Young Hockey Players

Vintage photo, white border, circa 1950s.

Price:  $4.00         Size: 4 and 7/8 x 3″

It’s hockey season again, yay!

These guys are happily posing with their sticks on a frozen stream, by the looks of it. There’s a rustic wooden bridge behind them. Easy to miss in the background is an Esso gas station sign. No writing on the back but this photo was found (at the paper fair in San Francisco) in a bin floating around near other ephemera of French-Canadian origin, which we’ll be posting next…..But hey, where are the guys’ skates? And one more question:  Could the sticks have been handmade? Just wondering because of the lack of any company name appearing on them, especially on the goalie’s, the wider one, in the front center. And in googling Esso we discovered a major connection to the sport.

Cropped shot of the Esso sign appearing in the photo:

Some trivia….

First of all, did you know that the name Esso is just the pronunciation of the S and O for Standard Oil?

The first NHL game broadcast on the radio was in 1936 and was sponsored by the Esso brand.

The three stars awarded in NHL games originated as a way to advertise Imperial’s three star brand of gasoline.

See the Imperial/Esso/Mobil link for more.

Source:  Esso and Mobil:  Our History. https://www.esso.ca/en/our-history. Accessed October 27, 2019.

Photo Op By The Lake

Vintage photo, circa 1950s.

Price:  $4.00       Size:  About 3 and 3/8 x 2″

Maybe Michigan, probably 1950s

An African-American family possibly taken in Michigan, where the photo was found. Were they on their way out to breakfast or church? Was the location a vacation spot for them or taken near home or were they visiting relatives? We’ll probably never know unless by some amazing serendipitous event someone’s browsing and happens to recognize these people. Not unheard of. I’ve been reading Henry Z. “Hank” Jones, Jr.’s Psychic Roots, Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy.”  If you do family research, for example, chances are excellent that you can recount multiple instances of that feeling of “being led” to a spectacular find. Or, on the opposite side, if you sell or post family photos or other items you may have a story of someone walking into your store and finding their relatives’ “lost” family album, or seeing someone happen upon a postcard that they themselves had written and mailed fifty years ago. In our talks with sellers we’ve heard a surprising number of such accounts. The kind that make your hair stand up on the back of your neck (in a good way!). Here’s one from my family:

Serendipity in Montréal

Maybe fifteen or twenty years ago, I’ve forgotten by now, I was with some family members vacationing in Montréal. Sitting on the beds in the motel we were trying to figure out what to do for the day, looking at brochures. I was drawn to the one on the Pointe-à-Callière Museum and felt we “had to” go there, that it was important to go. In one of the exhibits we saw an artist’s rendition of a mother holding a child. Standing in front of this drawing I had a strong urging to take a photo. Immediately the thought came into my head,  “Why? It’s not like you’re related to her or anything.”  Ahhh, but as you’ve guessed 🙂 she (beautiful Charlotte, specifically Marie Charlotte Gloria dit Roch or DesRoches) turned out to be, not just any relative necessarily, but mine and my siblings’ 6th-great grandmother. (See Collections archéologiques for a photo of the handle of a tool? with Charlotte’s name carved on it. This was one of many artifacts that had been uncovered at the site of what is called “the birthplace of Montréal” and what later became the museum.) Now, at that point I hadn’t yet researched that particular line, and had never even come across her name. It was not till a few years later, while searching my Dufour side online, and “climbing the tree” by finding my direct ancestor Pierre Dufour that there, lo and behold, was his wife, Charlotte Roch. Wait, what??? (Jaw-dropping, falling out of chair.) Not the end of the story, though. For about a week after that, what seemed like every time I got into the car, I heard Chuck Berry’s, “You Never Can Tell” either just playing or as the next offering by the d.j. You know the lyrics, ♪ “It was a teenage wedding and the old folks wished them well. You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle.” ♪ True, Pierre was not a teenager when they wed, and though Charlotte was, that was not unusual in the least at that time, but it was the true love part that seemed to be the point of what felt like a message bridging “time.” (What is time? 😉 ) Records show that Pierre and Charlotte had eleven kids and, of course, have many many descendants. Notable is the birthplace of their second child. Their first was born in Montréal, and the youngest nine in Detroit. But the baptismal record (all are in French) for their second child, Marie Charlotte Dufour, states she was born in the  “8yattenons.”  (French-Canadian priests sometimes wrote a number to denote a sound or abbreviate a word, for instance “7bre” for septembre, which by the way, can be confusing when reading the record, the digit 7 but the 9th month!) The appellation 8yattenons was used for Fort Ouiatenon. This has been verified in other unrelated records, and the fact that Pierre was a soldier when he and his young family left Montréal adds credibility to daughter Charlotte having been born at or near this fort. Well, this ended up to be a lengthy sidetrack off the subject of this post, that of the vintage photo from the 1950s, yikes! But definitely, if you’d like to share your own stories of the serendipity-amazing luck-small world type we’d love to hear them.

Back to the photo…..

Amazing how every photo transmits so much. An everyday moment maybe, but no less special, as when we look we see the smiles, and the grace and humor, maybe get a sense of the struggles, and yet the joy, in a backdrop, no, make that of a oneness with, a particular place and time, and somehow in total it all washes over us like a blessing…. No identifying info on the back, but maybe we’re looking at a photo of a husband and wife and mother or auntie or older sister of either? All three are very stylish. Love the striped tie on the gentleman. I think of him as Clarence (heehee, he’s likely laughing somewhere now). There’s the flashy belt the older woman wears that’s caught the lens light……there’s the very chic pose of the younger woman, and….her skirt. Check out the pattern on the fabric, a surprise and a delight:  Chickens!

Our Dear Deer Friend

Vintage photo, circa 1920s – 1940s.

Price:  $5.00           Size:  About 3 and 1/8 x 2 and 3/8″

Outside of a cedar-shingled, hotel, we presume, two women and a deer enjoy a visit while in the background a man and young boy appear to be in the middle of a handshake. I like the light reflecting off of those velvet-y antlers, and the surprise of that hefty tree trunk immediately in front of one of the windows. Good for viewing ants from that room, and which came first, the tree or the building?

Young Man And Wooden Fishing Boats

Old photo, circa late 1910s – 1920s.

Price:  $5.00         Size:  5 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/4″

No writing on the back of this one:  a young man posing for the camera perched on the bow (well, maybe stern) of a wooden fishing boat, one of several grouped together. He wears a suit and tie and a somewhat unusual striped hat. And, this could have been taken in so many possible places. The shot reminds me of Ireland though, because of the old wooden boats that Mom and I saw one time, having gotten out of the car to take a stroll by the sea. So, naturally, I had to look up coastal photos of Ireland….not with any hope of finding the location (because one would need psychic abilities on this one!) but just because I’m always compelled. Once you get that idea in your head you find yourself typing something in Google no matter what the odds are…..so this image of Skerries in County Dublin, with it’s similar look of sweeping coastline came up right away, by chance having a chance 🙂  to fit the criteria in our image. (If you click to enlarge ours you can see the background better where maybe some mistiness makes the land seem lower than in the “what-are-the-odds-Skerries-photo” or maybe it’s the angle at which it was taken.) Here’s Skerries, Fingal, County Dublin.

And wouldn’t that be hilariously something if it were indeed a match?…..On the other hand, maybe this is Massachusetts….

Source:  “The Top Ten Most Beautiful Seaside Towns in Ireland.” (www.irelandbeforeyoudie.com). Accessed September 7, 2019.

Fishing From Pier In Lake Michigan

Divided back postcard, postmarked August 18, 1911, Chicago, Illinois. Number or series 575.

Price:  $6.00

Imagine today, fishing off a pier attired in a suit coat and bowler hat! Pretty cool. It’s t-shirts and baseball caps now, though. But it’s a nice card from an unknown publisher. And it may have been one of the type where the original image was a photo that appeared in a newspaper, that subsequently got tinted and made into postcards. Funny that you can read some letters on the folded newspaper that is sticking out of the jacket pocket of the young gent on the left. Wonder if that was something the postcard producer did, and I’m thinking yes, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to tell what it was supposed to be. (This is like “…inside the mind of…circa 1911”  type of thing. But not necessarily an idle thought since we know from prior research that photo images were often altered for postcard use.)

Addressed to:   “Miss Lela Hartman. 141 Hancock St. Newark, Ohio.”

The sender writes:  “Hello Lela – How are you getting along? Having a good time playing with Alice and Tom? How would you like to go fishing in Lake Michigan? Wouldn’t that be fun? Love from ‘Annie.’ “

Lela A. Hartman is only about four years old when she receives this postcard from Annie, who is probably one of her playmates. She is the daughter of Herman H. and Maude W. (Powers) Hartman. All are native to Ohio. Herman on the 1910 Federal Census is a mounter at a stove factory.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Newark Ward 3, Licking, Ohio; Roll: T624_1204; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0088; FHL microfilm: 1375217. (Ancestry.com).

Original data: Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. (Ancestry.com).

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

Availability Status:  SOLD          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).