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I wonder what Gwen would have named this one. This is, like the back says, from an original block print by Gwen Frostic. Michigan-born Sarah Gwendolyn Frostic (1906 – 2001) was  “…one of America’s foremost nature inspired artists.”   I hadn’t heard of Gwen before finding this postcard, but the seagull reminded me of heavenly times spent in Northern Michigan, so I was tickled to discover that the correlation (specifically Northwestern Michigan – Benzie County, south of Crystal Lake) happened to be correct.

Divided back, unused postcard. Artist and publisher:  Gwen Frostic, Presscraft Papers.

One With Nature

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Rosy-cheeked little girl in bonnet and blackbird (not really a red-winged blackbird, but maybe so with artistic license 😉 or maybe a starling with the light reflecting off the feathers) are one. By her expression we imagine this is a commonplace occurrence – animals and birds are always drawn to her, but she happens to be playing this time in a field of daisies (it’s like the artist captured a close-up), and it’s the sweetest thing:  how she lovingly holds the bird up-close to the bill of her bonnet, how the bird’s gaze is turned towards her face…

This card is addressed to  “Miss Hazel Beeber”  and signed, it looks like,  “from J.A.B.”   The stamp box shows a nice design and that the card was printed in the U.S.A.

Divided back, embossed postcard. Unused with writing. Copyright 1909, L.R. Conwell, New York. Series or number 1070. Printed in the United States.

Price:  $5.00

Willard Alton Griswold & Wilma May Pollitt

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A well-identified couple of children (nice!) The back of this Real Photo Postcard with ACME (doesn’t that remind you of the Roadrunner and Wyle E. Coyote?) header gives names, birth dates and ages of the two babies, as well as who the card was given to. Presumably left to right:  Willard Alton Griswold, born April 15, 1910, four months, two weeks old; and Wilma May Pollitt, born March 4, 1910, five months, three weeks old; postcard given to Hattie Phippen. Willard was the son of Ralph Griswold and Edith (Sears) Giswold and Wilma was the daughter of Harry and May Pollitt. Both children were born in Iowa.

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. August, 1910. ACME back header logo.

Price:  $15.00

Sources: Iowa, Births and Christenings Index, 1857-1947.

Year: 1940; Census Place: Watsonville, Santa Cruz, California; Roll: T627_343; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 44-29

Frederick At The Sea-Shore

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“My dear Aunt Hetty: –  Here I am at the sea-shore, well and happy. I send love to Marie and Aunt Flora your loving, Frederick.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. H. L. Demarest, 468 Ellison St., Paterson N. J.”

The adorable little boy in the photo above is Frederick L. Low, son of Frank E. Low and Mary W. (Doremus) Low, born September 9, 1899 in Paterson, NJ. Aunt Hetty is Hetty (Low) Demarest, Frank’s sister. The 1910 Federal Census for Paterson shows the family, including Frederick’s older brother, Donald, some of the Doremus family, and house servant Minnie Wood.

From seaside to silk

Fred Low followed his father, Frank into the silk trade, and at the age of twenty was learning the business from him, via their employer Robert Lang & Co., who had offices in Paterson, N.J. and Shanghai, China. Passport applications in 1919 can be found for both Fred and his parents, revealing a proposed trip to encompass Hong Kong, China and Japan, with intended time abroad to last about four months. Here is Fred’s passport photo, and just imagine the childhood years in Paterson flowing by for the little boy above, to the young man below.

Fred Low passport photo

An excerpt from the passport affidavit:

“…the said Frank E. Low is the father of said Frederick L. Low, and that they both reside at Ridgewood, N. J.; that said Frank E. Low is the secretary and manager of Robert Lang and Company, raw silk importers, with offices at 152 Market St., Paterson, N.J., and that the said Frederick L. Low is also employed by said Robert Lang and Company, at said place, and at its ware-house, 58 Fair St., Paterson, N. J.

“That the place of business of said Robert Lang and Company, and where its raw silk is produced and marketed, is at Shanghai, China; that the business of said Company has grown to such an extent that it is necessary that said Frank E. Low make a trip to China to confer with the other stockholders, directors, and officers of said Company, said Frank E. Low being the only stockholder, director, or officer of said Company, who resides in the United States.

“Said Company is incorporated under the laws of the State of New Jersey, and its principal office is at 152 Market St., Paterson, N.J.

“It is necessary that said Frederick L. Low accompany said Frank E. Low because he is learning the raw silk business and is to assist his father in the conduct of said business. It is essential that he familiarize himself with the growing and producing end of the business.”  (sworn and subscribed Sept 16, 1919)

Last but not least

Of interest also, is the beautifully designed back header with it’s little bird carrying a letter and with flowing lines that include a feather quill pen. This was still the era of the Private Mailing Card, which ran from the date given in the header till December 1901.

Private Mailing Card with Real Photo. Unused with writing. Circa 1901.

Price:  $20.00    Size:  About 5 and 3/8 x 3 and 1/8″

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Paterson Ward 4, Passaic, New Jersey; Roll: T624_906; Page: 22A; Enumeration District: 0119; FHL microfilm: 1374919

“New Jersey, Marriages, 1678-1985,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 July 2015), Frank E. Low and Mary W. Doremus, 02 Apr 1890; citing 495,712.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Paterson, Passaic, New Jersey; Roll: 796; Family History Film: 1254796; Page: 157C; Enumeration District: 157; Image: 0097

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 920; Volume #: Roll 0920 – Certificates: 118750-118999, 19 Sep 1919-20 Sep 1919

Busy Persons Correspondence Card

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1942 bathing beauties for Mr. J. Matthews from his son Jack, on one of those “check off your responses” type of card. Sometimes they were straight-forward, sometimes wacky, depending both on the card choices and the sender. In this case, Jack indicated:

“Calif., Nov. 3. Dear Dad, This place is beautiful. The weather is warm and dry. The people are friendly. I’m feeling fine and happy. I spend my time sightseeing. I need sleep. Give my love to all the folks. Yours sincerely.”   On the back he wrote:

“Dear Dad, How are you I am fine. It is nice country here but I prefer the East. Write to me you have my address. Jack.”  Addressed to:

“Mr. J. Matthews, 291 Orange St., Albany, N.Y.”

Underneath the postmark is Jack’s address:

“J.V. Matthews. S. 36 [?] US Navy, Batt 27 HDQ Co A-B, Port Hueneme, Calif.”

“We Build, We Fight.”

From a little research online, and of the course, the year of the postcard indicating WWII, it looks like Jack was a part of the “Seabees.” This term is from the initials “C.B.” which stands for Construction Battalion, and their motto is,  “We Build, We Fight.”  Both the 27th and 37th Battalion at Port Hueneme (pronouced “Why-nee-mee”) were part of the Seabees, (so even if it’s 37 rather than 27 in his address on the card, the branch of service still fits.) Below is the Seabee’s emblem (courtesy Wikipedia.)

Which Matthews family did Jack belong to?

The 1943 Albany, NY city directory shows the 291 Orange St. address as the residence of John V. Matthews, machinist, and his wife, Adeline R. Matthews. A couple of entries above lists John Matthews, USA, residence 291 Orange. “USA” in this directory is the abbreviation for United States Army (an error since Jack was in the Navy in ’42?) A quick further search in city directories shows Jack and Adeline at this address at least as early as 1938.

City directory findings led to various census records. The 1900 for Philadelphia shows two-month-old John V. Matthews, with parents, James and Isabella, both born in Ireland, and William Matthews, brother to James, also born in Ireland. And finally a 1961 death record for Jack (always hate to mention these, sentimentally having become fond of the person who, in this case, sent this nice postcard to his dad) but that shows Jack was born in Philadelphia in 1900, lists wife Adeline, and parents’ names, James Matthews and Isabelle (Devlin) Matthews, thus confirming his parentage.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked November 3, 1942. “U.S. Navy.” Publisher:  Tichnor Bros., Inc., Boston, Mass. “Tichnor Quality Views” Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. “Busy Person’s Correspondence Cards – 10 Designs.” Series or number 65157. 

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Seabees in World War II. n.d. (accessed July 18, 2015).

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Albany City Directory, Vol. CXXX. p. 266. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 38, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1479; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0975; FHL microfilm: 1241479 Menands, New York, Albany Rural Cemetery Burial Cards, 1791-2011

Surf Bathing In The Pacific

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Here’s a colorful card of a southern California beach scene, with reports about the weather, the tourists, and the 1908 presidential race. “Bryan” was William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic candidate who ended up losing to William Taft. Note that the postmarked date of the card shows just two days prior to the election.

Addressed to:   “Mr. John Pugh, Kahoka, Missouri, R.F.D.# 6.”  The sender wrote:

“Papa, you ought to be in ‘sunny’ California this winter. The paper today stated there had been two – thousand tourists come in the last month. We have not had much rain yet and it is very warm and pleasant in the middle of the day. I suppose you are holloring ‘Hurrah for Bryan.’ A good many here think he will be elected. Della.”

The 1900 Federal Census for Union Township, Clark County, MO identifies Ohio natives John Pugh and his wife Emeline, and their daughters, Della F. and Carrie Pugh, both born in Missouri. John, occupation farmer, was born about April 1843; Emeline was born about August 1849; Della was born about September 1874, and Carrie, about April 1888. Union Township is southwest of Kahoka, about 13 minutes in driving time.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked November 1, 1908 from Los Angeles, California. Publisher info:  A. A. 6. Newman Post Card Co., Los Angeles, California. Number or series 62232. Made in Germany.

Price:  $10.00

Sources:  United States presidential election, 1908. n.d.,_1908. (accessed July 9, 2015).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Union, Clark, Missouri; Roll: 848; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 1240848. (

Barbecue At The H. M. Crawfords

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Garden party, Crawford style!

A great one for the 4th of July, and so nice to have the people identified on the back, in typed print, no less. As indicated, this photo was taken by Hube Crawford in the summer of either 1936 or ’37. The location is 64 Fern Lane, San Anselmo, California. Left to right are:  Bee Crawford, Anna Spuur, Jossie Midgley, Charles Midgley, Nina Vissing, William Midgley, Opal Kidd and Amy Crawford.

Besides the beautiful, smiling people, note the lovely linen tablecloth, the corn on the cob, the candle and pine cone centerpiece, the round, evidently late 1930s-style eye wear, the wicker chair, the heavenly setting under the big tree, (the hanging pine cones almost look like a string put up for decoration – were they? and if so, what a great idea) and last but not least, the dressy attire for all!

Black and white photo. Summer 1936 or 1937, San Anselmo, California.    

Price:  $20.00       Size:  About 8 and 1/4 x 6 and 1/8″

Three Cheers For The Red White And Blue

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Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked June 22, 1909 from DeBeque, Colorado. Artist:  Cyrus Durand Chapman. Publisher info: “Painting only copyrighted by S. Garre” [Garre or Garret?] Printed in Germany. No. 51668.

Price:  $2.00

Happy 4th!

Who was artist C. Chapman for this 1909 postcard? We found multiple references and many examples of patriotic views identifying this person as New Jersey native, Cyrus Durand Chapman (1856 – 1918). This card, rather the worse for wear and tear, is another from the Alice Ellison Collection, and was sent to,  “Miss Henryetta Ellison, 268 Cheyenne Ave., Pueblo, Colo.”  The sender wrote:

“Dear Sister. I thought I wood drop you a card to let you know I still on the road & well so good By to all. xxxxxxx.”

To Tottie From Lucy

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“Friendship’s Offering”

Here’s the third in a little mini-series in the Ethel Main Collection. This one shows that her nickname was “Tottie” rather than “Lottie” as one might think from the handwriting on some of the others. Since there is more than one Ethel Main, and preliminary forays into this possible branch of the Main Family have shown that research time will be lengthy, we’ll save that part for later, after the rest get posted. The card is addressed to:

“Miss Ethel Main, 299 Sunol St., San Jose, Calif.”  And the sender wrote:

“Dear Tottie. Just a few lines have you got to busy again to write if so stoped for a minut and think of me. hope to see you by the last of the month some time. With Love, Lucy.”

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked 1910 from California. Publisher unknown. “Flower Series.”

Price:  $4.00

Greetings From Occidental, California

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The meaning of the word occidental is “Western” as opposed to oriental meaning “Eastern.” (Never knew that.) Occidental is a small town in Sonoma County, California, that was founded in 1876 as a railway stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad, connecting Cazadero to the Sausalito ferry. Occidental was originally called Howard’s Station, after local landowner and Danish immigrant,  “Dutch Bill” Howard (real name Christopher Thornassen Folkmann), who granted the railway access from his land. Present day online browsing shows a lovely spot that we naturally now want to visit, in the wine country of Sonoma County, nestled in the Redwoods, near the Russian River…beautiful B & Bs…

But this card, with an illustration of pink and red carnations, is another in the Ethel Main Collection. Addressed this time to:   “Miss Ethel Main, 3622 – 18th Street, San Francisco, Cal.”  And the sender wrote:

“Dear Cousin, I received your kind & welcome letter. Hope[?] I wont go down on Saturday the 8. will write you a letter in a few days. your Cousin Cordelia.”

Cordelia’s writing is a slightly hard to read but there is at least an easy way to verify part of the message:  The 1912 calendar for June, shows that June 8th was indeed a Saturday; this card bearing the postmarked date of June 6.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Publisher unknown, possibly printed in Germany. Series or number 4. Postmarked June 6, 1912 from San Francisco, California.

Price:  $5.00

Source:  Occidental. n.d,_California. (accessed July 2, 2015).

Howard Station Cafe.!ourstory/csgz. (accessed July 2, 2015).