Willie Joseph Brennan, May 1898, Orlando, Florida

Cabinet Card. May 8, 1898, Orlando, Florida. Photographer:  E. W. Jackson. “Ivory Finish.”

Price:  $10.00           Size:  4 and 1/16″ x 6 and 1/2″

Seemingly, the last name for this handsome lad is Brennan. (It’s so easy to scribble names when we know them.) Other possibilities were tried. Nothing showing up for him online, like his possible sister, Gertrude Brennan, in our prior post. Unusual, since we have his full name and that he was born in June of 1884. Both cards were found together in an antique store in California. City directories for this time period in Orlando are not available (in a quick search). Nothing showing in census and newspaper records, death records, etc., at least without getting into hours and hours of searching.

Some info and a photo (!) was found on the photographer, E. W. Jackson. He’ll be upcoming in the next posting.

Gertrude Brennan In 1894

Cabinet Card taken October 13, 1894. Photographer: Howard. “Enameled Ivoryette.” Orlando, Florida.

Price:  $10.00           Size:  About 4 and 1/4 x 6 and 1/2″

A beautiful, young lass of Irish descent:  Gertrude Brennan, taken in Orlando, Florida on October 13, 1894. We’ll do some research this weekend for her. The next post will be a possible relative, a portrait of a young lad, Willie Joseph Brennan. They are possibly siblings but we’ll find out. Just getting this one up quick-like for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Well, very surprisingly, nothing was found for Gertrude in the usual search places online (census, city directories, newspapers, etc.) It’s possible, too, that the date on the back is Gertrude’s birth date, rather than date the photo was taken, but a broad search under dates was tried. Also, tried with potential brother, Willie or William Joseph Brennan (see next post). The photographer, Howard, is possibly Clarence E. Howard, born PA, about 1858. City directories for this time period in Orlando, seem to be unavailable. (This is just in a general, quick search.) And maybe the Brennan head of household exists in directories that are not digitized, at Orlando libraries, perhaps.

Source:  Year: 1900; Census Place: Orlando, Orange, Florida; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0116; FHL microfilm: 1240175.

Heart Unruly

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Circa 1920s. Series or number 245. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $10.00

“Tell me dear

And tell me truly

Will you accept

This heart unruly

And be my valentine”

The leaves on the trees are all hearts!

This card is rather a beauty. The insert on the insert, so-to-speak, is really gorgeous, the colors, the woman’s sweet expression, her soft scarf in folds up to her chin, the lovely hat, fashionable curls….Whoever the artist was, we appreciate them! Also, it has a winter-y look and that always goes well with the spring view behind it. I think this was a not uncommon theme, true, maybe inadvertently in this one, but displaying that feeling that we’re still in winter but spring is just ahead.

Addressed to:   “Miss Edith Welsh, Port Vue, Pa.”

Signed:   “from Lillie Hoak.”

Lillie and Edith were neighbors, from the 1920 Federal Census for Port Vue, Allegheny County. Edith is Edith R. Welsh, born in PA about 1888, daughter of the widowed Genevra B. Welsh, and with younger siblings Nellie B. and George F. Welsh. House address 1700 Liberty Way.

Lillie is Lillie M. Hoak, born about 1905, also in PA, daughter of Leonard E. and Nancy Hoak, with older siblings Raymond H. and Clifford V. and younger sibling, Ella B. Hoak. House address 606 Liberty Way.

As for the publisher, I’m not finding them yet, the logo shows a capital B within a diamond shape, just very simple. Both the publisher mark and the distinctive “Post Card” design on the reverse were searched in Walter E. Corson’s Publishers’ Trademarks Identified, but a match was not found.

Source:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Port Vue, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1516; Pages: 19B and 20B; Enumeration District: 763. (Ancestry.com).

Double Exposed Car

Old photo, white border. Circa 1910s – early ’20s.

Price:  $10.00

Young man posing in front of….perhaps a Model T (just a guess). Looks like maybe he’s going camping, with the gear strapped in somehow on the running board. Though, at first glance, this looks like an x-ray of the car with….surprise, much different innards than expected. 😉 I’m struck just now by the synchronicity of the man and vehicle both sporting a soft “cap” (Yeah, we’re all a little crazy lately, eh? 🙂 )

Gas Pump – Verdun, France

Photo, white border, deckled edge. Circa mid-1930s, France.

Price:  $10.00

Verdun, France, a man refuels his vehicle, a 1934 or 1935 Peugeot 401.

Two members of the Antique Automobile Club of America came to the rescue (lightning quick responses, as usual) to identify the make, model and year of the car in the photo, and for clarification on the Castrol sign appearing to the left of the large Essences – Huiles.

Of course, it’s one of the first things to do (and so fun) when enlarging old photos – try to decipher any blurry or murky-looking wording, and that word under Castrol had me stumped (was guessing Brewster, haha) but it turned out to be something simple, in french, brevetée, patented. (See link in Sources.) And that’s a Gargoyle Mobiloil sign, to the right of Essences – Huiles. Gargoyle was a brand name under the Vacuum Oil Company. Also, noteworthy in the photo, is the small piece of machinery on the concrete, to the left of the man. Per my mechanic hubby, this is maybe an air compressor or pressure washer. Last but not least, we love the intricate wrought ironwork over the doorway of the Bureau de something, not quite readable – another of those, if you already knew what it said, it would be perfectly clear. 😉

Sources: Photo and video forums. What is it? Antique Automobile Club of America. Response to query of February 7, 2020. https://forums.aaca.org/forum/66-what-is-it/.

Vacuum Oil Company. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_Oil_Company (accessed February 7, 2021).

“French Castrol Oil Double-Sided Porcelain Flange”. Mecum Auctions Road Art. mecum.com. (accessed February 13, 2021).

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).