Mellier’s High Class Perfumes

Trade card, Oberdeener’s Pharmacy and Mellier’s Perfumes. Circa 1889 – 1901.

Price:  $15.00          Size:  4 and 1/2 x 3″

A lovely trade card in blue, pink and yellow showing a ladies shoe, a fan, a flower, a butterfly and a paper memento of some sort, resting in a large sea shell. This particular design was not the only one with this theme. There is another to be found for sale online showing a yellow shoe facing in the opposite direction. Mellier’s, based out of St. Louis, Missouri, was very prolific in creating fragrances over the years. We’ve counted a total of eighty, found on the web, including one called Ping Pong (!) The titles shown on this card are:

Ascension Lily, Sweet Crab Apple, Favorita, Violet Bouquet, Bon Silene Rose, Lilac Spray, Golden Pansy, Arabian Nights, Peach Blossom and Allien Bouquet (sometimes seen as Allen Bouquet).

The advertiser on the trade card was S. Oberdeener, of Santa Clara, California, who stated,  “We can confidently recommend – Mellier’s ‘High-Class’ Perfumes – and will take pleasure in showing our patrons how closely they imitate the natural flower and how they possess at the same time both wonderful delicacy and great permanence.”

1038 Franklin Street, Santa Clara, CA

Samuel Oberdeener, per Find A Grave, son of Moses and Libby Oberdeener, was born in San Francisco, September 14, 1860 and died May 20, 1901 in Santa Clara, California. He was married to Emma Lauck. They had one daughter, Mildred. Sam Oberdeener was a graduate of the California College of Pharmacy in 1880, a member of the State Board of Pharmacy, Board of Town Trustees and an active member in the Masonic order, the Odd Fellows, Elks and Foresters. Oberdeener’s would have been well-known in the area, at the time of Sam’s passing, the store had been in business for over thirty years, Samuel having taken over from his father in 1882.

Dating the trade card

All of the perfume titles listed on the trade card, with the exception of Peach Blossom, were found advertised in The American Drug Clerks Journal, January 1889, Vol. 3. (A date for Peach Blossom was not located.) And since Samuel Oberdeener died in 1901, we would estimate this card to be from about 1889 to 1901. The pharmacy continued for some years after Samuel’s death. Below, an ad from the 1913 Santa Clara directory:

Sources:  “Dr Samuel Oberdeener” Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

“Dr. Samuel Oberdeener.” Los Angeles Times, May 21, 1901. Tuesday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

The American Drug Clerks Journal, January 1889, Vol. 3.(Google.com).

Polk-Husted Directory Co.’s, San Jose City and Santa Clara, 1913-14, p. 470. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

D. Joseph Adams Trade Card, Manhattan, NY

Trade card, Yorkville, Manhattan, New York. Circa 1884 – 1895.

Price:  $10.00            Size:  3 and 1/4 x 5 and 13/16″

Here’s a beauty, there’s something about seashells….Washed up on the shore, with some seashore-type plants surrounding it, is a large half-shell with the proprietor’s info stamped inside, and a ship and lighthouse scene happening in the distance.

“D. Joseph Adams, House Furnisher of Yorkville, Hardware, Ranges, etc. 1518 Third Ave., Bet. 85th and 86th Sts.”

Unless you know the neighborhood, or Manhattan in general, you might (like me) have thought that Yorkville was a furniture brand or a popular china pattern. But D. J. Adams was saying that he was furnishing homes in Yorkville, the Upper East Side, Manhattan, NY neighborhood.  And this would have been in 1884 – ’85, according to the only city directory, or record of any kind, found for Mr. Adams. His home was nearby at 1434 Lexington Avenue.

Source:  Trow City Directory Company’s The New York City Directory, 1884-85. p. 23. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

W. L. S. A. Choice Groceries

W L S A Choice Groceries tc1

A dream of spring?

Here’s an unusual trade card for a couple of reasons:  the design – a spring scene of two ladies bundled up for the weather, one holding a tree branch that is budding with red flowers; she seems to be offering it to a seated gentleman, he even more bundled up in overcoat, hat and fur collar (really is this a woman or man?) On his lap he holds a basket with a goose (ready to be cooked for dinner). The tableau takes place inside a large shell, a crescent moon appears in the sky and a couple of rustic houses in the background. The shell is nestled atop a low-growing bush, not yet leafed out for spring, and there are a few birds lost in their own world, hunting for food, one in a branch and the other two at the base of the bush. The colors showing the iridescence of the shell are beautiful:  pink, yellow, orange, a little blue and purple. Wow, all in all, is this an artist’s daydream of spring? The fowl certainly is appropriate for the business the card was advertising, though. Which leads us to the second unusual thing about this card:  The W. L. S. A. grocery at 26 Market Square in Lynn, Mass was not located in online records. There are a couple of other trade cards for this business presently for sale online, but like ours, nothing shows on the back. And the lithographer name does not appear on any of the cards.

One hundred ninety-something grocers…

This card’s date is given a broad range of 1880s to 1890s, just a typical estimate for a trade card. In searching for the 26 Market Sq. address, nothing came up related to groceries. In the year 1895 (just a random year in the general time frame) there were almost 200 persons or businesses listed under the heading of Grocers. That seemed like a lot at first but maybe not, as the population five years later was over 68 thousand. In any case, one gets the impression that the grocery business for many, might have been short-lived. It would seem this was likely the case for the W. L. S. A., unless it was just the name that was short-term.

Trade card for the W. L. S. A. grocery, Lynn, Massachusetts. Publisher unknown. No. 2500. Circa 1880s – 1890s.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Sampson, Murdock & Co.’s The Lynn Directory, 1895, Vol. XXX. pp. 715 – 716. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Timeline of Lynn, Massachusetts. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Lynn,_Massachusetts. (accessed March 2, 2016).

Sincere Birthday Wishes

Sincere Birthday Wishes pc1Sincere Birthday Wishes pc2

Divided back, embossed, unused with writing postcard. Printed in Germany. Publisher:  Samson Brothers. Series 7073. Year dated by sender:  1914.

Price:  $7.00

Beautiful German-printed postcard showing “Sincere Birthday Wishes” with conch shell containing red roses and forget-me-nots, and they appear to be in process of washing up on shore. On the back of the card is written,  “To Mamma From Luella 1914.”