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.”

Colorado State Fair Postcard Ad, 1908

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Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked September[?] 1908 from Pueblo, Colorado. Publisher:  Clark Eng. Co., Pueblo. [?]

Price:  $20.00

This is the only one of its kind found online, at the time of this posting. Great graphics on this postcard ad showing a goat pushing a blindfolded guy off of a high board into a big wooden tub of water. And at the top right, an enticing bag of money with coins all around. It reads as:

“Don’t fail to visit the big Colorado State Fair at Pueblo, Colorado on Fraternal Day. Sep. 14 to 19 1908. William will be there. $3,000.00 to be given as prizes to drill teams and attendance.”

Who was William?

Stamped at the bottom of the card is  “W. R. McFarren, clerk.”  The 1908 Pueblo city directory shows Wm. R. McFarren, clerk, Woodmen of the World (Camp No. 2) Office 218 W. 4th, residence 1420 E. 9th. Ahhh, makes sense, a clerk for a fraternal organization for Fraternal Day. Per the 1920 Federal Census for Pueblo, William Rush McFarren was born in New York, about 1849, married to Annette, born Missouri, about 1846. And the 1920 shows he’s still working for this organization.

This card is another in the Alice Ellison Collection, a large group of  postcards that we’re still scanning and adding. It’s addressed to:   “J. M. Ellison, 26th and Cheyenne, City.”

Last but not least, our best guess on the publisher is Clark Eng. Co. of Pueblo, appearing in very small print on the front of the postcard.

Sources:  R. L. Polk & Co.’s Pueblo City Directory, 1909. p. 305. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

WoodmenLife. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WoodmenLife. (accessed October 23, 2016).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Denver, Denver, Colorado; Roll: T625_158; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 11; Image: 170. (Ancestry.com)

Alaskan Blue Fox

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Divided back, unused, commercial-type Real Photo Postcard of Arctic Blue Fox. Photographer:  Robinson. Number or Series:  316-E. Circa late 1940s.

Price:  $15.00

The blue (a smoky gray, blueish gray or black) is a color phase of the Arctic Fox. See photo 4/16 by Bjorn Anders Nymoen (Your Shot) in this link.

Most likely, the image of this beautiful animal can be attributed to travelog lecturer and world traveler Karl Henry Robinson.  Many newspaper accounts can be found detailing some of his travels and lecture stops, including the two articles below:

Karl Robinson article 1  San Bernardino County Sun, Oct. 15, 1950

Karl Robinson article 2  The Bakersfield Californian, Nov. 18, 1949.

Reminiscent of My Cousin Vinny….

In researching other possibilities for photographers named Robinson, we find a color postcard of Franklin Street, Juneau, Alaska attributed to a Howard Robinson under publisher J. Boyd Ellis for sale online. However, also for sale, but in black and white and signed “Robinson” (same as our postcard above) is almost the exact same view of Franklin Street. The large clock in both photos show the time as two minutes apart. Are we to believe that two photographers with the last name of Robinson showed up at the same time to take photos of this street, from an identical angle? Highly unlikely. More likely, the color version was adapted from the black and white photo. (We’ve seen this a number of times in the world of postcards. Images are slightly altered, for example, a person is added into the scene, or taken out. Sometimes it’s quite obvious, other times, not so much.) To compare the two, here’s the digital page from Card Cow that, at the time of this post, offers both Franklin Street postcards for sale.

More on Karl…

Karl Henry Robinson, son of dentist Henry S. Robinson and Ella H. Davis, was born August 17, 1902 in Attleboro, Massachusetts. He married Ruth Charmion Cotton in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on February 14, 1939. He died in Los Angeles County, California May 29, 1997.
The following (don’t mind the typo on Karl’s father’s initials) is an article on Karl and Ruth’s wedding:

Ruth Cotton article  San Francisco Chronicle, March 4, 1939.

Sources: “Arctic Fox. Alopex lagopus.National Geographic. (Web accessed August 16, 2016.)

“Karl Robinson To Deliver Speech On ‘China Journey.’ ” San Bernardino County Sun, 15 October 1950, Sunday, p. 16. (Newspapers.com).

“Alaskan Films Presented to Large Crowd at Forum.” The Bakersfield Californian, 18 November, 1949, Friday p. 22. (Newspapers.com).

Card Cow digital page image re search for “Robinson” and “Alaska”. (Web accessed August 16, 2016.)

Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. (Ancestry.com).

State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. (Ancestry.com).

“Ruth Cotton Married in Pennsylvania.” San Francisco Chronicle, 4 March 1939. p. 107. (Genealogybank.com).

“A deer they found in ‘balking’ ”

A Deer They Found In Balking p1A Deer They Found In Balking p2

Vintage photo of swimming deer and seven men on a cruiser boat. Circa 1940s.

Price:  $5.00          Size:  4 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/4″

Here we go again with trying to figure out the date of a photo (and possible place) by the vehicle:  In this case the vehicle is a cruiser or yacht! Nothing found yet, so more research needs to be done. You can almost make out the name on the life preserver, but not quite. I thought it was maybe “Janeeva” at first, then looked a couple of days later, thinking, “Where did I get Janeeva from?” Looks like it might start with “A.” (An interesting phenomenom, this change in perception!) Then there’s the other mystery:  Where in the world is “balking” ? Since it was put in parentheses by whoever wrote the note on the back, it seems to not be an actual place name. This makes sense, since Balking is not showing up online. Or did they mean, “A deer they found when ‘balking’ ” ? (whatever that might mean!) But last, which should be first….the deer! What an unexpected sight this must of have been! If he’d been in line with the front of the boat, it would have looked like he was towing it 😉 And unbeknownst to many (like me up till now) deer are good swimmers!

“My Dog and I”

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Set of two photos, circa 1920s, of girl and puppy.

Price:  $3.00        Size:  About 2 and 7/8 x 2″ each.

Apparently, the grammar is incorrect, as it’s supposed to be “my dog and me.”  Take out “dog” and you wouldn’t name the photo “I”  🙂 but I didn’t know that either, till I looked it up. Proof we’ve been confused for decades on this point, I guess. But how adorable are these photos:  young girl with a bobbed haircut, in her backyard, bottle-feeding her little puppy.

Walnut Festival Parade

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Vintage parade photo, 1950s, Walnut Festival.

Price:  $10.00            Size:  5 x 3 and 1/2″

Circa 1950s, of the Walnut Festival Parade, showing a view of horses, tacked up in silver finery, and their riders (does the guy in the foreground remind you of Teddy Roosevelt?) in hats and typical fifties-era cowboy shirts, on parade before an audience lined up on both sides of the street. The most logical guess for location would be Walnut Creek, California. We’re not finding city directories or old phone books online for this time-frame for Walnut Creek, so perhaps the answer lies in a local library. (A day trip on the horizon?) One of the most helpful clues to identify the city would be the restaurant on the left. You can see a sign showing “Chick’s Eat”  above the  “….Famous Fried Chicken”  sign. (Check out the guy perched up there, who secured a nice spot for himself to watch the parade.) We can also make out a Chevron logo on the other side of the street (one such sign recently sold for $1800.00.)  In the background, the banner strung across the road reads,  “Walnut Festival.”