Three Women Carrying A Trunk

Real Photo Postcard, Undivided back, unused. Circa 1904. Eastman Kodak Stamp Box.

Price:  $25.00

This seems like a photo taken on a tropical island or at least somewhere exotic from our North American viewpoint. A clue to location should be the sign (mid-right in photo) showing “Hotel Continental” displayed atop two pillars, forming an entranceway. Behind, we notice part of a white building. Maybe that was the hotel. But Hotel Continental is, of course, a common name. When this postcard was made there were plenty such proud establishments, worldwide:  Atlantic Beach, Florida; New York City; Algier, Morocco; Havre, France; Vigo, Spain; Port Said and Cairo, Egypt; Cologne and Schwalbach, Germany; Bagni di Lucca, Capri, Genoa and Naples, Italy; Christiania, Norway, just to rattle off the ones we came across. Obviously some of these could be ruled out. But after browsing old photos of many locations (really too long of an endeavor), we didn’t get any closer to figuring it out. Also possibly, the Hotel Continental in this image was not too fancy or large, and might not have made it into old travel destination journals or onto old postcards which survived (except inadvertently, this one).

But, it’s a great photo. Imagine the scenario:  a tourist snaps this shot while walking behind these ladies, who are balancing this large trunk above (and on two of) their heads. Not something you see everyday, a definite Kodak moment (!) The time-frame is wonderful for clothing – the women all wear long (of course) skirts with striped shirtwaists, corsets underneath. The road they’re on is dirt, or at least, rustic; the wall of the building on their left, a little crumbling or aged, and with greenery growing on top. A short stone wall runs on their right. A gentleman, head down, in a dark suit and hat walks beside them, but is seemingly on his own, or at least unconcerned with needing to help with the trunk, or maybe feeling embarrassed he was not allowed to. (The ladies work for the hotel?) Notice his pant cuffs seem to be rolled up a little. Was this a seaside location somewhere and he had recently exited a small boat? Back to the trunk – it looks almost square, definitely well-used and…..did you assume, like me, that it was heavy, or at least full? (Thinking of photos of women carrying jugs of water, or whatever, on their heads?) Or, did you automatically assume the trunk was empty?

There are two other people in the photo, a woman busily occupied with something and a man behind her, barely discernible, wearing a tall hat (at least that’s my interpretation right now). Above them, some balconies, kind of rough-looking…..Wouldn’t this, wherever it was, have been a great place to stay?

As for the 1904 date for the card, this comes from the excellent, Playle’s website, as a date that’s been verified for this particular stamp box:  The design is a profile of a man with a pipe (Mr. Eastman?) looking through a camera, with the instructions, “Place One Cent Stamp Here”. And it may be likely that the photo was taken in the U.S. since it was found here, but always possible it was taken elsewhere and processed when the person returned home.

Sources:  “European and Eastern Hotels.” Cook’s Tourist Handbook for Switzerland. Thomas Cook & Son. London, 1895. ( books).

Cook’s Tourist Handbooks Health Resorts. Thomas Cook & Son. London, 1905. ( books).

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes, D-E.” (accessed May 18, 2022).

John B. Hawkins Street Scene RPPC, 1920s – 1930s

Real Photo Postcard, divided back, unused. Circa 1920s – 1930s.  Made by:  John B. Hawkins, Marion, Massachusetts.

Price:  $12.00

This is possibly a Marion, Massachusetts, or neighboring town street view – showing a line of parked cars in front of stores, a man on our left about to cross the street, and another on our right, seated, at the curb. Surprisingly, we’re not finding any age-appropriate records for photographer John B. Hawkins, in all of Mass, though city directories online in Plymouth County (1910 – 1940) are only scattered pages of certain years. We’d therefor, have to contact a local historical society or local libraries for resolution to some of the mysteries herein. And, the image is not of the best quality for clarity, but may be of value to someone, for sure.

It’s disappointing to be unable to read the store names or signs after enlarging the image……Wait, we can just make out “Ice Cream” and the brand or shop name in two words…….but it’s indecipherable. (Sometimes if you gaze at almost-readable signs long enough, you get inspiration, but not happening for me, this time.) But still, every picture evokes a feeling….Staring at the scene (if we could just connect to a Hogwarts kind of thing, it would come to life and we’d see that guy actually cross the street, and maybe someone come out of one of the shops, and some movement from our friend on the right) but, primarily, in our “fixed moment” that the camera is offering, we might focus on that slightly dejected-looking gentleman, seated on the curb with head down, shoulders a little slumped – is he thinking about the cares of the day/month/year that are weighing on him……or is he just waiting for a ride? Whatever the case, he kind of makes you want to jump into the frame and go and offer him a friendly arm around the shoulders.

Smiling Young Man in Shaped Border RPPC

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1920s. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $7.00

A happy guy, great pose for the camera, wearing a large-check patterned suitcoat, pencils in the pocket (maybe he was an accountant, an architect, an artist….), tie, hat pushed back, and glancing up and left. He chose a nice, diamond-shaped border to frame the image, it might remind you of a Native American (i.e. design on a Navajo blanket). See our category “Shaped Borders” from the Home page for more.

Lucille Wickson, Berkeley, California

Old photo, circa 1906 – 1916.

Price:  $12.00         Size:  3 and 1/8 x 2 and 1/16″

Availability status:  Original is sold. Digital copies only are available.

We have a last name this time:  Wickson. And I thought at first that Berkeley was the surname or it was a marriage situation, Wickson marrying Berkeley, but no such records appear online. However, we do find Lucille M. Wickson, student in 1909, boarding at 2662 College Ave., Berkeley, California (and the palm tree in the background fits). Other records show Mildred Lucille Wickson was born November 17, 1890, daughter of George Guest Wickson, II and Mary Ellen Winter. She married Walter Reeve Woolpert, July 27, 1916.

I’m estimating that Lucille was at least age 16 when this photo was taken. A fashion expert would no doubt be able to narrow down the time frame. Note that she wears both a large hair bow and a hat. But, easy to miss – she’s holding some daisies in her left hand. (It’s the little things that really bring the moment to life!)

Below, the announcement of Lucille’s upcoming nuptials from The San Francisco Examiner, July 22, 1916:

Sources:  Husted’s Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda Directory, 1909. p. 1214. (

“East Bay Society Notes.” The San Francisco Examiner, July 22, 1916. Saturday, p. 7. ( California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997.

Boy In Tire, California 1929

Old photo, decorative border, 1929.

Price:  $5.00          Size:  About 3 and 7/8 x 2 and 7/8″

Well, we know the place and year of this photo from the easily read license plate. (A definite departure from the usual norm of trying to “will” a plate into focus. 🙂 )

It’s an Art Deco design that frames this cute shot of a little boy sitting inside the upright spare (Goodyear) tire. He’s in overalls and wearing a couple of strands of beads, with a big smile and clutching something in one chubby hand. An adult, probably his dad, is in the background. As for the car – Model T Coupe? We’ll have to check with our go-to site for car questions, Antique Automobile Club of America. There is no writing on the back (though from a genealogy standpoint we feel like we’re looking at somebody’s grandpa, with great-grand in the back) but it’s a nice slice of Americana – back when the family car was also one of many play destinations for the kids.

A Beautiful Family

Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box. Circa 1910 – 1930.

Price:  $2.00

This postcard was found in Salinas, California, in an antique shop, next to the photos from the prior post. It was thought, at the time, that there was a link between the two (as in maybe the man in this postcard was the photographer) but, on second thought, I don’t think so (just based on the research from the prior). But anyway, a lovely family. I love the mom’s dress with the embroidery, the daughter’s delicate cotton dress, the father and son, both wearing ties.

Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, 1940s

Eleven black and white photos, circa 1940s.

Price for the set:  $40.00       Sizes vary, see each photo.

Here’s a group of eleven vintage black and white photos taken in Alamos and La Aduana, Sonora, Mexico, circa 1940s. They were found in an antique store in Salinas, California. A sticker appears on the back of two of the photos showing, “J. V. Ryan, 3425 Champion St., Oakland 2, Cal.”  He may have been the photographer.

There are multiple possibilities for J. V. Ryan in Oakland, too bad we don’t know the actual given name. Nothing shows up for the name at that particular address in census records or city directories. The person that does come up, at 3425 Champion St., is Charles A. Weck. His census records show him at this address since approximately 1935, occupation mining engineer. This makes sense, as I think these photos have a mining connection, as you’ll see in one of them. The best assumption is that they may have been taken by either Ryan (a possible miner?) or Weck; we imagine an employer sent one or both down to the Alamos area in some type of mining connection.

Sunshine in Alamos…..

Size:  3 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Three girls and a bell…..

Size:  3 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/4″

A hammock on the porch…..

Size:  About 3 and 3/8 x 2 and 1/2″

An old street…..

Size:  3 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/4″


 El Camino Real…..

Size:  7 x 5″

La Aduana, shrine in background. The “fountain has never been dry in 200 years…..” 

This fountain was not found in quick online searches. It’s unknown whether it’s still there and still running. The tower with two bells in the background is believed to belong to the  Temple of Our Lady of Balvanera in La Aduana, based on photo matches online.

Size:  3 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Cacha Pomba? Center of the big silver mining district…..

Size:  3 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Shelter from the sun…..

Size:  About 5 x 4″

Casa Ruins, Alamos, Mexico…..

Size:  7 x 5″

Plaza de Armas…..

Size:  7 x 5″

Three Burros…..

Size:  7 x 5″

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Oakland, Alameda, California; Roll: T625_91; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 129. (

Year: 1940; Census Place: Oakland, Alameda, California; Roll: m-t0627-00436; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 61-196. (

Temple of Our Lady of Balvanera. (accessed April 1, 2022).

Masons and Tamales in San Jose, California

Old photo, circa 1907. San Jose, California

Price:  $12.00           Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/4″

Striding purposefully, two gentlemen, Freemasons by their attire, maybe on the way to a meeting. That particular headgear was sometimes called a “fore-and-aft” hat, and these in the photo would have been adorned with ostrich or possibly egret feathers. The Masonic Hall address was 262-272 S. First St., San Jose, about a half mile away from the restaurant in the background, the Salinas Tamale Parlor, address 203 Post St., northwest corner of Market St., in San Jose.

So, there was a Salinas Tamale Parlor in the city of Salinas in 1926, but the locale and age of the photo doesn’t fit. Click on the History San José site, to see what appears to be the same steeple (on the right) as the one in our photo. The church was the Swedish Lutheran Emmanuel Church, located at the northwest corner of Market and Auzerais, in San Jose.

The advertisement below appeared in the San Jose city directory for 1907. The printer apparently got the name wrong. “Gabilan Angle” should have been Angel Gabilan. There were four other tamale parlors in San Jose in 1907, however Salinas Tamale was the only one to have run an ad, at least in that directory.

Voter registrations and city directories have the misspelled “Angle”, as well as Angel and Angelo and sometimes given with a middle name, spelled Teneselo or Tanislado. Angel Gabilan relocated to San Francisco at least by 1913, according to the city directory under “Angle T. Gablian” occupation restaurant owner, address 1615 1/2 O’Farrell St.

We found no indication of there being anyone else by the same name in San Jose and later San Francisco, so it would seem that the Angel Gabilan (born 1845 in either California or Mexico) that is connected with this photo, is likely the son of Pablo Gabilan (native of Chile) and Clara Montoya. The obituary for Angel’s father, from the San Jose Evening News, January 1902, is of historical interest, and tells how the Gabilan Mountain Range got its name:

Sources:  “fore-and-aft.”

“Looking South on Market Street from City Hall, 1890.” (accessed February 23, 2022).

California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4-2A; CSL Roll Number: 126; FHL Roll Number: 977290. (

Polk-Husted Directory Companies, 1907-8, San Jose City and Santa Clara County, California, pp. 595 and 809. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1913. p. 718. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

California State Library; Sacramento, California; Great Register of Voters, 1900-1968. (

Find a Grave.

“Aged Pioneer Buried.” San Jose Evening News. Tuesday, January 21, 1902. (

In a Field of Cabbage

Vintage photo from film reel, circa 1940.

Price:  $2.00         Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 2 and 3/8″

I picked this photo up at the same time as the one in the previous post. Presumably, they came from the same person or family. This is an odd one, though. And I’m not sure if that’s really a cabbage field, just my best guess. This group sure seems pretty intent on looking down at….something. The soil, insects? No idea. I pictured maybe the guy in the foreground, in the white sweater, might be the younger guy from the prior post at Treasure Island. (Maybe.) Then pictured he and his uncles (not in this picture, and just my imagination from the Treasure Island one) are sightseeing and ended up in the Salinas Valley or the Central Valley or somewhere else in California, south of San Francisco. (It probably is California.) Was there a “U Pick” kind of thing going on back then, like apples or pumpkins? But nothing shows in old newspapers for advertisement. Or, maybe they were a college group. The one guy does have a college sweater on, hard to tell from where, though. So, maybe they’re all “ag” students and this is a field trip. One thing’s for sure (and I love it), they certainly are all well-dressed!