The Leichtweißhöhle Cave

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher or printer:  Carl v. d Boogaart, Wiesbaden, 1906.

Price:  $7.00

What magical place is this?…..In a German forest, around 1906, two “sentinel” trees guard (or maybe proudly display) a location marked off by a rustic wooden fence:  Three people, relaxed in demeanor, pose for the camera on a porch-like space, in front of a doorway. (To what?) The entrance way is covered by a small pointed roof, and seemingly attached, or partially surrounding, is a jungle-gym-like mass of wooden branches. We’re intrigued and charmed.

Of course, we know it’s a destination of some sort from the signs that are posted (and note the graffiti on the tree trunks, most prominently from someone with the initials, “A. A.” in 1869) but we like the mystery and anticipation leading into the discovery, and the stories that weave their way through our minds before that discovery –  that get enhanced and embellished, or sometimes change completely, upon enlargement of the photo. In this case, (click to enlarge), the tangle of branches have sorted themselves out from jungle-gym to a rustic railing for a walkway leading up and down a hill, and from a quick search we find that the doorway we see is the entrance to the Leichtweißhöhle Cave. This cave, the word is höhle in German, has a varied history.

Google translation to English from Wikipedia entry with photos:

“The Leichtweißhöhle is a cave in the Wiesbaden Nerotal . Its name can be traced back to the poacher Heinrich Anton Leichtweiß , who used the cave as a shelter from 1778 to 1791. Forest workers discovered the cave and light white due to rising smoke.

Access to the Leichtweißhöhle

Source at the Leichtweißhöhle

The Leichtweißhöhle is originally a small natural cave and not much more than a large rock overhang, a so-called abri . The local shale is not suitable for karstification . There are no other caves.

The cave was forgotten until Wiesbaden gained international renown as a spa and the cave developed into a popular excursion destination. It represented one of the new attractions that were to be offered to visitors to Wiesbaden. The Wiesbaden Beautification Association expanded the cave in 1856. A second entrance was created, a room on the side and a niche padded with moss, which was declared as a place to sleep. The cave was also decorated accordingly, including old weapons and pictures. A romanticization followed . The Schwarzbach coming from the Rabengrund and passing the cave received an artificial waterfall and a wooden bridge was built to cross the stream. A viewing pavilion was built above the cave, and the access paths to the cave were equipped with railings and the cave entrance with a wooden porch. These changes were so extensive that the original state can hardly be recognized today.

In 1905 Kaiser Wilhelm II visited the cave with his wife.

In 1934 the Gestapo used the Leichtweißhöhle as a torture cellar .

With the decline of the Wiesbaden cure, especially after the end of the Second World War , the cave lost its importance and was closed. The outdoor facilities were badly affected by vandalism and lack of maintenance. The cave was often used as a shelter. In 1983 the entrance was completely renewed. Since then, the cave has been regularly opened to visitors every six months.”

Sources:  Leichtweißhöhle. n.d.  https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leichtwei%C3%9Fh%C3%B6hle. (accessed August 30, 2020).

Google translate (accessed August 30, 2020).

To Fräulein Hedel Mandel, Halle, Germany

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 9, [1901-1909] from Striegau (Strzegom, Poland). Publisher unknown.  Number and/or series:  1117/18.

Price:  $10.00

Addressed to:   “Fräulein Hedel Mandel, Halle a/Saale, Leipziger St. 73 [?]”

A colored (hand-colored?) card of a beautiful young fräulein holding a bucket, and smiling, head tilted. We might automatically think “milkmaid” but note the potatoes? at her feet.

It’s a good guess that the publisher is German, but we didn’t find a match online for the logo below. I’m sure someone knows; I just did not want to spend too much time searching. We’ll update in future, hopefully, but here’s the view:

The postmark indicates Striegau which is the German spelling for Strzegom, Poland. And was addressed to Halle, a.k.a Saale, Germany. Here’s a map link for the postcard’s journey, as the crow flies, though it must not have been that straight-forward!

And if anyone can read the note that was sent to Hedel, please send us a comment.

Source:  Distance from Halle (Saale) to Strzegom. distancefromto.net.

Couple On Steps

Real Photo Postcard. Unused. VELOX stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $4.00

A moment in time, somewhere in rural America…..

According to the particular VELOX stamp box on the reverse, this would have been taken around 1907 to 1917. The building the steps lead up to is not a house, but maybe rather a grange hall, a train depot, a hotel. Note the metal screening on the windows, and the possibility of various small signs (enlarge the image twice – see the nails?) that had once been posted to our left of the doorway. But, I was drawn to this postcard from my impression of two people, caught in a great, candid moment of laughter – the woman seems to be, doubled over would be overstating it, but how do you describe, when someone says something unexpected, maybe ridiculous, and you have that reaction, turning off to the side in mirth, a little bent at the waist? The gentleman’s pose is in wonderful contrast, with arms folded, looking into the camera. We can’t really tell if he’s laughing, but we do take in the working clothes, the heavy gloves, the dried mud on his boots (he’s probably listed as a farmer on the 1900 and 1910 census), and of course, the metal bucket to his right.

Zola I. Proudfit, April 1916

Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. April 1916. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $12.00

“Miss Zola Proudfit, 8 years 4 months, Taking in April 23, 1916.”

A cute moment:  Zola posing on her front porch step, (assuming she was at home) in a white lace dress with a scalloped hem, dark tights and black shoes (they look new). The home is wood-framed and sided, with a wooden sidewalk leading up to it. There may have been electrical wires nearby, note the pattern of the two parallel lines, which must be shadows, appearing on the eave.

Zola, an Oregon native, is the daughter of Fred Proudfit and Rose Fitzgerald. She married California native, Robert Blake Galbraith, on November 25, 1926 in Oakland, California. At the time of their marriage, Zola was a telephone operator, and Robert a locomotive fireman. His parents are Joseph Galbraith and Elizabeth Blake.

Source:  Marriage records, select counties and years. California State Archives, Sacramento, California. (Ancestry.com).

Grandpa McInnes

Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $5.00

A beautiful photo-turned-postcard of a handsome guy in profile, with white beard, in suspenders, one hand resting on hip, the other holding his straw hat and with what we might think of as the “old homestead” in the immediate background. The only identification is written on the back as,  “Grandpa McInnes.”  The stamp box is an AZO, two triangles up and two down, which is estimated anywhere between 1910 and 1930, per Playle’s. See https://www.playle.com/realphoto/photoa.php.

Close Hauled

Divided back, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked August 8, 1910 from San Francisco, California. Artist: D. P. Crane. Publisher:  H. G. Zimmerman & Co., Chicago, IL.

Price:  $8.00

Addressed to:   “Mrs. A. Schweitzer, Napa, Calif. Box 253”

The sender wrote:   S. F.  8/8/1910   Dear Lena:- Again home with the folks again. [?] comes the 1st of Sept then we will come up for the day. All O.K. here. Love to all at home. [Dodie?]  1228 Octavia St.”

We didn’t find a match in online records for the sender of the card at the given address:  She is findable, most likely, but would require some heavy searching. So, moving on to the recipient: The 1910 Federal Census for San Francisco shows Lena Schweitzer, age 38 with husband Alvin, age 35, and their nine year old son, Seymour L. Both Albert and Lena were born in Germany, and Seymour was born in New York.

“Close-hauled” is a sailing term – one of many “point of sail” references. A quick definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary is:  “having the sails set for sailing as nearly against the wind as the vessel will go.”  But see the Wiki link below for a more detailed explanation.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Napa Ward 2, Napa, California; Roll: T624_90; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 1374103. (Ancestry.com).

Close-hauled. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/close-hauled (accessed June 9, 2020).

Point of Sail. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_of_sail (accessed June 9, 2020).

I’m In With All The Swells!

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 18, 1913 from Wichita, Kansas. Publisher:  Williamson-Haffner Co., Denver, Colorado. Artist name unknown.

Price:  $12.00

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Ida McFrederick, Harper, Kans, Route 3.”

The sender wrote:  “Dec 18 – 1913. send my mail up here. Hello Ma, Guess I won’t be home Sat. so don’t look for me until you see me. am working now. by by   Florence.”

Per Walter E. Corson’s, Publishers’ Trademarks Identified, the publishing house is the Williamson-Haffner Company, of Denver. So, the initials appearing at the bottom left corner of the illustration must be those of the artist. (Name unknown at this point, but maybe we’ll find out later.)

Thanks, Florence (for passing along) the wonderful phrase on the card, “Don’t look for me until you see me.”  Might remind you of the conundrum we find ourselves in when we contemplate time travel…..and some of the great comedic vignettes we’re familiar with:  Two that come to mind are Joe talking to Frito at the Costco Shuttle in Idiocracy, and one of Big Bang’s segments, something along the lines of, “Okay, we agree that if one of us invents a time machine, we’ll meet right here at exactly (whatever o’clock.)” They look around the room, and then….damn, disappointment. (Not sure – President Not Sure? 😉 ) what episode this was from and this is only from memory, but you probably know the one I mean.)

From the 1905 Kansas State Census, the family is parents, William and Ida McFrederick, and their children, Carl, William, Roy, Earl, Florence and Fern. With the family is a young McDowell (possibly) couple (who may or may not be related) by marriage to the McFredericks. Florence would have been about eighteen when she sent this postcard to her mom.

Sources:  Corson, Walter E. Publishers’ Trademarks Identified. Ed. James Lewis Lowe. Norwood, PA:  1993. (print).

Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; 1905 Kansas Territory Census; Roll: ks1905_62; Line: 13. (Ancestry.com).

Memorial Day Parade, Hazel Park, MI, 1966

Divided back postcard, unused, 1966. Photo by:  Southeastern Michigan Business & Professional Women Association. Series or number 12842-C. Publisher:  L. Goldberg & L. Wilson, Hazel Park, Michigan. Printer:  Dexter Press, Inc., West Nyack, New York.

Price:  $5.00

“1st Prize Float, Memorial Day Parade. May 29, 1966. Hazel Park, Michigan.”

That’s a helicopter represented in this flower-covered float, honoring the “Fighting Soldiers From The Sky.” Note the rotor blades that are blending in with the crowd.

Marchande de Poissons, Côte d’Argent, Bordeaux, France

Divided back, unused postcard. Phototypie by Marcel Delboy, Bordeaux, France. Series or number 46. Circa mid – late 1910s.

Price:  $15.00

It’s always exciting to find a card like this – filled, or nearly so, with words. You know it meant something to the person that wrote it – it was not a casual thing. (And for us, the reader – anticipation, often resulting in…..delight!)  This one is pretty special:

“A fish woman merchant. It is remarkable how there old women will balance and carry great heavy loads. They are always women – never have seen any men. One day I was walking on the road at a good pace one of these women with a basket like this on her head overtook and passed me. There was a tin can in the centre of the basket which looked like a milk can but whether full or empty I can’t say of course. On each side of the can was a live duck with their necks stretched out over the edge of the basket looking this way and that way evidently enjoying the scenery as much as any one would in a “rubber neck wagon.”

The term phototypie that appears before the photographer (or printer’s) name is, in English, collotype.

Source:  Collotype. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collotype (accessed May 3, 2020).

Wishing You Easter Grace

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked March 22, 1910 from Redwood City, California. Publisher:  International Art Publishing Co. Printed in Germany. Series 1140.

Price:  $4.00

Hmmm, I had thought I had posted all the cards in The Ethel Main Collection, and glad to find out not, in a way. Though that’s proof that some re-organizing needs to be done. (Mentally adding this thought to that long to-do list that’s floating somewhere out there in the ether. 😉 All things in good time, though.) And here’s a beautiful angel for Easter….. she’s here to comfort us, if needed, and maybe remind us of all the good things (no matter our beliefs) that exist that can’t always be seen. I think she has a serene look (then again she is an angel, so that’s a given, probably 🙂 ) Love those wings, too.

Addressed to:   “Miss Ethel Main, 299 Sunol St, San Jose Cal”

The sender wrote:   “Expect me down to see you Sat. night  EM”