Scott Fountain, Belle Isle, 1942

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Old photo of the James Scott Memorial Fountain, Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan. August 29, 1942.

Price:  $3.00               Size:  3 and 1/2 x 2 and 1/2″

Since we were in Detroit (Hamtramck to be exact) for the last post, here’s a snapshot from 1942 of the James Scott Memorial Fountain. (Wonder if the guy who picked up his car at the factory stopped off to visit Belle Isle?) This thought conjured up the image of a scattering of hundreds of thousands of photos taken since the fountain’s completion in 1925, some that didn’t survive, but many resting in old photo albums and shoe boxes, and tons now in digital format (professional shots, wedding photos, group shots, selfies, etc.). Our photo above had made it out to San Francisco and was snatched up at the paper fair; a pocket-size repository of great memories of times spent on Belle Isle and the magnetic pull of a mini water-and-marble paradise.

Fountain Magic

Let’s go see the fountain! All fountains have an enchanting quality, don’t they? There’s the beneficial negative ions from the water’s spray, and if built into the design, the sheer beauty and whimsy and magic of characters so often depicted in fountain architecture, like the Scott’s turtles with their attendant frogs, it’s guardian lions with expressions so sweet you want to hug them (the lions, not their expressions, oh well, both), it’s winged beasties with ram-like horns, it’s devilish-looking water spirits riding happy fish….Surely too, we’re soaking up magic from the form of the fulfilled dream and hard work of the architects and sculptors, (in this case Cass Gilbert and Herbert Adams) the often-haggling city council members, (the Scott’s creation being controversial due to it’s namesake’s reputation; there’s the statue of the man himself overlooking the whole scene) the general laborers (of course) in the construction; and then the magic reinforced by all of us:  the residents and visitors that have and will come to a fountain to cool off, dream, celebrate, recharge, marvel and leave inspired.

Source:  James Scott Memorial Fountain. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Scott_Memorial_Fountain. (accessed June 24, 2016).

The Old Dodge Main, Hamtramck, 1940

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Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked April 17, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan.

Price:  $7.00

Built in 1910 and demolished in 1981, “Dodge Main” as it was commonly called, was the largest of the Chrysler plants, and located in Hamtramck, Michigan. The card’s caption in the “cloud” or maybe that’s factory steam 😉 shows,  “Where Dodge Passenger Cars Are Built – The Home Of Dependability. Detroit, Michigan.”

The postcard’s condition is poor due to the big crease down the middle, but the message on the back is a wonderful example of when a person could drive to the factory to pick up their new car. A. E. Schweitzer, the author of the article in the link above, mentions that many would plan their summer vacations around the purchase of the new vehicle. Whether this was common with car companies at this time or was exclusive to Dodge is a good question to research, but in any case, our sender writes:

“Dear George. We are at the Factory. Will get our car in a short time now. Hope every thing is O.K. at home. Regards to all. Tony[?]”

Sent to:   “Mr. George Hume. Truckee, Calif. Nevada co.”

Source:  Schweitzer, A. E. “Inside the Dodge Main plant:  1910 – 1981.” Allpar. (Web accessed June 25, 2016).

Hello, Old Sport

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Set of 2 sepia-toned mini-photos. Renault and driver. Circa 1924.

Price:  $10.00

Size of top photo:  About 2 and 5/8 x 1 and 5/8.”    Size of bottom photo:  About 2 and 3/4 x 1 and 5/8.”

While out one afternoon with my friend, Tina (thinking it may have been last year, time flies, good grief!) we stopped at a thrift store, and I found a cool-looking book My Father Mr. Mercédès by Guy Jellinek-Mercédès (copyright 1961 and translated by Ruth Hassell). Someone (thank you!) had placed these two old photos within the pages. I think we were in Pacific Grove at the time, so it’s possible that the photos were local or at least taken in California. There is no writing on the back of either, so the name of the young man proudly showing off his car, is unknown. Though grainy, the shots are perfect for being able to identify the make, model and year, as in:  there’s the front on a nice angle, and a full side view. We’re looking at the steering wheel on the left, a horn on the outside, the hood coming to a point with a small round grill in the center, side vents and five characters in the license plate (018 – M3). But after browsing through hundreds of images online yesterday, the match was not found. My brilliant mechanic techno hubby is all into the newer stuff (we’re opposites) and he tells me he’s seen the model before but just can’t place the name. Maybe someone out there will recognize this car immediately and will comment, but if not I’ll try to hunt down some local experts who will know….

Update:  Thanks to the lightning-quick help on the forum from one of the members of the Antique Automobile Club of America:  This car is a Renault, circa 1924. In searching for Renault in this time period the word Torpedo shows up quite a bit, but FYI, the “torpedo body” style was not exclusive to Renault, and is a term that shows up in old newspapers at least as early as July 25, 1909 per the article below:

The Torpedo Body

Source:  St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) 25 Jul 1909, Sun. Main Edition, p. 2. (Newspapers.com)

Greetings To Father

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Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked April 11th, circa 1907, from Los Angeles, California. Publisher:  The Rotograph Co. New York, New York. Copyright 1906. Series B1229.

Price:  $8.00

A bevy of beautiful women for Dad, for Father’s Day, which was yesterday. We’re not finding any others like this at the moment, online. This is one from the Alice Ellison Collection. The sender writes:

“Just got a letter from Babe this morning, was so glad to hear from her. Dossie.”  Addressed to:

“Mr. J. M. Ellison. Pueblo, Colo.  26 St. & Cheyenne Ave.”

318 San Andres Street, September 1948, Philippines

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Old photo, Philippines, 318 San Andres Street, September 1948

Price:  $15.00             Size:  About 3 and 1/4 x 4 and 1/2″

You never know where an old photo will take you….

In this case we’ve traveled to September 1948, San Andres Street, to what most certainly has to be Malate, Manila, Philippines. The key to the country of origin is the distinctive window shade design, similar to those appearing below from a Google search re “Philippines old photos of windows.”

Google images Philippine windows

But even better:   One of postcard collector David Montasco’s snapshots, via the Google website Panoramio, titled San Andres Street bahay na Bato 2014, gives us a storefront view on San Andres Street sixty-six years later.  No, it’s not our 318 address but it could be close by. (The difference 66 years has made to San Andres Street, Malate, Manila, Philippines….there’s a fascinating topic all by itself. How many different viewpoints does the contrast conjure up? For me, overwhelming beauty – life on this planet.) And what a great shot….the colors, the old street light, the conglomeration of wires, the tin roof, etc. Love it.) Anyway, in addition to focusing on the window shades, you can see similarities in the two storefront facades. And, I don’t know about you, but I’m comparing the pose and look of the young man in our black and white photo in the window, top left, and the guy in 2014 behind the pop bottles and motorcycle. Wow, wouldn’t it be something if they were actually related? (I’m hearing some scoffs, chuckle.) Well, stranger things have happened.

But back to the old photo…

Tining’s Dry Cleaners (and) Laundry was not found from our vantage point of online searches, but likely there’s more info to be had out there somewhere, an old directory, or maybe someone who remembers their parents or grandparents mentioning this dry cleaners. But if we could only read the cursive writing underneath “Cleaners Laundry” ….is that the proprietor’s name or is it something in Tagalog? As per the norm with these elusive types, you can almost make out the wording, but argggh! not quite. Then there’s something else printed there in white, at the bottom. And, last, but not least, the back of the photo shows:

“x marks my Room at 318 San Andres   Sept 1948.”  Ahhh, the memory of place, captured forever in time.

Sources:  Google search for “Philippines old photos of windows.” (accessed June 18, 2016).

Montasco, David. “San Andres Street bahay na Bato 2014.” http://www.panoramio.com/photo/113277366. (accessed June 18, 2016).

Roberta In Cap And Gown

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Cropped old photo, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $3.00              Size:  About 2 x 3″

Still in school dayz for one more post….This is a cropped portrait of a beautiful African American woman in her graduation cap and gown, holding her diploma. The time-frame is maybe 1920s – 1930s. The reverse shows her writing, too bad it’s so cut off. Guessing from the signature that her name is Roberta, and we do know another thing about her:  she had a good sense of humor. She jokes that (likely this photo) is,  “something to frighten the mosquitos away. smile.”

Old School At The Corner Of 30th Street And….

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Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1910s -1920s. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $8.00

A Real Photo Postcard from maybe the 1910s – ’20s of a parochial school somewhere in the United States (per the American flags in the windows that the kids made.) One figures it was probably not taken in the Southwest, due to the building style:  brick and lots of them, a four-story building. As for the parochial, there’s the cross at the top. We see streetcar tracks, a number of kids (and you can see how the camera couldn’t capture the images of the ones in motion) and a few adults. There are two major clues to the name and location of this school, which both remain a mystery:  the nun in conversation with the policeman or fire chief – her style of habit should identify the religious order, but nothing was found online; and the street sign. Maddeningly (!) 30th St. is easily read but the almost-discernible cross street….what is it?

Huyler’s Bonbons And Chocolates

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Trade card for Huyler’s Cocoa and Chocolate. Circa 1903.

Price:  $15.00          Size:  4 and 1/2 x 2 and 7/8″

For the Huyler’s or the Goldberg, Bowen & Co. collector:  At the time of this post, this appears to be the only Huyler’s card in this particular design, though the condition is poor due to the creases.

The little scene playing out up top shows two children who’ve found the chocolate stash at home, while the third, the lookout, is in the act of sounding the warning alarm.

On the front:   “Huyler’s Delicious Bonbons and Chocolates. Copyright 1903.”
The back shows a design in blue indicating from pod to cup,  “without alteration”  and  “quality unequaled.”  Printed in red on the side is:

“Sales Agents Goldberg, Bowen & Co.   San Francisco and Oakland, Cal.”

The Goldberg, Bowen & Co. stores were described by a San Francisco Chronicle writer in 1886 as,  “paradise for the bon-vivant,”  offering local grocery, household and other items as well as those imported from all over the world. The company’s origins come by way of The Bowen Bros. (who started out as fruit merchants) and grocery, wine and tea merchants, Lebenbaum & Goldberg. In 1881 Lebenbaum & Goldberg consolidated with The Bowen Bros. and became Lebenbaum, Goldberg & Bowen. In 1885 Bowen bought out Lebenbaum and the company became known as Goldberg, Bowen & Co. Newspaper ads can be found as late as 1925 for their 242 Sutter St., SF address. They prospered in Oakland, as well, having a couple of smaller stores in that city, but expanding to their 13th and Clay Street location around 1901.

Beyond the rubble…

Below, posted here with permission from the California Historical Society, a compelling photo, taken after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, of the site of GB&Co’s earlier Sutter St. store. Beyond the rubble, a large ad on one of the buildings still standing in the background reads:   “Goldberg, Bowen and Co. Grocers Will Open a Grand New Store, Van Ness & Sutter. Present Location 2829 Cal. St., Cor. Haight & Masonic.”   (One hundred and ten years later, this ad could easily mislead us:  2829 California Street and the corner of Haight and Masonic are two different locations.) The 1905 city directory shows all four SF locations as:  230-234 Sutter Street; 2829 California Street; the southwest corner of Haight and Masonic; and 426-432 Pine. In 1909 GB&Co. rebuilt the Sutter St. store at 242-254 Sutter (later just 242 Sutter) and thankfully, the building still stands today. Oh, but the poignant toppled stonework with the fox or wolf’s head, front left (!) The fox has a ring in his mouth, sort of reminding one of a large doorknocker. Wonder what building he had belonged to?

GB&C photo

Title: Site of Sutter St. store of Goldberg, Bowen & Co. [No. 103.] Creator/Contributor: Knight, George H. Date: 1906. Credit Line: Courtesy, California Historical Society

Other Sources:  Huyler’s. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huyler’s. (accessed June 11, 2016).

“The Epicure’s Resort.”  San Francisco Chronicle, December 8, 1886, Wednesday, p. 1. (Newspapers.com.)

“Consolidation!”  San Francisco Chronicle, December 8, 1881, Saturday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com.)

“Goldberg, Bowen & Co. Importers of Fancy Groceries and Caterers to Epicures in Table Delicacies and Fine Wines.”  San Francisco Chronicle, August 8, 1885, Saturday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com.)

“New Store A Big Success.”  Oakland Tribune, February 13, 1901, Wednesday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com.)

Crocker-Langley’s San Francisco City Directory, 1905. p. 2127. (Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.)

Walnut Festival Parade

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Vintage parade photo, 1950s, Walnut Festival.

Price:  $10.00            Size:  5 x 3 and 1/2″

Circa 1950s, of the Walnut Festival Parade, showing a view of horses, tacked up in silver finery, and their riders (does the guy in the foreground remind you of Teddy Roosevelt?) in hats and typical fifties-era cowboy shirts, on parade before an audience lined up on both sides of the street. The most logical guess for location would be Walnut Creek, California. We’re not finding city directories or old phone books online for this time-frame for Walnut Creek, so perhaps the answer lies in a local library. (A day trip on the horizon?) One of the most helpful clues to identify the city would be the restaurant on the left. You can see a sign showing “Chick’s Eat”  above the  “….Famous Fried Chicken”  sign. (Check out the guy perched up there, who secured a nice spot for himself to watch the parade.) We can also make out a Chevron logo on the other side of the street (one such sign recently sold for $1800.00.)  In the background, the banner strung across the road reads,  “Walnut Festival.”

Le Grand Chef Deskaheh

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Divided back, unused. French postcard. Circa 1917 – 1925.

Price:  $15.00

This one definitely ties in to the previous post:  An old French postcard in black and white, of a painting by N. George of Chief Deskaheh, the president of the Iroquois Council of Six Nations from 1917 – 1925:

“Le grand Chef Deskaheh. Délégué et président du Conseil des Six Nations Iroquoises.”

See the Wiki entry on Deskaheh or Levi General (1873 – 1925) which includes the photo below taken 1922. The painting shown on our postcard greatly resembles the photo  (courtesy Wikipedia, originally from the British newspaper The Graphic) so may have been created around the same time.

Deskaheh photo

See The Last Speech of Deskaheh for more.

But since we like to solve mysteries here, who was the artist (peintre or painter) N. George?  Hmmm, for now, this question remains a mystery. Below, an article from the Pittsburg Daily Post dated December 17, 1922.

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Sources:  Deskaheh. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deskaheh (accessed June 4, 2016).

The Last Speech of Deskaheh. Two Row Times. (accessed June 4, 2016).

“Protests Raid of Old Domain.” Pittsburg Daily Post. Sunday, December 17, 1922. p. 1 (newspapers.com)