From Liona And Buddie

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Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked December 24, 1914 from Norwalk, Connecticut.

Price:  $5.00

“A Merrie Xmass to all from Liona & Buddie. Come up to see our tree.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Raymond & Daughter, Upper Main St., Norwalk, Conn.”

Two adorable kids bundled up for winter. The one, about three or four, pushes the other, about one year old, in a stroller. One might think that’s Buddie on the right and Liona on the left, but the names could be for the parents, instead. Nothing definitive shows up in Norwalk for them and same for the addressees. But on a different note, the outfit of the older child might remind you of those little Christmas-y figurines of the kids all bundled up in white – I found out that they are called “Snow Babies” and there are modern collectibles as well as antique figurines.

Christmas Greetings From Mrs. R. Behrle

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“Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Mrs. R. Behrle.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Main, 253 14th St, San Francisco, Cal.”

Another in the Ethel Main Collection, and a beauty – holly and berries on a background of pale blue and cream, with a gold-tone border. The holly, lettering and border is embossed but the background has a smaller embossing to give it a textured look. Notice on the larger sprig of holly, the brown stem sticking up at the top right, with the very small leaf – a realistic touch, since if you were to take a cutting from a tree or plant you’d not normally find each leaf, berry or whatever in top form. It’s the little details like this that let us see into the thought process of the artist.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked from San Francisco, California on December 23, 1909.

Price:  $5.00

Christmas Greetings, Period

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I find it amusing that the phrase  “Christmas Greetings.”  was printed with a period at the end – hence the title of this post. This card was printed in Germany and has a coat of arms logo on the back but the publisher name is not known at this time. The front shows a simple design of a nighttime country home in winter, framed by icicles and pine boughs. It’s another from the Ethel Main Collection and addressed to “Tottie” not Lottie –  other cards have confirmed Ethel’s nickname. The sender wrote:

“Dear Tottie. A Merry ‘Xmas’ to you all. Blanche & Bert.”  Addressed to:

“Miss Ethel Main, No 3622 18th st. San Francisco, Calif.”

The postage stamp is a one cent Balboa, for Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Spanish explorer that crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean in 1513. It was issued to promote the upcoming 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition, and one of a set that payed tribute to the opening of the Panama Canal, which would not take place until August 15, 1914. In mint condition, an online source indicates this stamp would be worth about $23.00.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 23, 1913 from Santa Cruz, California. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $4.00

Source:  Vasco Núñez de Balboa. n.d. (accessed December 28, 2015).

Chase Each Shadow Cold

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Christmas card, circa 1890s.

Price:  $4.00.      Size:  5 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/4.

“May this joyous Christmas Day

Chase each shadow cold away.”

A Christmas card on heavier stock, done in brown tones, of a quaint stone church in a country setting. The back shows,  “With Love from Nettie.”

The name Nettie was not uncommon at one point. This card is estimated to be from about the 1890s. Nettie may have been a nickname for Annette, Anita, Henriette, Gianetta, Jeanette, or Antoinette, just to name some possibilities. In a quick Ancestry search, the name Nettie comes up most often for women born between about 1870 and 1900, then starts dropping off. Reminds me of the mystery we have on our Irish side, Nettie McPharlin, daughter of Edward McPharlin and Bridget Fosset, “married a Mr. Devett.” What are the odds of this card being from my 3rd-times great Aunt Nettie? Probably about the same as winning the lottery, but it’s a good reminder to renew the search for our Nettie.

A Buzza Company Christmas Card

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“A Happy Christmas Day

I hope you find this Christmas Day

The best you ever spent;

I hope it dawns with happiness

And closes with content.”

Signed,  Sis. Margaret.”  A beautiful Buzza Company Christmas card of candles and holly done in unusual colors of purple, aqua, pink, shimmery gold-tone and with black accents bringing out the Art Deco style.

George E. Buzza (1883 – 1957) founded The Buzza Company in Minneapolis, MN and started printing greeting cards in 1910. In 1928 he sold 52 percent of his stock in the company and moved to California. There he went into partnership with a former business associate and was president of the Hollywood greeting card company, Buzza-Cardozo. Buzza was hugely successful and is known for his innovative use of color, and employing well-known artists and writers.

See the detailed Find A Grave entry for George Earl Buzza, as well as the Buzza lofts article below. This Christmas card is the second Buzza card we’ve found, so we’ll start a new website category, and since there are a number of newspapers articles available we’ll put up a separate post for this publisher in the near future (to be able to add a little to others’ excellent research.)

Christmas card, circa 1910 – 1920s. Publisher:  The Buzza Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Price:  $20.00       Size:  3 and 1/8 x 6 and 3/4″

Sources:  Koutsky, L. (2013, April 23) Checking out the buzz at Buzza Lofts. The Journal. Retrieved from:

Find A Grave Memorial# 109769477. April 30, 2013. Find A Grave. Web accessed December 25, 2015.

Good Morning Everybody, It’s Christmas

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“Good Morning Everybody, Its Christmas – And I Wish You Happiness.”

A perfect card for our Christmas morning, 2015. It shows an illustration of an 19th-Century gentleman doffing his top hat to salute all and sundry this Christmas morn. He appears from the upstairs wooden-framed window, shutter thrown open, and coffee pot resting on the snow-covered window ledge. On second thought, maybe that’s a tankard of ale.

The card is signed but the surname is a little difficult to decipher. After trying multiple possibilities our best guess is Guilbault, so  “Joe Guilbault.”

Christmas card, unknown publisher, unknown date.

Price:  $4.00       Size:  About 3 and 1/8 x 4 and 1/2″

L. Prang & Co. Christmas Card

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“May Christmas fill thy heart with gladness!”

For anyone tired of the cold and snow, here’s a beautiful bouquet of pink roses and a summery nature scene on an artist’s palette. The little moon-shaped tableau shows a woman in the foreground with a dog, a man seated a short distance behind her, and a church in the far distance. The publisher’s name and date appear below the palette:  Copyright 1886 by L. Prang & Co., Boston.

L. Prang was the influential lithographer and publisher Louis Prang (1824 – 1909) who is referred to as the “father of the American Christmas Card.” His Christmas cards were first offered for sale in the United States in 1874, but he is also well-known for publishing major works of art and maps. He was born in Breslau, Prussian Silesia (now Poland) and died in Los Angeles, California. Photo below courtesy Wikipedia. Check out the two links if you have the time, they are quite interesting reading, and a quick search for online images will bring up many examples in a wide range of art and ephemera.

Louis Prang

Louis Prang (1824 – 1909)

Christmas card, circa 1886. Publisher: L. Prang & Co., Boston, Massachusetts.

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

Sources:  Kavanagh, Marybeth. “Louis Prang, Father of the American Christmas Card.” New York Historical Society,  December 19, 2012. Web accessed December 24, 2015.

Louis Prang. n.d. (accessed December 24, 2015).

All Good Wishes For Christmas

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“All Good Wishes for Christmas.”

Here’s a total charmer:  A winter-y woodsy scene of two deer who’ve come visiting for Christmas. The first to arrive at the gated entrance is pulling the chain to ring the bell; the second was just a little behind but now turning the corner to join her.

“Hoping your Christmas will be a Happy one. Jack.”

Addressed to:   “Mr. Frank Krueglar, 48 Bank St., Troy N.Y.”

Frank V. Kruegler shows up with his parents and siblings at this address on the 1900 Federal Census. He is born March 1888 in New York; his parents are John and Anne Kruegler (John born in New York and Anne in Germany); and siblings are Joseph A., Anthony B., Mary G., George P., and August W. (all born in New York.) His father is a machinist and the oldest boy, John is working as a collar presser. Frank was age twenty when he received this card from Jack.

See under letter P for the publisher PFB.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 22, 1908 from Troy, New York. Publisher:  Paul Finkenrath, Ltd. (PFB). Printed in Germany. Numbers: 7846 Relief, 7849 Brillant, 7851 gel.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Year: 1900; Census Place: Troy Ward 5, Rensselaer, New York; Roll: 1152; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0075; FHL microfilm: 1241152. (

“F – Publishers. PFB.” (accessed December 23, 2015.)

The Old Live Oak, Wilmington, NC

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“From Lucylle Cale. Camden, N. J.”

Lucy/Lucille/Lucylle Cale and Cole was researched, and though there are both Cales and Coles in Camden, only Lucy Cole shows up in a 1943 Camden city directory.

I’ve had this postcard for a couple of years, didn’t get to posting it last Christmas, and was so sad to find out that this tree had been cut down just last month. It stood next to the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant and for decades was known as the World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree. An August 2015 online article reported that the Wilmington City Council voted in 2012 to end the tree lighting tradition, siting safety concerns, and the health of the tree, said to have been struggling for years.

StarNewsonline shows a photo from the first tree-lighting event, which was Christmas Eve 1928.

So, I have two of these postcards, and was looking for the other this morning, trying to remember if there was a date on the back of that one. Running short on time and wanted to get this one up, so will look later. But in looking up the publisher info – the photographer was the well-known Hugh Morton (1921 – 2006). Wow, this guy accomplished a lot during his lifetime – photographer, conservationist, etc….Surprisingly, no other postcards of this Live Oak are currently showing up on the internet, but I would say the card is probably from the 1950s or early 1960s. The description reads:

“World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree. Wilmington, North Carolina. This three hundred year old Live Oak is lighted with 4,000 multi-colored bulbs, and is viewed each December by a quarter of a million persons. Its limb spread is 110 feet and height 55 feet.”

300 years old per the postcard or quite a bit older – between 400 and 450 years (from the StarNews report) and earlier in it’s lifetime estimated to have been 70 to 75 feet in height, but ending up at about 55 feet due to the effects of years of ice storms.

On the subject of living Christmas trees, I’ll never forget the little Italian Stone Pine my mother-in-law gave us one year. The kind of tree you find at the drugstore, that often gets thrown out after Christmas (shudder). We had no place to plant it at that time, and there it was, about two feet tall, if that. Somehow it survived my non-diligent watering until we moved that summer to a place with a backyard. I planted it near a corner and named it Giovanni. We were only in that house for about seven years, but every time I’m in the area I drive by to see my old friend, which is huge and beautiful and thriving, and would now be about twenty-three years old. I thank God I didn’t toss out that scruffy little sapling, and most of all I bless the people in that house forever for taking such good care of my tree.

Divided back, unused with writing, postcard. Circa 1950s – early 1960s. Publisher information:  Published by Hugh Morton, Wilmington, NC; Plastichrome Colourpicture Publishers, Inc. Boston, Mass. Series or number:  P26400.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  “World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree To Be Cut Down ‘Soon.’ ”, August 31, 2015. Web accessed December 22, 2015.

Blevins, Ken. “#TBT – World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree.” StarNewsonline, December 17, 2015. Web accessed December 22, 2015.

Hugh Morton. n.d. (accessed December 21, 2015).

Wish I Had A Sleigh Ride

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Xmas Greetings….

“Merry Xmas. Wish I had a sleighride. No such snow out here. They don’t know what a bob sled is. Am feeling fine now. Am looking for a letter too.  A.W. 1222 N. Cascade Ave.”

Was that  “Am looking far better too” ? (No, but hehe). ….And see the prior post if you don’t know where the term “Xmas” came from…..

What exactly is a bob sled? Have to admit I wasn’t sure. Growing up in Michigan we always either went sledding (the Flexible Flyer type and a little later that aluminum saucer-shaped thing for one person, I think you could tell how much fun you’d had with that one by the number of dents it had accumulated) or tobogganing (similar to the bobsled but with a curled front and without the runners on the bottom). Without getting technical, and just from looking at old photos the bobsled was a multi-person sled that fit two or four persons, sometimes more depending on size, or how many wanted to try to fit at once. Some old bobsled photos show a wheel at the front, some just controls with rope, and some show hitched to a horse. Bobsledding is also called bobsleighing.

Addressed to:   “Mr. Harry Orr. Hillsdale, Ill.”

The sender, A.W., could be a relative of the Webb family, who were living at 1222 N. Cascade Ave in 1909 (city directory) and showing on the 1910 Federal Census, but there is no one with the first initial “A” in the household in 1910. From the note it sounds like the A.W. was visiting, anyway. But head of household at this address was Dr. Gerald B. Webb. Nothing was found for the recipient, Harry Orr, in Hillsdale or in Rock County, Illinois in general.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 22, 1909 from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Price:  $6.00

Sources:  Bobsleigh. n.d. (accessed December 19, 2015).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Colorado Springs Ward 1, El Paso, Colorado; Roll: T624_118; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0032; FHL microfilm: 1374131. (

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Colorado Springs, Colorado City and Manitou City Directory, 1909. p. 800. ( U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.)