W. & J. Leonard Trade Card, Salem, Mass.

Trade card for W. & J. Leonard, Salem, Massachusetts. Circa 1885 – 1890.

Price:  $12.00                Size:  4 and 1/4 x 2 and 3/4″

W. & J. Leonard, Boots, Shoes & Rubbers. Successors to Buswell & Leonard. 196 Essex St., Salem, Mass.

Two little Pagliacci-type figures, along with their dog, are out on the street begging for a living. Pagliaccio in Italian is “clown”.

The former Buswell & Leonard was Ebenezer “Eben” Buswell and William Leonard. Successors, W. & J. Leonard were brothers, William and Captain James Leonard, the firm being run under this name from 1885 to 1890.

But a full history, going back to about 1794, is given in the Boot and Shoe Recorder, July 29, 1908:

“The retirement of William Leonard of Salem, Mass., from the shoe business will, with the closing of his store, bring to an end a business that has been connected with the Driver family for 104 years. It was begun about 1794 by the grandfather of Mrs. Leonard, Stephen Driver, Jr., who with Louis Tucker, as Tucker & Driver, had a shop on Essex street, nearly opposite Cambridge street, in a two-story wooden building, with an attic. Mr. Tucker furnished the capital and Mr. Driver the knowledge of the business. In 1798 the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Tucker retiring, and Mr. Driver continuing the business alone. In 1816, his son, Stephen, 19 years of age, bought his time of his father, and took a shop on Central street, and the firm name became Stephen Driver & Son. In 1822, his eldest son, Thomas, bought out his father’s interest, and the firm name became Stephen & Thomas Driver. The father continued in business alone. In 1836 Ebenezer Buswell and his brother-in-law, George Driver, bought out the retail trade of Stephen Driver, 3d, who then commenced the wholesale trade. The name of the firm was Driver & Buswell, and the store was on Essex street, below Washington street, and where the store of Almy, Bigelow & Washburn, Inc., is now located. George Driver withdrew in 1847 to assist his brother in the wholesale business, and for 13 years Mr. Buswell continued the business alone, or until 1860, when Henry Morton was admitted as a partner. The firm name became Buswell & Morton, and so continued until 1867, when Mr. Morton withdrew, and William Leonard became associated with Mr. Buswell. This firm continued until the death of Mr. Buswell, June 30, 1880. Mr. Leonard, in 1885. took his brother, Capt. James Leonard, in partnership with him, the firm name being W. & J. Leonard. In 1890, James Leonard withdrew, and William Leonard continued the business at the old stand on Essex street until 1897, when the march of progress removed the building, and the business was transferred to its present location on Washington street.”

Sources:  Pagliacci. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagliacci#:~:text=Leoncavallo%20based%20the%20st   ory%20of,brother%20Luigi%20acting%20as%20accomplice. (accessed December 26, 2023).

Henry M. Meek’s Naumkeag Directory for Salem, Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peobody, Essex and Manchester, for 1888 and 1895, pp. 232 and 356. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995. 

Sampson, Davenport & Co.’s Salem Directory for 1879, No. XVIII, p. 42. Google.com.

“Some Short News Notes of the Trade.” Boot and Shoe Recorder, July 29, 1908, p. 115. (Google.com).

Jolly Jumping Jack

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December [?] 1919 from Sacramento, California. Copyright 1915. Publisher:  P. F. Volland & Company, Chicago, Illinois. Series or number 807.

Price:  $2.00

One more for now from The Alice Ellison Collection; our card shows an illustration of a child’s toy drum and jumping jack – in this case a monkey in a clown outfit.

“Jump, jolly jumping Jack;

Beat, booming drum;

Tell my little friend that

I wish I could come

To say to him gladly:

‘May Christmas for you

Be cheery and merry and

Jolly all through.’ “

Addressed to:   “Henrietta Ellison, 1314 F. St., City.”

“City,” of course is Sacramento, CA.

The sender wrote:   “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Miss Johnson.”

See Wikipedia’s entry for publisher P. F. Volland & Co. 

But what I really like about this card is the publisher’s Santa on the reverse (cleaned up in Photoshop). He with his handlebar mustache, holding the little candlelit tree…and that pointed beard, or is his beard tucked into his coat? (Your choice 🙂 )

Sources:  P. F. Volland Co. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._F._Volland_Company (accessed December 24, 2023).

Jumping Jack. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_jack#:~:text=%22Black%20Jack%22%20Per shing%2C%20who,when%20the%20strings%20are%20tugged. (accessed December 24, 2023).

Mae’s Homemade Calling Card

Maes Calling Card cc1Maes Calling Card cc2

Handmade calling card, July 10, 1917

Price:  $12.00  Size: 2 x 3 and 1/2″

It looks like this very cute calling card might have been hand made by or for Mae. It has the owner’s name written on it with a drawing of a clown in polka dots that was cut out and pasted on, and we can see that the clown was thoughtfully chosen, since his bowing pose with hands extended, perfectly fits for the presentation of the owner’s name. The back is charming and humorous and maybe a little politically incorrect. On the back, in pencil, are written the names and nicknames of Mae’s friends. Elsa Bohmansson was called Blondy or Taffy. After Clair Georgeson, someone (probably Mae) wrote, “(She is a bare, oh I mean that’s your name)”. (Isn’t this always the way, when you are trying to stick to a format and you flub it.) We then have Regina Lane, who was called P.D.Q. and last but not least Chunky McKinnon, with his or her address of Arcata, Box 638. The card is dated at the bottom July 10, 1917. After much research, it was found that in 1917, the ages for the friends were between about 14 and 19.

Elsa Bohmannson is listed in the city directories in Eureka, California and there are two photos of her in the school yearbook “The Sequoia” for Eureka High in 1916. She played tennis and basketball. She is also on the 1930 Federal Census in Eureka, living with her widowed father, Robert H. Bohmannson, born in Sweden. He is a druggist, and the 1930 shows Elsa working at the drug store as a stenographer. The California Death Index shows Elsa was born November 13, 1897 and died December 1, 1992, both in California.

Clair Georgeson is in the Federal Census records in Eureka, the Cal death index and Ancestry.com trees. Clair Jean Georgeson was born June 20, 1903; died December 4, 1991; married Donald Guthrie; parents George Robert Georgeson and Alice (Randall) Georgeson; siblings Loyd W., Vira A. and Roberta.

Regina Lane is on the 1910 Federal Census in Eureka, born Texas, about 1900, daughter of Charles E. Lane and Sarah Lane, siblings Rosebud J. (unusual name) and Henrietta E.

“Chunky” McKinnon (too bad we don’t know the first name) could have been Wilfred C. McKinnon, born California about 1900, son of George W. and Anna L. McKinnon. The family is living in Arcata, Humbolt County per the 1920 Federal Census.

As for Mae, there are multiple possibilities:  There are separate entries in the census’ records for Mae Falor (or Falon?), Allen and Smith, which may or may not be for Mae (no pun intended.) Or Mae may have been short for something. Mabel Davis or Mayo Hamilton (Mayo – love these unusual names) appear with Elsa Bohmansson in the “Sequoia” the Eureka High school year book in 1916.

This card was interesting to research. I had pictured a group of giggling and adorable girls, maybe age ten or twelve (although true, the writing does look mature) making calling cards for themselves. But of course, after the research that impression changed to one of a group of high school friends, maybe even with the thought in mind that they wanted to keep in touch, as some of them had or would be graduating. Not that these impressions matter but it made me think:  Imagine what nutty and probably incorrect things someone would think about us – almost one hundred years later after seeing something we’ve written on.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Eureka Ward 2, Humboldt, California; Roll: T624_77; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0008; FHL microfilm: 1374090. Year: 1920; Census Place: Union, Humboldt, California; Roll: T625_98; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 74; Image: 696Year: 1930; Census Place: Eureka, Humboldt, California; Roll: 120; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0019; Image: 302.0; FHL microfilm: 2339855. (Ancestry.com)

Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997

Ancestry.com. U.S. School Yearbooks. Eureka High 1916,  “The Sequoia.”