To Aunt Cornelia

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Unused, dated July 24, 1913. NOKO stamp box.

Price:  $10.00

A couple in a farming community somewhere in the U. S. pose in front of what may be their home. (Note the lace curtain in the window on our right.) But if this is not their residence it could have been a public meeting house for church services. (The woman is holding a small book, perhaps a prayer book). But the main reason that we might think “church” are the two side-by-side doors on the front of this structure:  It was not uncommon for church services to be segregated, having two separate entrances for men and women. However, old homes also, for many varied reasons, sometimes were built with this two-door design. (See the link below.) Also, notable about the building is that it sits up on blocks.

As for the young couple, (hard-working farmers we imagine, perhaps newly wed) we remark on the fact that the man wears overalls over his shirt and tie. (Are we back to the church theory or is he just dressed up a bit for the photo?) Either way, its pretty charming and adds to the uniqueness of this photo postcard.

Sources:  Kibbel, III, William. “Two Front Doors.” (oldhouseweb.com). Accessed April 2, 2024.

A Happy Easter To Maybell Morgan

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Publisher:  Whitney Made, Worcester, Massachusetts. Made in U.S.A.

Price:  $4.00

Easter, 1927

A Happy Easter

“Songs and flowers and skies of blue

They all come with Easter and

my wish comes too

For Easter gladness”

A cute card to Maybell Morgan from Rosemary:  Three rosy-cheeked children, (their look may remind you of illustrations from England) and an adorable quacking duck, are on a hilltop with daffodils. Appearing from the other side of the hill is a cozy cottage and the silhouette of some trees.

A Leap Year Suggestion

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher unknown. Series or number 887. Made in the U. S. A. Circa mid-1910’s. 

Price:  $12.00

Cute children from a bygone era (we’re thinking 1790’s – 1810’s). A court ball gown for the girl, the boy in tailcoat and trousers with heel straps. Of course, not historically accurate – the artist just tying in the ball attire idea with the gent wanting to “get the ball rolling”.

A Leap Year Suggestion….

“Wonder why you don’t start somethin’

This is leap year don’t you see

If you start the ball a-rollin’

You’ll get lots of help from me.”

Today is “leap day” in leap year of 2024. The next will be in 2028. They arrive every four years, with some exceptions. The estimated date for this card comes from an estimate of 1916 on another card of the same design, currently online.

Source:  Leap year. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_year (accessed February 29, 2024).

Cupid’s Diary

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked February 7, 1914 from Pueblo, Colorado. Copyright 1909, H. or K.[?] Wessler. Publisher:  S. L. & Co. 

Price:  $10.00

Publisher, S. L. & Co. is Sigmund Langsdorf & Co.

This card, another in our Alice Ellison Collection, was one in a series that told the story of Cupid’s day – sharpening arrows, mailing valentines and breaking his bow after all the work was done. In ours, Cupid is looking quite tired, not to mention a little beat up, so the card above must have been the last one, or second to last, in the set.

“His spoils were great,

But sad to tell,

Poor Cupids’ suffered

Just as well.”

Addressed to:   “Mr. J. M. Ellison, 730 P. St., Sacramento, Calif.”

The sender wrote:  “Dear Papa. It snowed here last night. We are all well and hope you are to. It will soon be valentine day so I am sending you a Valentine card. from Henrietta Ellison. [?] got me a new pair of shoes.”

A Valentine’s Lament

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Circa 1910s. Publisher:  Whitney Made, Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Price:  $7.00

“O, Why Isn’t She Always Here”

A dejected-looking boy and his dog are missing their Valentine. (Sob!) A cute card, and another in our Alice Ellison Collection, this one from Louise to Henrietta.

Roses For My Valentine

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Printed in Germany. Valentine Postcard Series No. 405. Publisher unknown. Circa 1907 – 1914.

Price:  $1.00

Valentine Greetings…..

To Miss Ella Ellison from Mary Strauch.

One from our Alice Ellison Collection. (A group of about 125 cards; they’re not all up on the website yet.) This one’s a little beat up and with a coffee stain at the top but contains a publisher mystery. We’ve seen this logo before, a capital G inside a rectangular artist’s palette with brushes attached, but haven’t found proof of the company name, to date.

Vivian Mack’s Friend, Bunnie, Schoolcraft, Michigan

Divided back postcard. Postmarked November 3, 1912 from Schoolcraft, Michigan.

Price:  $15.00

The very cute, “Bunnie,” squinting a little from the sun, posing in front of a porch trellis that is covered in two different leafy vines. (One is heart-shaped, the other, something else.) She’s on her way somewhere (or just back from) – we’re playing detective here – noted because of the small purse she holds in her left hand. Her outfit of skirt and blouse has a short scalloped-edge, “curtained” layer:  This piece is called a peplum, and was created (in various styles) to add a little flair to the hips, thereby accentuating the waist – in other words, to bring back just a little of that “hourglass” look that had been previously so popular in women’s fashion.

From TextileGlossary.com:

“The peplum can be created using various techniques, such as pleating, gathering, or ruffling fabric. It can be attached to the bodice of a garment, creating a seamless transition from the waistline, or it can be a separate piece that is sown onto the waist. The length of the peplum can vary, ranging from a subtle and short flounce to a dramatic and floor-length extension.”

Peplum examples in some of the images below, from a Google image search:

Back to our postcard:

Addressed to:   “Miss Vivian Mack, Dexter Michigan.”

Well, if only life were always that easy! Dexter, Michigan (northwest of Ann Arbor, in Washtenaw County) must have been a pretty small town in 1912 – no street or rural route was needed to get this card to its intended. (Indeed, the census taker for Dexter in 1910 had enumerated 542 persons.) Established as a village in 1830, Dexter was not incorporated as a city until 2014. As of 2020 the population was about 4500. Schoolcraft, by the way, is on the other side of the state, south of Kalamazoo.

The sender wrote:  “Dearest Mimmie :- Don’t think that I have forgotten you or that your birthday comes Sunday. I hope you will have a lovely Birthday. What did you do Halloween? Merle had a party. Everybody in S. is pretty well but Papa, who has a broken leg. Hope I will hear from you soon – Bunnie.”

Note that Bunnie has embellished three of the capital letters in the address – a nice birthday touch.

Vivian Mack

Vivian Irene Mack was born in Rodney, Ontario, Canada November 3, 1896. Investigating further, we were so sorry to learn that she had died in January of 1920, at age 23 (pneumonia with heart complications). Vivian, (and we’re sorry we don’t have a picture of her) was the daughter of the Rev. Henry Mack and Annie Sine. She had married Robert J. Ernst on April 12, 1919.

Sources:  Dexter, Michigan. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dexter,_Michigan (accessed February 11, 2024).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Hadley, Lapeer, Michigan; Roll: 724; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0037. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Dexter, Washtenaw, Michigan; Roll: T624_677; Pages 1A – 17B; Enumeration District: 0139; FHL microfilm: 1374690. (Ancestry.com).

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 146; Film Description: 1919 Ontonagon-1919 Wayne. (Ancestry.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70977302/vivian_irene-ernst: accessed February 11, 2024), memorial page for Vivian Irene Mack Ernst (–), Find a Grave Memorial ID 70977302, citing Forest Lawn Cemetery, Dexter, Washtenaw County, Michigan, USA; Maintained by Anonymous (contributor 47412861).

“What is ‘Peplum’ – Definition & Explanation.” January 19, 2023, https://www.textileglossary.com/terms/peplum.html. (Accessed February 13, 2024.)

Google.com search, “images of peplums in 1910s.” (Accessed February 13, 2024.)

The Whole Year Through

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked December 29, 1922 from Blue Canyon, California. Publisher:  Julius Pollak, New York.

Price:  $10.00

For information on the postcard’s publisher, see “Publisher Julius Pollak.”

Another from The Alice Ellison Collection, this one with bells ringing under snow-covered evergreen boughs.

A Happy New Year

“May every day

the whole year through

Prove a happy one for you.”

Addressed to:   “Mr. & Mr. Ellison, 1314 F – St., Sacramento, Cal.”

The card is signed,  “Greetings from Julius.”  Now, being that the publisher’s given name is Julius, this makes us wonder if it was possible that maybe he was running some type of promotion, and then if the Ellisons were collectors or they purchased a pack of cards…..What seems to add to the idea is the sender’s rather flourish-y signature, perhaps in line with someone who would have owned his own business……Okay, probably the odds are very low, but the idea holds that glimmer of potential, enough to make us wonder.

And, as far as we can tell from online searches, this Blue Canyon, California postmark is rare, so the card is perhaps of historical interest to someone for that reason. According to the Wikipedia entry this particular postmark iteration ran from 1867 – 1927. Here’s a crop from the card:

Source:  Blue Canyon, California. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Canyon,_California (accessed January 3, 2024).

The Best of Health – A Share of Wealth

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked from Galt, California, December 28, year unknown, circa late 1910’s – early 1920’s. Made in United States. Publisher:  J. P., New York (Julius Pollak). 

Price:  $5.00

For information on the postcard’s publisher, see “Publisher Julius Pollak.”

From The Alice Ellison Collection, a nice one for the New Year:  A leaded, Gothic Arch-style window, lit from within; set in a stone building (church, home or tavern) snow clinging to the window ledge and stonework. Somewhat superimposed on this scene, two bluebirds sit on a holly branch while a third comes in for a landing.

New Year Greetings

“The best of health – a share of wealth

Be yours this coming year,

But best of all – a host of friends

To fill your days with cheer.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. J. M. Ellison, 604 N Street, Sacramento, Calif.”

The sender wrote:   “Just a line to say I may be at church Sunday, but will have to come home on the first car. Hope I will see you at church. Wish you all a Happy New Year, your friend, Mrs. Hame.”

That signature is a little hard to read but I believe the surname is Hame. On the 1920 Federal Census for Alabama Township, Sacramento County, CA, there is a Mrs. Artha Hame, married to a Charles J. Hame. Her maiden name is Stout:  We’re given her maiden name on this census by virtue of the fact that two of her brothers are living in the household.

Alabama Township doesn’t show up online today, but from an 1885 map it was situated in the southeast portion of Sacramento County. You would have traveled west to get to the town of Galt. (Enlarge to see Galt appearing in the neighboring township of Dry Creek.)

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Alabama, Sacramento, California; Roll: T625_127; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 69. (Ancestry.com).

Official Map of Sacramento County. (1885). Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/resource/g4363s.la000034/?r=0.385,0.711,0.535,0.215,0.

Galt. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galt,_California. (accessed January 2, 2024).

Faithful Friends

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. 1908.

Price:  $3.00

Well, if anybody can decipher the surname for our Ed, (intuition, psychic ability, maybe you’ve seen a similar name?) if so, you are utterly amazing. What do you reckon, Ed is maybe four years old? So, born around 1904. Given name obviously likely to be Edward or maybe Edwin or Edgar, middle initial “M” and he’s a Junior. Caton is a surname that comes up pretty frequently, and certainly the first three letters fit, but the rest – ee gads – that handwriting, wow. Cotman or Catman? If only the person that wrote this had given us a location. Still, the photo’s a total charmer….Ed in his white sailor suit, straight hair, short bangs, that steady gaze. His dog “Nig” or “Mig,” looks like some kind of shepherd mix, black with a little white, wearing a heavy collar, just look at those big ears and those dark brown eyes looking at the camera  – a bit of a worried look – he doesn’t trust whatever that weird apparatus is and he’s in protection mode…..It’s fun to pick up our own impressions from photos, but I think one thing we can say for sure – we’re looking at two best friends who took care of each other.