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.

Boy In Tire, California 1929

Old photo, decorative border, 1929.

Price:  $5.00          Size:  About 3 and 7/8 x 2 and 7/8″

Well, we know the place and year of this photo from the easily read license plate. (A definite departure from the usual norm of trying to “will” a plate into focus. 🙂 )

It’s an Art Deco design that frames this cute shot of a little boy sitting inside the upright spare (Goodyear) tire. He’s in overalls and wearing a couple of strands of beads, with a big smile and clutching something in one chubby hand. An adult, probably his dad, is in the background. As for the car – Model T Coupe? We’ll have to check with our go-to site for car questions, Antique Automobile Club of America. There is no writing on the back (though from a genealogy standpoint we feel like we’re looking at somebody’s grandpa, with great-grand in the back) but it’s a nice slice of Americana – back when the family car was also one of many play destinations for the kids.

Avenida Juárez, Guanajuato, México

Vintage Mexican postcard, unused. Publisher info:  Ediciones Guanajuato – Jardin Union No. 5, Teléfono 2.87.- Guanajuato, Gto. Series G-202. Circa 1950s.

Price:  $10.00

Avenida Juárez, circa 1950s

A beauty of a card with all those colors. The central Mexican city of Guanajuato is surely one of the most colorful in the world! The large building with the rounded roof is Mercado Hidalgo, an enormous market for pretty much anything you would like to buy – produce, clothing, souvenirs, jewelry, etc. Built on the site of an old bullring, the building was initially designed to be a railway station. Construction started in 1905 and was finished in 1910, when the market’s grand opening coincided with the centennial celebrations of Mexico’s independence.

Source:  Diaz Cornejo, Mireya. “El Mercado Hidalgo de Guanajuato.” https://www.revistabuenviaje.com/conocemexico/viajemistico/mercado-hidalgo/mercado-hidalgo-guanajuato.php# (accessed April 15, 2022).

San Antonio, Texas, Circa 1929

Old photo. San Antonio, Texas, Circa 1929 or early 1930s. Printer:  The Fox Company. Copyright by Carl D. Newton.

Price:  $10.00         Size:  3 and 7/16 x 2 and 7/16″

There’s a good story in this moment, for sure. The phrase, “a pointed look” comes to mind – that which the young girl is directing toward her…..would you say, older sister? If siblings, that might explain the hostility 😉 (Paraphrasing the judge from My Cousin Vinny.) Or, do you imagine, that the one girl is just very engrossed in what the older one is saying (is she talking?) Personally, I love these old photos from the ’20s and ’30s, with the front yards (if this is one, sort of) that were not expected to be showpieces and often with old hand-built wooden fences that are leaning. (Actually, that’s a very nice gate, but the fence is falling in, and the gate off-kilter.) Or, maybe if not a front “yard” this is a commercial or semi-commercial street view. I’m now imagining some sort of auto servicing business. When you enlarge the image you’ll see that there is a second car in this photo and then also a third person, who’s standing behind it. We’ll check with the experts on the Antique Automobile Club of America forum, for the make, model and year of the car in the foreground.

Update:  The response from the super sleuths at AACA, is that the car in the foreground is actually a 1929 Nash, and the one in the background a Model A Ford Coupe. Which means that the printer’s stamp on the back of the photo was not an updated one, since it’s showing 1927. Interesting!

Double Exposed Car

Old photo, white border. Circa 1910s – early ’20s.

Price:  $10.00

Young man posing in front of….perhaps a Model T (just a guess). Looks like maybe he’s going camping, with the gear strapped in somehow on the running board. Though, at first glance, this looks like an x-ray of the car with….surprise, much different innards than expected. 😉 I’m struck just now by the synchronicity of the man and vehicle both sporting a soft “cap” (Yeah, we’re all a little crazy lately, eh? 🙂 )

Gas Pump – Verdun, France

Photo, white border, deckled edge. Circa mid-1930s, France.

Price:  $10.00

Verdun, France, a man refuels his vehicle, a 1934 or 1935 Peugeot 401.

Two members of the Antique Automobile Club of America came to the rescue (lightning quick responses, as usual) to identify the make, model and year of the car in the photo, and for clarification on the Castrol sign appearing to the left of the large Essences – Huiles.

Of course, it’s one of the first things to do (and so fun) when enlarging old photos – try to decipher any blurry or murky-looking wording, and that word under Castrol had me stumped (was guessing Brewster, haha) but it turned out to be something simple, in french, brevetée, patented. (See link in Sources.) And that’s a Gargoyle Mobiloil sign, to the right of Essences – Huiles. Gargoyle was a brand name under the Vacuum Oil Company. Also, noteworthy in the photo, is the small piece of machinery on the concrete, to the left of the man. Per my mechanic hubby, this is maybe an air compressor or pressure washer. Last but not least, we love the intricate wrought ironwork over the doorway of the Bureau de something, not quite readable – another of those, if you already knew what it said, it would be perfectly clear. 😉

Sources: Photo and video forums. What is it? Antique Automobile Club of America. Response to query of February 7, 2020. https://forums.aaca.org/forum/66-what-is-it/.

Vacuum Oil Company. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_Oil_Company (accessed February 7, 2021).

“French Castrol Oil Double-Sided Porcelain Flange”. Mecum Auctions Road Art. mecum.com. (accessed February 13, 2021).

Thanksgiving Day From Anna Budd

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked November 25, 1907 from Pensacola, Florida. Publisher:  Raphael Tuck & Sons. “Thanksgiving Day Post Cards” Series Number 123.

Price:  $12.00

Happy Thanksgiving!  Here’s a charmer from publisher Raphael Tuck & Sons, a turkey couple out for a drive in 1907.

Mailed to:   “Miss Grace Snyder. Stevensville, Sull. Co., N. Y.”  That’s Sullivan County. Stevensville later became Swan Lake.

The sender wrote:   “We are all well and hope this finds you all the same. I wish you and your mamma a happy Thanksgiving – With love from Anna Budd.    will write soon.”

Grace Snyder, born about 1892, was the daughter of Nelson H. Snyder and Evelyn Racine. On December 4, 1911 Grace married William Hathaway, born about 1887, son of Eli Hathaway and Lettie Van Orden. Bride and groom were both living in Stevensville, NY at the time of marriage.

Anna is Anna H. Budd, born January 1893, daughter of Morris D. and Carrie E. Blackmon. The 1900 census shows Anna, her parents, her old brother John (all born in New York) and her younger sister Florida, who was born in……..Florida (awww!)

Sources:  Marriage Records. New York Marriages. Various New York County Clerk offices.  (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Kupfrians Park, Escambia, Florida; Page: 4; Enumeration District: 0013; FHL microfilm: 1240168. (Ancestry.com).

“Mrs. Carrie E. Budd” obituary. The Herald-News. (Passaic, NJ). December 1, 1941. Monday, p. 8. (Newspapers.com).

Swan Lake, New York. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swan_Lake,_New_York. (accessed November 28, 2019).

Snow-covered Oldsmobile

Old photograph, 1949 – 1950s.

Price:  $3.00         Size:  3 and 3/16 x 3 and 1/16″

This is definitely an Oldsmobile, maybe a 1949 or ’50 Series 76 or a 1951 Oldsmobile 88. The styles were very similar for those three years, but it’s not the ’52 due to the front bumper re-design at that time.

This image brings back lots of memories! Michigan, a wet cold, pushing off mountains of snow from the car, getting snow under your sleeves, scraping at the ice on the windshield while waiting for the car to heat up….the scraper was either the short one with the pale yellow handle (but the scraper part was the color of an icicle) or the long one with the brush along one end (the brush didn’t do well with heavy inches, thus you resorted to using your arm.) The fun sometimes, riding with Dad while he let the car slide a little on the ice, on purpose. The not-so-fun part of getting stuck – it was especially tricky going around the “islands”  but an old rug under that spinning tire worked good (if you’d remembered to put one in the back seat). And there was the camaraderie of neighbors helping each other, the Good Samaritan coming along and pushing while you finessed the gas pedal…..and then what stands out for me (some pride here) as the ultimate winter driving experience – the city didn’t have the money to plow our residential streets, so we were forced to learn (knowledge is power) how to share that one and only set of tire tracks (that had been carved out previously by prior vehicles) when meeting an oncoming car. A beautiful thing – you and the other driver – the recognition, the skill (when there was a lot of snow) and the feeling of unity/harmony/good will/accomplishment, relief if the snow was really deep (you’d gotten by each other unstuck and unscathed) and that little bit of pride – who needs snowplows?

Truck Drivin’ Men

Old photo, circa 1920s, white border.

Price:  $4.00          Size:  About 3 and 5/16 x 2 and 3/8″

We’re continuing our day-late Father’s Day theme with a nice old photo, which we’re guessing is from the ’20s, but we’ll find out – according to whatever make, model and year the truck turns out to be. The two gents here are maybe a dad with his young son of about three, standing next to their vehicle, on the dirt shoulder of a tree-lined road.

The next thing in binoculars….

So, it looks like there’s writing on the inside of the truck, under the passenger side rear window, but we can’t quite read it. And further scrutiny yields another “arrggh” moment, in trying to make out the words on the sign posted on the tree trunk to our left. (Actually you probably noticed the tree sign first, but whatev 😉 ) If you stare at these kind of things long enough you sometimes get a flash of insight into what they say. Those ah-ha! moments are soooo great. Though, I like the process of imagining (the journey is it’s own reward, right?) having a pair of binoculars that works on old photos:  Just look through, adjust the dial, et voila!