Vintage Tourist Attaction, Silver Dollar Saloon

Old photo, deckled edge, white border. Circa 1930 – 1940s. Left corner and partial side missing. 

Price:  $2.00        Size:  About 5 and 7/8 x 3 and 1/2″

This looks like it’s from one of those reenactment of the Old West type spots, or if not then just some other type of Western tourist attraction. (The backwards “N” in Saloon is a dead giveaway, right?) A few other similar views are showing up on eBay right now, but they have no i.d. for place either, though one has a date of 1959. Still, it’s a fun picture – there’s a lovely lady there, laughing and leaning on the hitching rail. (“Okay, pretend like you’ve had one too many. 😉 ) And, I like the old wooden….is that a U.S. Mail box? But hopefully one of our readers will know where this was taken!

Japanese Kabuki Performer RPPC

Real Photo Postcard, unused. Date unknown. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $15.00

A Kabuki actor wearing an eboshi hat (a type of ceremonial headwear for men). Kabuki theater was invented by a woman but in the 17th Century women were banned from performing it. (It’s worth enlarging this photo to see the details – specifically the make-up, which is, not surprisingly, very beautifully done.)

The publisher is a mystery at the moment. I’ve seen the stamp box before on other Japanese RPPCs but currently am finding nothing online to identify them. The writing on the front (in the musical instrument lyre design) and on the back is, I think, in Kanji, a system of writing which has thousands of characters, so we’ll need to try to get some help on it, if possible.

Sources:  “Kazaori eboshi hat.” Google.com search. Accessed September 10, 2022.

Strusiewicz, Cezary Jan. “How Women Disappeared From Kabuki Theater.” January 10, 2022. tokyoweekender.com. Accessed September 10, 2022.

La Crue du Nile Old Postcard

Divided Back postcard. Postmarked June 22, 1912, Alexandria, Egypt. Publisher:  POF or OPF. Stamp:  Postes Egyptiennes, Cinq Milliemes, rose color.

Price:  $15.00

La Crue du Nile…..The Flood of the Nile

The flooding of the Nile was usually an event each August before the Aswan High Dam was built in 1970. If you have time, take a look at this great article on the Saudi Aramco World site, “The Last Nile Flood,” by John Feeney.

This postcard was produced from a photo; at the time of this post, there’s a colorized version of the same scene available on eBay, but from a different publisher. The scene is two boys seated on a water buffalo, a man in charge of the animal at the reigns, and two men in charge of a camel, the one holding onto the camel’s tail. The boys and men are all posing for the camera.

Addressed to:   “Yonge juffrouw Lucie van Veen, Keizersgracht 254, Amsterdam Holland.”

The sender wrote:

“Alexandrië 22 Juni 1912. Beste Lucie, Ik ben nog niet op en kameel geweest, maar ik hed er al meer dan een op straat ontinoef. Ik denk heel dikwyils aan jullie allen en hoop dat je je niet te veel verveelt. Vele groeten.”

Translated from Google as:   “Dear Lucie, I haven’t ridden a camel yet, but I’ve seen more than one in the street already. I’m thinking of you all very often and hope you’re not bored too much. Many regards, Anie Schulthess.”

What a great way to start a postcard line, “I haven’t ridden a camel yet.” Love it! Neither Anie nor Lucie are showing up on Ancestry, however it’s always possible their descendants will find this card. We listed the type of stamp for the stamp collectors out there. The publisher’s a bit of a mystery:  Assuming that the initials go in the order of POF, if not OPF, however we’re not finding any other like this online right now or in the usual sources we consult (Metropostcard, Walter Corson’s Publishers’ Trademarks Identified and several others). Here’s the logo that’s appearing on the front of the card, bottom right:

Source:  Feeney, John. “The Last Nile Flood.” May/June issue of 2003, Volume 57, Number 3. https://archive.aramcoworld.com/issue/200603/the.last.nile.flood.htm (accessed June 1, 2022).

John B. Hawkins Street Scene RPPC, 1920s – 1930s

Real Photo Postcard, divided back, unused. Circa 1920s – 1930s.  Made by:  John B. Hawkins, Marion, Massachusetts.

Price:  $12.00

This is possibly a Marion, Massachusetts, or neighboring town street view – showing a line of parked cars in front of stores, a man on our left about to cross the street, and another on our right, seated, at the curb. Surprisingly, we’re not finding any age-appropriate records for photographer John B. Hawkins, in all of Mass, though city directories online in Plymouth County (1910 – 1940) are only scattered pages of certain years. We’d therefor, have to contact a local historical society or local libraries for resolution to some of the mysteries herein. And, the image is not of the best quality for clarity, but may be of value to someone, for sure.

It’s disappointing to be unable to read the store names or signs after enlarging the image……Wait, we can just make out “Ice Cream” and the brand or shop name in two words…….but it’s indecipherable. (Sometimes if you gaze at almost-readable signs long enough, you get inspiration, but not happening for me, this time.) But still, every picture evokes a feeling….Staring at the scene (if we could just connect to a Hogwarts kind of thing, it would come to life and we’d see that guy actually cross the street, and maybe someone come out of one of the shops, and some movement from our friend on the right) but, primarily, in our “fixed moment” that the camera is offering, we might focus on that slightly dejected-looking gentleman, seated on the curb with head down, shoulders a little slumped – is he thinking about the cares of the day/month/year that are weighing on him……or is he just waiting for a ride? Whatever the case, he kind of makes you want to jump into the frame and go and offer him a friendly arm around the shoulders.

Baseball Player At Bat Old Postcard

Undivided back postcard. Circa 1906. Publisher or Printer:  Stationers Manufacturing Co., Quincy, Ohio.

Price:  $4.00

I had wanted to get this card up for MLB opening day, but it didn’t make it. No biggie, anyway it’s showing a young ball player at bat (or in the bullpen). (I really bought it for the design on the back, which is nice.)

But who was the artist? We found another postcard online, same image, with “Copyright 1906. J. Tully.” printed on it. Our card, per the reverse, was printed by Stationers Manufacturing Company in Quincy, Ohio. Tully was out of Chicago, per other cards online, but no records were found for him (either as artist or in the card publishing/printing business). Some postcard sellers list him as artist, but he could have been a publisher, especially given the fact that initials “CNB” or “NBC” appear at the bottom right of the ball player, leading one to think that they could be the artist’s initials. On the other hand, oftentimes the “C” in initials like that stood for “Company.” So, the actual artist could have been an unnamed one within that company.

For a better understand of the complicated world of postcard printers, publishers, jobbers, artists and photographers, see the various web articles under  Metropostcard’s “Metropostcard Guides.” (Proof – as if we needed it 😉 – that things are almost always more involved than we imagine.)

Only one minor reference, in 1907, was found for Stationers Mfg. – in a trade journal listing under wholesale and retail stationers, no address listed.

Source:  “Metropostcard Guides.” Metropostcards.com. (accessed May 16, 2022).

Heart Unruly

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Circa 1920s. Series or number 245. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $10.00

“Tell me dear

And tell me truly

Will you accept

This heart unruly

And be my valentine”

The leaves on the trees are all hearts!

This card is rather a beauty. The insert on the insert, so-to-speak, is really gorgeous, the colors, the woman’s sweet expression, her soft scarf in folds up to her chin, the lovely hat, fashionable curls….Whoever the artist was, we appreciate them! Also, it has a winter-y look and that always goes well with the spring view behind it. I think this was a not uncommon theme, true, maybe inadvertently in this one, but displaying that feeling that we’re still in winter but spring is just ahead.

Addressed to:   “Miss Edith Welsh, Port Vue, Pa.”

Signed:   “from Lillie Hoak.”

Lillie and Edith were neighbors, from the 1920 Federal Census for Port Vue, Allegheny County. Edith is Edith R. Welsh, born in PA about 1888, daughter of the widowed Genevra B. Welsh, and with younger siblings Nellie B. and George F. Welsh. House address 1700 Liberty Way.

Lillie is Lillie M. Hoak, born about 1905, also in PA, daughter of Leonard E. and Nancy Hoak, with older siblings Raymond H. and Clifford V. and younger sibling, Ella B. Hoak. House address 606 Liberty Way.

As for the publisher, I’m not finding them yet, the logo shows a capital B within a diamond shape, just very simple. Both the publisher mark and the distinctive “Post Card” design on the reverse were searched in Walter E. Corson’s Publishers’ Trademarks Identified, but a match was not found.

Source:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Port Vue, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1516; Pages: 19B and 20B; Enumeration District: 763. (Ancestry.com).

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, 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.

UPDATE:  See the comment from a kind reader for the translation of the message from the postcard’s sender.

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

Mystery Language

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. Circa 1904 – 1918. Printed in Canada.

Availability Status:  SOLD

The snow is piled up in front of two stylish ladies (check out all the trim on the young woman’s coat) who have posed for this photo. Their dog is beside them, and prominent in the background is what looks to be a church, just from the shape of the windows, and next to the church, a house. The branches of the bare trees are beautiful in this scene, too. Possibly the postcard photo originated in the same area as the sender’s address, so the card may be of historical interest for Saskatoon history buffs, as well as any Abrams descendants.

Baffled….for now

But the note from the sender of this card is a stumper. What language is it written in?  Deciphering can be tricky for old postcards in other languages due to abbreviations and sometimes misspelled words or former spellings of words used, let alone a person’s particular style of cursive, although the name and address are easily read on this one as:   “Mrs. Wm. Abrams, Saskatoon, Sask.” Here’s the puzzle of words, flipped upright:

Without being able to decipher but one or two words on the back (if that) we turned to searching for the receiver of this card to find their native tongue as stated on census records. There is a William Abrams and his wife Maria and their children listed on the 1911 and 1916, residing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. This would coincide with the postcard date of circa 1904 to 1918, per the AZO stamp box (all four triangles pointing upward, along with divided back starting December 1903 in Canada.) William was born in Russia and Maria in Germany. William’s declaration of intent, in his U. S. naturalization process, appears to show that he was born in Ekaterinoslav, Russia, which is now called Dnipro and lies within Ukraine….No other possible Abrams were found to fit our postcard, so this is all good info, even though it doesn’t help us figure out the writing on the back. Hopefully, we’ll get some help on the translation from somewhere!

Sources:  Year: 1911; Census Place: 30 – Saskatoon Ward 1, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Page: 26; Family No: 236. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1916; Census Place: Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, 03B; Roll: T-21944; Page: 22; Family No: 247. (Ancestry.com).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1887-1940; Microfilm Roll: 21; Microfilm Serial: M1524.

Dnipro. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dnipro (accessed January 16, 2018).

Some Edison Girls

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. Circa 1907 – 1918. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $5.00

We’ve got sort of a cold weather theme going here for December before we move on to Christmas…..This charming postcard was promising as far as finding names and a location, due to the description on the back. But come to find out the names written there are pretty hard to read, with the exception of “Mrs. Gilkie” –  she is the lady on the left. Next to her is “Ma” (the sender’s mother probably) and the other two, too difficult to read. It appears the card was addressed to either Dara or Dora. As for Edison…maybe it’s the name of their employer, such as Edison Electric or Edison National Bank. The other possibility is a town name, but Gilkie didn’t come up in the various towns named Edison, or even nearby counties, so that is not so likely. Neither did any matches come up for Edison as a maiden name, married to a Gilkie. This one will go in our mystery category with the hopes that someone will recognize any of the four beautiful women on this card.

W. J. & Family At Old Home On Colorado

Photo from 1911 printed to canvas on wooden board and frame

Price:  $20.00        Size:  10 x 7 and 3/4″    

Condition:  Some scratches, markings and canvas tears

Surname mystery

This was an unusual find at, it was either an antique store or a thrift store. (Yikes, I guess this means I have to start writing them all down.) So, it was somebody’s cool idea to take an old family photo (their family or one they just found and liked) and have the image transferred to a canvas (or canvas-like) type of surface. It was then glued onto a thin board on a wooden frame, so that it could go up on that person’s wall. (Now it’s on mine.) It’s the fourth for me, of those that are not family but have become family. A couple have names but nobody’s claimed them yet, another has no name, and then there’s this one:  What in the world is this family’s surname? Ferris, Harris, Ferix misspelled as Farrix (can’t find surname Farrix). Even with a magnifying glass, and in the sunlight, it’s hard to say. The location could be almost anywhere, too, since it appears to say “on Colorado” rather than in Colorado or on the Colorado, as in River. Well, but whoever they are, they’re a beautiful group of seven people and two dogs (didn’t the dogs do well to not move too much while the photo was being taken? 🙂 ) Love that wooden fence, and the porch running the length of the house. The home seems to have been pretty big, and it’s rustic-looking. Was it originally a log cabin? We can’t see the details. You’ll notice a windmill behind the house on the right. But, it really strikes me with an impression so significant, a feeling that we could wave to the family and they’d wave back across this current span (insignificant, really) of six and one hundred (going old-school here) years.