Aileen Johnston, Liverpool, 1945

Photo, white border. Liverpool, England, 1945. Velox (Kodak) photographic paper.

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

Beauty in the wheat fields….

Aileen Johnston, a stunner with a beautiful smile, posing somewhere outside of Liverpool, England.This photo was taken in 1945, right at the end of WWII, maybe in August or September, according to the wheat harvest. It’s always so nice (unusual!) to have a name, date and a location on the back of an old snapshot.

Kids And Carnations

Photo, white border. Circa 1910s – 1920s

Price:   $4.00            Size:  5 and 7/8 x 3 and 1/2″

Something about this photograph reminds me of England but it could just as likely have been taken elsewhere; even so, we’re including it here in our short trip to that country, starting with the prior post. And there are no identifying markings on the back. What was the occasion? It would probably tell us on the cards two of the kids are holding. Our best guess is maybe First Communion, but certainly the occasion was a very special one. We can’t see the details too well in the girls’ white dresses but the veils stand out, lovely and each one different. The boys are in suits and ties; those are Knickerbocker suits on the two on the left. And all the kids are holding carnations with ferns.

Shu-le-Crow Cottage, Keswick, England

Old photo, circa 1900, Penrith Road, near Station Street, Keswick, England.

Price:  $15.00          Size:  5 and 3/8 x 3 and 1/8″

Here’s a wonderful photograph, we’re estimating from around year 1900, showing Penrith Road near the intersection of Station Street, in the town of Keswick, which is situated in the Lake District of Northwest England. Prominent in the photo is Shu-le-Crow Cottage, and best of all, one of its occupants at the time, wrote a description on the back:

” ‘Shu – le – Crow Cottage’, Keswick, showing the oriel and front windows of our sitting room. Note the chimneys, characteristic of Scotland and England:  Junction of Penrith and Station roads at the right. House over 200 years Old, fire place in Kitchen with ovens and boiling places as old as house. Slate slab flooring – Very Quaint in side, each room.”

Click to enlarge the image to see the people posing on the door’s threshold. Above them, but pretty hard to make out, are the words, “Shu-le-Crow Cottage.” Happily, the “cottage” is not only still standing but still (as far as we can tell) displays its name above the door today. See the August 2016 Google map of the building in pink and street view.

Sources:  Craven, Jackie. “The Oriel Window – An Architectural Solution.” ThoughtCo, Jun. 22, 2018, thoughtco.com/what-is-an-oriel-window-177517.

“A5271 Keswick, England street view.” Google.com maps. August 2016.

A Thatched Roof Cottage

Divided back postcard. Postmarked May 10th, (year missing) from Santa Rosa, California. Printed in Germany. Publisher unknown. Number or series:  2781. Circa 1907 – 1914.

Price:  $5.00

Addressed to:   “Miss Lily Rea. Gilroy Calif. Box 23.”

With this postcard (see if the cottage doesn’t remind you of the house in the prior post) we’re getting back, momentarily, to the Lily Rea Collection (more to come later). This is a card from Lily’s good friend, Hazel, who writes:

“Dear Lil: – Card recieved today found me all in. I had too much carnival. Gee kid the fun I did have wish you could have been here. There was a swell dance in the eve. Lee was here Sat. but had to go back in the eve. Its a dead old town now though. I may go to F’risco soon for a few days. Ans. soon    Hazel    To bad my aunt is sick. Give Ella my love.”

Initials TM?

This could be an artist-signed card, per the marks in the lower left corner, as in the initials TM. (They don’t really look like they fit for markings in the grass.)

Only the postcard artist knows for sure?

It was over a hundred years ago that the artist rendered the charming scene for this card, and we suspect that if this painting had been done today, it would not include the sort of bulky topping on the roof with the jutting horn-like things….It makes one realize that over the years details can get lost and form become homogenized…..and then makes one appreciate when historical references come shimmering in, sometimes from the most unlikely places. And so, was it from memory that the artist worked, or a “present-day” cottage he painted from, or maybe it was his artistic expression of something like the carved animal heads in the illustration below (see Low German house). Here we’re at one of those points where one sees oneself writing a book (if one had the time, put everything on hold and take five years) on the subject of rooftop decorations, symbols, significance, etc. throughout the world from the earliest ones found to modern day. (No small task, but it would be beautiful!)

Lastly, while googling “thatched roofs decorations” we were happy to discover that thatching is still alive and well today. And check out these modern-day examples of thatch ornaments from some of the master thatchers in the UK, Brian and Tom Mizon.

Sources:  “Straw Finials / Straw Animals / Straw Ornaments.” http://brianmizonthatching.co.uk/ (accessed October 8, 2018).

Low German house. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_German_house (accessed October 20, 2018).

Dual-Pitched Hipped Roof Craftsman

Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard. CYKO stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1915.

Price:  $10.00

A rare roof….

We’re not house experts here at LCG, but feel pretty confident we’ve got the right i.d. for this house style:  If all four sides of the roof slope downward toward the walls, that’s the definition of hipped. We can see that the front and sides do, and are having a difficult time imagining the back not doing the same, thusly 😉 we think hipped. And dual-pitched since the roof pitch changes, pretty dramatically so, in this case. (You might be reminded of the kids’ wooden building blocks where you can top off the structure with that triangular-shaped one.) Anyway, in our go-to reference, A Field Guide to American Houses, the dual-pitched hipped roof is stated as being rare. As for the Craftsman features, one of the most easily recognizable is the unenclosed eve overhang that lets us see part of the roof rafters.

As you’ve noted, there’s no writing on the back of the card to identify the nice family in the photo, or their location. They were the proud owners, no doubt, of this home that was probably new or new-ish when the photo was taken. The time-frame is about December 1907 due to the divided back, till the mid-1910s, or so, due to the clothing style and what looks like some evidence of button-top leather shoes, which were prevalent prior to WWI.

Source:  McAlester, Virginia, and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. 1984. New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1990. Print.

574 Lake Ave, Manchester NH

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1907 – 1918. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

“This is my home where you will find me if you would only run down before you go back to Canada. Would love to have you come to see me Gertrude. it would not be so far from Northfield. I live up stairs and rent the down stairs tenement. This is 574 Lake Ave Manchester N. H.”

Lake Avenue at Cass Street

Happily, this house is still standing today, though there have been some changes: The shutters are gone, the trim is different, and the porches on the side have been enclosed. But the garage is still there, the beautiful front porch supports and (thank you) the front door (a double) has been kept. As for the landscaping, the three trees are gone but another tree that looks like it’s been around a good while graces the front yard. Maybe there are other photos of this house already notated for the property, at the local library or nearest historical society, but if not, or even if this photo just shows a different viewpoint, this postcard is a great find, especially if someone were wanting to restore the home to it’s original design.

As far as who wrote the card, that would be hard to say, as city directories show a number of possibilities for this approximate time period of 1907 to 1918 (it’s a divided back card so December 1907 per postal regulation changes, and thru about 1918, per the AZO stamp box, all four triangles pointing upward.) But the surnames that are showing up are:  Prescott, Bachelder, Chesley, and Healy.

Source:  Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.