Street Scene With Zacatecas Cathedral

Zacatecas Cathedral pc1Zacatecas Cathedral pc2

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Publisher:  Kodak Mexicana, Ltd. Circa 1930s.

Price:  $15.00

In Spanish the cathedral is Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Zacatecas.

Street scene circa 1930s in Zacatecas, capital city of Zacatecas, Mexico. The Zacatecas Cathedral shows in the background. This cathedral is considered to be one of the greatest examples of the Churrigueresque (Spanish Baroque) style of architecture. The facade of the cathedral best shows the baroque style and obviously cannot be seen in this postcard but is absolutely incredible. The cathedral was built between around 1729 and 1753 (dates vary somewhat), and dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption.

The old automobile in the foreground is so cool, but to find the make, model and year requires more research. It looks like that might be the nomenclature appearing in the area between the headlights but it’s hard to read. Other cars seen in the background look like they might be somewhat newer…..

Mystery solved!

Thanks to the expertise on the members’ Forum at the Antique Automobile Club of America, the car has been identified as a 1930 American Austin. There was some question as to whether specifically it might be an Austin Bantam, and in researching the Bantam I had found this informative article on the Austin in general (and Bantam):  The Austin Comes to America – Part 1 of the American Austin Bantam Story. However, I’ve been assured by a couple of Forum members that it is not a Bantam.

A Photo Shop

We can also see that the name on the sign in the photo is Foto Santibañez. I’m not sure if there is a word in the middle, but anyway, it seems like this was a photo shop owned by someone by the last name of Santibañez. On the 1930 Mexican National Census taken in Zacatecas, there is an entry transcribed as:   MA de Jesus Santibañez. I believe the “MA” is a common abbreviation for Maria. She is listed as married, age 40, and occupation appears to be Fotógrafa (photographer) so it’s a very good bet that Maria de Jesus Santibañez was the owner of the shop that appears in this photo. I like how the camera caught someone just as they were leaving.

Sources:  Zacatecas, Zacatecas. n.d.,_Zacatecas (accessed October 25, 2013).

Zacatecas Cathedral. n.d. (accessed January 14, 2018).

AACA General Discussion. January 2018. Antique Automobile Club of America.

Cunningham, Robert D. “The Austin Comes to America – Part 1 of the American Austin Bantam Story.” The Old Motor, May 23, 2013. (Web accessed January 14, 2018.)

Year: 1930; Census Place: Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Zacatecas; FHL Number: 1520555; Page: 1. FamilySearch, comp. 1930 Mexico National Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Index and images provided by FamilySearch. Original data: FamilySearch, compiler. Mexico Census 1930. Salt Lake City, UT: FamilySearch, 2009. México. Dirección General de Estadística. “Censo de población,1930.” FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lunch Break

Lunch Break pc1Lunch Break pc2

A group of 16 guys who appear to be taking a work break. Location and type of work they were doing is unknown. You can see the lunch boxes of many of the men. There are plenty of examples online of old metal lunch boxes. The type seen in this photo show up under headings for coal miners and railroad workers. You can see that a couple of the men have cigars and a couple of them have pipes. Were they farm workers, county workers, surveyors, ranch hands, railroad workers, coal-miners that got cleaned up for the photo (this seems like a stretch)…? Notice the heavy gloves the guy on the far left is wearing. All are dressed in work clothes except for the guy at the back in the bow-tie. Maybe he was the boss? Too bad the sign in the back is unreadable, as that would have surely given us some clues.

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

Price:  $10.00

Entrance to the Roebling Suspension Bridge, Covington, Kentucky

Entrance to Suspension Bridge

This photo has a glossy finish to it, and is not on very heavy paper. It seems like it was possibly cut out of a magazine or book. The coloring is great. And if we could only rotate the photo sideways like in a satellite view, we could read the advertising on the wall on the left, for clues. But the green and black sign looks like it says “Nuts” and underneath that the word on the left looks like “Milk” but really, who knows? The location is a mystery!  Perhaps that is Earle W. standing on the far right, and he signed the photo (just joking), but really, it is interesting that there is a name at the bottom. Who was Earle W. and why was this photo significant for him? …Looking at the photo with a magnifying glass, it looks like that might be the number 44 appearing twice on the streetcar, on the left and the right in the bright green area….

With a little more searching (photos of suspension bridges) it became apparent that, of course, this is an old (hand-colored?) photo of the entrance to the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, that spans the Ohio River, between Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. This photo would have been taken from the Kentucky side. I couldn’t resist leaving the above paragraph the way it is, as it was great fun to solve the mystery, and learn more about the bridge. At the time it was constructed, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, and was first crossed by pedestrians on December 1, 1866. A Wikipedia entry states that over 166,000 people crossed the bridge in the first two days it was open to foot traffic. After some finishing touches it was opened officially January 1, 1867. The bridge was at first just known locally as “The Suspension Bridge” then as “The Covington and Cincinnati Bridge” until 1984 when the name was changed to honor it’s designer. John A. Roebling was also the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge. Finding out the location and name of this bridge was exciting for another reason:  This would have been the very bridge that John Voss crossed to court his future-bride Louisa Moormann (This blog author’s great-grandparents.) John was from Covington and Louisa from Cincinnati, and they married in Cincinnati in 1880.

More mystery solving:  After looking again at the advertisement on the left in this photo, having searched under milk companies and dairies in Covington to no avail, it became apparent that the first word really didn’t look like “Nuts” but more like “Hoits.” Some more online searching and then “Eureka!” This was an advertisement for playwright Charles H. Hoyt’s musical comedy  “A Milk White Flag.”  The flag-shaped design in the advertisement is the clincher. This comedy was either written or first produced in, most sources say 1894, so this photo would have been taken in 1894 or sometime afterward,  maybe up until around the turn of the century, judging by the clothes of the people in the photo.

As to the streetcar in the photo, this would have been part of the South Covington and Cincinnati Railway Company, commonly known as the “Green Line” because of the color of the cars. So, it seems that the coloring of the streetcar in this photo was not just done arbitrarily. According to author Tom Dunham from his book Covington, Kentucky, A Historical Guide, the horse-drawn trolleys for the Green Line, gave way to the electric in 1890.

Size:  About 5 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Price:  $20.00

Sources and further reading:

The A to Z of American Theatre:  Modernism by James Fisher and Felicia Hardison Londré. 2008. Scarecrow Press, Inc.

Covington, Kentucky. A Historical Guide by Tom Dunham. Published by Author House, Bloomington, Indiana, 2007. Ref. appears on page 65.

The Rickel Girls in 1898

Rickel Girls1Rickel Girls2

Initially, the back of this card must have only contained the name Harry Rickel, written in pencil. Later, someone (thank goodness!) identified these three pretty young ladies as Pearl, Cora and Charlotte Rickel, year 1898. All four (siblings) are found on the 1900 Federal Census, living in Stromsburg, Nebraska. The family is as follows:  Parents Wm. (appears to be Wm. which would be for William) Rickel, born about September 1858, Indiana; Emma, born about March 1857, Ohio. Their children:  Pearle, born about August 1882, Indiana; Lottie, (Charlotte) born about January 1885, Nebraska; Cora, born about September 1887, state difficult to read, maybe Colorado or Nebraska; Ottoe, born about February 1891, Nebraska; Harry, born about November 1892, Nebraska; Wilfred, born about August 1894, Nebraska. It is curious to note that on this census, Emma is listed as head of household, her entry is above her husband, William’s. As William’s occupation is listed as carpenter, and Emma’s entry does not show an occupation, this reverse of the common order for the husband as head of household might just have been an error on the part of the census taker.

According to the ages of the girls from the 1900 census, that is Cora in the back, about 11 years old; possibly Pearl on the left, about 16, and Charlotte on the right, age about 13. Then at some point the photo was given to their brother, Harry.

Size:  3 and 7/8 x 2 and 7/8″ including white border. Photo is attached to heavy cardboard.

Source:  Year: 1900; Census Place: Stromsburg, Polk, Nebraska; Roll: 937; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0101; FHL microfilm: 1240937. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

Isaac Sevier Calling Card

Isaac Sevier cc

Calling card, circa 1880s – 1900

Price:  $7.00         Size:  About 2 x 3 and 1/2″

Calling card for Isaac Sevier. A little beat-up looking, with glue marks on the back. It was probably taken as carefully as possible from the scrap book page or whatever it was attached to. There’s a slight tear in the card, not too noticeable. It would be wonderful to find a card that had been used by your ancestor or even distant relative, no matter what shape it’s in, however a quick search online shows quite a number of Isaac Seviers in the United States. None are coming up in a quick search under Canada. The flower with bow on a gentleman’s card might seem surprising, but according to the Victorian Rituals website, a floral design was used by both men and women. Check out the detailed work around the capital letters – it’s really nice.


Butterfly Woman

Butterfly Woman

Victorian-Era card   

Price:  $10.00          Size:  About 4 and 1/2 x 2 and 7/8″ 

An unusual, really cool, antique print of a woman’s head on a butterfly’s body. She wears a green bow around her neck. What would her companions in the background look like if we could see them up-close?

Roses In Winter

Roses In Winter

Beautiful old card showing roses in the foreground, halfway bordering a cozy winter scene of a house and surrounding buildings topped with snow. Note the inviting path leading through the open gate to the house, how the color in the yellow rose blends into the sky, and the wonderful outer scroll work white-on-white design, reminding one of the different shades of white in winter. The back of the card is plain but shows some old glue marks, indicating someone else had loved this card, too. Perhaps it had been saved in a scrap book.

Embossed, about 4 and 1/4 x 6″

Dark-Haired Beauty

Dark Haired Beauty pcDark Haired Beauty pc2

Beautiful young woman in a nice oval-style photo. Sources vary somewhat for the date of this particular CYKO stamp box design. The broad range for dates indicates it was used from about 1904 through the 1920’s. CYKO was the trademark used for the photographic paper that was manufactured by the Ansco Company. Ansco was based out of Binghamton, New York, and the name was derived from combining the last names of Anthony and Scovill. For a detailed history of Ansco see the website listed in the source below.

Real Photo Postcard, divided back, unused. Circa 1907 – 1920s.

Price:  $10.00



Bentzen Family

 London S. W. – The Houses of Parliament

Another Bentzen pc1 Another Bentzen pc2

This London street scene card was sent to Mrs. Augusta Bentzen, wife of Hjalmar Bentzen. They appear on the 1920 Federal Census with daughter Eleanor, who’s name you notice under the address. The 1920 shows the Bentzens as living at 1445 Shrader St., San Francisco, CA. Hjalmar is a bakery manager, born Denmark about 1873, his wife Augusta born Denmark, about 1879, and daughter Eleanor born Denmark, about 1904. The family emigrated to the U.S. around 1905 or ’06. This card was sent from Augusta’s uncle, and is written in Danish. His name appears to start with the letter K. The Bentzens were living at 1 Vicksburg St. in San Francisco at the time this card was sent, which was October 1907. The message is a little hard to read but is something like:

“Kære Gusta, Kuns disse kort for at forbere de dig at jeg vil sende dig et Brev jeg troer ikke sky[?] edin[?] er min du du sagve[?] i det sidste[?] Brev du fly[?] første[?]. Din Onkel, K..?..”

The gist of the first part below is, I hope, fairly correct. The second half of the message is harder to read and translate. Various words here and there are clear but too many unknown words could change the meaning, so my best translation so far is:

“Dear Gusta. Only sending these cards to let you know that I will send you a letter. I do not believe …?………Your Uncle [starts with a K?]”

Japanese Ladies Walking With Candles

Japanese pc1    Japanese pc2

The “Japanese Ladies” card is sent to Ch. Bentzen. 1445 Schrader St., San Francisco. Ch. likely stands for Charles, and he is probably the son of Hjalmar and Augusta, and older brother of Eleanor. The message from the sender is:

“With the best wishes for a merry christmas and happy new year. Sincerely yours, Frodi Sinding. 2460 Clay Str., S.F.”

According to his WWI Draft Registration Card, then sender, Frode Sinding was born in Denmark, October 15, 1873, so he would have been age 43 when he sent these holiday wishes. The draft reg card shows occupation as Porter at Lane Hospital in San Francisco, and his permanent address as 2403 Clay St., S.F.

The addressee, Ch. Bentzen was likely the Charles Bentzen who appears on the 1930 Federal Census taken in San Francisco. He is there with his wife Mary E., who was born in California, about 1895. This Charles Bentzen was born in Denmark, about 1893, working as a milkman. His wife Mary is listed as the owner of some type of company, the writing there is hard to read. The Shrader St. address and the daughter’s name on the one card were big keys in tying these two postcards together.

For more about each postcard see this website’s posts under their individual titles of:  London S. W. – The Houses of Parliament and Japanese Ladies Walking With Candles.

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 27, San Francisco, California; Roll: T625_142; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 340; Image: 701. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.

Registration State: California; Registration County: San Francisco; Roll: 1544245; Draft Board: 11. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

Year: 1930; Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Roll: 197; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 82; Image: 724.0; FHL microfilm: 2339932. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.