Forget-me-nots and Seagulls

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked May 11, 1913 from Elwood, Nebraska. Series or number G10.

Price:  $5.00

“Only a message sweet and true

Saying I think today of you.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Lena Davis, Almena Kans.”

“May 10       Dear Cousin, We are all well having fine weather. I have 109 little chicks my housecleaning done and garden planted. The wheat look fine. Fred is listing corn he has been sick but better now. The boys grow fast and play out doors all the time. From Your Cousin Alice.”

Have been away from posts (alas) for some time. This seems to be a common refrain lately (sigh). Anyway! Here’s one from our Lena Davis Collection (hey, Lena 🙂 ) of a beautiful sunset on a lake (lake as in Great Lakes comes to mind, being a Michigander) with sailboat, seagulls and is partially framed by forget-me-nots. Flipping to the back to read the message from Lena’s cousin Alice, we jump from lakeside to a rural farm setting of chicks, wheat and corn……What woman cannot relate to this sense of accomplishment,  “I have my 109 little chicks, housekeeping done and garden planted.”  Time to kick back on the front porch with an ice-cold lemonade (while of course, keeping an eye on the boys, ever-multi-tasking 😉  ).

And, yes, Fred is really “listing” corn. He would have used a piece of farm equipment like or similar to the one pictured below, to plant the kernels in the furrows (the ditches) so the corn could root deeper in the soil and the roots be covered later, thus protecting them in times of drought.

Source:  Widtsoe, John Andreas. Dry Farming:  A System of Agriculture for Counties Under Low Rain Fall. New York:  The McMillan Company, 1911. (archive.org).

Boyd Roland Gibbs, 4th Field Artillery, Battery B

Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1916 – 1919. Arax Photo Studios. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

“Mr. Boyd Roland Gibbs. 4th Field Artillery. Battery B. Atlanta, Georgia.”

Hey, well I fibbed 😉 evidently in the last post. Thought I had no military, but found this one. And a great one it is. Full name, artillery and location on the back for this handsome guy in WWI army uniform. Someone’s current great or great-great uncle today. Boyd Gibbs was born in South Carolina in 1898, son of James Patrick Gibbs and Leila Ida (Prince) Gibbs. U.S. Army transport records 1918 – 1919 list Boyd’s rank as wagoner.

Sources:  Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 27 May 2019), memorial page for Boyd Roland Gibbs (May 1898–13 Nov 1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 143151272, citing First Baptist Church of North Spartanburg Cemetery, Spartanburg, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Margaret (contributor 46516145).

The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 440. (Ancestry.com).

“The Duties of the U.S. Army Wagoner.” (http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~gregkrenzelok/genealogy/veterinary%20corp%20in%20ww1/wagonerduties.html) Accessed May 27, 2019.

Easter Greetings To Elsa From Matilda

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked March 30, 1907, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Publisher:  Raphael Tuck & Sons’ “Easter Post Cards.” Printed in Germany.

Price:  $12.00

Here’s another beauty, mega-charming…two bunnies setting off from shore in an eggshell boat. One rowing and the other at the rudder, off to deliver some eggs on Easter. The caption in light script in the clouds is  “Loving Easter Greetings”  and is signed at the bottom,  “From Matilda.”

Addressed to:  “Miss Elsa Bendschneider, 273 Belleview Pl, Milwaukee, Wisc.”

Yes, that surname is a little hard to read for handwriting but the city directories took the guesswork out of it. William H. Bendschneider is at this address in 1907, occupation janitor. An alternate or maybe earlier spelling of the family name is Bendtschneider. The 1905 Wisconsin State Census shows William Bendschneider, occupation janitor, born 1863 Wisconsin; his wife Sophie, born 1863 Germany; daughter Elsie, born 1889 Wisconsin; and son William born 1895 Wisconsin. Guessing our Elsa is the person on this census, and not the other Elsie in Milwaukee that is Elsie Bendtschneider under different parents’ names.

Sources:  H. C. Wright’s Wright’s Directory of Milwaukee for 1907. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Wisconsin Historical Society; Madison, Wisconsin; Census Year: 1905. (Ancestry.com).

An Easter Of Sunshine

Divided back, lightly embossed, unused postcard. Made in the U.S.A. Series or number 556. Circa 1919 – 1920.

Price:  $8.00

From a bygone (but not forgotten) era……a young couple all decked out in their Easter Sunday finery stroll along a bright cobblestone path. In the distance is perhaps a church. Note how the buildings are elongated. We’ve seen this style before in May Your Christmas Be Merry, but the artist or artists are unknown. The stamp box for this postcard is printed as “Postage NOW one cent” and is the key to the card’s approximate date. The price for mailing a postcard in the U.S. went from 2¢ back to 1¢ as of July 1, 1919. It was changed to 2¢ again in 1925 and returned to 1¢ in 1928, so there is the possibility that this card could be from 1928 but we’re guessing the earlier change date applies. For the USPS list of changes for postcard stamp rates see Rates for Stamped Cards and Postcards. 

But, in any case…..

A Glad Easter To You

“An Easter of sunshine

Of skies that are blue

And and Easter of Gladness

I’m wishing for you.”

O Rhyme Of Sweet Saint Charity

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1913. Number or series 7212.

Price:  $12.00

Looking more like a Saint Patrick’s Day card in design than Easter……a beautiful bouquet of lilies of the valley with a country home scene in the background and the following verse by James Russell Lowell:

“O rhyme of sweet Saint Charity,

Peal soon that Easter Morn,

When Christ for all shall Risen be

And in all hearts New Born.”

“March 15     Dear Sister, How are you. We are well, hope you are getting along all right. let me here as soon as it happens. have James to write, from Indie.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Maggie Dice, Neosho Falls, Kans.”

From Indie’s note to her sister, Maggie, it sounds as if Maggie is about to deliver a baby, which is a major clue for the year this card would have been written. Appearing on the 1915 State census for Kansas are James Dice, age 26, with wife M. R. Dice, age 22, and their son Morris M. Dice, age 2. Looking back to 1913, Easter was on March 23rd, and this card was written on the 15th. In 1912 Easter was not till the 31st of March, so 1913 seems to be the best fit….From later records, Morris is Merris Myron Dice and Maggie’s maiden name is Miller.

Sources:  James Russell Lowell. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Russell_Lowell (accessed April 21, 2019).

Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; Roll: ks1915_257; Line: 6. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1930; Census Place: Iola, Allen, Kansas; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0017; FHL microfilm: 2340427. (Ancestry.com).

From Mother to Roas and Mike

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Printed in Austria. Circa late 1900s – early to mid-1910s.

Price:  $5.00

Hearty Easter Greetings

A sheep pulling a cart (note the wheels are made of or covered in flowers) holding a large red Easter egg. Underneath is a beautiful embossed spray of violets, roses, forget-me-nots and lilies of the valley, and in the background green snow-topped mountains and embossed snow falling in a  pink (!) sky. The age of this card is just an estimate, guessing it might be pre-WWI. And the recipients of the postcard, Roas? and Mike. Guessing Roas might have been short for Rosalinda (with odd spelling). Notice how two lines were drawn with a straight edge for the sender to write on. (These details seem to transport us back to the moment it was being written!)

To Bobby From Aunt Lorilee

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked July 21, 1951, Interlaken, Switzerland. Publisher:  Photoglob-Wehrli A. G., Zurich. Number or series z 2525.

Price:  $6.00

Berner Bueb

“07/21/51     Hi Bobby! You should have been with us today when we had lunch on the Jungfrau, one of the highest mountains in Europe. You would have loved to play in the snow in the summertime! Have fun! Love, Aunt Lorilee.”

Addressed to:   “Master Bobby Burkhardt, 10629 Garden Way, Spring Valley, California, U.S.A.”

The Jungfrau is in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. The postcard caption “Berner Bueb” might be translated as Bernese boy. You can find numerous Swiss postcards with “Berner Bueb” and “Berner Bueb und Meitschi” (Bernese boy and girl, we’re guessing.) This postcard appears to be an artist-signed card per the front lower left corner which shows “Blank.” Checking in Ancestry.com Blank shows as a German and Swiss surname. According to another postcard site, this card was produced at least as early as 1946.

Sources:  Jungfrau. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungfrau (accessed April 20, 2019).

“Ziege Kuenstlerkarte Blank Berner Bueb Kat. Tiere.” https://oldthing.de/Ziege-Kuenstlerkarte-Blank-Berner-Bueb-Kat-Tiere-0024001456. (accessed April 20, 2019).

Mrs. Alvidsen At 11,660 Feet

Real Photo Postcard, circa 1900 – 1910

Price:  $15.00         Size:  3 and 3/16 x 5 and 3/8″

Somewhere on the planet, at 11,660 feet…..

The location for this one is a mystery. The writing on the back is  “Mrs. Avildsen at [?] 11660 feet El.”  Looks to me like that word there starts with a “C.” After some research, the best possibility found is that of Monte Cervino, aka the Matterhorn, so maybe from the Italian side of the mountain at 11,600 feet which is about 3,535 meters. That’s an ice field behind our smiling subject. Is she holding flowers?

Postcard publisher unknown, so far

The postcard publisher or printer is another mystery. I’m not seeing this particular style of Real Photo Postcard back on any other site or in Walter Corson’s Publisher’s Trademarks Identified. Also, the size is a little smaller that the average RPPC (and the bottom doesn’t seem to have been cropped). If the card was produced in the U.S. the postal regulations didn’t allow for the divided back until December 1907, though it could still be earlier if printed from another country.

Climbing the Alps in the Victorian Era

Eleven hundred plus feet is quite high, higher than the highest city in the U.S., which is that of Leadville, Colorado (elevation 10,152 feet or 3,094 meters, nicknames The Two-Mile-High City and Cloud City). And, if this was Mount Cervino, there would not have been an inn at that elevation. So, it’s not as if our lady mountaineer walked out of her hotel and up a slope and posed for the picture. Newspaper articles are numerous on early climbing, and mention employing guides and going part way by pack-mules or horses. In searching Newspapers.com for Mount Cervino, and getting a little side-tracked from women climbers, I came across a wonderful article about a guy, in need of guide, as on that particular day there was a shortage, and so the man hired someone who turned out to be a smuggler. (Imagine the endless possibilities of caching goods in the mountains). Here are four excerpts from “A Strange Guide,” clipped from The Ogden Standard (Ogden, UT) and translated from Italian.  (Not sure where Fiery was but here’s a link for Valtournenche, Italy.)

The smuggler/guide was saying he can’t afford to lose time. He asks the “guide-ee” for help searching for the missing relative, and it’s gladly given. I’m sorry to say that the story does not have a happy ending. The missing relative had stopped to rest in the heavy fog and “fallen asleep” in the cold never to awaken. The two searchers discovered that the man’s body had just been brought in that evening when they got back to the inn at Fiery. And we don’t usually put up the sad stuff here on LCG, but the article was touching – the way that the “guide-ee” changes his first negative impression of the guide, becoming, one would think, forever bonded with him through the shared experience of searching for that lost loved one.

Below, from another beautifully written account, this one from 1880, three excerpts clipped from The Standard (London, England) entitled, “Gossip From The Alps (From A Climbing Correspondent.)”  By coincidence, both articles are from newspapers called the Standard, one in Utah and the other London, UK. And, it always floors me, hitting upon a hitherto unknown subject, like for me the history of mountaineering, that very first glimpse into what would be an enormous vista of knowledge, that others have already been “living in”, so to speak, like in a living landscape of knowledge…..feels like coming to a party way late and getting a smidgen of a glimpse of everything you’ve been missing.

Gossip from the Alps, September 1880

And on the subject of women climbers!

Well, that’s enough historical articles for now, as this post has really gotten long, though of course, the Alvidsen name was searched for but nothing came up in newspapers, so we’ll just include links to a couple of excellent web articles on the history of women in mountaineering, for some great photos and insight. Just imagine climbing in a long skirt like the one Mrs. Alvildsen is wearing, and then that hat, at eleven and a half thousand feet, seemingly so incongruous from our 2019 vantage point. (Though a hat with a wide brim would have been a very good thing in the high altitude sun.) And how about the rest of what the early women climbers were up against, not just the clothing challenge, but in general, going against (or around) society’s code, to pursue their passion…..I especially love the part about Lucy Walker ditching her petticoat and stashing it behind a rock!

One of the First Female Alpinists Was A Victorian Lady

For the Lady Mountaineer

Sources:  Leadville, Colorado. n.d. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadville,_Colorado (accessed April 7, 2019).

Valtournenche. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valtournenche (accessed April 7, 2019).

“A Strange Guide.”  The Ogden Standard (Ogden, UT). April 2, 1892. Saturday, p. 3. Translated by Antonio Meli from the Italian by G. Giacosa for Boston Transcript. (Newspapers.com).

“Gossip From The Alps (From A Climbing Correspondent.)” The Standard (London, England). September 24, 1880. Friday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

Siber, Kate. “One of the First Female Alpinists Was A Victorian Lady.” outsideonline.com. July 31, 2018. (accessed April 7, 2019).

“For the Lady Mountaineer.” americanalpineclub.org. March 1, 2018. (accessed April 7, 2019).

Branch Brook Park In Winter, Newark NJ

Undivided back postcard. Series or number 1969. Postmarked March 7, 1909.

Price:  $5.00

Branch Brook Park is known for its Cherry Blossom Festival and was the first county park in the United States.

Though the postmark is dated 1909, this card would have been produced prior to the change in U.S. postal regulations in December 1907, which saw the advent of the Divided Back cards.

On the reverse, part of the address is unreadable, looks like this postcard was once glued in an album or just had something stuck on the back. But….mystery solved:   We actually have another Canning postcard with the full name on it. So, our card above would have been addressed to either (or both) Mr. M. J. Canning (Montgomery J. Canning) or Mrs. M. J. Canning (Louise Canning). The address from the 1909 city directory was 406 Clayton St., San Francisco, California.

See Surprise Us – Write for more on the Cannings.

Reading wrong between the lines….

Straight to the point with a rather catchy phrase, the sender (Mame?) wrote:   “You are reading wrong between lines. Your postal was all O.K.  need not take it back.    Mame”

Sources:  Branch Brook Park. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branch_Brook_Park (accessed January 13, 2019).

Crocker-Langley’s San Francisco Directory for 1909, p. 362. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.