Triple Royal Palm, Ridgewood Avenue, Daytona FL

Divided back, unused, embossed postcard. Publisher:  S. Langsdorf & Co., New York. Made in Germany. Series 618. Circa 1908 – 1914.

Price:  $35.00

This is what’s called an “alligator border” postcard. They were very collectible at the time and are pretty highly valued today. You can find them selling for around 30.00 or 40.00 dollars to in the hundreds, depending on content and rarity….And, imagine this particular card having been placed in an album after it was first purchased, because if you look closely (enlarge the image twice) you’ll notice the slightly darker coloration on each corner (so that when it was displayed in the album you were not seeing the corners). I like this kind of “physical proof” – it seems to add another layer or dimension to the card.

When looking for publisher S. Langsdorf, we found mention of him and (bonus!) the alligator border phenom in this Google book search:  America’s Alligator:  A Popular History of Our Most Celebrated Reptile, by Doug Alderson. You can also take a “Look Inside” for part of the book on Amazon.com right now. See the upcoming post for more on S. Langsdorf.

The “Triple” in Royal Palm is, I think, a description of a Royal Palm that has three trunks, or maybe multiple trunks, as in the most predominant palm appearing in our postcard above.

Sources:  Alderson, Doug. America’s Alligator:  A Popular History of Our Most Celebrated Reptile. Rowman and Littlefield, 2020. (books.google.com).

Royal Palm Tree. https://www.allaboutpalmtrees.com/royal-palm-tree (accessed October 22, 2022).

Gator Couple

Divided Back, artist-signed, used postcard. Postmarked August 21, 1917, Brimfield, Illinois. Postcard artist:  Hans Horina.

Price:  $15.00

A gator (the “husband” we presume) standing in a river or pond, calls out,“Oh, I don’t know!” to his wife, who is walking off, holding a small parasol. This card was part of a series of comic gator cards that told a story, so the caption would have made sense when seeing the full set.

We found a short description for the German postcard artist, Hans Horina (1865 – 1918) from the wonderful site, Lambiek – Comix Strips (lambiek.net) under the Comiclopedia section. (Check it out if you have time.)

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Ida Ost, 609 Abington Str., Peoria, Illinois.”

The sender wrote:   “From the bunch. Brimfield, Ill. Aug. 21st, 1917. Dear Peorians, We missed the mail yesterday after-noon so if your card didn’t go on through you wouldn’t get it to-day but hope you did. It is a rainy day here. Toodles is playing and has got Teddy in that little wagon now. Harland is going up town now and will mail this card. Oscar says to tell you that he got that piece of pie alright so he didn’t lose out after all. Does this look like the aligator in Central Park [grand-pa] ha ha ha. Oscar says for you Edie to meet him at the depot Wednesday night. Good-bye. Write soon.”

The above message was written by Clara (Wizeman) Pemble, wife of Harland Pemble. Clara, born in Illinois about 1886, was the daughter of William Wizeman and Louisa Mohler. Harland, born in Illinois about 1882, was the son of James H. Pemble and Mary Cavender. “Toodles” is probably Harland and Clara’s daughter Ida, who in 1917, when this card was sent, would have been about four or five.

Ida Ost, the addressee, is Clara’s sister. Ida was born in Illinois about 1875. She is listed as widowed on the 1900 Federal Census.

Sources:  “Hans Horina.” (https://www.lambiek.net/artists/h/horina_hans.htm). Accessed October 17, 2023.

Peoria County Courthouse; Peoria, IL, USA; Peoria County Marriages, 1825-1915; Collection Title: Peoria County Marriages, 1825-1915. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Brimfield, Peoria, Illinois; Roll: T625_398; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 47. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Peoria Ward 3, Peoria, Illinois; Roll: 334; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0097; FHL microfilm: 1240334. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1860; Census Place: Elmwood, Peoria, Illinois; Roll: M653_217; Page: 554; Family History Library Film: 803217.  (Ancestry.com).

Mrs. Levi Joshua Cheney, Dyesville, Ohio

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

Price:  $15.00

This is Charity (Chase) Cheney, born June 1868 in Ohio. The date estimate for the postcard is due to its being a Divided Back card and having an AZO stamp box, all four triangles pointing upward. This would make Charity around age 39 – 50 when the photo was taken, and it may have been a special occasion for her, per the flower corsage she’s wearing. This shot has captured some years of hardship, worry and grief in her expression. (It’s not an easy life we came here to live, is it?) But she’s still lovely in the long white dress (love the double row of buttons) and with the small puffed shoulders and her jewelry – the heart, the short necklace, and the other accessories – wide black belt, oblong box-style purse (I’m picturing alligator), and possibly a flower in her hair. It’s hard to tell on that one, even when darkening the image in Photoshop, it’s not definite.

Thank you to the person that identified person with place on the back. We appreciate them whoever they were. Dyesville is located in Columbia Township, Meigs County, Ohio.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Columbia, Meigs, Ohio; Roll: 1047; Page: 36D; Enumeration District: 104. (Ancestry.com).

Hotel Turpin Autobus, San Francisco

Divided Back, used postcard. Postmarked July 23, 1916 from San Francisco, California. Stamp removed. Publisher:  Edward H. Mitchell. 

Price:  $12.00

Auto Bus meets trains and Steamers. Hotel Turpin Auto Bus. 17 Powell St. at Market, San Francisco, Cal. F. L. Turpin. A. W. Turpin.

This postcard was likely produced from a newspaper or magazine photo. Interesting that there are no women in this picture. Wonder what type of event it might have been? You have your businessmen on the left and some of the staff next to them; all the passengers and the driver of the bus are men, and then there’s the guy standing behind the bus. Note the suitcases on the running board. There’s a Touring Club of America sign on the hotel awning. And apparently there was a pool. The business next door was Kingsbury & Unger, (G. Kingsbury and F. Unger) a liquor store at 21 Powell St.

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Bell Brown, 1415 26th st, Bakersfield, Calif.”

The sender, Bell’s sibling, wrote:

“San Francisco, Calif. July 23rd – 1916. Dear Sister. I were in Stockton Friday. The land lady said she sent mail to the place I wrote to you from so I am going there tonight & will write from there.   M – “

Curiously, nothing definitive comes up in records when trying to find Bell (Belle). Nothing under Brown at this address in city directories. Maybe they were only there temporarily.

From the 1920 Federal Census for San Francisco, Edward H. Mitchell, postcard publisher, was born about 1869 in California, married to Idelle and they have three daughters, Gertrude, Bernice and Marion.

Sources:  H. S. Crocker Co.’s, San Francisco Directory, 1912, p. 963. Google book search.

Year: 1920; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 28, San Francisco, California; Roll: T625_140; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 278. (Ancestry.com).

Young Man On Wicker Bench

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. Circa 1910 – 1930.

Price:  $5.00

A young guy (now, to me he looks Irish, but that could just be that he reminds me of someone I knew who was Irish-American) in suit, tie, hat and high-top boots, seated in a wicker photographer’s chair – a bench, sort of, no back to the chair most likely. The rug beneath him has a nice diamond pattern. And is that a photographer’s painted backdrop? You be the judge. We’re so used to seeing these that it was the assumption, at first. Yes….no…..well, maybe yes, but a very nicely done one.

And this post has a rather generic name because I started to see what impression I got for “mood” and couldn’t pick just one. Like always, when you look at a photo of someone up close, you’re looking at their eyes and the set of their mouth, and then you end up getting many impressions. Maybe in layers – and this is, well, of course, because nobody’s just three-dimensional – even though we’re seeing in 3D, we’re sensing more. Then too, our impression of someone can easily change depending on our own mood. (I’m just using “mood” here as a quickie term,  but of course, it’s more complex than that.) It’s a pretty fascinating thing to really look at photos of people. Same for landscapes or whatever. (Surely the impressions of the photographer when he or she took the photo, play in there somewhere, for how we view it.)

James A. Anderson, Maumee, Ohio

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box. Circa 1914 – 1917.

Price:  $15.00          Size:  3 and 3/8 x 4 and 3/4″

Always charming – these photos and cards of children on donkeys and horses – a donkey in this case. And this particular postcard is a little off from the standard size in length (length of card as viewed from the reverse with writing side).

James, dressed up in wool hat, suit coat and knickers and wearing button, high top boots, was a Maumee, OH native, born October 26, 1909. The son of Charles E. Anderson and Julia “Jewel” Elnora Wise/Weis, James’ middle name was Arnold, according to the 1910 Federal Census for Maumee, Ohio, which flipped the names and lists him as “Arnold J.” (Note the stirrups are a little too long for him in the photo.)

Sources:  Ancestry.com. Ohio, U.S., Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Maumee Ward 2, Lucas, Ohio; Roll: T624_1210; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0163; FHL microfilm: 1375223. (Ancestry.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/112621700/james-arnold-anderson: accessed 24 September 2022), memorial page for James Arnold Anderson (26 Oct 1909–29 Jan 1956), Find a Grave Memorial ID 112621700, citing Calvary Cemetery, Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, USA; Maintained by TAYLOR (contributor 47701928).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/119834096/julia-eleanor-anderson: accessed 24 September 2022), memorial page for Julia Eleanor “jewel” Weis Anderson (2 Aug 1891–27 Aug 1980), Find a Grave Memorial ID 119834096, citing Calvary Cemetery, Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, USA; Maintained by M_artin S_chauder (contributor 47780256).

Boy Eating Watermelon

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

Price:  $7.00

I was in mind to post this one in July for summertime and here it is almost October. So, before summer slips completely away this year, here it is. And laughing at my title now, does it remind you of “man-eating shark”? 🙂 Anyway, it’s a great shot, a little boy in shorts and an old straw hat, on his porch steps. Posed between two large watermelons, he’s holding up a large slice that has a big bite out of it. A woman, maybe his mom, half out of camera range, looks on.

I’ve got two whole watermelons in the pantry right now and another half in the fridge. (Yes, I know I am truly blessed.) Large mugs of blended watermelon are on the agenda for breakfast again. (Nirvana!) For the 411, health-wise, on watermelon and melons, in general, see the Medical Medium blog posts:  Watermelon and Healing Powers of Melon.

“Watermelon” and “Healing Powers of Melon”. medicalmedium.com. (Accessed September 24, 2022.)

Thelen, Kenkel, Goergen, Burdick, Wolf, Relatives & Friends, Iowa, Circa 1910

Divided Back, unused, cropped postcard. KRUXO Stamp Box. Circa 1910.

Price:  $20.00

What a great find for the families named above and the one unnamed young woman! (Someone knows, I’m sure.) The Thelen siblings appearing in this postcard are Josephine, Catherine, Gertrude, Mike and John – children of John (Johann) Thelan and Catherine Leick.

Left to right:  Katherine (Jonas) Nettleship, born 1888 Iowa. Married Arthur Cyril Nettleship about 1910. Kate was the daughter of Joseph Jonas and Maria “Gertrude” Thelen. Working as a domestic servant in 1910 in Stockton, CA. Single at that time.

Josephine “Jo” (Thelen) Kenkel, born 1887 Iowa. Married John Joseph Kenkel June, 1910.

Catherine (Thelen) Goergen, born 1882 Iowa. Married Matthias “Math” Goergen September 1908.

Gertrude (Thelen) Burdick, born 1880 Iowa. Married Charles Burdick May 1910.

Christine (Wolf) Thelen, born 1884 Iowa. Married Michael Thelen October 1908.

Unknown friend

Mike Thelen, born 1884 Iowa. Married Christina Wolf October 1908.

Math (Matthias) Goergen, born about 1879 Iowa. Married Catherine Thelen September 1908.

John Kenkel, born 1881 Iowa. Married Josephine “Jo” Thelen June 1910.

John M. Thelen, born 1888 Iowa. Married Eunice Davis December 1915.

Sources:  Ancestry.com Family Trees.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Baker, O´Brien, Iowa; Roll: 451; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0077; FHL microfilm: 1240451. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Nassau, Sioux, Iowa; Roll: T624_423; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0152; FHL microfilm: 1374436. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Stockton Ward 2, San Joaquin, California; Roll: T624_103; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0136; FHL microfilm: 1374116. (Ancestry.com).

Iowa Department of Public Health; Des Moines, Iowa; Series Title: Iowa Marriage Records, 1880–1922; Record Type: Marriage. (Ancestry.com).

Stacking Lumber

Cropped, Divided Back, unused postcard. AZO stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1918.

Price:  $12.00           Size:  About 5 and 3/8 x 3″

Wow, this is the first old lumberyard photo I’ve seen. Googling similar images brings up the compilation below, but the stacks in our image apparently have the most interesting angles (!) (Could it be partially due to the camera’s aspect?) And we’re seeing four boys and three men in this postcard, one of the men is identified as “Chas” (Charles).

Source:  “Old photos of lumberyards with stacking lumber.” Google.com search. (Accessed September 18, 2022.)

The Peter Odenbrett Homestead

Cropped, Divided Back Postcard, unused. Printer:  KRUXO. Circa 1908 – 1920s.

Price:  $15.00           Size:  About 4 and 1/2 x 3 and 7/8″

This farm was possibly located in Belfast Township, Murray County, Minnesota. That is, if the Peter Odenbrett that we found in that location, for that time-frame, is the correct property owner of this beautiful, and evidently well-maintained property….. And after a little more research, we’re not finding anyone else that fits, so it seems a safe bet for Peter Joseph Odenbrett:  born Wisconsin 1873; married Anna Thelen 1896; died 1962 in Worthington, Minnesota.

The missing stamp box that got cropped off of the card, might have narrowed down the date for us, as KRUXO had about seven different designs with researched corresponding dates or time periods, per Playle.com. But we’re estimating 1908 – 1920s per Kruxo, in general.

If you enlarge the image (twice) you’ll notice some figures on the roof of the attachment to the (massive) barn. One man is sitting up, another reclining, another standing up and the fourth is standing on what might be scaffolding. So, they might have been just finishing the building or maybe repairing the addition when this photo was taken.

Some other details to pick out are the buckboard wagon, a watering trough?, and a portion of a car, maybe a Model T, showing just on our right of the house. A grand, gorgeous farmhouse, it is, too, with two and a half stories, two chimneys and a porch on the ground and second levels.

Sources:  “Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes, K-L.” Playle.com. (Accessed September 17, 2022).

Minnesota, Territorial and State Censuses, 1849 – 1905. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Belfast, Murray, Minnesota; Roll: T624_708; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0131; FHL microfilm: 1374721. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Belfast, Murray, Minnesota; Roll: T625_848; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 141. (Ancestry.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/86821301/peter-joseph-odenbrett: accessed 17 September 2022), memorial page for Peter Joseph Odenbrett (12 Sep 1873–3 Mar 1962), Find a Grave Memorial ID 86821301, citing Saint Gabriel Cemetery, Fulda, Murray County, Minnesota, USA; Maintained by Russell Kasper (contributor 47146727).