Père Marquette Depot, Bangor, Michigan

Pere Marquette Depot Bangor Michigan pc1Pere Marquette Depot Bangor Michigan pc2

“Dare Cousons I thought wood send you card to let ya now I am picking haye[?] now I am will [well] and having good time – from Eathy to Milson.”

This Real Photo Postcard, circa 1910, shows a train at the Bangor, Michigan train depot, and some people waiting to board and/or having just disembarked. The caption on the postcard is in reference to the Père Marquette Railroad (later Railway) named in honor of the French Jesuit missionary and explorer, Père Jacques Marquette (1637 – 1675).

This particular Bangor is Bangor Township, a civil township in Van Buren County, and located west of Kalamazoo and close to the shores of Lake Michigan; not to be confused with the charter township of Bangor in Bay County, Michigan.

Several references were found online for the publisher. From a 1912 publication on the history of Van Buren County,  “…the Wagner Drug Company, has a large and flourishing trade throughout the village of Bangor and vicinity.”  This is in reference to Fred W. Reams, who in 1901 entered the drug store business with his father-in-law, H. D. Harvey, continuing with him for seven years. ….Looking further, we find reference of L. R. Wagner taking over from Harvey in 1909…. L. R. is Leonard R. Wagner, on the 1910 Federal Census, occupation Pharmacist, owning his own store, born in Michigan, about 1880; wife’s name Hattie (Dekruif) Wagner.

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. Circa 1910. Publisher:  Wagner Drug Co.

Price:  $4.00

Sources:  Jacques Marquette. n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Marquette. (accessed May 5, 2015).

Rowland, Capt. O. W. (1912). A History of Van Buren County Michigan, Vol. 2. (p. 797). Chicago:  Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, 1912.

Biographies of Van Buren Citizens. “L. R. Wagner” U.S. GenWeb Project (Ancestry.com) Web accessed Mary 5, 2015.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Bangor, Van Buren, Michigan; Roll: T624_676; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0149; FHL microfilm: 1374689

Pere Marquette Railway. n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pere_Marquette_Railway. (accessed May 5, 2015).

Seven Women In Alaska

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A blurry but interesting Real Photo Postcard that was marked  “Alaska”  on the little sticker on the plastic sleeve, showing a group of seven smiling ladies posing in front of what might be a wooden train depot or station of some type. That looks like a set of tracks on our right. All the ladies wear hats (nothing unusual) but three of the hats have an upright feather in the hatband. It looks like it’s summer or spring; they are dressed for mild weather, and there’s a couple of umbrellas in the group. Their skirt hemlines vary slightly above or below the ankle, except for that one daring lady in the back with the hemline just below the knee! The AZO stamp box with all four triangles pointing upward, and the fact that it’s a divided back, places the date at about 1907 – 1918.

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

Price:  $3.00


Railstop pc1Railstop pc2

Here’s a really cool semi-candid Real Photo Postcard showing railroad workers at work, and a gentleman posed for the camera in the foreground, leaning against the train. It looks like they are at a rail stop, having just arrived or maybe getting ready to head out. Per the excellent Playles.com website, that we go to often for dates on RPPCs, the estimated time frame for this postcard would be 1907 – 1917. It has a Velox stamp box showing diamonds in each corner and “Place Stamp Here” in the center.

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. Velox stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $6.00

Old Ironsides

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“Because of the success of Matthias W. Baldwin’s first locomotive, a small working model that ran on miniature tracks at the Philadelphia Museum in 1831, officials of the six-mile Philadelphia, Germantown & Norristown Railroad (now part of the Reading system) ordered a full-size locomotive from him. Baldwin had so much difficulty in finding mechanics and securing tools to build her that he told a friend, ‘This is our last locomotive.’ But after completing the engine which was named Old Ironsides, he went on to new triumphs. Eventually he built locomotives for railroads all over the world, gaining a reputation as a builder second to none. Old Ironsides weighed 11,000 pounds, had a crank axle connected to two horizontal cylinders and made 28 miles an hour on a trial run, November 23, 1832, over trackage which previously mounted horse-drawn vehicles. – Reading Company”

Matthias William Baldwin (1795-1866) was an American inventor and machinist, born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He was a jewelry maker and silversmith before partnering with machinist David Mason to produce equipment for printers and bookbinders. The need for more power to support the machine shop led to the building of steam engines, which led to the founding of one of the largest, most successful locomotive manufacturing firms in the United States: Baldwin Locomotive Works. A statue of Matthias Baldwin appears in front of Philadelphia’s city hall. Baldwin is also known for his support of charitable causes, was outspoken in his support to abolish slavery, and donated money to help establish a school for African-American children in Philadelphia.

The Reading (pronouncing “Redding”) Company was in operation from 1833-1976. Officially the Philadelphia and Reading Rail Road (later Railway) and was one of the most successful railroad corporations in the U.S. This card is number four of a series, date printed unknown, possibly from the 1950s through the last possible year of 1976.

Sources:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthias_W._Baldwin