A U. S. Army WWII Veteran

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Photo, circa 1943. Possible surname on back:  Wright.

Price:  $3.00        Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 3″

We’re a day late this year for Veterans Day, which was yesterday, but still the sentiment was there, so to honor all veterans…..here’s a snapshot of a handsome African-American guy taken during what appears to be the WWII era. From a little research we think he’s wearing an M-1943 Field Jacket. And the hat, a garrison cap, which bears an insignia on the left-hand side but the design is too blurred to make out. No doubt there are military uniform experts out there who will know. The writing is rather scribbled on the back, but it looks like the young man’s last name could be Wright, and underneath a couple of words, “…..?….cook” or could that first word be an abbreviation of signal? which then makes one think it would be Signal Corps, though that’s probably stretching it.

Sources:  M-1943 Field Jacket. Military Items.com (accessed November 12, 2016).

Garrison Caps. At The Front Shop.com. (accessed November 12, 2016).

FDR, A Rendezvous With Destiny

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Divided back, used, linen, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked from New York, July 29, 1943. Artist:  Onorio Ruotolo. Copyright Jos. Zegarelli, 1942. Publisher:  Genuine Curteich-Chicago “C.T. Art-Colortone” Post Card (Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.) Number or series:  2B-H1291.

Price:  To be determined.

A timely one for this presidential election year 2016, and a great one for any FDR or Onorio Ruotolo collector. Onorio Ruotolo (1888 – 1966) was known as the  “Rodin of Little Italy” and was the founder of the Leonardo da Vinci Art School which ran from 1923 – 1942.  As of the date of this posting, no other cards were found of its kind.

Faith, Hope and Love

Ruotolo’s design shows President Franklin D. Roosevelt, having just released a dove carrying an olive branch. Underneath a cloud bank, fighter planes and ships carry out their destiny in WWII. Surrounding the scene are the words, “We fight for the restoration and perpetuation of faith and hope and peace throughout the world.”  Underneath the circle appear the triangular ends of a pyramid with the words, Faith, Hope and Love. Per Wikiquote, the “rendezvous with destiny” caption originated from a speech given by FDR, on June 27, 1936, to the Democratic National Convention. Below is the portion of the speech that contains the reference:

“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” 

Stargate Detroit

As we’ve said a number of times on this website, you never know where an old postcard, photo, trade card, etc. will take you. We’re time travelers via these old pieces of ephemera, and find ourselves synching up not just with the people, places and ideas of the past, but also with those of the present and future. (All happening at the same time anyway.) As I’m writing this I’m seeing beams of light connecting instantly around the world, the universe, and across “space and time.” What took me here was the mention of Isamu Noguchi (1904 – 1988) in the Wiki article about the Leonardo da Vinci Art School:  Noguchi being the school’s most famous student. Was that the same guy that designed the “DNA sculpture” (Pylon) in Hart Plaza, Detroit? (The one I did a high school paper about? Hee hee, hearkening back to high school.) Yes, the very one. From there I found the most fascinating web article by Chad Stuemke, entitled Stargate Detroit. (I’m blown away, and thinking of this find as my extra reward for scrubbing the kitchen tile grout yesterday 😉 )

Last, but never least

The Joseph Zegarelli that would have belonged to the  “copyright 1942” on the postcard was not located. Likewise, the addressee and sender weren’t found in online records either, but even so, the writing there shows a nice, though short, glimpse of typical family life:  Someone traveled somewhere and forgot to do something before they left, and now they have to ask the person back home to handle it. We’re guessing, along with you I’m sure, that Grover’s middle name was Cleveland. (A nice tie-in with a presidential postcard.) Addressed to:   “Mr. Grover C. Wood, Greene, N.Y., Box 176.”  The sender wrote:

“Dear Grover:  we arrived here in Utica 8 o’clock. it is now 12:15 Delores is sleeping & I am thinking of some one ( [?] ) You know. Say Dear would you please take care of the suit case as I left all my insurance papers & etc in it. Will try to write more later. Hope every thing is o.k.   Love Tine[?] & Delores.”

Sources:  Onorio Ruotolo. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onorio_Ruotolo. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Franklin D. Roosevelt. n.d. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Isamu Naguchi. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isamu_Noguchi. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Leonardo da Vinci Art School. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonardo_da_Vinci_Art_School. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Stuemke, Chad. “Stargate Detroit.” chadstuemke.com. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Photos From A Family Album

Gallery

This gallery contains 63 photos.

Here are a bunch of old photos from someone’s family album, that have been waiting around to finally get scanned and posted. This is WWI Era (the date from the army barracks photos appears to be 7/20/18) and several show … Continue reading

Busy Persons Correspondence Card

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1942 bathing beauties for Mr. J. Matthews from his son Jack, on one of those “check off your responses” type of card. Sometimes they were straight-forward, sometimes wacky, depending both on the card choices and the sender. In this case, Jack indicated:

“Calif., Nov. 3. Dear Dad, This place is beautiful. The weather is warm and dry. The people are friendly. I’m feeling fine and happy. I spend my time sightseeing. I need sleep. Give my love to all the folks. Yours sincerely.”   On the back he wrote:

“Dear Dad, How are you I am fine. It is nice country here but I prefer the East. Write to me you have my address. Jack.”  Addressed to:

“Mr. J. Matthews, 291 Orange St., Albany, N.Y.”

Underneath the postmark is Jack’s address:

“J.V. Matthews. S. 36 [?] US Navy, Batt 27 HDQ Co A-B, Port Hueneme, Calif.”

“We Build, We Fight.”

From a little research online, and of the course, the year of the postcard indicating WWII, it looks like Jack was a part of the “Seabees.” This term is from the initials “C.B.” which stands for Construction Battalion, and their motto is,  “We Build, We Fight.”  Both the 27th and 37th Battalion at Port Hueneme (pronouced “Why-nee-mee”) were part of the Seabees, (so even if it’s 37 rather than 27 in his address on the card, the branch of service still fits.) Below is the Seabee’s emblem (courtesy Wikipedia.)

Which Matthews family did Jack belong to?

The 1943 Albany, NY city directory shows the 291 Orange St. address as the residence of John V. Matthews, machinist, and his wife, Adeline R. Matthews. A couple of entries above lists John Matthews, USA, residence 291 Orange. “USA” in this directory is the abbreviation for United States Army (an error since Jack was in the Navy in ’42?) A quick further search in city directories shows Jack and Adeline at this address at least as early as 1938.

City directory findings led to various census records. The 1900 for Philadelphia shows two-month-old John V. Matthews, with parents, James and Isabella, both born in Ireland, and William Matthews, brother to James, also born in Ireland. And finally a 1961 death record for Jack (always hate to mention these, sentimentally having become fond of the person who, in this case, sent this nice postcard to his dad) but that shows Jack was born in Philadelphia in 1900, lists wife Adeline, and parents’ names, James Matthews and Isabelle (Devlin) Matthews, thus confirming his parentage.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked November 3, 1942. “U.S. Navy.” Publisher:  Tichnor Bros., Inc., Boston, Mass. “Tichnor Quality Views” Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. “Busy Person’s Correspondence Cards – 10 Designs.” Series or number 65157. 

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Seabees in World War II. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seabees_in_World_War_II (accessed July 18, 2015).

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Albany City Directory, Vol. CXXX. p. 266. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 38, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1479; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0975; FHL microfilm: 1241479

Ancestry.com. Menands, New York, Albany Rural Cemetery Burial Cards, 1791-2011

Ensign Kinne, Photographer

See our Waukegan, IL WWII Sailor post for a Kinne & Meyer photo.

Ensign Kinne was born March 22, 1878, in Housatonic, Massachusetts, died October 20, 1940, in Shields Township, Lake County, Illinois, and was buried October 23, 1940 in Pittsfield, Mass. He was the son of Massachusetts native Finneus Morgan Kinne and Lucretia Bowers. Ensign Kinne’s occupation on this death record is given as Photographer, and residence Waukegan. He was single, and a veteran of WWI.

Ensign Kinne’s early life:  several city directories starting with 1891 for Chicopee and running through 1898 for Westfield, MA show Ensign’s occupation as Clerk, working for his father, P. M. (Phineas M.) Kinne, who ran a billiard parlor on Elm in Westfield (on the 1898 directory) and was advertised as “dealer in temperance drinks, cigars, tobacco, etc.”

Army enlistment:  age 26 and 5/12. (Record dated August 23, 1904.)

The 1910 Federal Census shows him incorrectly listed as Ensign “Kaiser”, Musician 1c; stationed at the Navy yard in Puget Sound, Washington; ship name U.S.S. Washington.

The application below for a military headstone shows his Navy enlistment was September 20, 1915 – September 19, 1919.

App for Headstone

The 1920 Federal Census record for Waukegan, Illinois, shows “Esign” Kinne, renting at 122 County St., self-employed photographer.

Surprisingly, as far as Meyer & Kinne, Meyer wasn’t located, and the only other reference currently found for the studio was in a compiled military photo list (no photos)  “Circa 1920s…Staff in front of Barracks A, Kinne & Meyer photograph.”  But it’s interesting how these posts at Laurel Cottage often come together – for this one and the prior two – WWI Army, WWII Navy, and a photographer who served in WWI Army and Navy, with the first name of Ensign. How common was this given name? When we hear it today, we probably think military, but in browsing through the census records through the 1880s – 1940s it’s a name that comes up often.

Sources:  Ancestry.com. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947

Original data: Springfield, MA, 1890: Price, Lee & Co., 1890.Springfield, MA, 1891: Price, Lee & Co., 1891.

R. S. Dillon & Co.’s Westfield Directory, 1898. p. 169. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M233, 81 rolls); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1910; Census Place: USS Washington, Puget Sound, Washington, Military and Naval Forces; Roll: T624_1784; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0125; FHL microfilm: 1375797. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1920; Census Place: Waukegan, Lake, Illinois; Roll: T625_382; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 278; Image: 291 (Ancestry.com)

Original data: Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941. Microfilm publication M1916, 134 rolls. ARC ID: 596118. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Record Group 92. National Archives at Washington, D.C. (Ancestry.com)

“Company Photos.” p. 1. Sept 27, 2006. Naval History and Heritage Command. Web accessed May 25, 2015. [http://www.history.navy.mil/museums/greatlakes/companyphotos.pdf]

Waukegan, IL WWII Sailor

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A portrait of a handsome young man in United States Navy uniform, WWII. There is no identifying information on the back, but the photographer’s studio shows the  imprint of Kinne & Meyer, Waukegan, – Illinois.

Kinne was possibly Ensign Kinne, (1878 – 1940). His counterpart, Meyer, is unknown at this time. Waukegan city directories are not showing the studio name, though there was a printer named Meyer who may have gone in with Ensign Kinne or taken over after Kinne’s death. Kinne was himself a veteran (WWI). We’ll look for him further in the next post.

Studio portrait of unknown sailor, US Navy. Photography studio:  Kinne & Meyer, Waukegan, IL.

Price:  $10.00      Size:  About 4 x 6″

Source:  Ancestry.com. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947

Anton Plotěný

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“Anton Plotěný – 2nd oldest. Served in, and was a prisoner of war in Italy at the last stages of it. In some kind of uniform but I cannot remember what. Blacksmith of trade. Please send back as I have no duplicate.”

This photo was a “must have” – for one, because of the identifying information given (which is so often missing) and secondly so we could help this young man’s image continue to survive, especially after the care expressed by the writer above, and especially in the hopes that his descendents might find this post and recognize him. It was found at an antique paper fair in California, and probably had been originally obtained from an estate sale. The Plotěný surname is probably of Czech origin. And since WWI was 1914 – 1918, this photo was likely either taken during this time or before the war. He does appear to have been quite young here, probably in his late teens or very early twenties.

Real Photo Postcard, possibly of Czech origin. Circa 1910 – 1918.

Price:  $15.00

The Lake, Belle Isle Park, Detroit, Michigan

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Here’s another Belle Isle postcard – the second of two on this site, so far. The sender wrote:

“Detroit, July 1 ’08. Mother & I are visiting at Aunt Agnes’ for a week or two. Stopped at Montreal & Ottawa on the way. Will stop a day at Toronto on our way back. Haven’t seen much of Detroit yet. Are going to Belle Isle to-day. Tina.” 

The card is addressed to:   “Mrs. O. F. Henning, c/o Dr. Henning, U.S.A., B. 92, Fort Sheridan, Ill.”

I’m guessing B92 stands for Barracks 92 at the Fort. Doctor Henning was Oswald F. Henning, who is listed in a military record for Fort Sheridan in July 1908, the same month and year of the postmark, (something out of the ordinary in our searches.) His rank is given as 1st Lieutenant, and Regiment or Corps shown as M.R.C. – Medical Residency Corps. The rest of this entry for him is difficult to read, but appears to indicate he may have also served at Fort McDowell, California…. As it turns out there are many similar entries for Dr. Henning online. In piecing together his military service, we find he also served in the Philippines Feb. 1910 – Jul. 1911; Fort Columbia, Washington from Aug. 1912 – Oct. 1913; the Presidio of Monterey, California Nov. 1913 – Oct. 1914; Camp Fort Bliss, Texas Aug. 1916.

June 30, 1906, Chicago, Illinois, Oswald F. Henning married Helen C. Muirhead. Oswald was age 27 and Helen age 25.

And the 1900 Federal Census for Chicago shows Oswald F. Henning, bookkeeper, born July 1878, living with his parents Fred F. and Emila Henning and siblings Walter G., Meta[?] M., Laura E. and two servants, Mimi Schmidt and Robert H. Swanson.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked July 1, 1908 from Detroit, Michigan, Station F. Publisher:  The Rotograph Co., N.Y., City. Printed in Germany. Series D3827a.

Price:  $10.00

Sources:  National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Returns from U.S. Military Posts, 1800-1916; Microfilm Serial: M617; Microfilm Rolls: 120, 231, 737, 738, 892, 909, 966,1161. (Ancestry.com)

Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com

Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 25, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 275; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0763; FHL microfilm: 1240275. (Ancestry.com)

Fort Shafter, Honolulu

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The postmark year on this one doesn’t show up but since the postcard has a two cent stamp, it would be from 1917 – 1919, when the postal rate was raised during WWI. The postmark shows Schofield which is Schofield Barracks, a U. S. Army installation in Honolulu. The caption shows:

“Fort Shafter, Honolulu. Fort Shafter, named after one of the gallant generals of the Spanish American war, is situated on a bluff near Honolulu. It is used for infantry forces having quarters for some two or more regiments. It has beautiful grounds and a commanding position and is easily reached by the street cars.”

The sender wrote,  “Friend Ella; –  Am sending this card in advance of a picture & am mailing you it is a photo of the Co. hope you will like will tell you more about the next time I write.  L[?] F.”  The sender, whose first initial is difficult to pinpoint, may have been serving in the army at this time, because of the postmark location and his promised photo of the “Co” which would seem to indicate “Company.”

Addressed to:  “Miss Ella Ellison, 1314 ‘F’ St, Sacramento Calif, U. S. A.”
This is part of the Alice Ellison Collection.

According to a Wikipedia entry, construction for Fort Shafter began in 1905, and the Fort was opened on June 22, 1907. It’s interesting to put into context that when this card was originally mailed, Fort Shafter had only been operating for about ten years.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked May 1917 from Schofield Barracks, Honolulu, Hawaii. Publisher:  Hawaii And South Seas Curio Co., Honolulu. Series/number 190/A-17584.

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Shafter

Price:  $8.00