A Beaming Boy

Old photo, circa 1930s – 1940s.

Price:  $4.00        Size:  About 4 x 6″

I love this photo – such a charming kid! No name, location or date on this one either (like the last post) so no hope to trace a name to a current family, but still, impossible to resist. It was found either at one of the paper shows my friend and I like to frequent or at an antique store, loose in a bin. The time frame’s a guess of 1930s or 1940s. Besides that very engaging smile, I like the way he’s off center in the photo, the rolled up sleeves, the somewhat slicked up hair for the photo (nice style, very GQ) and the tie, slightly askew.

Girl With A Parasol

Photo in cardboard folding frame. Photographer unknown. Glossy finish, Velox paper. Circa late 1920s – 1940s.

Price:  $10.00       Size including frame:  About 4 and 1/2 x 8 and 1/2″

Multiple layers for photo detecting

The Velox marks that appear on the back of the photograph indicate the time frame was maybe around late 1920s – ’40s. But this one has a lot of other clues, too, though it feels like we’re dancing around the answer without quite finding it:  We looked at the cardboard frame style, the dress, the striped knee socks, the floral pattern of the Japanese-style paper parasol, the metal folding chair, the shoes (Mary Janes with a alligator pattern around the heal, very snazzy by the way) and the hairstyle. And then for location, the foliage (No, we didn’t really get that crazy. But, that is a tree trunk we’re seeing behind the umbrella, not a blur in the image.) My feeling is 1930s for the era, but we’ll update it later if a better estimate comes around. And then the girl….a great girl. We don’t know her name, but wasn’t this a nice captured moment of happiness?

Source:  Messier, Paul. “Notes on Dating Photographic Paper.” p. 125. Topics in Photographic Preservation, Volume 11. 2005, Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works. http://resources.conservation-us.org/pmgtopics/2005-volume-eleven/11_16_Messier.pdf. (accessed March 3, 2018).

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).

A Postal Telegram….Don’t Worry!

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1907 – 1910s. Publisher APC or AP Co. Series or number 2119.

Price:  $7.00

“Postal Card Telegram. From ______. I get the blues every time I think of leaving this place; I’m thinking of locating here permantly. Don’t Worry!

A tricky spelling for many….

Ha, well permanently was misspelled above. Interesting. In looking for “permantly” in Newspapers.com (I wondered for a sec if the spelling had changed) from years 1832 to the present, over 13,000 entries were found, the last one dated in 2016. Sure, compared to the over 8 million entries found under the  correct spelling of permanently, 13k is not so very much, but still, it’s proof that the word has permanently confounded some of us English-speakers. 😉 And most definitely we can find the incorrect spelling in abundance still today, in ads, social media, etc. and though some is hasty typing, ignore spell check, no biggie type of thing, others are well, not so much.

No worries

The “not to worry” instruction to the receiver…hmmm:  Guessing that is because telegrams were often needed to send bad news, especially during the war. Or maybe, the sender is saying don’t worry, I’ll be coming back, or even don’t worry about me after I leave because I’ll be fine just as soon as I get back to you! And the image, though not of the best quality, is a charmer, of a happy couple, she in her high-brimmed bonnet and he in his straw boater, holding an umbrella.

Publisher name unknown

A nice header on the reverse shows the logo of the publisher:  maybe standing for AP or APC Company. If memory serves, this is one we haven’t come across yet.

A San Jose, California Couple

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1910s. Photographer:  Enrico Bambocci. Solio stamp box.

Price:  $5.00

Happily, from time to time, we find more RPPCs by Italian-born photographer Enrico Bambocci. Here’s to hoping the trend continues! The Bambocci studio was located in San Jose, so it’s probably safe to assume this handsome couple resided there, or in the vicinity. This could be a wedding photo also, (like the prior post) but not necessarily so. And there’s a badger (?) skin (as we’ve seen in another of Bambocci’s photos) draped over the wooden chair, and though it’s not the same badger, it is probably the same chair.

German Couple, Wedding Photo

Divided back, deckled edge, unused Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1910s – early 1920s. Photo paper company:  Trapp & Muench. Germany.

A beautiful couple, and our imaginations do not have to run wild to think that this was probably their wedding day. The very faded or washed out image was darkened in Photoshop. Original below:

The photo paper company on this RPPC was manufactured by Trapp & Muench, per The Postcard Album website (by coincidence mentioned a couple of posts ago). T & M’s trademark, shown below, appears on the reverse of the card above the dividing line:

Source:  “Photo Paper Trademarks, Logos and other imprints.” T & M (Trapp & Muench). Web accessed February 19, 2018.

C. H. B. And Marian Shaw, Daytona 1905

Undivided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. 1905. Sailboat stamp box.

Price:  $10.00

Here’s a beautiful young Springfield, Mass couple posing for the camera. They seemed to have been dressed up for some occasion, she in a long dark skirt and white blouse with bow at the neck (note the pocket watch pinned near the shoulder and that might be a pin of some sort at the bow) and he in a dark suit and tie with light-colored vest, breast pocket handkerchief and visible watch chain. From the writing on the front and from the feel of the photo itself, one presumes they are C. H. B. Shaw and wife Marian, but we can’t say for sure. Nothing definitive was found in census records, city directories or online historical newspapers in either Massachusetts or Florida. Very surprising, too.

Love At The Beach

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


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.)

Cabinet Portrait By W. A. Armstrong

Cabinet Card. Circa 1879 – 1896. Photographer:  W. A. Armstrong, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Price:  $7.00

A photo of a clean-cut young man, wearing a suit jacket with short lapels and a bow tie. The tie has a diamond (or maybe “paste” – hand-cut glass) cross pinned to it. The photographer was W. A. Armstrong; studio address:  389 Broadway, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

That the photographer at the above address shows up in city directories from 1879 through 1896 would seem to be a sure sign of his success:  He was in business for at least these number of years, and did not incur the necessity of changing locations. From the 1880 Federal Census, he is listed as William A. Armstrong, born in Pennsylvania about 1838, of Pennsylvania-born parents. His wife’s name was Sarah, and they had a 3-month old daughter. But to do justice to Mr. Armstrong, we’ll need to put up a separate posting for him, as a quick search has his name appearing in several photographic journals of the day.

Sources:  William Hogg’s The Milwaukee Directory for 1879, Vol. XII. p. 606. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Wright’s Milwaukee Directory, 1896. p. 1112. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Roll: 1436; Page: 28C; Enumeration District: 104. (Ancestry.com)

Dad And Kids, Darlington, Wisconsin

Cabinet Card, circa 1870s – 1880s. Photographer:  J. Polkinghorn, Darlington, Wisconsin.

Price:  $7.00

A Cabinet Card by photographer J. Polkinghorn in Darlington, Wisconsin of….surely this must be the dad in the photo with his young daughter and son. He wears no wedding ring, but perhaps there was none, or he was a widower. An interesting detail in this image is the man’s shoes which show dirt and general wear on the half over the toes, as if he was accustomed to wearing gaiters. No names for this family, unfortunately, but we hope they will be recognized by someone with Darlington or Lafayette County roots. The photographer’s backdrop is interesting, quite vague with that blank expanse in the middle and something tall and carved on our left, what it’s depicting is anyone’s guess, and then on our right a fancy, curved railing leading off to somewhere in our imaginations.

The photographer

Nothing definitive comes up for J. Polkinghorn but he could well be the John Polkinghorn born in England about 1857 who appears on various census record in Darlington, or Lafayette County. This person’s census records show no connection whatsoever to photography (dealer in musical instruments) but it still could be him, and likely, whoever he was, he would have listed himself in the city directories, but we’re not finding the city, or even the county records, online at this time.