A Happy Easter To Irving Felix

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1914 – 1919. Publisher unknown. Easter series number 36, design 103.

Price:  $10.00

“A Happy Easter – Here’s a wish from a friend

And a greeting true

Just a remembrance, – from me to –

You.”

There are layers to everything, the history of an object, for instance – who made it and how it ended up in where it did, and we’ve remarked on this thought in prior posts, but this card has a special poignancy. And it’s a strange feeling to hold a postcard in your hands that was sent over a century ago and know the fate of the little boy it had been given to. And if our perception of time is normally felt as linear, this is one of those instances that stands out as something different, as if you could walk into the next room and meet the Felix family over Easter dinner. For it was a gut-wrenching discovery to find that Irving Arthur Felix was one of the men serving on USS Houston (CA-30) the heavy cruiser that went down during the Battle of Sunda Strait, off the northern coast of Java during WWII, along with her ally, Australian light cruiser, HMAS Perth (D-29).This after a valiant and greatly outnumbered Allied fight against the Imperial Japanese Navy forces in the vicinity. The numbers vary slightly in different accounts, but of Houston’s crew of 1,068, the survivors numbered 368, surviving only to be taken prisoner and interred in various POW camps. Seventy-nine of the prisoners died, of which Irving Felix was one. According to articles in Iowa newspapers, his family (wife, parents and brother and sister) found out around March 1942 that he was reported missing in action, and learned of his death sometime before July 15th ’43. He died April 26, 1943 at age 29 and was buried in Batavia, (now Jakarta) Java with full military honors. His grave site was later moved (or added, not sure if the original still exists) to Riverside Cemetery, Charles City, Iowa.

The postcard:

Addressed to:   “Mr. Irving Felix, Floyd Iowa.”

The sender wrote:  “Dear Irving: – Here is a card for you even if you can not read it. Inez you can read it. how is that song he sings with the rooster on his arm.    Aunt Tena[?]”

 1920 census info….

Irving Felix was found on the 1920 Federal Census for Rudd Township, Floyd County, Iowa, age 6, and we’re not sure at what age he learned to read, but Inez is his older sister who, like their aunt had suggested, could have read the card to him. From the 1920:  Parents Clarence A. Felix (age 33) and Ida Felix (age 36) and children Inez (age 11) Ivan (age 8) and Irving (age 6). All are born on Iowa, and both the parents are of German heritage. Clarence’s occupation is farmer.

In closing….

To the boy who sang a song about a rooster, and to paraphrase the verse on this card,  “Here’s a wish from friends true, and a heartfelt thank you, from us to you.”  (In remembrance of all lives lost during wartime and a prayer for peace and unity of all on our planet.)

Sources:  USS Houston (CA-30). n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Houston_(CA-30) (accessed April 12, 2020).

HMAS Perth (D-49) n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Perth_(D29) (accessed April 14, 2020).

Battle of Sunda Strait. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sunda_Strait. (accessed April 12, 2020).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Rudd, Floyd, Iowa; Roll: T625_490; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 120. (Ancestry.com).

“St. Ansgar Man Is Missing After Java Sea Battle With Asiatic Fleet; Irving Felix of Rudd, Also Reported Lost.” The Courier (Waterloo, Iowa). March 17, 1942. Tuesday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com).

“Sailor Dies in Japanese Camp.” Globe-Gazette (Mason City, Iowa). July 15, 1943. Thursday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 14 April 2020), memorial page for Irving Arthur Felix (15 Jan 1914–28 Apr 1948), Find a Grave Memorial no. 32213511, citing Riverside Cemetery, Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Kathy Gerkins (contributor 39861343) .

Easter Greetings From Maebelle McFall

Set of two, divided back postcards. Unused, with writing, dated 1925. Publisher:  Wolf & Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Series 461.

Price for the pair:  $10.00

Bunny checking his look in the mirror….There don’t seem to be too many Easter-bunny-looking-in-mirror cards that had been dreamed up and printed, as we discovered after Googling for images. And we’re seeing this one, on another site, attributed to artist Ellen Clapsaddle. So that’s a possibility for both of these cards, though they are both unsigned by the artist, so it’s hard to say, for sure. Clapsaddle was a well-known illustrator for publisher Wolf & Co., also called Wolf Co. or referred to as the Wolf brothers. But both of these cards were sent by Miss Maebelle McFall to her cousins Lowell and “Jr.” and are part of The Alice Ellison Collection on this website.

“Jr” and Lowell are George Louis Mugridge and Lowell J. Mugridge, born 1923 and 1924 respectively. Maebelle McFall, born in Colorado in 1912, is the daughter of Jennie May Ellison and Ernest V. Pearsall McFall (biological name Pearsall, stepfather’s name McFall). The boys are her cousins on her mother’s side.

“Dear Little Cousin Jr. I hope the bunnies stope in to see you and bring lots of eggs. I know you are an afful cute boy and I would like to see you. Your Loving Cousin Maebelle McFall   1925  (Lots of xxx and ooo)”

Baskets of eggs….and a bun that seems to minding the store…

“Lowell, I hope the bunnies brings lots of Easter eggs to you. I hope your big enough to walk so you can hunt your Easter eggs. Lot of Love from your cousin Maebelle McFall   1925   Plenty of ooo and xxx for Lowell” 

Easter Greetings To Betty Dow

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked April 15, 1911 from Oakland, California. Number or series 626.

Price:  $10.00

Heehee, what an expression on this guy! Easter bun on his way (with a handkerchief full of painted eggs and artist’s palette over his shoulder) to your house in 2020 and that of Betty Dow back in 1911.

Betty’s address was found in city directories under Wallace H. Dow, 82 Mesa Ave, Piedmont, CA. The 1910 Federal Census for Piedmont shows Wallace as head of household and vice president of the Dow Pump Co., wife Helen, children Elizabeth age 7, Wallace A., age 5, all native to California, and their Portuguese maid Marama de Azavedo, age 20. So, this postcard, signed from Lloyd and Herbert, was sent to Betty when she was about 7 years old. Betty went on to marry Frederick Cooper Green in 1924 in Alameda, CA. Their marriage certificate show’s Betty’s mother’s maiden name was Crocker.

Sources:  Polk-Husted Directory Co.’s Husted Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda Directory 1910, p. 318. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Oakland, Alameda, California; Roll: T624_72; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0151; FHL microfilm: 1374085. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. California, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1850-1941.

Afraid To Go Near It

Divided back, unused postcard. Artist:  William Standing. Publisher:  Dennis Delger. 1948. Western Stationery Co., Yachats, Oregon.

Price:  $7.00

“Me Too But I’m Afraid To Go Near It.”

A humorous card of a totem pole and two dogs….taken from the original etching by Indian artist, William Standing (1904 – 1951).

Source:  William Standing. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Standing (accessed March 1, 2020.).

Happy New Year To Chillon Carter

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 31, 1914 from Joplin, Missouri. Publisher unknown. Printed in Germany. Series or number 1154/1.

Price:  $8.00

Here’s another card, like the previous one we posted, that’s tinted (or colored, if either is the right term) and also so cute. On this one a little girl is surrounded by good luck/prosperity symbols – piggies (two), a four leaf clover, a horseshoe, and what looks like bags of money. (Well, that last is not so much “a sign of” but more prosperity itself, it seems.) And one interesting rendition of why pigs are good luck, specifically on New Year’s Day, comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch, and it’s because pigs root forward, and we want to go forward in the new year. See the link in the sources listed below for the online article.

This card is addressed to a gentleman with an unusual first name. It reads:   “Chillon Carter, R F D # 1 – Galena Kansas.”

And the sender wrote:   “Your xmas gifts rec’d ok. Many thanks. Have some for you. Will come over soon. Probably Sunday. I was in Columbus between trains one day last week at Carthage yesterday. Hope you had a nice time xmas, we were sorry that we could not come over there I had a severe cold & Johnnie thought the weather to cold to make the drive. am all ok, now. Mabel[?]    Rec’d New Year box all O.K. this a.m.”

From the 1920 census and Find A Grave, we find that Chillon E. Carter, born 1902 in Kansas, was the son of Chilon Carter and Sadie (Stanley) Carter.

Sources:  Stoneback, Diane. “Why eat pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s day?”January 1. 2018. 12 a.m. (accessed January 1, 2020).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Spring Valley, Cherokee, Kansas; Roll: T625_526; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 40. (Ancestry.com).

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 01 January 2020), memorial page for Chillon E. Carter (28 Oct 1902–29 Mar 1939), Find A Grave Memorial no. 27017873, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Galena, Cherokee County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by JFI (contributor 47211966) .

Borealis and Sleigh Ride

Antique circular print. Artist and publisher unknown. Circa 1880s – 1900.

Price for circular print without background:  $5.00        Size:  About 3 and 3/4″ across.

This was just a circular cutout from somewhere, that someone had saved, back in the day. It had made its way to one of the paper fairs or maybe an antique store, I don’t remember. The top and bottom had gotten a little scrunched but you can’t notice it in the image. And in looking for a background to scan it on (always a fun search!) I noticed our wall calendar for this year which was all photos of the Aurora Borealis. So, I got kind of enamored of the idea of this couple, and their team and sleigh, sort of floating in space in a sky of magical Borealis colors and lights (What would be the translation into music? Surely something so beautiful!)

And note in the closeup below, the carved figurehead with draping wings of what is probably a peacock. Searching online we find that there were many stunningly ornate sleighs crafted in prior centuries, including those with figureheads. Click here to see some examples that others have posted.

Source:   Google.com search result for “ornate antique open air sleighs with figureheads.” Accessed 12/29/19.

Nutty Fellow

Divided back postcard. Postmarked November 29, 1915 from San Jose, California. Publisher:  Samson Brothers, New York, NY. Number or series 94.

Price:  $12.00

While we’re still in autumn……a squirrel dressed in overalls. This card is 104 years old to the day.

“Beauty is only skin deep but it makes many a fellow go nutty over a girl!”

Addressed to:   “Miss Angelita Berryessa, 4027 Broadway, Oakland, Calif.”

The sender wrote:   “November 29, 1915.     Dear Honey, I am very glad that you are having a good time as I think you need it, after so many months of college work. Be always a good little girl and remember some time your friend. G. D.[?] Allasia.”

Angelita was born October 2, 1893 in San Jose, CA, daughter of Ysidro Berryessa and Jessie Sepulveda.

Source:  Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

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?

The Dock At Patchogue, Long Island

Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked July 23, 1914, Patchogue, New York. Publisher:  H. O. Korten. Panel Card No. 174. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $8.00            Size:  About 6 and 1/8 x 2 and 1/2″

A lovely RPPC, though a big chunk of the right-hand upper corner is missing. It might be relevant for anyone interested in the history of Patchogue, and definitely so if their ancestor owned a sailboat christened Nancy Hanks.

What degree of separation….mother, horse, sailboat…?

One naturally assumes the boat may have been named after a then present-day (1914) person, maybe a relative of someone who lived in Patchogue. So, we went to census records for Nancy Hanks, but found nothing; then went to historical newspapers and found a reference to someone running off at “a Nancy Hanks trot.”  Intriguing…..Ahhhh, a little further searching revealed that Nancy Hanks (named after Abe Lincoln’s mother) was a Standardbred trotting mare, a record-breaker that was later inducted into the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame.

The trotter Nancy Hanks circa 1892, photo by Schreiber.

As for the card’s sender and recipient…..

Addressed to:   “Miss Elsie Blum, 481 E – 11th st., Brooklyn, N.Y.”

The sender wrote:   “Dear Ones, just got mother’s letter & will write soon. Wieder[?] is very very happy with you. Love & a big kiss. Tanta Lahy.”

The Blum family were of German origin, and maybe “Tanta” is a nickname for tante (aunt). It sounds like the sender’s son received a gift from Elsie and was thrilled with whatever it was. As for the addressee, there’s an Elsie Blum on the 1910 Federal Census that might fit for the addressee of this card. Born in Ohio about 1890, parents Adam and Elsie, address 812 Cortelyou Road in Brooklyn, with a near cross street being E. 7th. Nothing coming up for the address on the postcard in city directories at either 481 11th (apt. E) or 481 E. 11th, which is surprising. But it is an address today, if the numbering is the still the same, 481 11th St., a condo, and so beautiful on the inside! ( If Elsie could see it now!)

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Brooklyn Ward 29, Kings, New York; Roll: T624_983; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 1023; FHL microfilm: 1374996. (Ancestry.com).

Nancy Hanks (horse). n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Hanks_(horse). Accessed September 15, 2019.

Stereograph of Portobello Beach, Scotland

Stereograph, Portobello Beach, Scotland, circa 1860s – 1890s. Possibly 1860s.

Price:  $20.00        Size:  About 6 and 3/4 x 3 and 1/4″ including matting

Bathing machines at Portobello Beach, Scotland

Portobello was a coastal town situated three miles east of Edinburgh’s city center, and today is a suburb of that city.

Here’s two of the same image mounted on cardboard to make a stereograph, also commonly called stereo view, the type used for 3-D viewing (or an approximation of) that was popular “in waves” (per Wikipedia’s entry and no pun intended 😉 ) from around 1870 – 1920.

Various historical notices and letters can be found in The Caledonian Mercury (Edindburgh, Scotland) on the subject of bathing at Portobello. A little background info:  Men had been used to bathing in the nude, both sexes used the bathing machines, women were segregated from the men, and bathing laws were changing in the 1860s. Here’s a few newspaper clippings – below left, appearing July 17, 1851 and on the right, dated June 23, 1862:

Below, another letter to the editor, dated April 4, 1863, and signed “Common Sense.”

Forsyth

Note the surname Forsyth on a few of the conveyances, which we discovered was one of the rental companies at the time the photo was taken. (Could the W. F. in the 1862 letter to the editor have been a Forsyth?) Other machines in the photo show different company names, but they’re too blurred to make out.

Below, a Forsyth’s baths ad clipped from The Caledonian Mercury, August 21, 1861, which leads one to think that our stereograph photo may have been from the 1860s, though more research would need to be done to hopefully find how long the company was in the machine rental business.

High topper gents

Also notable, are two men gazing back at the camera, sporting high top hats. Note that the hat on the right is what we think of as “stovepipe” as in Abe Lincoln, but the other (or maybe too much imagination in play here) looks like it might be of the variety that was more rounded on the sides and top. The term “chimney pot” was also used, but it seems both nicknames have come to be used interchangeably, and understandably so, because one can find photos of chimney pots that have either straight, convex or concave sides. But we’ll stop ourselves here from going off on a hat tangent, (a whole other realm….hat history, hats and public opinion, hats and politics, how fashion influenced politics, etc.)

Sources:  Stereoscope. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereoscope (accessed August 31, 2019).

Bathing machine. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathing_machine (accessed August 31, 2019).

“Portobello – The Bathing Machines” The Caledonian Mercury, July 17, 1851. Thursday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

“Letter to the Editor” The Caledonian Mercury, June 24, 1862. Tuesday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

“Bathing at Portobello” The Caledonian Mercury, April 6, 1863. Monday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

“Baths” The Caledonian Mercury, August 21, 1861. Wednesday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

Top hat. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_hat (accessed August 31, 2019).