A Leap Year Suggestion

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“Wonder why you don’t start somethin’

This is leap year don’t you see

If you’ll start the ball a-rollin’

You’ll get lots of help from me.”

Hmm, this is cute but doesn’t make a lot of sense – who’s doing the talking, the young lady or the young gent? Since by tradition in Leap Year or on Leap Day (take your pick for which folklore to follow), she can propose to him, but by tradition in general he can ask her whenever. Well anyway, a leap year, if you didn’t already know, occurs usually every four years. But the rule is the year has to be equally dividable by four, but on century years (for instance year 1900), if the year is not equally dividable by 400, then it cannot be a leap year.

Divided back, unused postcard. Number or series S87. Publisher unknown. Made in the U.S.A. Circa 1908, 1912, 1916, 1920.

Price:  $10.00

Glenwood Stoves And Ranges

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Trade Card for Glenwood Stoves and Ranges. Sold by L. L. Crosby. Circa 1890s. Lithographer: J. Ottmann Lithography Company, New York.

Price:  $7.00

This is the second stove trade card that we have so far; there are sure to be more. The front of the card is a beautiful lithograph by the J. Ottman Co. of a lovely smiling brunette wrapped in a large blue head scarf (makes you think warmth) and states  “Perfect with a faultless record.”  On the back:

“Glenwood Stoves and Ranges! The Glenwood is indispensible to progress in cookery as well as comfort and convenience in modern housekeeping.

Sold by L. L. Crosby, Putney, VT.”

Tinsmith, Leslie L. Crosby

The seller is Leslie L. Crosby, and we find his marriage record online:  On September 19, 1889, he married Jessie R. Underwood in Putney, Vermont. Leslie was born in Waltham, Mass to Ariel Crosby and Marion Weston. His occupation at the time was Tinsmith, his age 25, so he was born about 1864.

Waltham, Mass city directories for 1884 and 1886 list Leslie L. Crosby, Tinsmith, at address Bacon corner of School, and  “bds do”  is “boards ditto” so presumably working and living at the same address. Surprisingly, not much else came up on Leslie in online searches. So, on to Glenwood…

We see a very similar to ours, Glenwood stove model at Sarah’s Antique Stoves. Scroll down to their 063 Glenwood H 1893 entry. (Wow, one could instantly fall in love with antique stoves. Such beauty!)

Glenwood stoves and ranges were made by the Weir Stove Company of Taunton, Mass. See the Good Time Stove Co.

Always looking in ads…

In newspaper advertisements “Glenwood Ranges” are starting to be mentioned around 1883 but “Glenwood Stoves and Ranges” not mentioned as such till around 1887. Here’s one of the latter that appeared in the Sacramento, California Union-Record July 8th.

1887 Ad for Glenwood

Jumping ahead about thirty years, a Kingston, New York ad that appeared February 13th 1917 in The Kingston Daily Freeman. With that caption you’d wonder if the temperature had dropped to negative 16 degrees that winter.

16 Below Ad for Glenwood

Last but not least, for more on Wier see the Wikipedia article Old Weir Stove Building. The old Weir building later housed the Rogers Silver Company. Photo (public domain) by Marcbela (Marc N. Belanger). This building is on the U. S. National Register of Historic Places.

FB Rogers


Sources:  Original data: State of Vermont. Vermont Vital Records through 1870. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. (Ancestry.com)

W. A. Greenough & Co.’s The Waltham and Watertown Directory, 1884. p. 54. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995).

W. A. Greenough & Co.’s The Waltham and Watertown Directory, 1886. p. 73. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995).

“Stoves For Sale – 063 Glenwood H 1893.”  (sarahsantiquestoves.com) Web accessed February 28, 2016.

Good Time Stove Co. (stoveprincess@goodtimesstove.com) Web accessed February 28, 2016.

Santa Ana Register. Sacramento, California. Friday, July 8, 1887. p. 2. (Newspapers.com)
The Kingston Daily Freeman. Kingston, New York. Tuesday, February 13, 1917. p. 3. (Newspapers.com)
Old Weir Stove Building. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Weir_Stove_Building. (accessed February 28, 2016).

WAB & Mother

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This small studio portrait was found, in a beautiful little cream-colored wooden frame, in an antique store in Castroville, California. On the back, which was sealed up in brown paper, was written,  “WAB & Mother.”  This is the only clue we have to the lovely young woman’s identity, and it’s the most logical guess that WAB are her initials.

The framed photo has been hanging on the wall next to my computer for almost a year, and I’ve naturally become attached to the unknown woman, not to mention debating off and on whether to break into the professional framing job to see if there is any i.d on the back of the photo itself….So yesterday, after an espresso and in a fit of cleaning and organizing, I finally gave in to curiosity. Alas, the only writing is the photographer’s note:   3/4″ 11487 – 846 – 55¢.  trim off white.”  (Bugger!)

Well, she’ll go back up on the wall where she belongs, unless someone recognizes this woman as someone from their own family. And who knows whether WAB actually lived in the Castroville area, or in California at all, and this is probably wrong but maybe it’s because her portrait was found on the Central Coast that I think of her as a Portuguese fisherman’s daughter.

Framed studio portrait, circa 1880s – 1890s.

Price:  $15.00       Size:  3 and 1/2 x 5 and 1/4.”

Soapine Trade Card

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Soapine Trade Card, Circa 1880s. Lithographer:  William Karle, Rochester, New York.

Price:  $15.00.    Condition:  Very good, lays flat, no water damage or tears (click trade card images to see condition.)         Size:   About 5 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/2″

Beauty, eh?  Et elle montre un Québécois sans doute!  This trade card shows a man tobogganing (I like his style) wearing a white wool coat with blue and red stripes. (One might recall the Hudson’s Bay Company blankets. I see a vintage blanket at the time of this post on Etsy, with the red, blue and yellow stripe, though the yellow in our man’s coat appears as part of the barely visible lining.) And there’s his ceinture or sash, as in the days of the voyageurs. This card looks to have been one of a set of five, per a current eBay offering which includes another with the toboggan and three with a snowshoe theme.

Whale Oil?

There are hundreds of Soapine trade cards online, many, like the portion below from Google images, show the trademark whale, which personally I find hard to look at, but it was a different day and age back then, when whale oil was used for a variety of things, including in the making of soap and margarine.

Soapine Google Images

A short article from an 1881 Boston trade journal described someone’s analysis of Soapine in comparing it’s components to that of  “good Castile soap.”  

1881 Soapine Analysis

Predating the above, an ad was found dated July 11, 1879 in the Bangor Daily Whig and Courier.


Jumping back to the trade card…Can you find the lithographer name on the back?

Barely noticeable is the stamp from the lithographer that appears on the back of the card, just under Kendall Mfg. Co. which reads:  W. Karle, Rochester, N.Y, deciphered thanks to the eBay set of five, mentioned up top, where the name is much more discernible.

W. Karle is identified from the 1880 Federal Census for Rochester as William Karle, born in New York, occupation Lithographer; age 25; married to Mary (Eyer) Karle, born in Bavaria, age 28; their daughter, nine-month old Emila; and head of household on this census, Mary’s mother, Mary Eyer.

Below, an entry from the University of Rochester Library Bulletin, Vol. XXXV, 1982 regarding Rochester fruit and flower plates, by Karl Sanford Kabelac:

Karle & Co.; Karle & Reichenbach
William Karle (Rochester, September 19, 1854-Rochester, December 4, 1932) began his own lithographic company in Rochester in 1879. Anton Rahn was his partner for the first several years, and an 1881 guide to Rochester industries noted that Rahn & Karle had nine experienced employees, with Rahn responsible for the art work and Karle the engraving. From 1881 to 1883, according to the city directories, William F. Reichenbach was his partner. The firm was called Karle & Co. and then (1883) Karle & Reichenbach. Beginning in 1884, Karle is listed without a partner. Karle & Co. continued until 1932, when it merged with Stecher Lithographic (q.v.).

Looking very much like a business card, an 1879 city directory ad for William Karle.

Wm Karle Ad in 1879 Rochester City Directory p. 526

And back to Soapine again….

From an October 18, 1896 Boston Post article about Kendall Manufacturing, which mentioned a great company line that was seen at their exhibit at a food fair:   “Rain makes mud, mud makes dust and dust makes soap – necessary.”

Home Soapine Ad

Below, a nostalgically humorous by today’s standards, 1947 advertisement from the Troy Record.

1947 Soapine Ad

According to Kevin MacDonnell (MacDonnell Rare Books) Kendall Manufacturing lasted into the late 1950s, quite a long run from their established date of 1827! See his research regarding trade card artist Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Soapine and Kendall Manufacturing.

Sources:  “5 Fabulous Vict. Trade cards- Soapine- Snow shoe and Toboggan- 1880s.” eBay. Web accessed February 20, 2016.

Nichols, M.D., James R., ed. “Analysis of Soapine,”  The Boston Journal of Chemistry, Journal of Chemistry Company. Vol. XV. (1881):  pp. 136 – 137. (Google eBooks).

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier. Bangor, Maine. Fri, Jul 11, 1879 – Page 2. (Newspapers.com)

Year: 1880; Census Place: Rochester, Monroe, New York; Roll: 863; Family History Film: 1254863; Page: 57B; Enumeration District: 094; Image: 0701. (Ancestry.com)

Kabelac, Karl Sanford.  “University of Rochester Library Bulletin:  Nineteenth-Century Rochester Fruit and Flower Plates.”  Vol. XXXV. (1982). River Campus Libraries. (http://rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/2397). Web accessed February 20, 2016.

Drew, Allis & Company’s Rochester City Directory, 1879. Vol. XXX p. 526. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Boston Post. Boston, Massachusetts. Sun, Oct 18, 1896 – Page 21. (Newspapers.com)

The Troy Record. 27 Feb 1947. Thurs. p. 7. (Newspapers.com.)

MacDonnell, Kevin  “Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Trade Card Designs.”  The New Antiquarian, Blog of the ABAA. Web accessed February 20, 2016.

To My Sweetheart

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A Valentine’s Day postcard with Cupid riding up in the clouds in a small golden chariot that is overflowing with forget-me-nots, and being pulled by two doves. This one is signed presumably by the sender on the bottom right of the front of the card, but the name is hard to make out. Mailed to:

“Miss Ethel Main, 299 Sunol St., San Jose Calif.”

Undivided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked February 15, 1907 from San Francisco, California. Publisher:  The International Art Publishing Co., New York.

Price:  $3.00

I Can’t Tell Why But I Do

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here’s a postcard by the mysterious publisher D. Hillson, who did quite a number of cards, but who’s identity appears to be unknown. He was not found in city directories, Google Books, Newspapers.com, etc. This heart shaped design with couple kissing is one of a series of at least three (we see two others online at the moment.) But this is a funny one for the wording – murmured phrases by a couple in love:

“I can’t tell why but I do – do somthing doing all the time, you are my own arn’t you dearie. Put the lights out.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Myrtle Miller, Dunkirk, Ind.”  And the sender wrote something also a little mysterious:

“A.L. won’t say a word. It’s all O.K. though Sat. Night. H.”

Divided Back, used postcard. Postmarked November 20, 1908 from Dunkirk, Indiana.

Price:  $7.00

Happy Be Thy Birthday

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“The wish of thy friend is

Happy be thy Birthday”


Per musings from the prior post, here’s another card with the often seen stone bridge. A simple design in a fancy frame:  a winter scene with red bridge over a stream and a red house that’s supposed to be further in the background. One of the Lena Davis collection, and the sender wrote:

“Oct. 4, 1912. Dear Cousin. Many happy birthday greetings from Mr. and Mrs. C. Haney[?]”

Addressed to:   “Miss Lena Davis. Almena, Kans. R. F. D. #3”

And what almost went unnoticed was the publisher info which barely appears from under the postage stamp, indicating Copyright E. Nash.

Last but not least, this same design with a different message shows up on another card in the same collection.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked October 5, 1912 from Elwood, Nebraska. Publisher:  E. Nash. Landscape Series, No. 16B.

Price:  $3.00

J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co.

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“Compliments of J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co. Racine Wis. Send for Catalogue.”

Two travelers crossing a stone bridge in wintertime. The lithography company is Bufford, whose name shows halfway cutoff at the bottom left. This trade card is probably from the 1880s or ’90s. This is one of those posts that, in particular, could lead to hours of fascinating reading, if one has the time. According to the company’s ad in the 1929 city directory, the J. I. Case T. M. Co. was founded in 1842. It continued through many incarnations till the 1990s when it merged with CNH Global.

Founder Jerome Increase Case (1819 – 1891)

Jerome Increase Case

A full page ad from the 1929 Racine, Wisconsin city directory. There’s Old Abe’s likeness in the center; she was the famous eagle from the Wisconsin 8th Volunteer Infantry.

J I Case 1929 Ad

The real Old Abe with her color guard in Vicksburg, 1863.

Old Abe 1863

Our trade card at top, though not in the best of shape is, at the time this post was put up, the only one in it’s particular style, showing online. Although there are a few others that can be found, that are even more to the point, as they advertise some of the J. I. Case farm equipment being sold at the time. The “stone bridge” is a pretty common fixture in old trade cards, postcards and other ephemera. Our card was likely one of a set of winter scenes.

Trade card, J. I. Case Threshing Co. Circa 1880s – 1890s.

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

Sources:  Case Corporation. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_Corporation (accessed February 4, 2016).

John Henry Bufford. n.d https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Henry_Bufford (accessed February 4, 2016).

CNH Industrial. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNH_Industrial (accessed February 4, 2016).

Jerome Case. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_Case (accessed February 4, 2016).

Wright’s Racine (Wisconsin) City Directory, 1929, Vol. XXXI. p. 3. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Old Abe. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Abe (accessed February 4, 2016).