To Lena From Laura

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“Dear Sister. Mar 20 – I tried to talk to Ellen yesterday a.m.[?] at Ted’s and she said Alice was there. Well I’ll try to get home Sat. morning. (Will if the roads are so that I can get to Arapahoe – Roads are awful. Mail has only come two or three times in ten days. don’t know whether it will come to-day or not. We are going to John’s this morning. All are well. So long – Laura”

Addressed to:   “Lena Davis, Almena Kans. Route 3 Box 86.”

Another winter scene and with the heading  “Many Happy Returns.”  And though many old postcards like this one might be judged as not very high quality, still the colors and the composition are nice, especially if you enlarge it to take a closer look.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked March 21, 1912, location unknown.

Price:  $3.00

May You Always Know

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“May you always know the

enjoyment of happiness

that comes from true friends.”

Another from The Lena Davis Collection. By publisher E. Nash and showing a framed winter scene of a river with a red bridge and red house further in the background. The sender wrote:

“Long Island. Dec. 11. Dear Cousin, We got home o.k. about six. We picked up Newt Miller in Almena and took him to the Island he said he had been to the burg. We picked up Babe at Hays and drove her the rest of the way home. We had lots of fun.”

Sent to:   “Miss Lena Davis, Almena, Kan.”

Almena is about ten miles southwest of Long Island, and there’s a Hays, Kansas about 100 miles south of Long Island. Wonder how long it would have taken them in 1913. It sounds like it was just a day trip, but on the other hand perhaps Hays is a person. It’s interesting that Long Island is referred to as “the Island.”

See another in the Lena Davis Collection with the same design but different message.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 11, 1913 from Long Island, Kansas. Publisher:  E. Nash. Number or Series:  G-16.

Price:  $3.00

Brace’s Rock, Cape Ann, Mass.

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Initially, four postcards were found that were addressed to Ida L. Vance; since then we ran across a fifth. This is just the third one getting up on the website, and though it was postmarked in May, it reminds me of chilly November weather (in keeping with a fall-going-into-winter theme.) It’s a view in shades of black and grey on a cream-colored background, of Cape Ann with the lighter-colored rock formation being Brace’s Rock.

See this Wiki article regarding American artist Fitz Henry Lane (1804 – 1865) for another view:  the artist’s painting, Brace’s Rock, Eastern Point, Gloucester (circa 1864).

Braces Rock Eastern Point Gloucester by Fitz Henry Lane

But from browsing through historical newspapers, what is striking, is the sense of forgotten history, but also of the contrast between today and “yesterday” when the East Coast waters seemed to be full of schooners, steamers, whalers, and newspapers and journals were full of reports on the same. Stepping back a little further in time (just through the fog…)

Storms and wrecks

From a December 1859 article in American Traveler, regarding the wreck of the schooner Prudence Nickerson, who’s crew (or captain or both) mistook another ship’s light for that of (presumably) a lighthouse:  “The light proved to be that of the steamer M. Sanford, lying at anchor between Ten Pound Island and the Point, and was seen over the low land at Brace’s Cove. The Prudence ran a short time when she struck on the eastern end of Brace’s Rock, and went to pieces in about two hours. The captain and crew succeeded in getting on the rock by means of the main bottom, although one of them was nearly washed off in the attempt. They saved nothing but what they had on and remained on the rock till daylight, when they waded ashore.”

From the Shipping News, Vol. VI, Issue 314, an article that had appeared in the Salem Gazette, regarding a violent storm in October of 1792,  “Capt. Samuel Ingersoll, of Beverly, homeward bound from Port-au Prince, ran upon rocks at Brace Cove, and lost all but the people’s lives.”

On a lighter note

Regarding the steamer Reindeer’s pleasure excursion in July of 1865 reported in the Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph:

“Leaving Fort Wharf at half past twelve, the steamer soon passed around Eastern Point and turned her head to the eastward. To those who had not sailed in that direction before, it was pleasing to note the different points of local interest that had been visited time and again from the land. Brace’s Rock and Cove, Pebble Stone beach, Bass rocks, Little Good Harbor beach, Salt Island, Long beach and Milk Island, each in succession presented a different aspect from what the landsman had been accustomed to observe when visiting those places.”

A sea “monster”

Two offerings from February and January 1870, appearing in the Cape Ann Advertiser:

“The great curiosity found by Mr. Barrett, at Brace’s Cove, is on exhibition at No. 108, Front street. It is pronounced something remarkable, and no one, as yet, can tell what it really is.” 

Further investigation showed the earlier report:

A Great Curiosity. – Mr. Moses Barrett, of East Gloucester, recently found at low water mark, at Brace’s Cove, a most singular object, which resembles the head of some kind of marine monster. It is in form of an owl’s head, with large bony projections which look like ears. Its weight is about seventy-five pounds, and it bears evidence of having been in the water some years. Hundreds have visited it the present week, and all pronounce it a remarkable curiosity.”

Wow – was it a hoax or real? If real, here’s to hoping though that the poor sea creature was given some thought (by many) to being something more than just a curiosity or scientific specimen. (Cecil and Beanie was my favorite cartoon.)

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked May 3, 1906 from Gloucester, Massachusetts. Publisher:  The Rotograph Co., New York. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $7.00

Sources:  Fitz Henry Lane. n.d. (accessed November 28, 2015).

“Ship News. Disasters &c”. American Traveler. Boston. Saturday, December 17, 1859. (

“Marine Intelligence”. Salem Gazette. Tuesday, October 16, 1792. Shipping News, Vol. VI, Issue 314, p. 3. (

“Isle of Shoals”. Cape Ann Light and Gloucester Telegraph. Saturday, July 22, 1865, p. 2. (

“Off-hand Local Jottings”.  Cape Ann Advertiser. Friday, February 4, 1870, p. 2. (

“A Great Curiosity”. Cape Ann Advertiser. Friday, January 28, 1870, p. 2. (

A Very Glad Thanksgiving

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“May Yours Be A Very Glad Thanksgiving”

Ditto from Laurel Cottage (!) Here’s a beautiful postcard, a little time-worn, but understandable as it’s now 103 years old. It shows a bunch of grapes with leaves – end of the season grapes surely, with a frosty look appropriate for November (or are we just reading into the season?) What is the darker object on the left underneath the fruit? Sausage? (Chuckling) The writing style of the sender(s) is pretty great. One could find the greeting humorous, (in a nice way) and the second line an elegant, space-saving turn of phrase. They wrote:

“Dear Parents. Your letter at hand. Letter will follow soon. We are going in the country Thanksgiving day. Wish you all a joyful Thanksgiving from Nic & Emma.”

Addressed to:

“Mr. & Mrs. A Baade, Enid, Okla. RR 2.”

Nic is German-born Nicholas Marxen, age 30 at the time of his marriage to Missouri native Emma Baade, who was age 24. They were married May 3, 1910 in Garfield County, Oklahoma. The marriage record shows his residence as Beloit, Kansas and hers as Enid, Oklahoma. Emma’s parents are German-born August Baade and Missouri-born Anna. The 1910 Federal Census for Enid was taken just a couple of weeks before the marriage took place. The census shows the parents and their eight children:  August, Jr., Emma, Henry, Minnie, Laura, Lyda, Walter and Charley.

The postcard back shows a beautiful line drawing creating rectangles and triangles with the words “Post Card” in the center, and with the divided back line flowing into the publisher logo, a capital G in a triangle at the bottom of the card. The publisher is unidentified at this time.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked November 26, 1912 from Beloit, Kansas.

Price:  $10.00

Sources:  “Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 November 2015), Nicholas Marxen and Emma Baade, 1910.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Garland, Garfield, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1251; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0018; FHL microfilm: 1375264. (

Five Kids, Boring, Oregon

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A candid shot of five cute kids, bundled up for the October weather in about 1915:  The photo for this postcard was probably taken in or near the town of Boring, Oregon, according to the postmark on the back. Though the postmarked year is partially missing, the most probable date is 1915 (with help from city directories.) The sender’s note may have been written by the children’s mother; if so, she is Esther, and seems to be a relative of Elsa Nilson, the addressee.

“Am wondering if cousin Eric arrived last week and how is he, am so anxious to see him also Aunt Mina[?] asked nearly every day if we haven’t hear from any of you. We are picking spuds now. Uncle will soon be through dring [drying]. Esther.    With lots of Love from All to All.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Elsa Nelson [Nilson], 901 – Montana Ave, Portland Ore.”

The 1915 city directory for Portland, Oregon is the key to finding family info on Elsa. It shows:  Elsa M. Nilson, occupation stenographer. Anna E. Nilson, student at Reed College. Nils I Nilson, farmer, and wife Emma Nilson, living at 901 Montana Avenue.

The name Nilson is sometimes seen in online records for this family written as Nielson. Elsa M. A. Nilson and her younger sister Anna E. C. Nilson are the daughters of Swedish immigrants Nils I. Nilson and his wife Emma. At the time of the 1900, 1910 and 1920 Federal Census the family was living in Beaverton, about 10 miles southwest of Portland. Elsa would have been about 22 years old when she received the postcard from Esther. But who were the kids in the photo? A Wisconsin marriage record was found for an Nils Nilson and Emma Carlequist, dated 1891, which could be a match, since the 1900 census gives their marriage year at about 1890, but nothing was found linking the Carlequist name to Carl or Mina that are mentioned in the postcard (or sender, Esther.) Mina could be Mina Lilja, wife of Gustav H. Lilja; the couple was living in Boring in 1910….

Real Photo Postcard, Used with writing. Postmarked October, Circa 1915 from Boring, Oregon.

Price:  $5.00

Sources:  R. L. Polk & Co.’s Polk’s Portland City Directory, 1914. Vol. 51. p. 1067. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995)

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Polk’s Portland City Directory, 1915. Vol. 52. p. 893. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995)

“Wisconsin, Marriages, 1836-1930,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 25 November 2015), Nils Nilson and Emma Carlequist, 12 Oct 1891; citing reference Vol 1, P 362, N 82; FHL microfilm 1,275,494.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Beaverton, Washington, Oregon; Roll: 1353; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0147; FHL microfilm: 1241353. (

Year: 1910; Census Place: Beaverton, Washington, Oregon; Roll: T624_1291; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0265; FHL microfilm: 1375304. (

Year: 1920; Census Place: Beaverton, Washington, Oregon; Roll: T625_1505; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 403; Image: 773. (

Acorn Stoves & Ranges

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Trade Card for Rathbone, Sard & Co. and Acorn Stoves & Ranges. Circa 1886. Lithograph company:  J. Ottmann, New York.

Price:  $20.00           Size:  About 3 and 7/8 x 4 and 1/2″

A white veil or a goof-up?

You’ll notice the “waves” in this trade card – it’s not laying completely flat, but still an exceptional card:  showing an image of a Victorian Era auburn-haired beauty, in a sumptuous red gown trimmed with white lace and beads (or faux pearls?) wearing a long, large-beaded necklace, draped several times over, and with a cross pendant. (I keep thinking Madonna in the eighties). One of the best things is her headdress of oak leaves and acorns (love it!) She appears on a pale background of green leaves and acorns over red. But wait – what is the white part flowing from her left ear to shoulder? How funny – did the artist change his design and forget to fix it, or could it be meant to represent a veil flowing from the headdress? Hmmmm.

Almost a century

Acorn was a popular brand of stoves and ranges manufactured by Rathbone, Sard & Co., a very successful firm that had gone through a couple of name changes in it’s earlier decades; the company appears to have lasted until around 1925. It was started by Joel Rathbone, between about 1827 and 1830 in Albany, New York, appearing under the name of Heermans, Rathbone & Co. in newspaper ads for 1830. According to A. T. Andreas’ History of Chicago, Vol. 3, the partner, Mr. (John) Heermans died in 1830. Although, an online tree includes a biography of Joel Rathbone (1806 – 1863) that indicates Hermans (Heermans) died in 1829, and provides further background information – that Joel started as a clerk for his brother Valentine Rathbone in the grocery business, and as early as 1827 was in business under Heermans, Rathbone & Co. Below is an 1830 ad from The Onondaga Standard. (

Heermans Rathbone & Co Ad 1830

Firm name Rathbone, Sard & Co. established in 1873

In February of 1873, an ad ran in the Chicago Daily Tribune ( showing the dissolution of the co-partnership, John F. Rathbone & Co. to the formation of co-partnership Rathbone, Sard & Co. According to the ad, this change took place in Albany, January 1, 1873.

Rathbone Sard & Co Clip 1873  

The brand Acorn was not found in any ads prior to (the officially-named in 1873) Rathbone, Sard & Co. And there are a number of different trade cards for the company currently found online; our particular beauty above, is extolling the virtues of  “The Eastern Acorn for 1886”  advertising it as,  “The most Successful and Deservedly Popular Surface Burning Revertible Flue Stove on the Market.”  Design-engineered for cleanliness, comfort, ease of use, and efficiency; the description includes details like the fact that the body of the stove was constructed from the best Russia sheet iron.

Sources:  Russia iron. n.d. (accessed November 22, 2015).

“Joel Rathbone” and “Hudson-Mohawk genealogical and family memoirs.” Public Family Trees. (accessed November 22, 2015).

The Onondaga Standard. 15 Sep, 1830:  Wednesday, p.1 (

Andreas, Alfred T. History of Chicago, Vol. 3. pp. 483-484. Chicago:  A.T. Andreas Co. 1886. (Google eBook).

Chicago Daily Tribune. 22 Feb, 1873:  Saturday, p. 1 (

Torrance, Pat. History Cast in Iron at the Old Stove Works. Sept. 12, 2011. ( Web accessed November 22, 2015.

Corey & Stewart, Newark, NJ

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“Corey & Stewart, Fashionable Hatters and Furriers. 711 & 713 Broad Street. Newark, N. J.”

As of the date of this post, no other trade cards were found online for Corey & Stewart, which is a little surprising because they were a very successful firm. It’s another lithograph print by Bufford (new category going up) and a great design, in black on pale green, of the Roman ruins of Pompeii in the moonlight with an insert of a very fashionable couple on horseback.

The wonderfully detailed description below (we expect nothing less from the time period it was written, but thank you) is from William F. Ford’s The Industrial Interests of Newark, N. J….(1874) and reveals that Corey & Stewart was established in 1852 by James W. Corey, who was joined by James H. Stewart in 1863.

Corey & Stewart   

Corey & Stewart Ad 1870    An 1870 city directory showing the  “magnificent iron front building”  described above.

1868 and 1869 directories show they were located at 232 Broad Street, and by 1870 at 711 – 713 Broad St. The old address is also noted in the above directory ad. Listings were found for Corey & Stewart through the year 1896.

Trade Card for Corey & Stewart, Newark, NJ. Circa 1870 – 1896.

Price:  $25.00           Size:  About 5 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/8″

Sources:  Ford, William F. The Industrial Interests of Newark, N. J., Containing an Historical Sketch of the City…New York: Van Arsdale & Co., 1874. p.242. (Google eBook).

A. Stephen Holbrook’s Holbrook’s Newark City Directory, 1869. p. 155. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989).

A. Stephen Holbrook’s Holbrook’s Newark City Directory, 1870. p. 169. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989).

A. Stephen Holbrook’s Holbrook’s Newark City Directory, 1896. p. 330. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1989).

Compliments Of Jimmie To Mrs. Carrie Hoagland

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Carte de Visite. Photo of Jimmie to a Mrs. Carrie Hoagland. Circa 1870s.

Price:  $5.00        Size:  About 2 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/2″

A Carte de Visite photo from about the 1870s….of Jimmie to a Mrs. Carrie Hoagland. Just look at that beautiful handwriting! Jimmie, a nice-looking young man with a heartbreakingly sad expression, (awww, hugs) wears a suit coat with wide lapels, a white shirt and a short necktie, and looks to be about sixteen or so. Was this a school photo given to his teacher? Carrie, Caroline or Carolina Hoagland (Mrs.) – wow, there are far too many possibilities under this name. What might give us a clue is the second word that is scribbled over at the bottom – if anyone can decipher it! I came up with some crazy words that when Googling, were identified, for example, as a fictional place in the land of Mario Bros. (hee hee) or the name of a Brazilian steel tube maker (lordy). But it seems like it might be a last name, as the first word there looks like “Hannah.” And maybe it was written around the same time that Jimmie signed the card – the “H” is in the same style.

J. P. Roberts, Druggist, Hastings, MI

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Besides advertising the business for  “J. P. Roberts, Druggist and Pharmacist, Dealer In Books, Stationery, Paints Oils and Dye Stuffs, Hastings, Mich.”  this trade card/bookmark contains the following words of wisdom:

“Time is money”   “Where there is a will there is a way”  and one this web author had never heard before,  “Speak the truth, no lie thrives.”  (A good one!)

The Hidden Garden

Not to forget to mention the beautiful partridge, and pale gold-colored lettering and fancy design, in general. Click on the image to enlarge, then notice the seated lady in her front garden. (A bonus!)  At the bottom are printed the words:   “Entered According to Act of Congress by Gibson & Co. in the Year 1874 in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.”

James P. Roberts and Family

J. P. was James P. Roberts. From the 1880 Federal Census for Hastings, he was born in Pennsylvania, about 1825; wife Anna M. Roberts, born in Maine, about 1834; their daughters, Clara W., age ten, and Sarah E., age six, both born in Michigan. Anna was the daughter of David G. Robinson (who became Hastings City bank president) and Sarah B. (Keith) Robinson.

The 1860 shows James and wife Annie, and Mary F., age five, and Annie D. Roberts, age four (daughters presumably) as well as Augustus Taylor, age eleven (the 1860 census did not give relationships.)

Hastings’ First

J. P. Roberts has the distinction of opening the first drug store in Hastings, in 1851. About 1860 he took on Daniel Striker as partner in the drugstore/book seller business, and their partnership lasted about six years. Striker would become well-known in Hastings history, he served as County Clerk and was twice-elected Secretary of State, among other achievements.

Trade Card, Bookmark. J. P. Roberts Druggist and Pharmacist, Hastings, Michigan. Circa 1874.

Price:  $15.00        Size:  4 and 1/2 x 1 and 5/8″

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Hastings, Barry, Michigan; Roll: 570; Family History Film: 1254570; Page: 113C; Enumeration District: 040; Image: 0607. (

Year: 1860; Census Place: Hastings, Barry, Michigan; Roll: M653_536; Page: 747; Image: 245; Family History Library Film: 803536. (

Michigan Historical Collections, Vol. 29. Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society. pp. 416 – 418. (Google eBook).

Walton, Esther. A Look Back:  A review of the businesses, organizations and history – of Hastings, Michigan. (Google snippet view).

Michigan Historical Collections, Vol. 28. Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society. p. 378. (Google eBook).

The Youth’s Companion

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Trade Card. The Youth’s Companion. Boston, Mass. Circa 1887.

Price:  $12.00        Size:  3 and 3/4 x 5 and 7/8″

“The Youth’s Companion. An Illustrated Paper. For Young People And The Family. Published Weekly By Perry Mason & Co. Boston Mass.”

What a beautiful illustration (!) and perfect for autumn with the gorgeous mums in the foreground. The background delights us, as well, with a castle, mountains and an unusual pale green-tinted sky.

The Youth’s Companion ran from 1827 – 1929 when it merged with The American Boy. The Companion, like the back of the card states, was popular with adults as well as children, and ran contributions from many famous authors…..I’m thinking there must be many “stories within the story” here (very fitting for a magazine) but one is it’s “connection” to The Pledge of Allegiance and another is it’s connection (in the future) with the fictional character Perry Mason. Check out the Wiki article. And see Dr. John W. Baer’s  “Chapter Two: The Youth’s Companion’s Pledge”  (2007) for an in-depth look as to who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance and more about The Youth’s Companion.

As far as the date for the trade card, we’ll estimate 1887, as Pinterest shows the same card that we have, and along with it, a very similar one with an 1887 calendar.


Sources:  The Youth’s Companion. n.d.’s_Companion. (accessed November 15, 2015).

Baer, John W., “Chapter Two:  The Youth’s Companion’s Pledge” The Pledge of Allegiance, A Revised History and Analysis, 2007. (Web accessed November 15, 2015.)