The Little New Year

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 29, 1914 from Lancaster, Kansas. Series NY-76. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $6.00


“The little New Year is about to appear.

I hope he will bring you all joy and good cheer.”

Does the Little New Year carry a cabbage? (Does the deer have a little doe? Yeah, two bucks! Couldn’t resist ūüėČ ) Back to the cabbage:¬† It would appear so, and that would be for good luck and prosperity. Here are a couple of great articles found regarding cabbage and the New Year:

“Why Mountain People Would Cook a Coin in Cabbage Each New Year”

This second one references the cabbage being punted thru the front door. Not quite what we have on the postcard but the lucky vegetable is on the doorstep.

“Kicking In The New Year By Punting Some Cabbage”

Below, a newspaper clipping that appeared in the New Oxford Item (New Oxford, PA) on January 5, 1922 on New Year luck, superstitions and courage:

On the reverse of the postcard:¬† Is that¬† “Best Wishes, Girls?”¬† Not sure who the signer of the card was, but they addressed it to:

J. H. Crane Esq., 842 Litchfield ave, Wichita, Kans.”¬†¬† J.H., parents and siblings were found in the 1915 State Census at this address. Kansas native J. H. would have been about 23 when he received the postcard.

Sources:¬† “Why Mountain People Would Cook a Coin in Cabbage Each New Year.”¬† December 29, 2016. (accessed 12/31/16.)

Spilman, Terri L. “Kicking In The New Year By Punting Some Cabbage.” January 1, 2012. (accessed 12/31/16).

“New Year’s Lore.” New Oxford Item. January 5, 1922, p. 11. (

Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; Roll: ks1915_218; Line: 13. Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925.

Old-Fashioned Christmas Happiness

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked December 18, 1923 from Los Angeles, California. Made in the U.S.A. Series 1016 D. Publisher unknown.

Merry Christmas….

“Old-fashioned Christmas happiness

Is what I’m wishing you

And a host of good and loyal friends

To share the Day with you.”

A country scene of a home in winter, sunset colors painting the sky, all within the soft outline of a snow-laden evergreen tree…

The sender writes:¬†¬† “Dear Grandma, I wish you all a happy Xmas. I am sending you a pkg. something for dossie and for Geo. Jr. But do not open untel Xmas, Love from all, Maebell.”

Addressed to:¬†¬† “Mrs. J. M. Ellison, 604 N St., Sacramento, Calif.”

Fortune Bright, Friendship True

Divided back, artist-signed, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 22, 1916 from Sacramento, California. Artist:  Ellen H. Clapsaddle. Publisher:  International Art Publishing Co. Series 104-3.

Price:  $12.00

Best Christmas Wishes…

“Fortune bright and friendship true,

Bless this Christmas-time for you.”

A Clapsaddle Christmas postcard:¬† This one’s a bit of a departure from the artist’s more recognizable work of adorable children. It shows a hazy winter scene of evergreens, with one in white standing out in embossed relief, and three small biblical-looking figures (I think it’s the staff that gives that impression) appearing near the bottom of the stand of trees, and then a rustic wooden fence leading to the foreground.

Sent to:¬†¬† “Miss Bessie Ellison, 1415 G St, Sacramento, Calif.”

The sender wrote:¬†¬† “A Merry Xmas and a happy New Year. F. J. Reynolds.”

The postcard cancellation was advertising the¬† “Panama California International Exposition at San Diego – 1916.”

Sources:  Ellen Clapsaddle. n.d. (accessed December 23, 2016).

Panama-California Exposition. n.d. (accessed December 23, 2016).

$1K For Christmas

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked from Fresno, California, December 22, 1914. Santa Claus Series No. 2. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $10.00

“Christmas Greetings and Joys.”

Addressed to:¬†¬† “Mrs. J M Ellison, Sacramento, California, General Delivery”

“Dear Mrs. Elison, have thought of you so often and…?…?…a letter but no answ. so will try again. This is wishing you all a Merry Exmas and a happy new year right me a letter from now Patterson 884 Inez at Fresno California.”

The sender of this card was Dwight Ives (or Ivees) Patterson, born in Pueblo, Colorado, December 14, 1892, son of William Edgar Patterson. From the 1915 Fresno city directory Dwight’s occupation is “carman” for the “Fresno Trac Co”, business address 884 Inez. WWI Draft Registration (1917) shows occupation street car conductor for the Fresno Traction Company, residence address given as 324 Inez. Passport records, including photo below, for Dwight show that by 1918 he was an engineer for the Democrata Mine in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico. We know from other postcards in our Alice Ellison Collection, that the Ellison Family had lived for some years in Pueblo, Colorado, so Dwight and the Ellisons may have been neighbors at some point. In any case, he sent a beautiful Christmas postcard. Note the amount of money from Santa in one of the stockings!

Sources:¬† Polk-Husted Directory Co.’s Fresno City and Fresno County Directory, 1915. p. 169. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. (

Registration State: California; Registration County: Fresno; Roll: 1530792. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 499; Volume #: Roll 0499 – Certificates: 12750-12999, 11 Apr 1918-13 Apr 1918. (

Richest Gifts Of Christmas

Divided back, unused, embossed postcard. Series 209. Printed in Germany. Publisher and printer unknown. Circa 1907 – 1914.

Price:  $4.00

From our Ethel Main Collection, this card has a trade mark logo of either publisher or printer (or both) that is thought to be one of the Gibson Art Company’s logos (see Comments from JAX on this post):¬† showing below, a capital G inside a rectangular artist’s palette with brushes “attached.”

The front of the postcard shows a pretty typical moonlit tableau of a church in a snow-blanketed country setting, with Christmas bells hanging on the left and poinsettias in the background. Nice though! The verse reads:

“Christmas Greetings.

May richest gifts of Christmas cheer

Bestrew your path to=day.”

The card was addressed to someone’s mother, and the sender wrote:¬† “Hoping you will have a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. Love, Helen Main.”

A Coaching Christmas

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked from Lodi, California, December 22, 1921. Publisher unknown. S02 – 6. Des. (design) Xmas.

Price:  $6.00

We’ll start off Christmas this year with a 1921 postcard from the Alice Ellison Collection showing a stagecoach with team of horses arriving at a country inn:¬† There’s the driver and two (artistic license most likely) coach guards, both with their “yard of tin,” the long trumpet used to announce arrival and departure, warn off other traffic on the road, and announce arrival at toll gates; and with the figures of a man and boy; a bunny bounding down the path through the snow; and a couple of horseshoes and whip….altogether a charming remembrance of the Regency Era. The card’s beautiful verse goes out to all:

“Each Christmas binds more close the friends

We knew in Auld Lang Syne,

And so, in thought, my hand extends

To meet the clasp of thine.”

Addressed to:¬†¬† “Miss Ella Ellison, 1314 F St., Sacramento, Califa.,”¬† and signed, “From Mrs. McNees & Dorothy.”

Joseph Chartrand Trade Card

Trade card for Joseph Chartrand, Montréal, Canada. Circa 1885 Р1886.

Price:¬† $15.00¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Size:¬† 2 and 1/2 x 3 and 7/8″

Not in good shape but rare…¬†

There may be other Jos. Chartrand cards that survived (note artist’s initials at bottom left) but at the time of this post, none are showing online. The front shows a beautiful, evidently popular girl, receiving a letter and flowers from yet another devotee, who delivers his heartfelt admiration in person. (Or is he just the messenger?)¬† It’s a summery scene, certainly not in line with our current month of December, but the back of the card (Oh, to be able to go back in time and shop at this store) advertises, among other things, a couple of items needed for travel in snow. It reads:

“Jos. Chartrand, (Late with F. X. Brazeau & Co.) Dealer in Indian Curiosities, Snow – Shoes, Toboggans, Lacrosse, Mocassins, Bark Canoes, Bead Work, also Childrens Toys. 1687 Notre Dame Street, Montreal.”

F. X. Brazeau & Co.

F. X. (Fran√ßois-Xavier) Brazeau & Co. was found mentioned under the heading of “Indian Manufactures” in the Sixth Parliamentary Sessional Papers for the Dominion of Canada, year 1887.

Joseph Chartrand

We next found mention of Joseph Chartrand, “dealer in fancy goods, etc.” in a January 1886 publication of The American Stationer. Whether this was the same Notre Dame Street business as on our trade card is unknown, and it may not have been. That Chartrand “made an assignment” (a frequently occurring term in 19th century newspapers) seems to indicate he was having financial problems as in General Assignment or Assignment to the Benefit of Creditors (ABC) an alternative to bankruptcy. Not fun….but, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? (We hope he fared well in subsequent endeavors and in general had a wonderful life.)

Sources:  Sessional Papers, Volume 10. First Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Dominion of Canada. Session 1887, Volume 20. Report of Sir Charles Tupper, G. C. M. G., C. B., Executive Commissioner, of the Canadian Section of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition at South Kensington, 1886. Ottawa:  Printed by MacLean, Roger & Co., Parliamentary Printers. Wellington Street. 1887.  pp. 56 and 57. (Google Books).

“Trade Gossip.” The American Stationer, Vol. 19, no. 3. January 21, 1886. p. 69. (Google Books).

General assignment. n.d. (accessed December 1, 2016).

Needham Mass, Ice Storm, Nov. 28, 1921


Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Cyko stamp box. November 28, 1921, Needham, Massachusetts.

Price:  $10.00

Here’s another weather-related post, and well, someone thought this storm newsworthy, to make a postcard from their photo; we just didn’t see anything in historical newspaper accounts (online anyway). Probably there would be something in a local library about this ice storm. That’s a 2-story wood-shingle siding house there on our right, with another house next to it, which we barely glimpse through the trees. What a beautiful place to live this must have been, in any weather.

Me In 1915


Undivided back, used, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked April 6, 1906 from Waltham, Massachusetts.

Price:  $12.00

This 1906 postcard shows off the 1891 popular watercolor and gouache work, The Music of the Dance, by Philadelphia-born artist Arthur Burdett Frost (1851 – 1928). Funny that we have three dates here:¬† The date on the original artwork, 1891, that we see in the left corner of the “tableau” next to the signature; the postcard date of 1906; and the date projected into the future by, likely the sender of the postcard, who wrote,¬† “Me in 1915”.¬† Was the sender joking that he would be reduced to….or projecting his hopeful success of being elevated to the life of a traveling musician (in nine years time)? Interesting question!

And though the postcard is not in good condition, it’s the only one we see at this time online, and definitely a nice part of artist, postcard, and African-American in art history, not to mention significant for anyone doing any Rumrill family research.

The card was mailed to:¬†¬† “Mr. F. P. Rumrill, Hillsboro Br., N.H.”

The abbreviation Br. is probably for Borough. And there are some possibilities but we didn’t find any “no-doubters” (as in home run baseball lingo) for F. P. Rumrill. But there were definitly Rumrills in Hillsborough (also written Hillsboro) notably a Frank G. Rumrill, born in NH December 1866 who appears on the 1900 Federal Census.

Sources:  Gouache. n.d. (accessed December 11, 2016).

“Arthur Burdett Frost (1851 – 1928) The Music for the Dance.” Copley Fine Art Auctions. ( Accessed December 11, 2016.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Hillsborough, Hillsborough, New Hampshire; Roll: 947; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 0084; FHL microfilm: 1240947. (

Mrs. Thysell Restored


Mini-photo, circa 1890 – 1910.

Availability status:  SOLD 

Size including matting:¬† 2 and 1/2 x 4″

Well, we appreciate whoever it was that wrote the name of this beautiful young woman on the back, even though it was only the married surname. I feel compelled to say thank you, too, to the unknown pencil-scribbler for at least limiting the scribbling to the background! And for sure, a more professional restoration could be done, but she turned out pretty good, after some time spent in Photoshop. Love the flowers added to her Gibson Girl hairstyle. Reverse below:


As to the origin of the surname Thysell, this name comes up most often in Sweden, and we find several possibilities from Minnesota records for our subject:¬† Was she Emma Roberts, born 1877 in Norway who married Carl John Thysell….or the Caroline E. Nelson born about 1880 in Minnesota who married Nels Albert Thysell….or the Emilia, born 1874 in Sweden who married Albin Gustav Thysell….or the Helen Nelson, born 1880 in Sweden that married Emil Theodore Thysell….or none of the above?

Update!  Mystery solved thanks to contact (see comment) from a granddaughter:  The woman in the photo is Caroline E. Thysell, maiden name Nelson, wife of Nels Albert Thysell.