Celluloid Collars And Cuffs Frog and Gnome

Trade Card for Celluloid Collars and Cuffs. Circa 1878 – 1880s.

Price:  $7.00          Size:  About 4 x 2 and 1/2″

Frog and gnome-like (for lack of a better description, I know, where’s the beard? Maybe a young gnome 😉 ) character advertising Celluloid collars, cuffs and shirt bosoms. This trade card was one of a set of six. Very charming, especially when viewing the whole series. Here’s a crop from a Google image search showing the others:

Our frog and gnome card is the second one we have for Celluloid collars and cuffs. See also, B. J. Stone Trade Card, New Haven, CT.

A trade name

The term Celluloid was a trade name registered in the United States in 1873, and was used in a variety of applications, including hairbrushes, toys, billiard balls, ping-pong balls and the film industry. See the Encyclopedia Britannica’s article:  “Celluloid:  Synthetic Plastic.”  The collars and cuffs were linen, covered with celluloid on the front and back to make them waterproof, thus drastically cutting the high cost of cleaning, and letting the wearer sidestep the “wilted look” in hot weather. Below, the earliest advertisement we found, which appeared in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (June 13, 1878).

Another early-ish ad below, this one from The Star Democrat, February 24, 1880 indicating Celluloid collars and cuffs had newly arrived to Easton, Maryland.

And, hundreds of thousands of ads and related articles can be found late 1870s – 1910s and beyond, but at some point Celluloid collars and cuffs started to fall out of favor. When is a good question, but probably at least by the mid-1890s. Their use came to be associated with outmoded fashion, and a need for thriftiness. (The history of celluloid is book subject matter and much too detailed to research here.) Below, a short glimpse from 1910, into the life of a chap called Folsom Peverill (possibly a made-up name) that appeared in the The Topeka Daily Capital.

Last, but certainly not least, there were reports of high flammability, accidents where people were injured or even killed, in wearing Celluloid covered items or using objects made from the material (like hair combs). Some attribute some of these stories to urban myth, however, certainly there were instances of factory fires, which were always a threat, in general. Below, a report, from 1910, that lends credibility to the reports of the dangers of wearing Celluloid covered items. This ad was run in a number of U.S. papers, including The Sedalia Democrat.

Sources:  “Wear celluloid collars and cuffs trade cards frog” Google image search. Google.com. (accessed August 24, 2017).

“Celluloid:  Synthetic Plastic.” Encyclopedia Britannica. (accessed August 24, 2017).

“Celluloid Collars and Cuffs.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY). June 13, 1878. Thursday, p. 1. (Newspapers.com).

“Something New Under the Sun!” The Star Democrat (Easton, MD). February 24, 1880. Tuesday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).

“Time works great changes.”  The Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, KS). June 16, 1910. Thursday, p. 4. (Newspapers.com).

“Ban on Celluloid in Theaters.”  The Sedalia Democrat (Sedalia, MO). January 7, 1910. Friday, p. 9. (Newspapers.com).

Queen Anne Soap, Kitties And Basket

Trade Card. Detroit Soap Company. Circa 1871 – 1890s.

Price:  $7.00       Size:  4 and 9/16 x 2 and 13/16″

“Use Detroit Soap Co.’s Queen Anne Soap. The Best Family Soap in the World.”

This is the third trade card that we’ve found so far, for Queen Anne’s Soap and the Detroit Soap Company. See the prior post for the second.

Queen Anne Soap, Kitty With Yarn

Trade card. Detroit Soap Co. Circa 1881 – 1890s.

Price:  $6.00        Size:  4 and 7/16 x 3″

We’ve got a short kitten theme going here…the second of three. Nothing on the back of this trade card. But see a previous post on the Detroit Soap Company and Queen Anne Soap. The slogan, “The Best Family Soap in the World,”  appearing on our trade card above, seems to be the most common one seen on cards for Queen Anne Soap, so it’s possible that that particular wording became the standardized saying, but that’s a theory, no proof at this point.

See also, our third Queen Anne’s Soap find.

Kitty Photographer For Nudavene Flakes

Nudavene Flakes Trade Card. Circa 1887 – 1890.

Price:  $12.00        Size:  3 x 4 and 7/16″

From a Throwback Thursday entry from Rockford Buzz:

“The A. M. Johnston Oat Meal Company, said to have been the first oatmeal mill west of the state of Ohio, was located in Rockford in the 1870’s. This firm later became the Rockford Oatmeal Company, and eventually the American Cereal Company, which was the forerunner of the Quaker Oats Company.”

TBT: A. M. Johnston Oatmeal Company

Numerous newspaper ads can be found for Nudavene Flakes and Cormack’s Nudavene Flakes. The example below, from June 1895 in the Detroit Free Press, shows a listing of a particular Monday’s prices from the Hull Brothers Company. Ten pounds of Nudavene Flakes for 25 cents, imagine! (Or, ten pounds of anything for 25 cents.) And how ’bout the canned brook trout and mackerel, there’s a couple of items we don’t see on the shelves anymore. (That’s a typo on the word “Sardeiles.” It should be “Sardelles” – a term used for a small sardine-like fish.)

Sources:  TBT Rockford: A. M. Johnston Oatmeal Company. December 15, 2016. rockfordbuzz.com. (accessed August 7, 2017).

Hull Bros. Grocery Ad. Detroit Free Press. June 16, 1895. Accessed August 7, 2017. (newspapers.com)

Twelve In A Skiff

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

Price:  $4.00

A nice family photo made into a postcard, circa 1907 – 1918, showing twelve family members in a skiff named Elizabeth, either just about to head out on the water or just returned. Most likely the latter though because there’s the family dog, laying down in the sand (tired after all the excitement, swimming, etc?) and there’s one of the kids huddled in a towel. This RPPC would be a nice reference for the era’s bathing suits, family outings at the lake, and that type of thing. Love those bathing caps!

Dog And Skier, Finnish Handicraft Series

Divided back, artist-signed, unused postcard. Finnish Handicraft Series. Circa 1950s – 1980s.

Price:  $20.00

The date is unknown for this postcard, as no other cards were found online under any form of the back description:

Finnish Handcraft Series. Hemslöjdsföreningarnas Centralförbunds serie. Kotiteollisuusjärjestöjen Keskusliiton sarja. Maybe 1950s – 1980s as a broad guess. The artist’s initials “H. T.” appear at the bottom-left of the cross-country ski scene. Underneath are a reindeer and tree motif and above a diamond pattern. This is just a beautiful card. And that’s a Sami (Saami) man in traditional dress with a Four Winds Hat. I love the dog in mid-spring! as in bounce, that is. If you’re weary, the dog’s exuberance will rejuvenate you!

Sources:  Four Winds Hat. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people (accessed May 13, 2017).

Sami People. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people (accessed May 13, 2017).

La Calèche De Québec

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Librairie Garneau, Québec, PQ Canada.  Circa 1931.

Price:  $3.00

La Calèche:  a popular subject for old Québec postcards

The calèche, as shown in the postcard, is a light carriage with two large wheels, drawn by one horse, and usually seen with its top folded back. After searching old newspapers (the term calèche abounds) and books online, it seems the name was perhaps used generically for carriage, maybe at some point having something to do with the hood style. (This Wiki article in french shows the different look with four wheels) and after many searches the only thing that seems clear is that when exactly the two-wheeler came into being would be a subject for a more in-depth search, but here’s an excerpt from an article in 1850 that appeared in the Christian Watchman (Boston).

And we couldn’t resist including this next snippet from a short story by Fred Hunter from the newspaper Flag of Our Union (Boston) re a mysterious woman in a blue bonnet, bringing to mind the two-wheeler, really, if conjuring an image…

Speaking of bonnets, the women’s bonnet in images below, was aptly named the “caleche capote” (carriage hood). Newspaper articles in 1879 reference this as the latest style.

Surface romance

But back to the conveyance:  Is the vehicle as seen in the postcard above still in use today? No, today we’re talking about the horse-drawn four-wheeled carriage that has been a part of the tourist industry in the cities of Montréal and Québec. This is an eye-opening topic, if you have not yet heard of the plight of the carriage horse. Glad now that we never took that carriage ride, well what –  twenty years ago in Montréal? But, still. And through the surface of charm and romance we’d probably have thought anyway, “But is the horse happy?” You know how it is when you get that feeling that you’ve bought into something fake, something glossy on the surface but behind the scenes, “not so much.” So, in many cities the use of the carriage horse has already been banned, while in other places the fight continues. Below, a couple of excellent websites:

Anti-Calèche Defense Coalition

Horses Without Carriages

On to the postcard….

After some online digging we found that our card originated from a Real Photo Postcard:  One is currently showing on eBay, “The Old World Caleche, Quebec, P. Q.,” published by S. J. Hayward, 1448 Mountain St., Montréal, and dated by the sender in 1931. The photo itself could have been taken earlier. In addition to our tinted version there is a second colorized rendition from Toronto publisher, The Post Card & Greeting Card Company, Ltd., as shown below, second from left, top row, in some images from a Google search.

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Sources:  Calèche. The Canadian Encyclopedia. (accessed March 18, 2017).

Calèche. n.d. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cal%C3%A8che (accessed March 18, 2017).

“A Trip to Quebec.” Christian Watchman (Boston, MA) Thursday, October 10, 1850. p. 4. (GenealogyBank.com)

Hunter, Fred. “The Blue Velvet Bonnet – A Parisian Tale.” Flag of Our Union (Boston, MA) Saturday, March 31, 1949. p. 4. (GenealogyBank.com)

“Images of caleche bonnet.” Cropping of Google.com search result. https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+caleche+bonnet&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8. (accessed March 18, 2017).

“Old World Caèche Montreal Quebec Canada 1931.” ebay.com http://www.ebay.com.sg/itm/Old-World-Caleche-MONTREAL-Quebec-Canada-1931-S-J-Hayward-Postcard-3874-/192109228919?hash=item2cba9a3377:g:j~cAAOSwEzxYdbBK(accessed March 18, 2017).

“Images of Quebec postcards calèche.” Cropping of Google.com search result. https://www.google.com/search?q=images+of+cal%C3%A8che+postcards+quebec&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj6_9-rwODSAhUQ32MKHYs4Bf0QsAQIGQ&biw=1205&bih=522. (accessed March 16, 2017).

Luck From Mattie Hicks, 1908

Undivided back, embossed, unused postcard. Publisher:  Raphael Tuck & Sons’  “St. Patricks Day Post Cards.”

Price:  $3.00

“St. Patrick’s Day – and I wish you Luck.”

Happy St. Pat’s Day! Here’s a barefoot country lass (love the fringe on the shawl or sweater) with a very large four-leaf clover and a little piggy running from underneath. The card is signed at the bottom in pencil,  “Mattie Hicks 1908.”

Of Gaiters And Dairy Ranches

Divided back, used, embossed postcard. Postmarked January 3, 1933 from Buhl, Idaho. Number 327. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $4.00

Best New Years Wishes…

“To you dear friend

Sincere Greetings

I fondly send

This New Years Day.”

Well, we’re late in posting this per the above sentiment, but what a cute card, and I got to wondering if the little girl was wearing spats (the yellow footwear with side buttons)  – but no, spats (short for spatterdashes) or at least how we think of them today, were the shorter, over the ankle covers, so we would call these gaiters. It seems like the term gaiter underwent a full circle, first found in reference to how troops were outfitted, and per the article below, used for warmth as well as for spatter guards.

From The Pennsylvania Gazette in 1760.

19th-century ads for gaiters reveal various types….canvas, silk, lasting, button, laced, Congress, heeled (that gave it away right there)….come to find out gaiters had by then, become the popular word used to describe a half-boot form reminiscent of that two-tone affect where the leggings met over the shoe. But the word was also used loosely, for example, Congress gaiters were really a half-boot, of a style very common today.

Below, an advertisement from The Louisville Courier (Louisville KY). What’s “chrap” in the top ad? It was a little disappointing to find this was just a misprint!

From the website American Duchess some beautiful photos of women’s footwear in the category in question:   “Extant Victorian Side-Lacing Gaiters.”

Last but not least, and returning from our tangent above: We get a kick out of Hazel’s casual-sounding promise of the hopeful future endeavor outlined in her note. Did she find one? Whether she did or did not, we like her style. You go, girl!

“Dear Aunt Alice & all. I do hope you will all have a better year than the one ending. I am coming down there this summer and hunt me a dairy ranch. Love – Hazel.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Alice Ellison, 1015 O St., Sacramento, California.”

Sources: The Pennsylvania Gazette. April 24, 1760, Thursday. p. 2 (Newspapers.com)

“Extant Victorian Side-Lacing Gaiters.” January 13, 2014. American Duchess. Historical Costuming. (americanduchess.blogspot.com) Accessed January 11, 2017.

The Louisville Daily Courier. May 31, 1849, Thursday. p. 2 (Newspapers.com)

A Coaching Christmas

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked from Lodi, California, December 22, 1921. Publisher unknown. S02 – 6. Des. (design) Xmas.

Price:  $4.00

We’ll start off Christmas this year with a 1921 postcard from the Alice Ellison Collection showing a stagecoach with team of horses arriving at a country inn:  There’s the driver and two (artistic license most likely) coach guards, both with their “yard of tin,” the long trumpet used to announce arrival and departure, warn off other traffic on the road, and announce arrival at toll gates; and with the figures of a man and boy; a bunny bounding down the path through the snow; and a couple of horseshoes and whip….altogether a charming remembrance of the Regency Era. The card’s beautiful verse goes out to all:

“Each Christmas binds more close the friends

We knew in Auld Lang Syne,

And so, in thought, my hand extends

To meet the clasp of thine.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Ella Ellison, 1314 F St., Sacramento, Califa.,”  and signed, “From Mrs. McNees & Dorothy.”