off with cream sauce and garnished with holly.

Sources:   “Traditional British Christmas Pudding (a Make Ahead, Fruit and Brandy Filled, Steamed Dessert).” December 3, 2016. (www.christinascucina.com).

Nelson, Libby. “British desserts, explained for Americans confused by the Great British Baking Show.” November 29, 2015. (www.vox.com).

A Folk Victorian Home, About 1910

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Unused. KRUXO stamp box. Circa 1908 – 1910.

Price:  $10.00

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this house style is Folk Victorian. Two such features are the lace-like decorative spandrels (side-brackets) that help form the archways on the front porch and porch posts that are either turned spindles, or in this case, square with chamfered (beveled) corners. Enlarge the image twice to see the detailing. The thing that seemed weird at first, to me anyway, is that each porch support appears to rest on a short and very narrow piece. Seems like that would be the opposite of what any builder would want to do. However, I’ve been informed that those narrow pieces are likely steel secured from below and going up into each post. The advantage is that rain won’t collect as in a wood-on-wood situation, won’t pool underneath and rot the deck and won’t wick up to create rot in the wooden posts . Smart builder and/or designer!

Other details: We see part of a barn on our right, behind the house, and part of maybe an outbuilding on our left. And….not really noticeable at first, there’s a little boy in one of the windows! Too bad there is no identifying information on the back of the card, but it’s such a nice house, looking brand new, and so charming, almost like a doll house that was just set down on someone’s farmland.

The estimate of the postcard date was determined from scrutiny of the KRUXO stamp box examples online at Playle.com. (Two examples are really similar but I think ours is like the one Playle’s has dated 1908 to 1910.)

Sources:  McAlester, Virginia, and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. 1984. New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. Print.

Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes. K-L. Playle.com. (accessed December 12, 2020).

Hilton Graham, Rydene Johnson and Ronald Walling

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. Circa 1913.

Price:  $15.00

Pals and neighbors….

From the 1910 Federal Census for Durand, Winnebago County, Illinois:  Hilton Graham, son of John H. and Nellie Graham, was born in Illinois, about 1908; Rydene Johnson, son of Elof and Julia M. Johnson, was born in Illinois, about 1904; and Ronald D. Walling, son of Laura Walling, was born in England, about 1902. We’re judging Hilton to have been about five years old in this photo, thus estimating the date it was taken as about 1913. Hilton and Rydene appear on the same census page and Ronald on the next page over.

Source:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Durand, Winnebago, Illinois; Roll: T624_336; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 0142; FHL microfilm: 1374349. (Ancestry.com)

George Paden, Sardis OH

Old photograph, white border, circa 1920 – 1921.

Price:  $8.00            Size:  2 and 1/2 x 3 and 3/8″

We’re estimating George was four or five years old here, so cute in his double-breasted checked coat and white hat. The house across the “street” is likely George’s paternal grandparents’ George E. and Catherine (Kate) Paden’s house, per the 1910 and 1920 Federal Census records for Lee Township, OH. Sardis is in southeastern Lee Township, Monroe County. George is the son of Clyde Paden and Martha (Mattie) Dunn.

Sources:  The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Pennsylvania, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1896. (Ancestry.com).

Marriage Records. Pennsylvania Marriages. Various County Register of Wills Offices, Pennsylvania. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Lee, Monroe, Ohio; Roll: T625_1419; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 52. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Lee, Monroe, Ohio; Roll: T624_1219; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0155; FHL microfilm: 1375232. (Ancestry.com).

Mrs. Monika Urbanski and Grandaughter Mary Ann Ferguson, 1942

Vintage photograph, white border dated November 8, 1942

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

“11-8-42    Mrs. Monika Urbanske      granddaughter Mary Ann Ferguson. Now Mrs. K. Shiflett.”

I thought I had a Thanksgiving card waiting to get put up for this year. Hmmm, well, no – but I like this grandmother/granddaughter one for the holiday. It reminds me of baking pies for Turkey Day (it’s probably the apron that does it) and then just being with family. Mary Ann would have been eight years old when this picture was taken. The photograph seems vivid even though in black and white (love b & w photos!) with those expressions, and then the patterns – plaid (hair bow), stripes, flower prints….the tree branches in the background.

Mary Ann Ferguson, born August 1934 in Washington, DC, was the daughter of James Scott Ferguson and Mary Elizabeth Urbanski. Mary Ann’s second marriage was to Kenneth Shiflett.

Monika (Lubiewski) Urbanski, born in Poland, about 1867, was the daughter of Joseph Lubiewski and Francisca Buszkiewcz. She married Boleslaw William Urbanski.

Sources:  Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia, Marriages, 1936-2014; Roll: 101168604. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com family trees. (accessed November 25, 2020).

 

Café de Flore, Paris

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1920s. Publisher/printer:  Patras, 9 av. Marguerite, A Boulogne-Sèine, France.

Price:  $7.00

….un chocolat chaud et un croissant, s’il vous plaît.

We’re taking a mini-virtual vacation to the Café Flore (Flora Café), 172 boulevard St-Germain, for some relaxation and conversation – back to what appears to be the 1920s. After much clicking on videos recently, I’m taken with the idea that we could push the play button and have this scene come to life (!) But enlarge to get your imagination going on the stories evolving…..There’s the group of men on our left, one in uniform; the couple; the two girlfriends deep conversation; the two separate gentlemen in hats and overcoats; the woman with her young daughter, waiting for traffic to clear; the group of three who appear to have been caught in a delighted chance encounter; the man with hands in pockets at the curb; the man with the briefcase looking as if he’s hailing a cab; the others in blur, caught in motion, and those in the background or partial shadow; and last but not least, the contented-looking young woman at the second story window, arms folded, surveying the scene below.

G. W. Jenks, Boots and Shoes, Shelburne Falls, Mass

Trade card, circa 1870 – 1900. Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

Price:  $10.00        Size:  5 and 7/8 x 2 and 3/4″

Was looking thru boxes this morning for anything 4th of July related, and nothing. So, taking a break from the offerings from Germany, here’s a trade card from the U. S., Shelburne Falls, Mass., to be precise. No American flags or anything in there (imagine some red-white-and blue bunting draped along the porch rail, if you like) but it’s a beauty with an old-timey feel, in rural America:  an artist’s scene of a mill or home with a waterwheel, a woman shepherding a little girl across the wooden footbridge and another lady on the porch (if you enlarge, you can see her). Stamped on the card is:

“G. W. Jenks, Boots and Shoes, Shelburne Falls, Mass”  and  “Buy the light running ‘domestic’ “

G. W. was George W. Jenks, boot and shoe dealer who, according to the card, also sold sewing machines. A Massachusetts native, he was born about 1840. He appears on the 1880 Federal Census along with his wife, Abbie L., and their two children, Charles E. and Mabel L. Jenks. Also in the household is Maggie Chandler, a domestic servant. George must have had a successful business as he appears under this occupation as early as 1870 and as late as 1910 on census records.

He and Abbie (Northup) married on September 12, 1865 in Cheshire, Mass. After Abbie died in 1886, he married Mary Ellen Blanchard October 18, 1888 in Shelburne Falls.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Shelburne, Franklin, Massachusetts; Roll: 533; Page: 221D; Enumeration District: 259. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1870; Census Place: Shelburne, Franklin, Massachusetts; Roll: M593_615; Page: 382B; Family History Library Film: 552114. (Ancestry.com).

New England Historic Genealogical Society; Boston, Massachusetts; Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Shelburne, Franklin, Massachusetts; Roll: T624_589; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0517; FHL microfilm: 1374602. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1850; Census Place: Cheshire, Berkshire, Massachusetts; Roll: 305; Page: 101B. (Ancestry.com).

Treehouse In The Black Forest

Photo, deckled edge. Circa 1950s. Photo printing paper company:  Leonar.

$7.00

“In the Black Forest. Near Wildbad.”

Baumhaus is the German word for treehouse. And this one is a narrow wooden structure setting atop numerous tall poles which are criss-crossed in the center for stability. Wonder if it could have been a ranger station (reminded now of Ranger Gord on The Red Green Show 😉 ) But, for sure, it must have been great fun to climb up the ladder, enter the rather narrow “house” and wave down below to your family, like the boy in the photo is doing. We presume the shot to be from the 1950s; a detailed look at the family car might narrow the time-frame, maybe we’ll get to that in the near future.

The printing out paper used for the photo appears on the back as Leonar – a German company with lots of history. Here’s a great blog article for them:  Leonar-Leigrano photographic paper, R. I. P.?

Source:  Collins, D. “Leonar-Leigrano photographic paper, R. I. P.?” D. nonfigurativephoto, August 20, 2014. http://nonfigurativephoto.blogspot.com/2014/08/leonar-leigrano-photographic-paper-rip.html (accessed June 28, 2020).

Zola I. Proudfit, April 1916

Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. April 1916. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $12.00

“Miss Zola Proudfit, 8 years 4 months, Taking in April 23, 1916.”

A cute moment:  Zola posing on her front porch step, (assuming she was at home) in a white lace dress with a scalloped hem, dark tights and black shoes (they look new). The home is wood-framed and sided, with a wooden sidewalk leading up to it. There may have been electrical wires nearby, note the pattern of the two parallel lines, which must be shadows, appearing on the eave.

Zola, an Oregon native, is the daughter of Fred Proudfit and Rose Fitzgerald. She married California native, Robert Blake Galbraith, on November 25, 1926 in Oakland, California. At the time of their marriage, Zola was a telephone operator, and Robert a locomotive fireman. His parents are Joseph Galbraith and Elizabeth Blake.

Source:  Marriage records, select counties and years. California State Archives, Sacramento, California. (Ancestry.com).

Log Cabin Home, 1934

Photo, white border. October 2, 1934.

Price:  $7.00       Size:  3 and 1/2 x 1 and 7/8″

A child in overalls, standing outside their log cabin home, location unknown. This is a beautiful photo, for content and composition:  There’s the path, right from our viewpoint, leading up to the doorway; the home nestling in the woods and off-center of the image; evidence of the wood-burning stove currently in use; and other details to notice, such as the wash basin hanging next to the door, and the somewhat concave appearance of the cabin’s side. And it’s almost like you could hit “play” and see video – the child walking towards us, smiling face appearing out of the shadow, or maybe turning to go into the house, the stovepipe smoke blowing easterly….

On the back is written,  “At least they have a roof. A well-to-do Indian half-breed.”  Well, maybe the individual that wrote the comment had just come from seeing some other cabins not as well put together. Also it was 1934, so better terminology was not yet common, evidently.

But for me, it looks like a small slice of heaven (as I sit typing this with the heavy traffic rolling by).