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 at 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).

To Fräulein Hedel Mandel, Halle, Germany

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 9, [1901-1909] from Striegau (Strzegom, Poland). Publisher unknown.  Number and/or series:  1117/18.

Price:  $10.00

Addressed to:   “Fräulein Hedel Mandel, Halle a/Saale, Leipziger St. 73 [?]”

A colored (hand-colored?) card of a beautiful young fräulein holding a bucket, and smiling, head tilted. We might automatically think “milkmaid” but note the potatoes? at her feet.

It’s a good guess that the publisher is German, but we didn’t find a match online for the logo below. I’m sure someone knows; I just did not want to spend too much time searching. We’ll update in future, hopefully, but here’s the view:

The postmark indicates Striegau which is the German spelling for Strzegom, Poland. And was addressed to Halle, a.k.a Saale, Germany. Here’s a map link for the postcard’s journey, as the crow flies, though it must not have been that straight-forward!

And if anyone can read the note that was sent to Hedel, please send us a comment.

Source:  Distance from Halle (Saale) to Strzegom. distancefromto.net.

Couple On Steps

Real Photo Postcard. Unused. VELOX stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $4.00

A moment in time, somewhere in rural America…..

According to the particular VELOX stamp box on the reverse, this would have been taken around 1907 to 1917. The building the steps lead up to is not a house, but maybe rather a grange hall, a train depot, a hotel. Note the metal screening on the windows, and the possibility of various small signs (enlarge the image twice – see the nails?) that had once been posted to our left of the doorway. But, I was drawn to this postcard from my impression of two people, caught in a great, candid moment of laughter – the woman seems to be, doubled over would be overstating it, but how do you describe, when someone says something unexpected, maybe ridiculous, and you have that reaction, turning off to the side in mirth, a little bent at the waist? The gentleman’s pose is in wonderful contrast, with arms folded, looking into the camera. We can’t really tell if he’s laughing, but we do take in the working clothes, the heavy gloves, the dried mud on his boots (he’s probably listed as a farmer on the 1900 and 1910 census), and of course, the metal bucket to his right.

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).

A Snap Of John Taken Unawares

Old photo, white border. Circa 1900s to 1920s.

Price:  $2.00          Size:  3 and 1/8″ x 4 and 1/4″

I bought this one for the rather poetic description written on the reverse (We imagine it was his wife that wrote it.) But here’s John, in vest and suspenders and the inevitable hat, his surname and location unknown. He’s deep in thought, and holding what looks to be a tape measure. Maybe he was out looking at property lines. You can see some short wire fencing behind him, and then a nice view of some hills in the distance. The term snapshot came into use in the photographic sense around 1890. We found the short version, “snap” for snapshot (also written snap shot), in historical newspapers as early as 1907, (though this was from a quick search so it may have been in use a little earlier.)

Sources:  snapshot (n). https://www.etymonline.com/word/snapshot (accessed June 14, 2020).

Marshall, Carrie. “A Trip To Idaho – No. 3.” Woodford County Republican, (Eureka, IL) Thursday, September 26, 1907, Vol. 13, no. 34. (Newspapers.com).

Grandpa McInnes

Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $5.00

A beautiful photo-turned-postcard of a handsome guy in profile, with white beard, in suspenders, one hand resting on hip, the other holding his straw hat and with what we might think of as the “old homestead” in the immediate background. The only identification is written on the back as,  “Grandpa McInnes.”  The stamp box is an AZO, two triangles up and two down, which is estimated anywhere between 1910 and 1930, per Playle’s. See https://www.playle.com/realphoto/photoa.php.

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).

Close Hauled

Divided back, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked August 8, 1910 from San Francisco, California. Artist: D. P. Crane. Publisher:  H. G. Zimmerman & Co., Chicago, IL.

Price:  $8.00

Addressed to:   “Mrs. A. Schweitzer, Napa, Calif. Box 253”

The sender wrote:   S. F.  8/8/1910   Dear Lena:- Again home with the folks again. [?] comes the 1st of Sept then we will come up for the day. All O.K. here. Love to all at home. [Dodie?]  1228 Octavia St.”

We didn’t find a match in online records for the sender of the card at the given address:  She is findable, most likely, but would require some heavy searching. So, moving on to the recipient: The 1910 Federal Census for San Francisco shows Lena Schweitzer, age 38 with husband Alvin, age 35, and their nine year old son, Seymour L. Both Albert and Lena were born in Germany, and Seymour was born in New York.

“Close-hauled” is a sailing term – one of many “point of sail” references. A quick definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary is:  “having the sails set for sailing as nearly against the wind as the vessel will go.”  But see the Wiki link below for a more detailed explanation.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Napa Ward 2, Napa, California; Roll: T624_90; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 1374103. (Ancestry.com).

Close-hauled. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/close-hauled (accessed June 9, 2020).

Point of Sail. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_of_sail (accessed June 9, 2020).

I’m In With All The Swells!

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 18, 1913 from Wichita, Kansas. Publisher:  Williamson-Haffner Co., Denver, Colorado. Artist name unknown.

Price:  $12.00

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Ida McFrederick, Harper, Kans, Route 3.”

The sender wrote:  “Dec 18 – 1913. send my mail up here. Hello Ma, Guess I won’t be home Sat. so don’t look for me until you see me. am working now. by by   Florence.”

Per Walter E. Corson’s, Publishers’ Trademarks Identified, the publishing house is the Williamson-Haffner Company, of Denver. So, the initials appearing at the bottom left corner of the illustration must be those of the artist. (Name unknown at this point, but maybe we’ll find out later.)

Thanks, Florence (for passing along) the wonderful phrase on the card, “Don’t look for me until you see me.”  Might remind you of the conundrum we find ourselves in when we contemplate time travel…..and some of the great comedic vignettes we’re familiar with:  Two that come to mind are Joe talking to Frito at the Costco Shuttle in Idiocracy, and one of Big Bang’s segments, something along the lines of, “Okay, we agree that if one of us invents a time machine, we’ll meet right here at exactly (whatever o’clock.)” They look around the room, and then….damn, disappointment. (Not sure – President Not Sure? 😉 ) what episode this was from and this is only from memory, but you probably know the one I mean.)

From the 1905 Kansas State Census, the family is parents, William and Ida McFrederick, and their children, Carl, William, Roy, Earl, Florence and Fern. With the family is a young McDowell (possibly) couple (who may or may not be related) by marriage to the McFredericks. Florence would have been about eighteen when she sent this postcard to her mom.

Sources:  Corson, Walter E. Publishers’ Trademarks Identified. Ed. James Lewis Lowe. Norwood, PA:  1993. (print).

Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; 1905 Kansas Territory Census; Roll: ks1905_62; Line: 13. (Ancestry.com).