Rev. Anthony C. Stuhlmann and Friends, 1918

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked May 21, 1918 from Arkansaw, Wisconsin. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $6.00

Addressed to:   “Rev. Father A. C. Stuhlmann, Catasauqua (Pa.) St. Mary’s Rectory”

The handwriting is hard to decipher without knowing German, but it starts off,  “Arkansaw May 12 1918….” 

We’re presuming the gentleman in the priest’s raiment (dark suit, white collar, to our right of the tree) to be the addressee. The card may have been sent by William (nearest relative, maybe a brother) from the record below. (Wilhelm from the sender’s signature?) And we’re presuming this photo was taken in either Catasaqua, PA or Arkansaw, WI, when one had gone to visit the other. In either case, it’s a pretty happy group, and the Reverend has raised his glass (are those beer mugs in the shot?) so, it seems like they were all celebrating something, or maybe just the happy event of getting together. But what was the ladder for?

Anthony Christian Stuhlmann, from the WWI draft registration, was born September 17,  1879 in Germany. His occupation was Catholic priest, and home address 122 Union St., Catasaugua, Pennsylvania. Nearest relative, William Stuhlmann of Arkansaw, Pepin County, Wisconsin.

Sources:  Roth & Weaber’s Directory of the City of Allentown, Comprising Allentown, Rittersville, South Allentown. Also Directory of Catasauqua and Lehigh County, 1916. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Lehigh; Roll: 1893745; Draft Board: 1. September 12, 1918. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

Couple On Steps

Real Photo Postcard. Unused. VELOX stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $4.00

A moment in time, somewhere in rural America…..

According to the particular VELOX stamp box on the reverse, this would have been taken around 1907 to 1917. The building the steps lead up to is not a house, but maybe rather a grange hall, a train depot, a hotel. Note the metal screening on the windows, and the possibility of various small signs (enlarge the image twice – see the nails?) that had once been posted to our left of the doorway. But, I was drawn to this postcard from my impression of two people, caught in a great, candid moment of laughter – the woman seems to be, doubled over would be overstating it, but how do you describe, when someone says something unexpected, maybe ridiculous, and you have that reaction, turning off to the side in mirth, a little bent at the waist? The gentleman’s pose is in wonderful contrast, with arms folded, looking into the camera. In close up view, we can’t really tell if he’s laughing, but we’re taking in the working clothes, the heavy gloves, the dried mud on his boots (he’s probably listed as a farmer on the 1900 and 1910 census), and of course, the metal bucket to his right.

Zola I. Proudfit, April 1916

Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. April 1916. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $12.00

“Miss Zola Proudfit, 8 years 4 months, Taking in April 23, 1916.”

A cute moment:  Zola posing on her front porch step, (assuming she was at home) in a white lace dress with a scalloped hem, dark tights and black shoes (they look new). The home is wood-framed and sided, with a wooden sidewalk leading up to it. There may have been electrical wires nearby, note the pattern of the two parallel lines, which must be shadows, appearing on the eave.

Zola, an Oregon native, is the daughter of Fred Proudfit and Rose Fitzgerald. She married California native, Robert Blake Galbraith, on November 25, 1926 in Oakland, California. At the time of their marriage, Zola was a telephone operator, and Robert a locomotive fireman. His parents are Joseph Galbraith and Elizabeth Blake.

Source:  Marriage records, select counties and years. California State Archives, Sacramento, California. (Ancestry.com).

Grandpa McInnes

Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $5.00

A beautiful photo-turned-postcard of a handsome guy in profile, with white beard, in suspenders, one hand resting on hip, the other holding his straw hat and with what we might think of as the “old homestead” in the immediate background. The only identification is written on the back as,  “Grandpa McInnes.”  The stamp box is an AZO, two triangles up and two down, which is estimated anywhere between 1910 and 1930, per Playle’s. See https://www.playle.com/realphoto/photoa.php.

Irene Francis Zink and Virgil Emerson Zink

Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. 1922.

Price:  $12.00

Continuing on with a kid theme before we get to some Christmas posts…..Here’s one very nicely identified as:

“Joel Cox’s grandchildren Irene Francis Zink age 3 1/2 yrs. and Virgil Emerson Zink age 11 wk.”

Per the Find A Grave entries Irene was born May 4, 1919 and Virgil March 31, 1922. Both are natives of Kansas. Parents are Virgil E. Zink and Lena M. Cox. The ages given on the back of the postcard appear to be a little off, according to their birth dates, but this photo must have been taken in 1922. And if you enlarge the image (I was admiring Irene’s dress and the crochet work for both dresses) you’ll notice that Virgil’s eyes were “enhanced” a little. This was done by the photographer at some point during the photo processing.

Sources:  Find A Grave. Virgil Emerson “Bud” Zink, Jr. Find A Grave i.d. number 106961463. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

Find A Grave. Irene Zink Pound. Find A Grave i.d. number 96094840. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

The Dock At Patchogue, Long Island

Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked July 23, 1914, Patchogue, New York. Publisher:  H. O. Korten. Panel Card No. 174. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $8.00            Size:  About 6 and 1/8 x 2 and 1/2″

A lovely RPPC, though a big chunk of the right-hand upper corner is missing. It might be relevant for anyone interested in the history of Patchogue, and definitely so if their ancestor owned a sailboat christened Nancy Hanks.

What degree of separation….mother, horse, sailboat…?

One naturally assumes the boat may have been named after a then present-day (1914) person, maybe a relative of someone who lived in Patchogue. So, we went to census records for Nancy Hanks, but found nothing; then went to historical newspapers and found a reference to someone running off at “a Nancy Hanks trot.”  Intriguing…..Ahhhh, a little further searching revealed that Nancy Hanks (named after Abe Lincoln’s mother) was a Standardbred trotting mare, a record-breaker that was later inducted into the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame.

The trotter Nancy Hanks circa 1892, photo by Schreiber.

As for the card’s sender and recipient…..

Addressed to:   “Miss Elsie Blum, 481 E – 11th st., Brooklyn, N.Y.”

The sender wrote:   “Dear Ones, just got mother’s letter & will write soon. Wieder[?] is very very happy with you. Love & a big kiss. Tanta Lahy.”

The Blum family were of German origin, and maybe “Tanta” is a nickname for tante (aunt). It sounds like the sender’s son received a gift from Elsie and was thrilled with whatever it was. As for the addressee, there’s an Elsie Blum on the 1910 Federal Census that might fit for the addressee of this card. Born in Ohio about 1890, parents Adam and Elsie, address 812 Cortelyou Road in Brooklyn, with a near cross street being E. 7th. Nothing coming up for the address on the postcard in city directories at either 481 11th (apt. E) or 481 E. 11th, which is surprising. But it is an address today, if the numbering is the still the same, 481 11th St., a condo, and so beautiful on the inside! ( If Elsie could see it now!)

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Brooklyn Ward 29, Kings, New York; Roll: T624_983; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 1023; FHL microfilm: 1374996. (Ancestry.com).

Nancy Hanks (horse). n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Hanks_(horse). Accessed September 15, 2019.

Boyd Roland Gibbs, 4th Field Artillery, Battery B

Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1916 – 1919. Arax Photo Studios. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

“Mr. Boyd Roland Gibbs. 4th Field Artillery. Battery B. Atlanta, Georgia.”

Hey, well I fibbed 😉 evidently in the last post. Thought I had no military, but found this one. And a great one it is. Full name, artillery and location on the back for this handsome guy in WWI army uniform. Someone’s current great or great-great uncle today. Boyd Gibbs was born in South Carolina in 1898, son of James Patrick Gibbs and Leila Ida (Prince) Gibbs. U.S. Army transport records 1918 – 1919 list Boyd’s rank as wagoner.

Sources:  Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 27 May 2019), memorial page for Boyd Roland Gibbs (May 1898–13 Nov 1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 143151272, citing First Baptist Church of North Spartanburg Cemetery, Spartanburg, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Margaret (contributor 46516145).

The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 440. (Ancestry.com).

“The Duties of the U.S. Army Wagoner.” (http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~gregkrenzelok/genealogy/veterinary%20corp%20in%20ww1/wagonerduties.html) Accessed May 27, 2019.

Mrs. Alvidsen At 11,660 Feet

Real Photo Postcard, circa 1900 – 1910

Price:  $15.00         Size:  3 and 3/16 x 5 and 3/8″

Somewhere on the planet, at 11,660 feet…..

The location for this one is a mystery. The writing on the back is  “Mrs. Avildsen at [?] 11660 feet El.”  Looks to me like that word there starts with a “C.” After some research, the best possibility found is that of Monte Cervino, aka the Matterhorn, so maybe from the Italian side of the mountain at 11,600 feet which is about 3,535 meters. That’s an ice field behind our smiling subject. Is she holding flowers?

Postcard publisher unknown, so far

The postcard publisher or printer is another mystery. I’m not seeing this particular style of Real Photo Postcard back on any other site or in Walter Corson’s Publisher’s Trademarks Identified. Also, the size is a little smaller that the average RPPC (and the bottom doesn’t seem to have been cropped). If the card was produced in the U.S. the postal regulations didn’t allow for the divided back until December 1907, though it could still be earlier if printed from another country.

Climbing the Alps in the Victorian Era

Eleven hundred plus feet is quite high, higher than the highest city in the U.S., which is that of Leadville, Colorado (elevation 10,152 feet or 3,094 meters, nicknames The Two-Mile-High City and Cloud City). And, if this was Mount Cervino, there would not have been an inn at that elevation. So, it’s not as if our lady mountaineer walked out of her hotel and up a slope and posed for the picture. Newspaper articles are numerous on early climbing, and mention employing guides and going part way by pack-mules or horses. In searching Newspapers.com for Mount Cervino, and getting a little side-tracked from women climbers, I came across a wonderful article about a guy, in need of guide, as on that particular day there was a shortage, and so the man hired someone who turned out to be a smuggler. (Imagine the endless possibilities of caching goods in the mountains). Here are four excerpts from “A Strange Guide,” clipped from The Ogden Standard (Ogden, UT) and translated from Italian.  (Not sure where Fiery was but here’s a link for Valtournenche, Italy.)

The smuggler/guide was saying he can’t afford to lose time. He asks the “guide-ee” for help searching for the missing relative, and it’s gladly given. I’m sorry to say that the story does not have a happy ending. The missing relative had stopped to rest in the heavy fog and “fallen asleep” in the cold never to awaken. The two searchers discovered that the man’s body had just been brought in that evening when they got back to the inn at Fiery. And we don’t usually put up the sad stuff here on LCG, but the article was touching – the way that the “guide-ee” changes his first negative impression of the guide, becoming, one would think, forever bonded with him through the shared experience of searching for that lost loved one.

Below, from another beautifully written account, this one from 1880, three excerpts clipped from The Standard (London, England) entitled, “Gossip From The Alps (From A Climbing Correspondent.)”  By coincidence, both articles are from newspapers called the Standard, one in Utah and the other London, UK. And, it always floors me, hitting upon a hitherto unknown subject, like for me the history of mountaineering, that very first glimpse into what would be an enormous vista of knowledge, that others have already been “living in”, so to speak, like in a living landscape of knowledge…..feels like coming to a party way late and getting a smidgen of a glimpse of everything you’ve been missing.

Gossip from the Alps, September 1880

And on the subject of women climbers!

Well, that’s enough historical articles for now, as this post has really gotten long, though of course, the Alvidsen name was searched for but nothing came up in newspapers, so we’ll just include links to a couple of excellent web articles on the history of women in mountaineering, for some great photos and insight. Just imagine climbing in a long skirt like the one Mrs. Alvildsen is wearing, and then that hat, at eleven and a half thousand feet, seemingly so incongruous from our 2019 vantage point. (Though a hat with a wide brim would have been a very good thing in the high altitude sun.) And how about the rest of what the early women climbers were up against, not just the clothing challenge, but in general, going against (or around) society’s code, to pursue their passion…..I especially love the part about Lucy Walker ditching her petticoat and stashing it behind a rock!

One of the First Female Alpinists Was A Victorian Lady

For the Lady Mountaineer

Sources:  Leadville, Colorado. n.d. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadville,_Colorado (accessed April 7, 2019).

Valtournenche. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valtournenche (accessed April 7, 2019).

“A Strange Guide.”  The Ogden Standard (Ogden, UT). April 2, 1892. Saturday, p. 3. Translated by Antonio Meli from the Italian by G. Giacosa for Boston Transcript. (Newspapers.com).

“Gossip From The Alps (From A Climbing Correspondent.)” The Standard (London, England). September 24, 1880. Friday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

Siber, Kate. “One of the First Female Alpinists Was A Victorian Lady.” outsideonline.com. July 31, 2018. (accessed April 7, 2019).

“For the Lady Mountaineer.” americanalpineclub.org. March 1, 2018. (accessed April 7, 2019).

For Nora From Jessie

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Unused, circa 1910s.

Price:  $4.00

“Dear Nora. This was taken when I was at home. They aren’t very good but will send them any way, what did you do with you Kodack, don’t you take any more. Jessie”

Sounds like Jessie had more postcards or photos that she had sent to Nora, and funny, but oftentimes we see the sender leaving off question marks in their message. In this case, Nora was asking what Jessie had done with her Kodak camera, isn’t she taking any more photos? No last name or location for this image, but it’s so charming. Wintertime or maybe early spring on the farm:  Posing for the shot, three beautiful children, and a handsome young man, (who looks to be about sixteen, I thought, but click to enlarge, and you’ll notice it looks like he wears a wedding ring.)  I love it when everyone in a photo is looking in different directions.

Feat Of The 20th Century

Divided back, used Real Photo Postcard. Velox stamp box. 1909.

Price:  $12.00

A young gentleman in a suit jacket, button down sweater and derby hat displays his sense of humor. The letters “L” and “S” on the soles of his shoes are maybe his initials, and the 09 is likely for the year 1909. And it’s the way the shot was taken that makes his shoes appear so large. This would be a great card to include in a book on humor in postcards or something similar, especially because it was “homemade” so to speak. That is, an original idea, produced with instructions for the printing company. The blacked-out part was probably to cover the rest of the photo, which whatever it showed, must have detracted from the overall effect; if you click to enlarge you can see a little bit of the brown background at the bottom of the heavy black stripe in a couple of places.