Boyd Roland Gibbs, 4th Field Artillery, Battery B

Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1916 – 1919. Arax Photo Studios. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

“Mr. Boyd Roland Gibbs. 4th Field Artillery. Battery B. Atlanta, Georgia.”

Hey, well I fibbed 😉 evidently in the last post. Thought I had no military, but found this one. And a great one it is. Full name, artillery and location on the back for this handsome guy in WWI army uniform. Someone’s current great or great-great uncle today. Boyd Gibbs was born in South Carolina in 1898, son of James Patrick Gibbs and Leila Ida (Prince) Gibbs. U.S. Army transport records 1918 – 1919 list Boyd’s rank as wagoner.

Sources:  Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 27 May 2019), memorial page for Boyd Roland Gibbs (May 1898–13 Nov 1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 143151272, citing First Baptist Church of North Spartanburg Cemetery, Spartanburg, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Margaret (contributor 46516145).

The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 440. (Ancestry.com).

“The Duties of the U.S. Army Wagoner.” (http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~gregkrenzelok/genealogy/veterinary%20corp%20in%20ww1/wagonerduties.html) Accessed May 27, 2019.

Albert Mayer And Tobias Branger Storefronts, Davos, Switzerland

Carte-de-visite. Circa 1890s. Davos, Switzerland.

Price:  $45.00          Size:  4 and 1/16 x 2 and 7/16″

Circa 1890’s, Davos, Switzerland….

Here’s a carte-de-visite found at an antique shop on the Central Coast of California. And, it’s always a thrill to get a photo scanned to the computer (mentally rubbing hands together in anticipation of being hit with the wow factor, or the “hmmmmm factor”, which is just as good, or better, the intrigue, you know….which can then lead us to the wow factor. 😉 ) But, it can’t be stretching the point to say that each item anyone finds (or has, or looks at, or whatever) whether it’s a postcard, a photo, a trade card, a calling card, or some other enchanting piece of ephemera, likewise a piece of furniture, jewelry, etc., is like a key just waiting to open, or re-open, multiple doorways. Come to think about it everything has a history, even a scrap of paper lying on the ground outside….The contemplation of the history of everything is mind-blowing, which leads one to thinking about the inter-connectedness of everything and everyone, no doorways now, just like a billion times a billion, or better, infinity times infinity of criss-crossed links, well….really just oneness. (Is this how enlightenment happens for some, the contemplation of a piece of dust or a scrap of paper?)

Alpine air and wonderful shops

Davos, Switzerland, circa 1890s:  A street scene showing the Centralhof, (Central court) which is the tall building, (guessing this might have been an apartment building or hotel) and attached to the Centralhof a line of single-story shops; of these, the two store names that we can discern are, on the left, Albert Mayer Juwelier (Jewelry store) and on the right Tob. Branger. Click the image to enlarge and note at the top of the Branger window, there’s a phrase of some sort, the second word appears to be Voyage. The first word appears to start with an “A” so, maybe it was the poetic, l’Art du Voyage:  It turns out that Tobias (pronounced TOE-be-us) Branger and brother Johannes owned a shop specializing in, “…sporting equipment and ‘travelling utensils.’ ” 

All who wander…..

A little research explodes into lots of (snow-covered) paths to wander down…..Wow! Tobias Branger, thought to be the first professional ski instructor in the Alps…..he and brother Johannes teaching author Arthur Conan Doyle to ski….the history of Alpine skiing…..Doyle’s contribution to Davos as a winter sports destination….Davos’ history as a health resort for tuberculosis sufferers….the life of Louisa Doyle, Conan’s first wife…..Tobias’ “Norwegian snowshoes” (were they in the shop window at the time of the carte-de-visite photo?)….Alpine skiing with one pole….night skiing to avoid ridicule (I’m picturing the Brangers and other pioneers hanging out with today’s winter X sports pioneers and contributors – kindred spirits, for sure.) Wonderful articles online abound – see the links further below. And a question:  Is that Tobias and Johannes Branger posing outside their shop in the photo? A definite maybe. And though Tobias Branger and Conan Doyle are said to have looked remarkably alike, of the two, it would seem to be Tobias (on our left) in the image. See the comparison photos in In the Tracks of Sherlock Holmes, first link below.

Location confirmation

Backtracking a little, not being certain, at first, that the scene on our card was really Davos, we found mention of jeweler Albert Mayer, in the Dutch publication shown below, which is a guide for the treatment center for lung ailments and a travel guide. Description of some of the shops lists Mayer’s as having “the finest gold works, watches and rings,” and just to mention a couple more, a store selling Swiss wood carvings and (one can picture how the author of this booklet was charmed at finding) a flower shop with [Google translation from Dutch]  “the most robust little bouquets, even in winter when the trampled snow outside the shops is at least two feet high.”

In the Tracks of Sherlock Holmes

Davos –  the pioneer:  Winter tourism in the Alps

The Davos sledge:  A classic among sports equipment

Two Planks and a Passion

Teller of Tales:  The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle

More musings on the carte details….

Was there some occasion for this photograph, or was it just the occasion of a photographer taking a photo circa 1890s? Note the three people on the second story outdoor courtyard area of the Centralhof building, two ladies on the left and a man on the right. (This from inspection under a magnifying glass – feeling a little Sherlock Holmes-y, for sure….) Other details to note are the duffel-looking bags (maybe mail bags) in front of both Albert Mayer’s and the Brangers’ shop; the poster advertisement – a mustachioed man with epaulets pointing in the distance and young woman just below him, it’s maybe a company name advertised there (almost readable) ; the iron balconies of the Centralhof building; the beautiful horizontal stripe effect of the mason work on the shop fronts….

Sources:  Stashower, Daniel. Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle. Henry Holt & Co., 1999. Google Books accessed March 31, 2013.

Davos – the pioneer:  Winter tourism in the Alps. (www.davos.ch.) Accessed March 31, 2019.

The Davos sledge:  A classic among sports equipment. (www.davos.ch.) Accessed March 31, 2019.

Louisa Hawkins. The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia. (www.arthur-conan-doyle.com) Accessed March 31, 2019.

Huntford, Roland. Two Planks and a Passion: The Dramatic History of Skiing. Continuum UK, 2008. Google Books accessed March 31, 2013.

Rosenblatt, Albert and Julia. “In the Tracks of Sherlock Holmes.”  Skiing. February 1982. pp. 74-78. Google Books accessed March 31, 2013.

Andriessen, Willem Frederik. Davos: eene beschrijving van het leven in dit herstellingsoord voor borstlijders. Van Raven, 1888. p. 56. Google Books accessed March 31, 2013.

For Nora From Jessie

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Unused, circa 1910s.

Price:  $4.00

“Dear Nora. This was taken when I was at home. They aren’t very good but will send them any way, what did you do with you Kodack, don’t you take any more. Jessie”

Sounds like Jessie had more postcards or photos that she had sent to Nora, and funny, but oftentimes we see the sender leaving off question marks in their message. In this case, Nora was asking what Jessie had done with her Kodak camera, isn’t she taking any more photos? No last name or location for this image, but it’s so charming. Wintertime or maybe early spring on the farm:  Posing for the shot, three beautiful children, and a handsome young man, (who looks to be about sixteen, I thought, but click to enlarge, and you’ll notice it looks like he wears a wedding ring.)  I love it when everyone in a photo is looking in different directions.

Feat Of The 20th Century

Divided back, used Real Photo Postcard. Velox stamp box. 1909.

Price:  $12.00

A young gentleman in a suit jacket, button down sweater and derby hat displays his sense of humor. The letters “L” and “S” on the soles of his shoes are maybe his initials, and the 09 is likely for the year 1909. And it’s the way the shot was taken that makes his shoes appear so large. This would be a great card to include in a book on humor in postcards or something similar, especially because it was “homemade” so to speak. That is, an original idea, produced with instructions for the printing company. The blacked-out part was probably to cover the rest of the photo, which whatever it showed, must have detracted from the overall effect; if you click to enlarge you can see a little bit of the brown background at the bottom of the heavy black stripe in a couple of places.

U. S. Army Man, WWII

Photo, white border, WWII.

Price:  $5.00           Size:  About 5 x 3 and 1/4″

No i.d. on the back for this U. S. army man during WWII, who was enjoying a bottle of soda pop when he posed for the picture. The snapshot was found loose in a bin full of others, at an antique mall. And we’re assuming he was army due to the stamp on the back of the photo which shows:   “Passed for publication, U. S. Army press censor 62801, U. S. E. C.”  Maybe one of our readers can give us more information. Do the initials U. S. E. C. stand for United States East Coast and is the number 62801 the censor’s i.d. number?

Source:  “What does USEC stand for?” https://www.acronymfinder.com/United-States-East-Coast-(USEC).html. (accessed November 12, 2018).

Grandpa By The Fence

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1918.

Price:  $4.00

Well, somebody’s Grandpa most likely. No identifying information for this gentleman. I think of him of having German ancestry, but maybe that’s because I’ve been looking at breweriana items just now….But these old fences to me are beautiful, each plank and post is unique. No mass production here. (Not to mention the house with attachment.) Notice the paper bag at the man’s feet, with writing, no less. If only we could zoom in to read the print! This vein brought up the question:  When was the paper bag invented? Per Wikipedia it was 1852. Surprising. And remember when people used to call them paper sacks? (Maybe some still do.)

Source:  Paper bag. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_bag (accessed September 23, 2018).

Handsome Scot In Full Dress Attire

Old photo, white border. Circa 1920s.

Price:  $7.00        Size:  About 2 and 5/8 x 4 and 7/16″

I’m guessing this photo is from the 1920s, or maybe late 1910s, due to the look of the gentlemen in non-traditional wear. Where was the photo taken? That’s a mystery, though if we could focus in on the big sign above the fence that could be a colossal clue (even if it’s advertisement). And what was the occasion? Unknown, but maybe part of a Highland games festival. That’s a sporran (purse in Gaelic) that the man wears below the belt, essential since kilts have no pockets.

Source:  Sporran. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sporran (accessed August 5, 2018).

Young Man With Hat

Cabinet Card. Circa 1880s. Photographer unknown.

Price:  $5.00

No identifying info on this one for either the subject or the photographer, but it’s a nice photo with a nice rural backdrop. The young man wears a sack suit and bow tie, holds an open book in one hand and his low-crowned hat with upturned brim in the other, and by virtue of the fake stonework, gets to strike a casual pose. The headgear might remind one of a parson’s hat because of the short crown but from a quick online search it appears the parson’s hat has a much wider brim.

Anna Flottman’s Cousin Ed

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1910 – 1918.

Price:  $10.00

” Cnell Ill.  Dear Cousin, how are you I am fine and dandy. From your Cousin Ed Aleves.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Anna Flottman. Burden, Kans.”

This one’s a bit of a puzzle. I had sworn during research for the last post (in Burden KS via internet) that I’d come across the correct surname for this handsome gentleman. (A subcategory, that will hopefully be adhered to 😉 is being filed away somewhere “up top” entitled, “The Importance of Writing Things Down”.) His last name is hard to read in the signature. Alives, Alves, Aleves, Aluves, Alires were searched and how very odd now to be not finding the reference just previously come across. And the location he has written appears to be an abbreviation, possibly for Cornell, Illinois.

If Ancestry.com trees are correct for the marriage of Anna Flottman to Reason Leslie Moore on July 7, 1918, that narrows down the postcard time frame a little, since she was single when the card was sent to her. And for more about the recipient of this card, see the prior post.

Owen Curtis Herr, Burden KS 1908

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. January 1908. KRUXO stamp box.

Price:  $12.00

A handsome young man, age seventeen when this photo was taken:  Owen “Curt” Herr, son of Samuel Horatio Herr and Caroline Jane Stuart. Curt was born November 13, 1890 in Jasper, Iowa. He wrote:

“Jan 1908. To Miss Annie Flottman. Remembrance of Mr. Curtis Herr.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Annie Flottman, Burden Kans.”

Annie is Anna Louise Flottman, born in Kansas in 1883, daughter of Harman (also spelled Herman) Flottman and Mary Pickens. Annie’s brother Albert married into the Herr family.

For another card addressed to Anna see the next post:  Anna Flottman’s Cousin Ed.

Sources:  State Historical Society of Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa. Ancestry.com. Iowa, Delayed Birth Records, 1856-1940.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Silver Creek, Cowley, Kansas; Roll: T624_436; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0062; FHL microfilm: 1374449. (Ancestry.com).

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 21 June 2018), memorial page for Anna Louise Flottman Moore (13 Jun 1883–7 Apr 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17647604, citing Grand Prairie Cemetery, Burden, Cowley County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Judy Mayfield (contributor 46636512).
Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 21 June 2018), memorial page for Matilda R. Herr Flottman (29 Apr 1885–21 Oct 1970), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17646745, citing Grand Prairie Cemetery, Burden, Cowley County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Judy Mayfield (contributor 46636512).