In Our Front Yard

Old photo, circa early 1900s.

Price:  $3.00       Size:  About 4 and 1/8 x 2 and 1/2″

Gibson Girl hairstyles, sailor dresses, little brother and dog. Front yard posing in wintertime. There are no notes or i.d. written on the back, but imagine remembering the good time had by all. (Mabel, you were falling….That was your fault Eth, you were pulling me down!….) We can only see the back half of the dog, the boy is smiling looking straight into the camera, and what is he holding – could that be a folding pocket camera? The girls are clowning, and have tucked their long dresses into their boots, hanging on to each other in their best attempt to turn themselves into a 3-legged being. Behind them, their home, we presume. And in looking at the prior post (the two photos were found in the same pile) we wondered at first, if they could be some of the same girls, but likely not, this snapshot was probably taken earlier than the other….And what a heavenly front porch this must have been in summertime! Why was the wooden bench on the right turned over on it’s side? That’s another story!

Me In 1915

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Undivided back, used, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked April 6, 1906 from Waltham, Massachusetts.

Price:  $12.00

This 1906 postcard shows off the 1891 popular watercolor and gouache work, The Music of the Dance, by Philadelphia-born artist Arthur Burdett Frost (1851 – 1928). Funny that we have three dates here:  The date on the original artwork, 1891, that we see in the left corner of the “tableau” next to the signature; the postcard date of 1906; and the date projected into the future by, likely the sender of the postcard, who wrote,  “Me in 1915”.  Was the sender joking that he would be reduced to….or projecting his hopeful success of being elevated to the life of a traveling musician (in nine years time)? Interesting question!

And though the postcard is not in good condition, it’s the only one we see at this time online, and definitely a nice part of artist, postcard, and African-American in art history, not to mention significant for anyone doing any Rumrill family research.

The card was mailed to:   “Mr. F. P. Rumrill, Hillsboro Br., N.H.”

The abbreviation Br. is probably for Borough. And there are some possibilities but we didn’t find any “no-doubters” (as in home run baseball lingo) for F. P. Rumrill. But there were definitly Rumrills in Hillsborough (also written Hillsboro) notably a Frank G. Rumrill, born in NH December 1866 who appears on the 1900 Federal Census.

Sources:  Gouache. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gouache. (accessed December 11, 2016).

“Arthur Burdett Frost (1851 – 1928) The Music for the Dance.” Copley Fine Art Auctions. (auctions.bidsquare.com) Accessed December 11, 2016.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Hillsborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; Roll: 947; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 0084; FHL microfilm: 1240947. (Ancestry.com)

Funny Guy In Top Hat

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

Price:  $15.00

Another great comic one, this time of the chuckle and guffaw variety. And at first I thought that this might be the same man as in the last post, but no.

So, the set up for this photo reminds one of the “head-in-the-hole” type, sometimes called “end-of-the pier” painted board photos, but it’s not the same thing. For this one, it looks like there was the board or sheet with the painting on it, and our subject with top hat and cigar put his chin over the neck area, and then another sheet, or board or what have you, was placed behind him, the photo was taken and then any needed touch-up work was done by the photographer. You can see that the area under the cigar and just above his collar on our right, looks like it’s been painted in. The cigar and smoke seem to have been enhanced a little, too.

Double Trouble

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Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Stamp box: unknown company. Photographer:  Movex Fotos, 38 Regent St. Circa 1930s.

Price:  $15.00

This is great – what do you see at first glance? Two men who look like brothers or identical twins, or…….do you see the same man, in two different poses, one with hat, one without? I think definitely the latter. The gentleman’s attire is the same – the suit, tie, shirt, watch and chain, pipe – all identical. He must have been a guy with a great sense of humor; just picture him having a bunch of these made and sending them out to family and friends!

As for the time frame, we’re thinking possibly the 1930s. The stamp box design of a triangle with small circle in the center is a mystery, and the same for “Movex Fotos. 38, Regent Street” but our best guess at the moment is that this postcard was made somewhere in the U.K.

Necks To Nothing

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Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked October 31, 1908 from Harrisonville, Missouri. Publisher:  J. Murray Jordan. Copyright J. Murray Jordan, 1905. Series or number 207.

Price:  $10.00

“H’ville Oct – 31 – 1908   Dear Louise:  In the absence of a Halloween card I will just send this which I think just beats them all to pieces anyway. How are you? My school is fine. Evelyn and I are coming over some Sunday soon but not tomorrow.”

On the front:   The sender’s comment to “Necks to Nothing” is  “Isn’t it the truth?”   regarding a comical, kind of grotesque image that makes fun of a couple of gents, with their exaggerated shirt collars, quizzing glasses and posteriors, the caption implying they have nothing much upstairs, above the neck.

The sender goes on to say,  “Ernest is here now and will be here over [?] I expect. We are coming some Sun. soon tho perhaps I am going to……[?]……..next week and perhaps Evelyn too. Ernest will be in K. C. then. I am going to….[?]…….lessons soon perhaps today[?]…..Love to all  G. C.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Louise Henley, Pleasant Hill, Mo.”

Louise Henley is likely the Mary L. Henley that appears on the 1910 census in Pleasant Hill, MO. Born Missouri, about 1891; daughter of James and Ella Henley, and sister to James, Jr. and George……Sure enough, we find confirmation in Find A Grave, among other places. Mary Louise went by Louise, and she married Ucilious Calvert Sterquell.

Source:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Pleasant Hill, Cass, Missouri; Roll: T624_770; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0041; FHL microfilm: 1374783. (Ancestry.com)

Find A Grave Memorial# 54015645. findagrave.com. (accessed October 30, 2016)

The Original Water-Wagon

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This is the first in a collection from Miss Lily Rea. Her address at this time is Box 23, Gilroy, California. We’ll get more detailed in later posts, but for now, this one is up due to it being April Fool’s Day. Lily’s friend, Hazel writes:

“April Fool. Ha! Ha. Apr. 1. 09. Recieved your card glad to know you are well. Hope to see a picture of you soon. I recieved a card from George Wells to day. Who showed you the picture of L & I. Sure all my friends are nice looking & he is a swell kid too. I hope you can meet him some day. Ans. soon  Hazel. Regards to Rocky.

The card’s design, Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat, (an elephant and giraffe survey the receding flood) and the caption, “The Original Water-Wagon,”  got me wondering why this card was so current to the times. Here’s a screen shot of a Google search “water wagon images in the early 1900s” showing some great old photos and some comic cards:

Google search image water wagons early 1900s

And see  Origin of the idiom ‘falling off the wagon’ from StackExchange for the origin of being on and off the wagon.

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked April 1, 1909, from Santa Rosa, California. Publisher:  A.T.F. Co.

Price:  $7.00

Sources:  “Water wagon images in the early 1900s” Google image search. (Accessed April 1, 2016.)

“Origin of the idiom ‘falling off the wagon’.”  StackExchange.com. (Accessed April 1, 2016.)

A Case Of Lock-Jaw

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“Sept 6. I am afraid you will be in such a case some day. have you got over to homestead yet. I am going down to Uncle H’s today so write then. Herman.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Mabel Wildrick, 30 Tonnelle ave, West Hoboken, N. J.  % Geo Bartow.”

This postcard was sent to Mabel J. Wildrick, born June 1888, from her younger brother, Herman P. Wildrick, born October 1889, New Jersey born (both). From the 1900 Federal Census taken in Stillwater Township, NJ:  They are with their parents, Jacob B. Wildrick, born June 1863 and Susan E. born August 1859, both in NJ. He is a foreman at a creamery.  Also in the household is Arthur Linaberry, born October 1879 in New Jersey, who is the nephew to head of head of household, Jacob.

Find A Grave shows the entry for the Wildricks, and gives Susan E. Wildrick’s maiden name as Youmans. Arthur Linaberry turns out to be Susan (Youmans) Wildrick’s nephew, son of Phillip Linaberry and Martha D. Youmans. And George Bartow (the “care of” on the postcard) appears to be related on the Linaberry side, with Phillip Linaberry showing up on an Ancestry tree with the middle name of Bartow.

As for the artist, Antlers, his identity was not found. He did a whole comic series though, about mosquitoes, and those postcards, dated 1905 and 1906, are easily found at the moment for sale on eBay and other sites.

Lastly, Mabel’s younger brother Herman, that funny guy (!) was correct about his older sister. She married Orestes Hendershott.

Undivided back, artist-signed, used postcard. Postmarked September 6, 1905 from West Hoboken, New Jersey. Artist:  Antlers.

Price:  $10.00

Sources:  Year: 1870; Census Place: Blairstown, Warren, New Jersey; Roll: M593_892; Page: 26B; Image: 56; Family History Library Film: 552391. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1900; Census Place: Stillwater, Sussex, New Jersey; Roll: 995; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0175; FHL microfilm: 1240995. (Ancestry.com)

“New Jersey Births and Christenings, 1660-1980,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FC2S-1L8 : accessed 8 November 2015), Phillip B Linabery in entry for Linabery, 23 Jul 1885; citing Warren, New Jersey, reference Vol. 21; FHL microfilm 494,203.

Find A Grave Memorial# 39988077. (Findagrave.com) Accessed November 8, 2015.

Find A Grave Memorial# 39988436. (Findagrave.com) Accessed November 8, 2015.

I’m No Chicken But I’m Game

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A cute card from 1915 showing a couple of ducks dressed up in walking attire – hats, scarves, bags, umbrella. The male duck (the drake) is trying to pick up the female. Love that sideways glance from the lady, her feather boa scarf, the drake’s carpet bag, and his persuasive hopeful look. Note the bare outline of the smiling duck along with the word “DUCKS” on the advertisement in the background. The sender wrote:

“Dear Mo. I just got my policy the day after I got Ella letter. Bert is going to town and I want to mail this. tell Liz I will write soon all are well and hope you all the same love to all fro us all. Lara[?], Gen. Del. Upland Cal.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. J. M. Ellison. Box 757. R.F.D. No 3. Sacramento Cal.”

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked Jan 18, 1915 from Upland, California. Publisher unknown. Series or number 17 – 5.

Price:  $5.00

Just Missed The Rain

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I love these type where the sender has written in their own caption, so to speak….And for me, this should be titled,  “Blessed Rain”  since we don’t get enough of it here in California. Reminds me of a bumper sticker on the back of a truck that I see often, when driving to work, which says,  “Pray for rain”  and it tickles me that I think the exact same response every time, that of  “I always do.” 

Anyway, this is a lovely, slightly comical silhouette type postcard postmarked in 1909, but the sender was still thinking 1908…it was February, and he or she was not used to writing the new year yet. It’s wonderful how much is going on in this scene…the couple kissing under the umbrella; the ladies running to the street car which is already full; the people that were prepared and have their umbrellas, and the poor guys who were caught unprepared, getting soaked, one looking a little zombie-ish, and the other one, bent over staring at the pavement. Is he marveling at the amount of water that is pouring off of him, or just thinking,  “Gawd!”  I like to think a combination of both. Not to forget to mention the kissing couple on the streetcar; the guys watching the ladies running, the one has his hand up, either waving or trying to signal to them, “Hey, the car’s full…it’s not going to work.”

The sender wrote:

“2 – 3 – 1908   Your card received. I am bound for Sonora – I’m in Stockton now – address Sonoma Ave – M.H.C.”  and addressed the postcard to:

“Roy J. Andrus – 1608 – 48 Ave – Ocean Beach, S. F.     Sea Shells”

Sea Shells?…Maybe the addressee was supposed to be saving sea shells for M.H.C. or it’s some kind of running joke, or any number of other possibilities. (I don’t see anything coming up regarding a district or neighborhood under this name.) But the address is clearly a San Franciscan one. This exact street number doesn’t show, but it’s residential, near Lawton Street. 48th runs parallel to the Coast and the addressee would have lived just a short walk from the beach. Lucky guy!…And just think, this was just a little less than three years after the Great San Francisco Earthquake, which was April 18, 1906.

After looking at the census records and city directories, it appears most likely that the addressee is John R. Andrus on the 1910 Federal Census. He is divorced, occupation Cutter at a paper box factory, born in California, about 1882, and living with his parents, John and Gertrude Andrus. The address given is 1612 48th Avenue, so 1608 might have been a designation for a separate entrance or the numbering could have changed or even have been incorrectly written by the sender. By 1911 Roy had changed occupations and was working as a manager for the Golden Gate Butter Co., and by 1912 was listed as a Horse Dealer.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked February 3, 1909 from Stockton, California.

Price:  $12.00

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 39, San Francisco, California; Roll: T624_100; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0241; FHL microfilm: 1374113. (Ancestry.com)

Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory, 1911, p. 192. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory, 1912, p. 193. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

A Nice Light Job

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A funny postcard from an unknown publisher showing two drawings of a guy:  On the left he’s put pen to paper and written,  “I struck a nice light job working for the city…”  while on the right, in “real life” he is up on a ladder lighting the city lamps and thinking,  “Gee Whiz – Here it is eight o’clock and I ain’t got ’em half lighted yet.”  Very clever!

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1910s – 1920s.

Price:  $4.00