Anton Larson, Minneapolis Photographer

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Here’s the reverse side of the Cabinet Card in the prior post, and one of the many examples of the beautiful designs used by photographers for this time-period. Besides the ornate border, the center shows the photo artist’s initials, an “A” with a curving “L” entwined around it; a camera and artist’s easel in front of a shining sun; the motto underneath,  “I have engaged the sun to shine for me.”  This phrase was not exclusive to Larson, as it was found on the back of a Cabinet Card for the photographer Anderson in Richmond, Virginia (showing currently on Flicker.) The photographer’s name and address on our cabinet card shows as  “A. Larson. 313 Washington Ave. So., Minneapolis, Minn.”

Thankfully, A. Larson was identified in the Minneapolis city directories at this address under his full name of Anton Larson. And the 1900 Federal Census for the same city shows the most detailed information about the photographer and his family:

Anton Larson, was born August 1849 in Norway of Norwegian-born parents, occupation Photographer on the 1900 census. His wife Caroline, was born in Wisconsin, June 1853, the couple having been married in about 1882. They have two daughters, Amanda[?] W., born in Minnesota, March 1884, and Agnes, born in Minnesota, August 1888. Living with them at the time is boarder, Anna Olson and a domestic servant, Hannah Nydahl, both born in Norway. The address for the family is 2446 Chicago Ave, a home that the Larsons are paying mortgage on. The 1900 also gives Anton’s year of immigration as 1873, and shows he is a naturalized U. S. citizen.

A marriage record dated June 3, 1882, for the county of Hennepin appears to fit for the couple, showing the bride as Carrie Knuteson.

City directory listings from 1881 – 1905:

1881 – ’82:  Address 228 Washington Ave. S., boarding at the same address is J. H. Olson.

1882 – ’83:  313 Washington Ave. S., residence the same.

1884 – 1885:  307 & 313 Washington Ave. S., residence 1429 S. 7th.

1887 – 1905:  313 Washington Ave. S., residence 2446 Chicago Ave, with the exception of 1895 studio address given as 301 Washington Ave. S.

Sources:  Year: 1900; Census Place: Minneapolis Ward 8, Hennepin, Minnesota; Roll: 768; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0082; FHL microfilm: 1240768.

“Minnesota, County Marriages, 1860-1949”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 September 2015), Anton Larson and Carrie Knuteson, 1882.

C. Wright Davison’s Minneapolis City Directories. Years encompassing 1881 – 1905. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989).

Minneapolis Beauty By A. Larson

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Cabinet Card. Circa 1884 – 1905. Photographer:  Anton Larson, 313 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Price:  $15.00     Size:  4 and 3/16 x 6 and 7/16″

This Cabinet Card shows a photo of a very poised and lovely young woman, probably a resident of Minneapolis, though we couldn’t know for sure. What immediately draws our attention is the large round brooch fastened at the collar. This is “an image within an image” kind of thing (love that) and it shows what appears to be a painting on porcelain of a young girl wearing a bonnet. The piece is bordered with a row of, I believe the term is “brilliants” or what we might call rhinestones, today. It would have been a favorite piece of jewelry, no doubt, and deservedly so. A row of interesting-looking metal buttons runs down the front of the woman’s close-fitted jacket or bodice of the dress (if this was a one-piece outfit.) White lace shows from underneath the stand-up collar; the collar’s points being just slightly turned down near the brooch. Her hair is side-parted and swept up with a little height at the back, adding an extra touch of elegance.

The photographer is Anton Larson, whose career will be explored a little more in the following post, but he worked out of the 313 Washington Avenue South address starting around 1884, according to city directories, and through at least 1905.

And Down Life’s Stream

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“And down Life’s Stream he begged to steer

The lovely freight to him so dear.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. B. F. Main, 233 14th St., San Francisco, Cal.”  And the sender wrote:

“Dear Grandma – Hope you arrived safely. My love-sick uncle forgot his vest so we sent it by mail to-day. It’s very warm here. Grandma & Mama’s cousin and Aunt and Minnie[?] were out yesterday. Write and let us know if Bennie got his vest.    H.[?] M.”

This will be a good one for helping track which branch of the Main family the Ethel Main Collection belongs to, since we have a name and relationship in the message. The front of the card is appropriate isn’t it, regarding the sender’s love-sick uncle Bennie. (The actual postcard is even nicer to view, as the gold border, highlights on the young woman’s blouse and belt, and the verse at the bottom come to light when viewed at an angle.)

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked from Santa Clara, California on September 14, 1909. Publisher:  Julius Bien & Co., New York. “Canoe” Series number:  201 – (3).

Price:  $5.00

Blackpool From The Air

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From an unknown with writing talent, this aerial view of the beach and coastline at Blackpool, Lancashire, England, is described on the back of the card:

“This is the holiday haunt of thousands of workers from the Industrial Midlands – or it was the only holiday place for them until recent years – when they have become so affluent and ‘adventurous’ that holidays on the Continent have somewhat superseded it. Not a place for one who enjoys the beach in its natural state but the ‘Entertainment Mecca’ of resorts.”

That’s the Blackpool Tower dominating the photo, a tourist attraction inspired by the Eiffel Tower, and opened to the public in May of 1894, which was only just over five years after le tour Eiffel opened.

Divided back, Commercial Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. Publisher:  Saidman Bros., Blackpool, Lancashire, England. “A Real Colour Photograph” Copyrighted by publisher. Printer:  Jarrold & Sons, Ltd. Norwich, England. Number or series:  KBL 163. Circa 1950s – 1960s.

Price:  $6.00

Sources:  The Blackpool Tower. n.d. (web accessed September 26, 2015).

Eiffel Tower. n.d. (web accessed September 26, 2015).

Budleigh Salterton, East Devon, England

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“Dear Ellie. Thought I had better let you know that I am not going to the theatre. Hope you will enjoy your little gift. Best love, Janey[?]”

Addressed to:   “Miss E. Potts, 6 Cholmley St., Hull.”

Circa 1902 – 1910

The postmarked year is partially missing on this one. It was sent from Hull, England in February, and true, we see the number 6 there but was that part of the year or the date in the month of Feb? The stamp is a Great Britain 1/2d (halfpenny) King Edward VII; first issued January 1, 1902 in a blue-green color; the yellow-green was first issued November 26, 1904. Since Edward VII died May 6, 1910, the era for this stamp’s issuance is given as 1902 – 1910. (In comparing this stamp’s color to those showing online, I’m undecided as to whether this is the blue-green or yellow-green; it almost looks like a faded version of the blue-green.)

Yes or No

As for the addressee, Ellie Potts, there are several possibilities under Ellie and Eleanor, an exact match with the above address not being found. And the unknown publisher’s “Yes or No” series (great name) fits the sender’s message:  No, she is not going to the theater.

Pebbles and Fossils

About the front image:  This beach is famous for the Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds. What’s a pebble exactly? Well, I thought I knew what a pebble was, but it is defined as,  “…a clast of rock with a particle size of 2 to 64 millimetres based on the Krumbein phi scale of sedimentology.”  Larger than a granule and smaller than a cobble. (Heehee, if this helps you.) And fossils in the form of shells can be found inside many of the pebbles on this beach. It’s allowable to split the pebbles open, but illegal to take them with you. Just take a photo and leave for others to look at. See UK Fossils for more detailed information.

About a century

The photo below from the website Coastal Connect shows a similar view to the one on our postcard….about one hundred years later.


Divided back, Great Britain, used postcard. Circa 1902 – 1910. Postmarked from Hull, England in February, year unreadable. Publisher info:  “Yes or No” Series.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Stamps on postcards – A guide to dating cards. 1902 – 1910 King Edward VII. Web accessed September 22, 2015.

Pebble. n.d. (web accessed September 26, 2015).

Budleigh Salterton fossils and fossil collecting. Web accessed September 22, 2015.

Photo, Budleigh Salterton Beach. Coastal Connect. Web accessed September 26, 2015.

Czech Postcard By M. Aleš

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“…Kvetouci strom lhal lásky žel, svou lásku slavik růži pěl…”

The line above is from the lyrical, epic poem “Máj” (May) by Czech romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha (1810 – 1836). The English translation found online is “…blossoming tree lied love, his love rose nightingale sang.”  “Máj” was published at the poet’s expense in 1836, and not well received by critics and contemporaries, who judged it to be too confusing and chaotic. Mácha died at the age of 25, having contracted pneumonia after over-exerting himself in helping to put out a fire. Recognition of his literary contributions did not come until later:  In the 1850s he was glorified by other writers; in the late 1930’s his body was exhumed and given a state burial; a statue honors him in Petřín Park, Prague; he’s been commemorated on several postage stamps; a lake was named after him in 1961; and the work “Máj” is now considered a classic of Czech Romanticism.

The artist, M. Aleš

Mikoláš Aleš (1852 – 1913) is regarded as one of the Czech Republic’s greatest artists, and unlike the poet recognized on this postcard, Aleš did enjoy fame during his lifetime, at least for his architectural paintings; after his death his paintings and drawings became more widely acclaimed. It’s estimated that he had over 5,000 works published, appearing in a wide variety of media, including magazines, textbooks and even playing cards.

This postcard is estimated to be from the 1910s – 1921 due to the publisher information found at the ever-helpful site. The publishing company Minerva (1890 – 1921) was founded by Bohemian poet, Eliska Krasnohorska. By at least 1912, they were publishing Art reproductions.

Divided back, unused, artist-signed, Czech postcard. Publisher:  Minerva. Circa 1910s – 1921.

Price:  $20.00

Sources:  Máj. Karel Hynek Mácha. English translation. [] Web accessed September 17, 2015.

Karel Hynek Mácha. n.d. (accessed September 17, 2015).

Minerva (1890-1921) M-Publishers, p. 2. [] Web accessed September 17, 2015.

The Arcade

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With wonderful memories of summer

This one was going to be put up directly after the recent Coney Island post, but something got lost in translation, lost in the shuffle, there was some interruption to the thought process or just brain fade maybe 😉 But it’s a beauty, isn’t it? A little sad perhaps, with that end of summer feel to it. On the other hand, maybe the arcade is happy to have a well-deserved rest and some peace and quiet. In any case, the building has a half-timbered style facade (around it’s entirety we assume) diamond-pattern window panes above, and a large, fan-style window over the double doors. What exactly did the arcade house during the season?

Well, what exactly is an arcade?

The word arcade comes from the Latin “arcus” which means arc or bow. And the definition generally describes a covered passageway that houses shops, with arches along both sides. But in modern times we probably think of a game arcade or a cantina housing food concession stands and perhaps souvenirs. If you look closely you can see two wooden oblong objects, each ending in a box shape that juts out, one attached at each side of the double doors. What were these used for – to contain the list of tenants that rented the selling space every year?

A definite artist

It’s also interesting that someone, with a quite steady hand, filled in the roof with pencil, taking care to outline the roof vent, and even drawing in a little something to show grass or weeds at the base of the utility pole.

The birch

As to the location, there is a small stand of birches to the left of the pole, indicating that this photo was probably taken in one of the northern U.S. states, as birches are prevalent in the Northern Hemisphere of the planet. They are considered a “pioneer” species that show up after a forest is clear-cut or after a fire.

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Cyko stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1920s.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  arcade. [] Accessed September 9,  2015.

Where do birch trees grow? [] Accessed September 9, 2015.

Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes. [] Accessed September 9, 2015.

The Tree Spirit

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This postcard is signed by artist E. Weaver. Biographical information was not found online but Sherry Arent Cawley, in Berrien County, author of one of the Postcard History Series put out by Arcadia Publishing, describes the artist as  “…a very prolific American postcard artist at the turn of the century through the 1930s. His designs, in sets of 8 to 32 are whimsical and humorous with many drawn in a simplified Art Nouveau style.”

Indeed, prolific is the word, as numerous cards can be found currently for sale, and in browsing through, it appears the artist used a different color scheme for each series; this above was one of a set in green and black, and shows the lovely poem,

“True Friendship

True friendship is a golden link

Which none should seek to sever

And mine will last, I truly think,

Forever and forever.”

The back is signed,  “From Your Most Humble Friend, O.S.”  and at the top,  “x x x”.  Another in the series was found currently on eBay dated by the sender in 1922.

Divided back, unused with writing. Publisher unknown, series or number 2328, 32 designs. “Art Birthday Message.” Circa 1922.

Price:  $5.00

Source:  Cawley, Sherry A. Berrien County (Postcard History Series). Charleston:  Arcadia. Author copyright year 2000. p. 30. (Google eBook).

Five Friends

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Addressed to:   “Ora W. Carrell. 514 W. 8th St., Muscatine, Iowa.”

“Dear Ora: – Isn’t this cute! Claude Lewis is the one you don’t know. Taken in the woods the 27th of Dec. I had such a jolly time. Your letter came after I had written mine so this is in answer. Such lovely Xmas gifts you recd. Our[?] revival mtgs. closed Sunday – the com. gave me a check for $25.00 for my work in the meeting – I am going to get commentaries..?..? 90 at the alter and some of these were both reclaimed & sanctified, 13 now have united with the church and there will be others. A big task[?] I have to keep these going. pray. God bless thee in thy work. Sincerely – N.[?] Blanche.”

This photo really is cute. Adorable! Enlarge to see the special “headgear” they are all wearing! The fellows look like they could be related – wonder which one is Claude Lewis? And the ladies – the two on the left look like they could be sisters, or like our title says, they could all simply be five friends.

As to further i.d. – There are several possibilities for Claude Lewis; and for the sender N[?] Blanche we’d really need more information; but Ora W. Carrell is likely the same person found on the 1910 Federal Census under O. W. Carrell, showing born in Iowa about 1886, single, rooming in the household of Webster A. and Tracy M. Allman, and who’s occupation is listed as Gospel Minister. The address in Muscatine is 308 5th St., just several blocks away from the address given on the card.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked January 18, 1911 from Salem, Oregon.

Price:  $20.00

Source:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Muscatine Ward 2, Muscatine, Iowa; Roll: T624_415; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0109; FHL microfilm: 1374428. (

River Logging Stereograph

River Logging Stereoscope Card

Stereograph, colored scene of Northwest river logging. Circa 1910s.

 Price:  $5.00        Size:  7 x 3 and 1/2″

This card, showing what is most likely a Pacific Northwest river logging scene, was found in an antique store in Dearborn, Michigan. What is significant about it is that it solves a minor mystery on another post (The Conversation)  as a partial, pretty beat-up looking stereograph (also called stereogram, stereoptican, or stereo view) showing the same scene of the girl on the pony and the boy, the mountains in the background, etc. was found in a drawer next to this one above. And actually, the torn card was meant to be picked up along with a bunch of other stuff, but somehow got missed. Next time I am in the area I will check to see if it is still in that drawer, just for fun.