Everybody Happy

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Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked June 15, 1908 from New Haven Connecticut. Publisher:  Bamforth & Co., Holmfirth, England and New York. Printed in England. Series 1092. Copyright 1908 by Bamforth & Co.

Price:  $15.00

This card is along the lines of the prior post, with that early 1900s sense of humor, and the chalk painting type of colors, a little muted, not showing very great detail. In this one four pals have had a rip-roaring night on the town and are staggering arm-in-arm down the street in the early morning hours, quite drunk.

This is technically a divided back postcard since the card was printed in England in 1908. Postal regulations allowed the divided back in 1902 in England and 1907 in the U.S. (March 1, 1907.) I think the fact that it hadn’t been too long since the change, plus the subtlety of the dividing line of the postcard back header, accounts for Ida, the sender, having treated this as an undivided type. This publisher’s header is beautiful and one of the more distinctive. I wonder if it reminds anyone else of a cat with those “kitty ears.” Bamforth & Co. was started by James Bamforth in 1870 in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, who started out as a portrait photographer, moved to making lantern slides which led to making silent films. Much has already been written about the company and is easily found online. According to a Wiki entry Bamforth & Co Ltd. starting making “illustrated ‘saucy’ seaside postcards” in 1910, so this 1908 postcard might have been one of their earlier ones.

The sender wrote:

“Hello kids. Why don’t you write. Business is OK. We are kept very busy of late now that the hot weather has begun. Ice cream sodas are going better than half off[?] We are at home. Love to all. Ida….Hows Ma & Pa ..?…our love[?]….The boys are anxiously waiting for your girls arrival. They are going to meet you all with a brass band.”

Card addressed to:  “Miss Fannie Halpin. 378 W. 35th St., New York City, NY.”

Fannie Halpin was born in New York and is the daughter of Meyer and Rebecca Halpin, who were both born in Russia and spoke Yiddish. She is on the 1910 Federal Census for Manhattan at the same address as the postcard, with her parents and siblings. She had older brothers Harry and Nathan, a younger brother Max, and a younger sister, Susie. Apparently the family had changed it’s name to Halperin some time between the 1908 postcard date and the 1910 census. They show up on the 1905 New York State census (Fannie was working as a bookkeeper) living a block over on 36th St. and under the name Halpin. Meyer Halpin/Halperin owned his own furniture store. By 1920 the family has moved to New Haven, Connecticut. The 1920 census shows Meyer and wife Rebecca, Nat and Matthew (Max had changed his name to Matthew); living next door is Fannie, who is now Fannie Corr, widowed, and with a 3-year old daughter Phylis (born in Connecticut.) The 1940 census shows Fannie and Phyllis Corr, and living next door is Fannie’s brother Matthew I. Halperin, and his wife, June. Fannie by this time is a secretary at an orphanage, and Phyllis is a public school teacher.

Sources:  New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 11 E.D. 18; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 27. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1910; Census Place: Manhattan Ward 20, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1044; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 1210; FHL microfilm: 1375057. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1920; Census Place: New Haven Ward 9, New Haven, Connecticut; Roll: T625_191; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 369; Image: 522. (Ancestry.com)

“United States Census, 1940,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KW9M-3LJ : accessed 29 Jun 2014), Phyllis J Corr in household of Fanny H Corr, Ward 16, New Haven, New Haven Town, New Haven, Connecticut, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 11-101, sheet 17B, family 485, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 541.


Two Queens Beat Two Jacks

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Kind of funny postcard showing two women giving a couple of guys “what for” with the play on words caption  “Two Queens Beat Two Jacks.”  The scene takes place on a city street corner, and the colors may remind you of a chalk painting.

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Samson Brothers. Series 12C. Made in the U.S.A. Circa 1909- 1919.

Price:  $5.00

Boat And Roses Birthday Greetings

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Divided back, unused, embossed postcard. Printed in Germany. Circa 1907 – 1914.

Price:  $10.00

Gorgeous postcard printed in Germany primarily in pink and green, showing a scene of a person in a small skiff or rowboat with a couple of cottage type buildings showing at the point of the land in the background. The scene is surrounded by embossed roses in pink and orange, with a contrast of some type of smaller purple flowers at the top right. The caption shows  “Birthday Greetings”. This is just one of the many examples of the beautiful colors in the older German-printed cards.

Me And Sport

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Divided back, used Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked July 24, 1920-something? Circa 1920s. Kruxo stamp box.

Price:  $6.00

Real Photo Postcard with caption  “Me And Sport”  of a little girl, maybe about ten years old, posing for the camera with her dog. The dog appears to have been caught in the middle of a bark (!) and looks to be some type of short-haired hunting dog. Sport is seated and the is girl standing behind him; both are on some type of animal skin which has been placed over a carpet. When we turn over the card we see that it was taken out of a scrapbook or photo album; most of the black album paper covers the card, but we can make out that it was signed by Harriet, and it was sent to somewhere in Minnesota. It seems likely then that it is Harriet in the photo.

The year of the postmark is hard to read; it looks like 1920-something. This style of Kruxo stamp box is from circa 1908 – 1920s. We can see that the card was postmarked in Saint Hilaire, Minnesota, which is a city in River Falls Township, Pennington County, and located in the northwestern part of the state. Too bad we don’t have a last name for Harriet, as there are maybe three or four possibilities showing up in census records, if we presume that she lived in the River Falls Township area. We can see from the wavy appearance of the photo that the postcard may have gotten a little wet at some point, although there is no musty odor detected at all.

Schnauzer By Rivst

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Divided back, artist-signed, unused postcard. No. 103 Pinscher (Schnauzer) Publisher:  Stehli Brothers. Printed in Switzerland. Date unknown, possibly circa 1940s  – 1950s.

Price:  $12.00

Artist-signed postcard of a Schnauzer from a work by I. Rivst or J. Rivst, who is known for his (or her?) artwork of dogs and horses. The first initial of the artist’s name is in question. Other examples can be found online, and in some the first initial looks more like a “J.” The publisher logo appears in the stamp box and is for Stehli Frères (Stehli Brothers) of Zurich, Switzerland. According to the website , Stehli Brothers were printers of art books, fine prints and high quality color photogravure postcards, and known for their artist-signed cards of views and animals. (Photogravure is a process where an image is produced from a photographic negative transferred to a metal plate and then etched in.) Stehli Brothers was purchased by Rosenstiel’s in 1995. Besides the typical corner wear, this card has some small marks of discoloration on each side, and a horizontal mark towards the top.

Source:  Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City. Accessed 28 Jun 2014. [http://www.metropostcard.com/publisherss3.html]

Trimmed Garbage Pail

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Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked Chicago, Illinois, June 15, 1910. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $15.00

This is such a great one. Love it! The caption is:  “The Latest Style – Trimmed Garbage Pail.”  This postcard shows what appears to be a tinted photo of a young woman with a garbage pail for a hat, complete with large red bow and a large amount of yellow flowers. I don’t know how they did this one. Would the subject have posed like this, or would the image have been “doctored up” afterward? The face of the material for the front of the card is vertically ribbed, and is of the type that when you view it from an angle, you see the sort of “watered silk effect.” It’s very neat.

The sender wrote,  “Don’t come early tomorrow because we are all going for[?] some excercises.”  As you can see, most of the outer part of the back paper facing is gone, but it looks like maybe they were going “for” some exercise. And we don’t know if there was a signature, originally.

The card is addressed to  “Miss E. L. Brownell. 2514 Washington Blvd. Chicago, Ill.”

The address of 2514 Washington Blvd in 1910 is in Ward 13, district 0629. The Federal Census does not show the addressee living there or anyone with the name of Brownell. The street number in the census record has a blot over the number 1, (hilarious – what are the odds?!) but the address appears to be 2514. The surrounding districts were checked and cross-streets double checked, etc. so I don’t see any other possibility for this address. The family living there at this time shows James Kirby, his wife Anna, and daughter Edna, who was born about 1894 in Chicago. The census was taken on April 21st of 1910, while this postcard was sent June 15th. The Kirby family shows up living at a different address in the neighborhood on the next census. So it looks like they must of moved shortly before this postcard was sent…..There is an extremely helpful website called A Look At Cook (listed below) for ward maps in Cook County, Illinois. This made pretty short work of finding the address.

An entry shows up for a Mrs. E. L. Brownell in the 1887 Chicago city directory at 326 S. Paulina, which is about a mile and a half away. But this is Mrs. and the addressee appears to be Miss. But there is an Edna L. Brownell on the 1940 Federal Census for Chicago, born Missouri about 1878, living at 2018 W. Van Buren St. This address on today’s map is just down the street from the 326 S. Paulina address. Then the other thing is that the daughter’s name is Edna on the 1910 census at Washington Blvd. But, this appears to be just a coincidence. Edna was a pretty common name at that time, plus the dates of birth would be way off.

On the 1900 Federal Census for Chicago, there is an Edna L. Brownell, born August 1878 in Kentucky. Single, living with widowed mother Carrie Brownell. Edna’s occupation is music teacher.  The address is 948 Washington Blvd, which is about 2 miles east of the address on the postcard. I think this person is the most likely candidate for the addressee.

Sources and related information: Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 12, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 258; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0335; FHL microfilm: 1240258. Ancestry.com)

Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 18, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_329; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1035; Image: 17. (Ancestry.com)

“United States Census, 1940,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KWB5-C99 : accessed 27 Jun 2014), Edna L Brownell, Ward 25, Chicago, Chicago City, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 103-1574, sheet 12A, family 276, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 971.

The Chicago Directory Co., Donnelley, Ruben H., compiler for The Lakeside Annual Directory of the City of Chicago. p. 273. Database online. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989)


I Ain’t Nobody’s Sweetheart Yet!

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Divided back, artist-signed, used postcard. Postmarked March 1921 from Fresno, California. Publisher:  Edward Gross Co., New York. Comic No. 25. “Smile Messengers.”

Availability status:  SOLD

Adorable cutie in white dress with pink polka dots and wearing a big pink bow in her hair. The caption is  “I ain’t nobody’s Sweetheart yet!”  This postcard, as the printing on the front states, is from a painting by C. H. Twelvetrees. For more information about the artist see the prior post.

The sender wrote,  “Dear Sis:  Your letter received today. Keep an eye on that job. I will come at once if there is any chance. If there was only two jobs why say I missed any thing. I wouldn’t have seen them any way. Has Alice moved yet? Calla[?] has been here all afternoon. I am going to spend all day Thurs. with her. Write again soon. Love from Bess.”

Card addressed to  “Miss Ella Ellison. 1314 F St., Sacramento, Calif.”  and is another from the Alice Ellison Collection.

Charles Henry Twelvetrees (1872 -1948)

Charles H. Twelvetrees is well-known to vintage postcard, and ephemera collectors in general for his many illustrations, mainly of chubby-cheeked children, which often are shown with funny captions. I put up the two examples that I have from postcards below (cropped and cleaned up a little in Photoshop.) His work can also be found on magazine covers, in newspapers, on calendars, and as valentines of that era. To mention a couple of particular examples, he was the illustrator for a children’s story by Seymour Eaton, called “Prince Domino and ‘Muffles’ ” and he did a comic strip called “Johnny Quack and the Van Cluck Twins.” (Some accounts say Van Cluck Sisters which, unless the strip name was changed at some point, is incorrect. Images can be found online of the comic strip showing the last word in the title as “Twins” not “Sisters.”) It’s also interesting to note that the 1900 Federal Census shows Charles’ occupation as “portrait artist.”

After looking online for information about this artist (for the prior post) and finding conflicting information, which some others have also been questioning, namely the year of birth, that there was also a Charles R., that the father of Charles was also an artist, I decided to make a list of online records to try to see if I could find some answers. I also noticed speculation about a Hollywood connection for a possible son of Charles Twelvetrees.

So, it was funny, but after doing quite a bit of research, I came across a website for someone who has written a book about the artist, author Robert William Mellberg. So, I will not go into great detail here, as Mr. Mellberg, who has done years of research, as opposed to my ummm week (shaking head and chuckling) will be the authority. A good lesson learned:  If someone is well-known, there’s probably already been a book written about them! But anyway, I did want to post something as there are so many examples online of the incorrect information for Charles H. Twelvetrees, and so am putting this up in the hope that it will help in the correction process.

It’s the 1920 U.S. Federal Census for Manhattan, New York that shows the wrong year of birth of 1888. Charles’ age is listed incorrectly there as 37. The best source for his date of birth from the census records is the 1900 record which states he was born July 1872, and the other census’ collaborate this year, being exact or a year off.

Charles’ father, Henry Twelvetrees, was a carpenter. There are simply scads of records that show this: both federal and state census’, as well as many Utica, New York city directories and at least one New York City directory, and none of those records show a middle initial. So, Henry never worked as an artist in the context that we’re looking at here. (Although perhaps he was an “artist” in the field of carpentry. And it’s interesting to see that on one of Henry’s census records (1910) he is listed as a carpenter in the shipbuilding industry.) But the “R” as a middle initial for Charles or Henry or anyone else that one could try to attribute to the art in question is incorrect. (See Mr. Mellberg’s website listed below for more on that.)

According to author, Robert W. Mellberg, artist Charles H. Twelvetrees was married three times (I had found two.) His second marriage was to Rose B. Clark, and they had one son, Clark Twelvetrees. Clark married Helen Marie Jurgens. Helen was married several times but kept her first married name, and is better known as Hollywood and stage actress, Helen Twelvetrees.

Update: See the comment posted – Charles’ third wife was Vera Albert.

As a side note, the 1905 New York State Census for Manhattan, New York shows Charles and wife (Rose) living at the address given of 37/45 West 22nd St. Living at the same address, which is presumably an apartment building or buildings, are ten other artists, two of whom are women. I just find this interesting. Their names as they appear on this record are:

Henry B. Snell, William H. Lippencott, Arthur Cushing, Frederick T.[?] Richards, William H. Drake, Augustus R.[?] Whytal, Walter D.[?] Sewall, Francis Pauling, Eleanor Bell, Flinker Augustine.

Here are the images from the two Charles Twelvetrees postcards that I have, as stated above (cropped and cleaned up a little). And please see the first source listed below for author Mellberg’s website, and detailed information about the artist, including a photo taken of him while he was working.

Nobodys Sweetheart YetFresno Girl

Sources:  Mellberg, Robert W., The Life and Works of Charles H. Twelvetrees, Artist – Illustrator. Web. 25 Jun 2014. https://usartworks.us/c-h-twelvetrees/

Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1855.

“New York, State Census, 1875,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VNJ3-JY6 : accessed 25 Jun 2014), Henry Twelvetsus, Utica, Oneida, New York, United States; citing p. 23, line 19, State Library, Albany; FHL microfilm 1435185.

Year: 1880; Census Place: New York City, New York, New York; Roll: 877; Family History Film: 1254877; Page: 377D; Enumeration District: 223; Image: 0176.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 1095; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0307; FHL microfilm: 1241095.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York; Roll: T624_1021; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0514; FHL microfilm: 1375034. (Ancestry.com)

“New York, State Census, 1915,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9P2-LPD : accessed 25 Jun 2014), Rose Twelftree, Southampton, Suffolk, New York, United States; from “New York, State Census, 1915,” index and images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : 2012); citing state population census schedules, 1915, p. 09, line 22, New York State Archives, Albany.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 7, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1198; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 567; Image: 159. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1930; Census Place: Bronx, Bronx, New York; Roll: 1488; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0661; Image: 802.0; FHL microfilm: 2341223. (Ancestry.com)

“United States Census, 1940,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KQS6-PSJ : accessed 24 Jun 2014), Charles H Twelvetrees, Assembly District 7, Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 31-576, sheet 3A, family , NARA digital publication of T627, roll 2636.

Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989

Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Marriage Indexes 1866-1937

Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1948

National Archives and Records Administration. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (Ancestry.com)

Anna Twelvetrees obituary, New York, New York. The New York Times, 4 Jan 1903. Web. Accessed 24 Jun 2014. [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9F00E3DF1F3DEE32A25757C0A9679C946297D6CF]

Holtz, Allan. blog “Stripper’s Guide”  article “Obscurity of the Day:  Prince Domino and Muffles” Web. 24 Jun 2014. [http://strippersguide.blogspot.com/2007/01/obscurity-of-day-prince-domino-and.html]



Why Don’t You Come To Fresno

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Divided back, artist-signed, used postcard. Postmarked from Fresno, California May 22, 1917. Publisher S. Bergman. Series or number 1060.

Price:  $8.00.  Besides the usual wear, this card has some soil marks on the little girl’s face.

In keeping with the prior post, here’s another one having to do with the city of Fresno, with the caption reading, “Why don’t you come to Fresno, Cal.”  This is one of many that was produced using this same theme, with the city and state in a flag or pennant, though the designs and publishers vary. This one happens to be an artist-signed postcard by Charles Twelvetrees of a painting or drawing of a cute little girl in a pink dotted dress and straw hat with blue bow. A copyright logo appears at the bottom left of the front of the card which is hard to read, but others online have identified the publisher as S. Bergman (indeed the last name is discernible after knowing what to look for.) The copyright here looks like 1917. The card is addressed to:   “Miss Henrietta Ellison, Sacramento. Calif. 1314  F st.”  

The sender writes (this is good):   “Dear Henry. Do you think you could come here – alone if Ma will let you or maby you dont wont[want] to come do you?  Dos.   yes. no. no  yes”  (Love the yes no no yes part.)  “Dos” is short for Dossie. This is one of many from our “Alice Ellison Collection.”

The artist:  Charles H. Twelvetrees was born in New York, about 1872 or 1873. A separate post will be up within the next couple of days on him, as there has been some confusion owing to what seems to be an incorrect middle initial of R, and whether his father was or was not also an artist. There are lots of online records to dig into for clarification, and we’ll get there in just a jiffy.

Gene Balch in Fresno, California

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Oval studio portrait of a handsome gentleman in a dark suit jacket with a white or light-colored patterned vest, white tie and wingtip style collar. He is identified on the back as Gene Balch. This is very likely Albert Eugene Balch, who according to the U. S. City Directories, Voter Registrations and U. S. Federal Census records, had a long career in the school system in Fresno, as principal of Emerson, Washington Junior High, Longfellow Junior High, and was also Assistant or Deputy Commissioner for the Superintendent of Schools (at least approx. 1914 – 1917.) Born in Kansas, about 1874, he appears to be the same person as on the 1880 Federal Census taken in Chase County, KS with parents Albert and Almira Balch, and other household members Elliot, Carrie, Mary and Homer. Fresno city directories show many entries starting in 1906, and voter reg as early as 1894. (The 1900 Fresno directory shows an Albert and an A. E. Balch, living in Oleander with occupations for both given as farmer. This may be Albert Eugene and his dad.) The 1910 census in Fresno shows wife Mary (married about 1898); the 1930 shows Albert E. Balch with wife Mary, and their daughter Nellie. A 1935 city directory shows Albert is married to second wife Cydney (various spellings). By the 1940 census, Albert, Cidney and Nellie are living in Santa Cruz, California; no occupation for Albert E., so he is likely retired by then.

As for the photography studio, the signature shows “Maxwell & Mudge, Fresno, Cal.”  This studio opened in about 1898 when John Franklin Maxwell took in A. C. Mudge as partner. More detailed information on the photographers will be put up under a separate post.

Price:  $25.00  Size including cardboard matting: About 8 and 3/4 x 5 and 3/4″  Circa early 1900s.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place:  , Chase, Kansas; Roll: 375; Family History Film: 1254375; Page: 284D; Enumeration District: 149. Year: 1910; Census Place: Township 3, Fresno, California; Roll: T624_76; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0030; FHL microfilm: 1374089. Year: 1930; Census Place: Fresno, Fresno, California; Roll: 116; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0027; Image: 836.0; FHL microfilm: 2339851. Year: 1940; Census Place: Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California; Roll: T627_342; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 44-7. (Ancestry.com)

California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 – 2A; CSL Roll Number: 14; FHL Roll Number: 976462.  For Fresno, California. 1894 – 1896. (Ancestry.com)

Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989  for Fresno, California. 1904 – 1938.

Vandor, Paul E. History of Fresno County, California with Biographical Sketches. Los Angeles: Historical Record Company, 1919. p. 2574. Web. Accessed 20 Jun 2014.