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.” (accessed May 16, 2022).

Artist Ruth Welch Siver (1871 – 1933)

Cropped from an earlier post, an illustration by artist Ruth Welch Siver, circa 1922.

Signed, Ruth K. Welch, Ruth Welch Siver, Ruth W. Siver and Ruth Siver….

Numerous examples of this artist’s work can be found on old postcards and valentines, but nothing was showing up about the artist. So, we went hunting and found the answer in the puzzle pieces that are made up of newspaper archives, census and vital records. We discovered that Welch was Ruth’s maiden name and that she had established herself as an artist prior to her marriage, so it only made sense that she kept Welch in her signature, at least for some time. (And perhaps her prior work, for which we find no example, would have been under Ruth K. Welch.)

Below, the clipping from The Topeka Daily Capital, dated March 26, 1920 which confirmed the artist’s identity:  “Mrs. Siver, who is an artist, is having much success making post cards for the New York trade.”

Native Pennsylvanians

Ruth K. Welch was born September 9, 1871 in Pennsylvania, to Pennsylvania natives James M. Welch and Mary E. Mason. From census records Ruth was the middle child of seven:  oldest to youngest was Viola, Jessie, Edward, Ruth, Grace, George and Florence. The 1870 census shows the parents, and children Viola, Jessie, and Edward, living in Curwensville, Clearfield County.  Sometime after Ruth was born in 1871 and before Grace was born in 1876 the family relocated to Iowa, and relocated again after George was born in 1878 in Iowa, to when youngest child Florence was born in Kansas in 1883.

Early career

Ruth was teaching in WaKeeney, Trego County, Kansas in 1894 – 1895.

The 1900 Federal Census for the Welch family in Topeka shows their address as 709 Topeka Avenue, and Ruth’s occupation as artist.

Below, two clips from The Topeka State Journal, November 1900 advertising Ruth’s exhibits at Unity Church. The Sichel reference is to German-born artist Nathaniel Sichel (1843 – 1907). (And we wonder what happened to Ruth’s “The Queen of the Harem” painting.)

A specialty in  posters and ad designs

The following clips from The Topeka Daily Capital, Jan. 4, 1905 and The Ottawa Daily Republic, Jan. 3, 1906 inform us that Ms. Welch was working in the poster, advertisement and calendar field; of particular mention in both articles is the well-known Santa Fe railway calendars. See D.L. Briscoe’s tribute:  “Santa Fe Calendar History” for background.

Below, two ads, run by the artist, that appeared in The Topeka Daily Capital, May 1904 and February 1905:

Ruth married Stephen H. Siver on December 21, 1909 in Topeka, Kansas:    Stephen was born February 27, 1884 in NY and died March 20, 1981 in FL. They had no children.

From census records….

1915 – occupation housework, in Albany, NY at 56 Elberson Place, with husband Stephen.

1920 – occupation artist, with husband, at 215 109th St. in Manhattan, NY with Ruth’s sister, Jessie Landers.

1925 – occupation writer, with husband, living at 231 W. 96th St. in Manhattan.

1930 – occupation artist in modeling industry, single, living at 231 W. 96th St., Manhattan.

Ruth Welch Siver died October 7, 1933 in the Bronx, New York, and though we wonder what became of her earlier work, her charming illustrations in the valentine and postcard industry, with their cute, funny/quirky captions, live on.


Sources:  The Topeka Daily Capital, March 26, 1920. Friday, p. 6. (

Year: 1870; Census Place: Curwensville, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1327; Page: 325B; Family History Library Film: 552826. (

Year: 1880; Census Place: Trego, Kansas; Roll: 398; Family History Film: 1254398; Page: 306C; Enumeration District: 314. (

 “Trego Teachers.” Western Kansas World, (WaKeeney, Kansas) October 27, 1894. Saturday, p. 2. (

Year: 1900; Census Place: Topeka Ward 4, Shawnee, Kansas; Roll: 500; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0158; FHL microfilm: 1240500. (

“Nathaniel Sichel.” ( Web accessed April 1, 2018.

“Art Exhibit.” The Topeka State Journal. November 17, 1900. Saturday, p. 5. (

“The Queen of the Harem.” The Topeka State Journal, November 17, 1900. Saturday, p. 5. (

“Santa Fe Calendar History.” ( Web accessed April 1, 2018.

“Artistic Calendar By Miss Welch.”  The Topeka Daily Capital, January 4, 1905. Wednesday, p. 3. (

“A Kansas Artist’s Work.”  The Ottawa Daily Republic (Ottawa, KS). January 3, 1906. Wednesday, p. 6. (

“Attention.”  The Topeka Daily Capital, May 31, 1904. Tuesday, p. 8. (

“Lessons.”  The Topeka Daily Capital, February 26, 1905. Sunday, p. 10. (

“Welch-Siver.”  The Topeka Daily Capital, December 23, 1909. Thursday, p. 5. (

“Stephen Henry Siver, Jr.” Florida Death Index, 1877-1998. (

New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 03; Assembly District: 01; City: Albany Ward 18; County: Albany; Page: 22. (

Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 11, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1205; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 822. (

New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 14; Assembly District: 09; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 20. (

Year: 1930; Census Place: Manhattan, Manhattan, New York; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0459. (

“New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch ( : 20 March 2015), James Welch in entry for Ruth Welch Siver, 07 Oct 1933; citing Death, Bronx, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,155,816.


Soaring pc1Soaring pc2

I wonder what Gwen would have named this one. This is, like the back says, from an original block print by Gwen Frostic. Michigan-born Sarah Gwendolyn Frostic (1906 – 2001) was  “…one of America’s foremost nature inspired artists.”   I hadn’t heard of Gwen before finding this postcard, but the seagull reminded me of heavenly times spent in Northern Michigan, so I was tickled to discover that the correlation (specifically Northwestern Michigan – Benzie County, south of Crystal Lake) happened to be correct.

Divided back, unused postcard. Artist and publisher:  Gwen Frostic, Presscraft Papers.

The Keystone Craft Shop

The Keystone Craft Shop pc1The Keystone Craft Shop pc2

This postcard is a double mystery – for the postcard artist and the whereabouts of the shop that was giving out these complimentary cards.

J. Leslie Melville’s signature appears at the bottom left of the card – a little difficult to read on this one here; however, one or two current eBay offerings clearly show the name. The other Melville examples, all under the theme of  “The language of flowers,” date from around 1908 – 1910, with one like ours postmarked in the year 1909. A couple of advertisements show up also; one from 1908, Gleanings in Bee Culture (below) and the other from 1907. So, that gives us a time frame for the Melville-signed postcards of at least 1907 – 1910. The ’07 publication comes from a volume of The American Farmer, and was written as,  “…with reproductions taken from the famous paintings by L. Leslie Melville.”  The “L.” seems to have been a misprint.

Flower Language Postcard Ad 1908  1908 advertisement from Gleanings in Bee Culture

The second part of the mystery is regarding the shop that’s listed on the back of the card:

“Compliments From:  The Keystone Craft Shop. Pictures And Picture Framing A Specialty. 828-830 Jason Street”

Oddly, no historical references were found whatsoever for the shop mentioned. City directories for the street address (searched without the city) did not even bring up any possibilities.

Divided back, unused postcard. Artist:  J. Leslie Melville. Printed in Saxony. Circa 1909.

Price:  $6.00

Sources:  Gleanings in Bee Culture, Vol. 36. January 1, 1908, p. 1527. Google eBook. Web accessed April 20, 2015.

The American Farmer, Vol. 24., No. 5., March 1909, p. 4. Google eBook. Web accessed April 20, 2015.

Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert


Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1879 and was the son of Francis Edwin Kilvert, mayor of Hamilton, Ontario(1877-78), Conservative Member of Parliament(1878-1887) and Collector of His Majesty’s Customs for the Port of Hamilton(1887-1910).

As a very young man, Kilvert left Canada to study at the Art Students’ League in New York City, where his instructor was Robert Henri(1865-1929) a member of the so-called Eight, whose members in painting life as it actually appears without making any attempt to romanticize it were stigmatized as “The Ashcan School”. Kilvert was strongly influenced by this approach to painting as were many of Henri’s other students who included George Bellows, Rockwell Kent and Edward Hopper.

Kilvert was extremely well known for his illustrations that appeared in many books and magazines in both the USA and Canada from approx. 1902 to the mid 1930’s.

He was less well known as a fine arts painter, but his work was greatly respected by critics and his fellow artists. He was a member of The American Watercolor Society and also of two prestigious organisations for artists and writers, namely the Salmagundi Club and the Dutch Treat Club, both of which were located in New York City where he lived for many years. A painting of his is in the collection of the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine, which, arguably, holds the best collection of Maine art in the USA as probably the entireworld.

Kilvert, his wife and two children summered for many years on the coast of southern Maine where he created many of his paintings. In his earlier years in Upstate New York, he worked in oils and tempera and created landscopes and still lifes. In later years, he turned to watercolors and this proved to be his best medium. He painted many fine seascapes in Maine and in the fall and winter of 1934, he painted scenes of Charleston, South Carolina, where he and his family went so he could recover from a heart attack.

In the early 1930’s, he was commissioned to paint several very large illustrated maps. Specifically, these showed the history of the St. Lawrence River Valley in Canada(these were done for a steamship company in Canada and was in the stairwell of one of its transatlantic ships, the name of which is no longer known). He also did two maps for the Pine Valley Golf Club in Pine Valley, New Jersey. One of these shows the Pine Valley course, and the other shows the St. Andrews course in Scotland. Each of these clubs thinks the other’s golf course is the second best one in the entire world. So it’s doubtful if this difference of opinion will ever change.

Kilvert’s son, Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert Jr., has in his possession an illustrated map of the Belvoir Hunt in England, that Kilvert’s widow bought at a Sotherby auction in New York City in the 1950’s. No information is available on who commissioned it in 1931, but it may have been the Duke of Rutland whose ancestral home is Belvior Castle in Lincolnshire. It’s possible that he put it in the auction to raise some cash, but this is only a guess. This particular map measures 5 by 6 feet and is painted on wood.

There is a fine Kilvert oil painting in the lobby of the Hotel des Artistes on West 67th Street in New York City. It hangs over the two elevators and shows a scene of galleons a popular subject for several artists in the 1920’s who interpreted the discovery of the New World with canvases showing galleons at sea and in port.

Cory Kilvert died in 1946 at the Salmagundi Club in New York City while playing pool with some of his artist friends. In the 1970’s one of his illustrations was included in an exhibit of renderings by North America artists at the New York(City) Historical Society.

(This biography can be found on but is originally from the archives of and was written by B. Cory Kilvert Jr. – son of the artist)

Sources and further reading:  Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert (1879-1946)., June 20, 2003. Web accessed November 18, 2014 []

Benjamin Sayre Cory Kilvert (1879-1946). Web accessed November 18, 2014.

Artist John Paul Burnham

See Agua Caliente Villa for our postcard by the artist.

According to the very helpful website AskArt, which we’ve accessed before for research, “John Paul Burnham was born in Illinois on August 14, 1883. John Paul was the son of architect Franklin Burnham, and a resident of Los Angeles by 1900. By 1910 he had a home in South Pasadena and was a magazine illustrator. He worked there as an artist until his death on Feb. 8, 1956.

Census records show that John Paul’s mother’s first name was Adelia. From this we find the marriage record showing that Franklin P. Burnham married Adelia S. Milliken on January 29, 1877 in Cook County, Illinois. Franklin was about age 23, and Adelia about age 20.

The 1880 Federal Census taken in Chicago shows the young family, including one year-old daughter, Jenni, living with head of household Paul, (John Paul’s grandfather) and Paul’s daughter Mary Orcutt, (Franklin’s sister) her husband, William Orcutt, and their daughter, May. John’s father, Franklin Pierce Burnham, became a well-known architect, and is listed on this census record under that occupation.

The 1900 Federal Census, taken in Los Angeles, shows Franklin, Adelia, Jennie and John Paul, age 17, dealer in bicycles.

By 1908, at about age 25, John was listed as having joined the staff of The Art Students League of Los Angeles, teaching illustration and composition.

The following clip from the Los Angeles Evening Express, October 14, 1909, indicates Burnham had a studio in New York City. He and fellow artist, Joseph D. Gleason, along with the crew and the rest of the passengers, had a close call in the Bermudas when their steamer, Antilles, went aground. “Angeleno” means being from Los Angeles:

The 1910 Federal Census for Pasadena, California shows he is living with his mother (widowed) and his unmarried aunt, Grace Milliken. At this time, he is working as an artist for a magazine.

By 1918, Burnham had gone back to the East Coast. His WWI Draft Registration card shows he was living in New York City and working as an art manager and artist at the ad agency Ruthrauff & Ryan. (On this record he gives his year of birth as 1882, rather than the 1883 stated above which shows up officially under the California Death Index.)

The Dartnell Advertising Agency Guide, compiled in 1924, shows J. P. Burnham with the above-mentioned, Ruthrauff & Ryan, now working as head of the art department.

Presumably, Burnham would have moved back to California sometime from 1924 through 1930 when he shows up listed as John Burnham on the 1930 Federal Census for Pasadena; occupation artist, and listed as a “guest” at the grand and exclusive Hotel Huntington. (Estimated date of birth on this record is 1887 but we know this is John because the AskArt website shows a Burnham painting of the Huntington.)

The Smoketree School 

Continuing on with our research, it seems that John Paul may have been best known for being a member of the “Smoketree School” of artists. According to a magazine article by author, Ann Japenga, John Paul Burnham was one of 27 artists who lived and painted in the Coachella Valley, California area. Burnham’s address was 147 S. Tahquitz Dr., Palm Springs, circa late 1920s.

When Japenga started writing about the desert artists of the early 1900s, she coined the phrase for their genre as being of the “Smoketree School” in the way that the Hudson River, New York area artists became known under that geographical heading, or that art critics refer to the “Eucalyptus School” because of the Eucalyptus tree being a popular subject for the California coast artists. (The smoke tree or bush is part of the native California desert vegetation, and has various shades of “smoky” pink flowers that bloom from June through August, with the leaves changing color to shades of orange, red and purple in autumn.) John Paul Burnham, according to one of two Japenga articles, was better known as a patron to the local artists. Among others in the desert art community were Agnes Pelton, R. Brownell McGrew, John Hilton, Axel Linus. See the prior post on our Laurel Cottage site for a beautiful example (albeit from a postcard) of Burnham’s work that he did in Tijuana, Mexico.

The 1930 Federal Census taken in Pasadena shows a John Burnham, occupation artist, as a “guest” at the grand and exclusive Hotel Huntington. (Estimated date of birth 1887 but this is John because the AskArt website shows a Burnham painting of the Huntington.)

The 1940 Federal Census shows him living in Los Angeles, occupation artist and painting teacher.


Sources:  “John Paul Burnham.” AskArt. Web accessed 21 Aug 2014 []

“Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 Aug 2014), Franklin P. Burnham and Adelia S. Milliken, 29 Jan 1877; citing Cook, Illinois, , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1030100.

Franklin Pierce Burnham. n.d. (accessed August 23, 2014)..

Year: 1900; Census Place: Los Angeles Ward 5, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 89; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0050; FHL microfilm: 1240089. (

“A Seed of Moderism:  The Art Students League of Los Angeles, 1906 – 1953.” Traditional Fine Arts Organization. Feb. 29, 2008. Web accessed 22 Aug 2014 []

“Angeleno Boys Saved From Steamer Wreck.” Los Angeles Evening Express, October 14, 1909. Thursday, p. 18. (

Year: 1910; Census Place: South Pasadena, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_87; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0347; FHL microfilm: 1374100. (

Registration State: New York; Registration County: New York; Roll: 1765791; Draft Board: 105. (

Ruthrauff & Ryan. n.d. (accessed February 2, 2024).

The Dartnell Advertising Agency Guide, 1925 Edition. (1924) New York:  The Dartnell Corporation. ( book search).

Japenga, Ann. “Where Artists Thrived” Palm Springs Life. Web accessed 22 Aug 2014. []

Ann Japenga. PBS SoCal. (accessed February 2, 2024).

Brown, Renee, “History:  Early artists captured beauty of valley desert.” The Desert Sun. July 17, 2014. Web accessed 21 Aug 2014. []

Japenga, Ann. “The Smoketree School:  Painters Respond to the Call of the Desert.” Palm Springs Life. Web accessed 24 Aug 2014 []

Year: 1930; Census Place: Pasadena, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 169; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 1250; Image: 396.0; FHL microfilm: 2339904. (

Coachella Valley. n.d. (accessed February 2, 2024).

“United States Census, 1940,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 Aug 2014), John P Burnham, Councilmanic District 5, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Township, Los Angeles, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 60-326, sheet 61B, family 557, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 402.

Oldřich Cihelka, Artist

Some of the artwork of Prague-born Oldřich Cihelka was reproduced for the postcard market and a number of postcards can be found for sale online (including our Laurel Cottage site.) Here is a cropped example of the artist’s work. (See the posting on this website under “Little Salesians” for the full postcard version.)

Cihelka Artwork

Most online sources show Oldřich Cihelka’s year of death as 1948, though some have 1958. The website Art Consulting has the following short biography:

“Oldrich Cihelka (1881 – 1948 Praha),maliar,grafik, ilustrátor. Žiak Maxa Pirnera na AVU Praha v r.1897-1903. Autor kresieb a ilustrácií, historických obrázkov pre národné školy. Bol členom združenia výtvarných umelcov- Jednota, cez ktoré prezentoval svoje maľby a kresby.”

A quick online translation for the above shows:

Oldrich Cihelka (1881 – 1948 Prague), painter, graphic artist and illustrator. Pupil [of] Max Pirner at the Academy of Arts in Prague, from 1897 – 1903. Author of drawings and illustrations, historical images for national schools. He was a member of the association of visual artists-Unity through which his paintings and drawings were presented.”

Source:  Oldřich Cihelka. n.d. Art Consulting. Web accessed 31 Jul 2014. []

Charles Henry Twelvetrees (1872 -1948)

Charles H. Twelvetrees is well-known to vintage postcard, and ephemera collectors in general for his many illustrations, mainly of chubby-cheeked children, which often are shown with funny captions. I put up the two examples that I have from postcards below (cropped and cleaned up a little in Photoshop.) His work can also be found on magazine covers, in newspapers, on calendars, and as valentines of that era. To mention a couple of particular examples, he was the illustrator for a children’s story by Seymour Eaton, called “Prince Domino and ‘Muffles’ ” and he did a comic strip called “Johnny Quack and the Van Cluck Twins.” (Some accounts say Van Cluck Sisters which, unless the strip name was changed at some point, is incorrect. Images can be found online of the comic strip showing the last word in the title as “Twins” not “Sisters.”) It’s also interesting to note that the 1900 Federal Census shows Charles’ occupation as “portrait artist.”

After looking online for information about this artist (for the prior post) and finding conflicting information, which some others have also been questioning, namely the year of birth, that there was also a Charles R., that the father of Charles was also an artist, I decided to make a list of online records to try to see if I could find some answers. I also noticed speculation about a Hollywood connection for a possible son of Charles Twelvetrees.

So, it was funny, but after doing quite a bit of research, I came across a website for someone who has written a book about the artist, author Robert William Mellberg. So, I will not go into great detail here, as Mr. Mellberg, who has done years of research, as opposed to my ummm week (shaking head and chuckling) will be the authority. A good lesson learned:  If someone is well-known, there’s probably already been a book written about them! But anyway, I did want to post something as there are so many examples online of the incorrect information for Charles H. Twelvetrees, and so am putting this up in the hope that it will help in the correction process.

It’s the 1920 U.S. Federal Census for Manhattan, New York that shows the wrong year of birth of 1888. Charles’ age is listed incorrectly there as 37. The best source for his date of birth from the census records is the 1900 record which states he was born July 1872, and the other census’ collaborate this year, being exact or a year off.

Charles’ father, Henry Twelvetrees, was a carpenter. There are simply scads of records that show this: both federal and state census’, as well as many Utica, New York city directories and at least one New York City directory, and none of those records show a middle initial. So, Henry never worked as an artist in the context that we’re looking at here. (Although perhaps he was an “artist” in the field of carpentry. And it’s interesting to see that on one of Henry’s census records (1910) he is listed as a carpenter in the shipbuilding industry.) But the “R” as a middle initial for Charles or Henry or anyone else that one could try to attribute to the art in question is incorrect. (See Mr. Mellberg’s website listed below for more on that.)

According to author, Robert W. Mellberg, artist Charles H. Twelvetrees was married three times (I had found two.) His second marriage was to Rose B. Clark, and they had one son, Clark Twelvetrees. Clark married Helen Marie Jurgens. Helen was married several times but kept her first married name, and is better known as Hollywood and stage actress, Helen Twelvetrees.

Update: See the comment posted – Charles’ third wife was Vera Albert.

As a side note, the 1905 New York State Census for Manhattan, New York shows Charles and wife (Rose) living at the address given of 37/45 West 22nd St. Living at the same address, which is presumably an apartment building or buildings, are ten other artists, two of whom are women. I just find this interesting. Their names as they appear on this record are:

Henry B. Snell, William H. Lippencott, Arthur Cushing, Frederick T.[?] Richards, William H. Drake, Augustus R.[?] Whytal, Walter D.[?] Sewall, Francis Pauling, Eleanor Bell, Flinker Augustine.

Here are the images from the two Charles Twelvetrees postcards that I have, as stated above (cropped and cleaned up a little). And please see the first source listed below for author Mellberg’s website, and detailed information about the artist, including a photo taken of him while he was working.

Nobodys Sweetheart YetFresno Girl

Sources:  Mellberg, Robert W., The Life and Works of Charles H. Twelvetrees, Artist – Illustrator. Web. 25 Jun 2014. New York, State Census, 1855.

“New York, State Census, 1875,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 25 Jun 2014), Henry Twelvetsus, Utica, Oneida, New York, United States; citing p. 23, line 19, State Library, Albany; FHL microfilm 1435185.

Year: 1880; Census Place: New York City, New York, New York; Roll: 877; Family History Film: 1254877; Page: 377D; Enumeration District: 223; Image: 0176.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 1095; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0307; FHL microfilm: 1241095.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1021; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0514; FHL microfilm: 1375034. (

“New York, State Census, 1915,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 25 Jun 2014), Rose Twelftree, Southampton, Suffolk, New York, United States; from “New York, State Census, 1915,” index and images, ( : 2012); citing state population census schedules, 1915, p. 09, line 22, New York State Archives, Albany.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 7, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1198; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 567; Image: 159. (

Year: 1930; Census Place: Bronx, Bronx, New York; Roll: 1488; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0661; Image: 802.0; FHL microfilm: 2341223. (

“United States Census, 1940,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 Jun 2014), Charles H Twelvetrees, Assembly District 7, Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 31-576, sheet 3A, family , NARA digital publication of T627, roll 2636. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 New York, New York, Marriage Indexes 1866-1937 New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1948

National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (

Anna Twelvetrees obituary, New York, New York. The New York Times, 4 Jan 1903. Web. Accessed 24 Jun 2014. []

Holtz, Allan. blog “Stripper’s Guide”  article “Obscurity of the Day:  Prince Domino and Muffles” Web. 24 Jun 2014. []

Benedetto Busetto Bieletto, Artist

Pansies pc1

At this time, postcards for this artist are often showing up on other sites under “T. Bioletto” so if you are looking for other examples, be sure to try searching with the incorrect first initial or just under the last name. (Updated May 2, 2015.)

The above image with reverse side was recently posted under “Pansies.”  The artist’s signature can be seen on the bottom right of the postcard. The first initial or initials are hard to read but appear to be “B” or perhaps “B.B.”  After some extensive online searching under different possibilities for the initials (and even under a last name variation of Bieletta) I believe that the artist for this card (and quite a few others for sale or view online with this signature) is Benedetto Busetto Bieletto, born in Venice, Italy, November 4, 1869. The index card for his naturalization in the U.S. shows his date and country of birth; arrival in the United States as February 1, 1909; address at time of naturalization as 147 Oak St., Chicago, IL; and witnesses as Charles Reinach of 3726 Herndon St., and Michael Keber of 2135 N. Clark St.

There are a couple of references in the American Art Annual, one of which shows Bieletto’s city of birth as Venice.  The 1915 journal (under the heading of Who’s Who In Art), shows “Bieletto, Benedetto B.,  147 Oak St., Chicago, Ill. (P.)”  The “P” is for painter. And the 1918 shows,  “Bieletto, Benedetto Busetto, 3245 Broadway, Chicago, Ill. P.- Born in Venice, Italy, Nov. 4, 1869. Pupil of Pompeo.”  As to Pompeo, I was not able to find someone who would have been a contemporary of Bieletto under this name, so I believe this to be a reference to Pompeo Batoni (1708 – 1787), and that Bieletto studied the painting style of Pompeo:  being “a student of” rather than “a student under” him.

The 1920 Federal Census taken in Chicago, shows B. B. Bieletto, born in Italy of Italian-born parents; married (wife not on this census); address 2220 Calumet Ave; immigration to the United States about 1909; and the key piece of information:  artist for a photoengraving company.

So, where else should we look for more information? Perhaps the witnesses on the naturalization card will provide some help, as we might assume that one or both of these gentlemen may have worked with Bieletto, and from this maybe we can find Bieletto’s employer name, and verify that Bieletto had something to do with postcards.

Thankfully, Charles Reinach, born IL about 1869, shows up on the 1920 census in Chicago at the address of 3742 Herndon (close enough – he may have moved or the street number changed) and under the occupation of engraver, working at Chicago Eng. Co. (Chicago Engraving Company.) From this we’d assume this was either the name of the company or just the description set down by the census taker….With further research we learn that this is the actual company name, as it is found in various online references for photoengraving, and in a 1913 publication for railroad telegraphers, which lists photoengraving companies and shows the address of 533 Wabash Ave., Chicago. To add a little more weight to the photoengraver/postcard connection, the well-known postcard printer Curt, Teich & Co. is also listed there. So anyway, it’s likely that Bieletto also worked for the Chicago Engraving Company, at this time. A good description for photoengraving can be found in the excellent website, see last source below. Interestingly, Charles Reinach’s occupation on the 1930 census shows as illustrator for a label maker, so it looks like both Bieletto and Reinach were artists.

Michael Keber, the other witness to Bieletto’s naturalization, was found online but nothing showing relating to the photoengraving or postcard business. Keber, born Austria 1857,  became a naturalized citizen in 1913. The address on that record is the same as he records for himself on Bieletto’s record.

Looking further, we discover a Benedetto Bieletto mentioned along with two other Italian artists, Beppe Ciardi and Leonardo Bazzaro, in a German art journal, (thank goodness for online translation) in reference to their work showing Venice and the surrounding area. This publication is dated 1907, before Bieletto emigrated, and since he was born in Venice, it’s an excellent possibility that the artist mentioned there, and ours in question here, are one in the same.

Sources:   Levy, Florence N. (ed.) 1915. American Art Annual, Vol. 12. p. 324.  (Google eBook) 

Levy, Florence N. (ed.) 1917. American Art Annual, Vol. 14. p. 427. (Google eBook) 

Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 1, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_306; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 42; Image: 273. (

Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 25, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_343; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 1500; Image: 491. (

Year: 1930; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 488; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 1695; Image: 4.0; FHL microfilm: 2340223. (

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Soundex Index to Naturalization Petitions for the United States District and Circuit Courts, Northern District of Illinois and Immigration and Naturalization Service District 9, 1840-1950 (M1285); Microfilm Serial: M1285; Microfilm Rolls: 15 and 92. (

The Railroad Telegrapher, Vol. 13. 1913. St. Louis, Missouri. The Order of Railroad Telegraphers. p. 1665. (Google eBook)

Die Kunst. Monatshefte Für Freie und Angewandte Kunst. Fünfzehnter Band. München. 1907   Verlagsanstalt F. Bruckmann A. -G.  (editor?)  p. 469. (Google eBook)