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.

Merry Xmas From 2305 Oahu Ave

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked December 15, 1937, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Price:  $15.00

“Dear Mrs. Fisher: Our recent visit is still like a dream – it doesn’t seem possible that we were over there & had such a grand time. We’re going to miss the snow again this Xmas. All we have is a good rain. Merry Xmas & a very Happy New Year to you, Kirk & Rea. We still hope some day you can visit us here. Do try. Much love, from Nita, Nils and Shirley Ann.”

Addressed to: “Mrs. Mae E. Fisher, 803 Kingsley St., Ann Arbor, Michigan.”This postcard is the perfect segue from our last post, set in Honolulu, to welcome our Christmas offerings for this year. And from an internet search, it appears this home, sadly, no longer exists. But it was a beauty, cozily nestled between two grand, I’m thinking oaks, but no idea really, and a beautiful big evergreen. Don’t you love the striped effect on the curb, and is there a sidewalk in there somewhere? Anyway, the family living here at this time is attorney Cyrus Nils Tavares, born in Hawaii about 1904, his wife Unita (Gillet) Tavares, born in Michigan about 1908, and their daughter Shirley Ann, born in Hawaii about 1928. The recipient of the postcard is Mae E. Fisher, widow on the 1940 Federal Census, born in Michigan, about 1873, her son Kirkland, born in Ohio, about 1905, and Kirk’s wife Rhea, born in Michigan, about 1908.

Sources:  Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and HealthStatistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 223; Film Description: Washtenaw (1927 – 1933).
Year: 1940; Census Place: Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Michigan; Roll: m-t0627-01823; Page: 19B; Enumeration District: 81-25.
Year: 1940; Census Place: Honolulu, Honolulu, Hawaii; Roll: m-t0627-04585; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 2-43.

St. Mary’s Church, Hogsthorpe

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1930s – 1950s. Publisher:  A. E. Wrate, Lumley Rd., P. O. Skegness.

Price:  $10.00

A commercial-type Real Photo Postcard, that would have been a good one to use for Halloween, but just to continue with a couple more from England before moving on to Veteran’s Day….and we’re guessing on the date, maybe from the 1930s through 1950s. Note the blurriness around the outer edges of the photo (for some reason). We’re guessing that A. E. Wrate is Alfred Ernest Wrate, born in 1916, son of Alfred Wrate and Amelia Elizabeth (Moody) Wrate, but all three family members are listed in census records as being in the photography business. Wrate’s was also known for its “walking pictures.” See Go Home on a Postcard‘s entry “Wrates – Skegness.”

St. Mary’s Church, located in Hogsthorpe, a small village of the East Lindsey district in Lincolnshire county, dates originally from the 12th century.

Sources:  Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA), 1911. (Ancestry.com).

The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/6452F.(Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007.

FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915. (Ancestry.com).

“Wrates – Skegness.”  Go Home on a Postcard. https://gohomeonapostcard.wordpress.com/companies/wrates-skegness/ (accessed November 11, 2018).

Hogsthorpe. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hogsthorpe (accessed November 11, 2018).

Dual-Pitched Hipped Roof Craftsman

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. CYKO stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1915.

Price:  $10.00

A rare roof….

We’re not house experts here at LCG, but feel pretty confident we’ve got the right i.d. for this house style:  If all four sides of the roof slope downward toward the walls, that’s the definition of hipped. We can see that the front and sides do, and are having a difficult time imagining the back not doing the same, thusly 😉 we think hipped. And dual-pitched since the roof pitch changes, pretty dramatically so, in this case. (You might be reminded of the kids’ wooden building blocks where you can top off the structure with that triangular-shaped one.) Anyway, in our go-to reference, A Field Guide to American Houses, the dual-pitched hipped roof is stated as being rare. As for the Craftsman features, one of the most easily recognizable is the unenclosed eve overhang that lets us see part of the roof rafters.

As you’ve noted, there’s no writing on the back of the card to identify the nice family in the photo, or their location. They were the proud owners, no doubt, of this home that was probably new or new-ish when the photo was taken. The time-frame is about December 1907 due to the divided back, till the mid-1910s, or so, due to the clothing style and what looks like some evidence of button-top leather shoes, which were prevalent prior to WWI.

Source:  McAlester, Virginia, and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. 1984. New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. Print.

574 Lake Ave, Manchester NH

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1907 – 1918. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

“This is my home where you will find me if you would only run down before you go back to Canada. Would love to have you come to see me Gertrude. it would not be so far from Northfield. I live up stairs and rent the down stairs tenement. This is 574 Lake Ave Manchester N. H.”

Lake Avenue at Cass Street

Happily, this house is still standing today, though there have been some changes: The shutters are gone, the trim is different, and the porches on the side have been enclosed. But the garage is still there, the beautiful front porch supports and (thank you) the front door (a double) has been kept. As for the landscaping, the three trees are gone but another tree that looks like it’s been around a good while graces the front yard. Maybe there are other photos of this house already notated for the property, at the local library or nearest historical society, but if not, or even if this photo just shows a different viewpoint, this postcard is a great find, especially if someone were wanting to restore the home to it’s original design.

As far as who wrote the card, that would be hard to say, as city directories show a number of possibilities for this approximate time period of 1907 to 1918 (it’s a divided back card so December 1907 per postal regulation changes, and thru about 1918, per the AZO stamp box, all four triangles pointing upward.) But the surnames that are showing up are:  Prescott, Bachelder, Chesley, and Healy.

Source:  Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

The 1891 House

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked October 1909. Location unknown.

Price:  $12.00

A proud date?

You won’t notice the “1891” on this house unless you click on the image. And often the details of a photo are not found until it is scanned and enlarged (mentally rubbing palms together in anticipation – you never know what coolness might be revealed). In this case I was thinking we might see someone appearing in one of the windows, but did not expect to find what may be the year the house was built, appearing stylishly displayed in big numbers in the center of the second story. (Or could the 1891 be a house number? Doubtful.)

A town ending in….

No matches were found for this beautiful structure (hope it’s still standing) in online research, but we only looked in Connecticut, and didn’t look too extensively. The postmarked town, and thus potential house location, appears to have ended in “-ington” so if it was sent from CT it would have been Ellington, Farmington, Newington, Southington, Stonington or Torrington. Someone, maybe the previous vendor of this card, was guessing Stonington, per the writing at the top.

Cousin to cousin

After reviewing 1910 census records and an Ancestry tree online, we find that most likely this RPPC was sent from Helen Ashley who was the cousin of the recipient, Master Alfred Winsor of Plainfield, Connecticut. Helen, or maybe her mother, wrote:

“We are having a fine time, hope you are better, from Helen A.”

The cousins would have been about 9 years old at this time. Helen is the daughter of Alfred D. Ashley and Alice Lewis, and Alfred is Alfred Ashley Winsor, son of Edward N. Winsor and Susan F. Ashley.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Plainfield, Windham, Connecticut; Roll: T624_144; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 0578; FHL microfilm: 1374157. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Plainfield, Windham, Connecticut; Roll: T624_144; Page: 27B; Enumeration District: 0578; FHL microfilm: 1374157. (Ancestry.com).

Roy Morrow And Family, Circa 1910s

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, circa 1907 – 1910s. CYKO stamp box.

Price:  $8.00

“With respect from Roy Morrow.  To James Gilmore, South Heights Pa.”

A nice family photo, we assume, of the Morrow Family, location unknown, maybe Pennsylvania or the neighboring Ohio.

House style I.D.

This wood structure home is in the Folk style called National, specifically known as an I-house, which was two rooms wide and one room deep. In this case a front porch was added on directly in the center. Note the detailing on the porch brackets. Also of note, the hand-hewn planks for the fence portion on our left. And, on the roof, there is what might be one long, horizontal snow break, unless maybe it was designed for footing, if someone was up on the roof making repairs.

Source:  McAlester, Virginia, and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. 1984. New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. Print.