Carl Stockdale and Mary Dowds

Old photo, circa 1900 – 1920s.

Price:  $7.00      Size:  About 3 and 3/4 x 2 and 1/2″

Here’s a great one for New Year’s Eve, a couple of partiers…..even though probably this was not taken in winter. Is that an open window? In any case, it’s Carl Stockdale and Mary Dowds seated on the floor and having a great laugh. We’ll have to research for the possible year according to Mary’s style of dress, for starters. But for now, just to get this one posted…..and Happy New Year!

It’s fun to pick out the details in old photos. Notice the photo within a photo on this one, top right, and the nail pattern in the sole of Carl’s shoe. (Another possible clue for the age of the photo?) And that’s a nice wallpaper pattern and then there’s the beautiful lace on the curtains.

Pommery Champagne Ad 1915

I love crows, so here’s a beauty, he’s opening a Pommery brand champagne bottle. This was cropped from the ad below that appeared in the winter 1915 edition of The Master Grocer.

Source:  Goldberg Bowen & Co.’s The Master Grocer. Winter, 1915. Vol. 45, number 2. ( books).

Borealis and Sleigh Ride

Antique circular print. Artist and publisher unknown. Circa 1880s – 1900.

Price for circular print without background:  $5.00        Size:  About 3 and 3/4″ across.

This was just a circular cutout from somewhere, that someone had saved, back in the day. It had made its way to one of the paper fairs or maybe an antique store, I don’t remember. The top and bottom had gotten a little scrunched but you can’t notice it in the image. And in looking for a background to scan it on (always a fun search!) I noticed our wall calendar for this year which was all photos of the Aurora Borealis. So, I got kind of enamored of the idea of this couple, and their team and sleigh, sort of floating in space in a sky of magical Borealis colors and lights (What would be the translation into music? Surely something so beautiful!)

And note in the closeup below, the carved figurehead with draping wings of what is probably a peacock. Searching online we find that there were many stunningly ornate sleighs crafted in prior centuries, including those with figureheads. Click here to see some examples that others have posted.

Source: search result for “ornate antique open air sleighs with figureheads.” Accessed 12/29/19.

Merry Christmas To Maude Bryan

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked December 18, 1912 from Mason City, Iowa. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $4.00

Merry May Thy Christmas Be

A small basket overflowing with holly….card addressed to  “Miss Maude Bryan, Waterville, Kans.”  Signed,  “Merry Xmas – Vera.”

Maude was born about 1893 in Kansas. She’s on the 1915 Kansas State Census with E. D. Bryan, who was born about 1861 in Wisconsin. She’s most likely the Jennie M. Bryan on the 1910 Federal Census taken in Waterville, KS, with parents Duane E. (E. D. on the 1915) and Mirza[?] Bryan.

Sources: Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; Roll: ks1915_144; Line: 4. (

Year: 1910; Census Place: Waterville, Marshall, Kansas; Roll: T624_447; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0080; FHL microfilm: 1374460. (

To Lena From Sophia B. Freeman

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. “Christmas” Series – Postcard No. 207. Printed in Germany. Circa early to mid-1910s.

Price:  $5.00

“To = Lena Davis.   From = Sophia B. Freeman. Handsworth, Sask.”

Re-visiting our friend, Lena…’s been a while, but here’s one from our Lena Davis Collection. The publisher name needs research, will get to that shortly, but the card showing Merry Christmas and poinsettias, extends this verse to us:

“Thine be all the joy and treasure,

Peace, enjoyment, love and pleasure.”

The sender wrote:

“Dear Friend, Will answer your kind letter after Xmas. Charles and the little boys are with me for Xmas so I am busily engaged in cooking the usual amount of cake & plum puddings. I wish you a very happy Xmas with lots of fun. Truly[?] yours, Mrs. J. W. Freeman.”

It looks like Sophia is found on the 1916 Canadian Census taken in Stoughton Village, Saskatchewan, which is about 25 miles southwest of Handsworth, the address on the card. Both she and her husband, John William Freeman, were born in England. Sophia was born about 1889. They have two daughters, Mary Sophia, age 2, and Esther Francis, 2 months old. Also in the household is Charles Henry Braithwaite, sister to Sophia, so Sophia’s maiden name is Braithwaite. And this Charles then, must be the one mentioned on the card.

Source:  Year: 1916; Census Place: Saskatchewan, Assiniboia, 17; Roll: T-21935; Page: 2; Family No: 15. (

Holiday Ice Skaters

Christmas card, circa 1900s – 1910s. Publisher unknown. 

Price:  $7.00       Size:  About 3 and 1/2 x 3 and 5/8

Greeting! Funny they left off the “s.” A charming card, though, done in browns and gold with red and green accents, of two children ice skating. The card opens up to say,

“Just to wish you dear, a bright and Joyous Xmas”  and is signed,  “your Agnes.” 

A Jolly Christmas To All

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked December 1910 from New York.

Price:  $10.00

Hello, Santa! A lovely rendition of Santa Claus wishing all a Jolly Christmas. In the background some holly decorating a rectangular tableau of a small house in winter at sunset or sunrise (glass half empty or half full? 🙂  as in, if you’re a morning person and your glass is full it would be sunrise.)

Sent to:   “Miss Reeta Peet, Hallcot Center, N.Y.”

The sender wrote:   “Wishing you a Merry Christmas. Write soon. Ethel.”

Reeta Peet would have been about about ten years old when she received this postcard. The 1905 New York State Census shows Reeta L. Peet, age five, along with her family:  father Horace B. Peet (occupation blacksmith), mother Mary E., and older siblings, Maritta M., Edith M., Arthur W. and James E.

Source:  New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: E.D. 01; City: Halcott; County: Greene; Page: 8. (

Santa In An Airplane

Old photo, white border. Circa 1920s to 1930s.

Price:  $4.00

We’re late getting to the Christmas posts this year…..Here’s the first, a subtle one, maybe taken in Southern California, due to the palm trees in the background. That is Santa in the monoplane with propeller and open cockpit, though you have to click to enlarge the photo to see him. Note the teddy bear attached just on the body of the aircraft, near the wing, and the draping tinsel. And maybe someone can tell us (or is it obvious?) Was this aircraft really used to fly or was it built for the parade? Probably the latter.

Gertrude Alene Crotzer

Photo, circa 1901. Photographer unknown.

Price:  $8.00             Size including matting:  About 2 and 1/4 x 3″

A cute photo of Gertrude Alene Crotzer, daughter of Irvin and Ida Crotzer. Gertrude was born about August 1897 in Lena, Illinois and married Ewald A. Dominik, September 6, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois.

Sources:  “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871–1920.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health records. “Marriage Records, 1871–present.” Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois.

Year: 1900; Census Place: West Point, Stephenson, Illinois; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0110; FHL microfilm: 1240346.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Freeport Ward 2, Stephenson, Illinois; Roll: T624_327; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0101; FHL microfilm: 1374340.

St. Petersburg Times/North Pinellas Times. September 13, 1987. Sunday, p. 25. (

Photographer E. M. Davidson

“Davidson’s Art Parlors, Main Street, Visalia, Cal. Work done in the latest and best styles. E. M. Davidson, Proprietor.”

Michigan native, E. M. Davidson, was a photographer best known for his work when he resided in Visalia, CA which was from at least 1887 to March 1894, at which point he sold his business to Frank and William Beck. From Visalia he went to Woodland (a city of prior residence), CA and set up shop there in May 1894 before  moving on to other areas of California. He died in 1915.

E. M. Davidson, the photographer for the prior post, was Ellis Marillo Davidson, born April 1858 in Michigan, son of George B. Davidson and Esther (Dopking) Davidson. He married Harriet Mabel Bittleson on June 10, 1884 in San Joaquin County, CA. They had one son, Herbert Orr Davidson and an adopted (per the 1900 Federal Census) daughter, Anna L. Davidson. Harriet died February 26, 1904 in Alameda. Ellis M. Davidson died May 6, 1915 in Santa Clara County, CA. Carte-de-visites, Cabinet Cards and other works can be found online for E. M. Davidson, including some images taken during the drama that had played out in the photographer’s “backyard” in June 1893, surrounding the capture of fugitive train robbers John Sontag and Chris Evans.

E. M. Davidson came to California sometime after the 1860 Federal Census was taken in Keeler Township, Van Buren County, Michigan and before the 1870 Federal Census was taken in Cache Creek Township, Yolo County, California. On the 1870 he is age 12, living with his mother, Esther Davidson; possible brother, Arthur D. Davidson, Dora H. Davidson, age 15, relationship unknown; and head of household Theodore F. Dopking, age 42, possible brother of Esther (Dopking) Davidson.

The first online record found for Ellis as a photographer is a California National Guard record showing he served in the Guard March 19 to September 6, 1881. City of residence not listed.

1884 finds the photographer on the voter registration record living in Stockton, CA.

1887 is the first mention we found online for Ellis in Visalia, CA, where he would live and work until March of 1894.

From the Visalia Daily Times, June 12, 1893, E. M. Davidson as part of a group that had visited (revisited for some) the recent location of the Battle of Stone Corral.

Below, a week later, also from the DailyTimes, and with the overly dramatic (but understandably so) title, an account from Davidson of a visit to the former site of the cave hideout of Evans and Sontag. This was just after Sontag’s capture at Stone Corral and the subsequent capture of Chris Evans.

On a lighter note, from the Daily Delta (Visalia) in July 1893:

1894 – 1896 show voter registration records, E. M. Davidson working as a photographer in Woodland, CA.

By the 1900 census, Davidson is living in Alameda Township, Alameda County, CA, occupation photographer. And listed on the San Francisco city directory for the same year, residence Alameda, business address 708 Sutter, San Francisco. 1903 – 1903 residence address found as 1215 Park Ave, Alameda.

And by the 1910 census, living in Salinas, CA with his son and daughter-in-law, occupation photographer.

Sources:  Original data: California, Marriages, 1850-1945. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. (

John Sontag. n.d. (accessed December 17, 2019).

Christopher Evans (outlaw). n.d. (accessed December 17, 2019).

Year: 1860; Census Place: Keeler, Van Buren, Michigan; Roll: M653_562; Page: 814; Family History Library Film: 803562. Year: 1870; Census Place: Cache Creek, Yolo, California; Roll: M593_93; Page: 446B; Family History Library Film: 545592. Year: 1900; Census Place: Alameda Precinct 2, Alameda, California; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0310; FHL microfilm: 124008. Year: 1910; Census Place: Salinas Ward 2, Monterey, California; Roll: T624_89; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0003; FHL microfilm: 1374102. (

Office of the Adjutant General. Military Records, 1850–1942. Military Dept., Adjutant General’s Office Records (1850–1944), ID Number R186. California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California. (

California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 – 2A; CSL Roll Number: 119; FHL Roll Number: 977281 and 137; FHL Roll Number: 978594. (

The San Francisco Examiner. April 21, 1887. Thursday, p. 8. (

In Jail. John Sontag Meets His Match.” Visalia Daily Times. June 12, 1893. Monday, p. 4. “Fort Defiance Taken.” Visalia Daily Times. June 19, 1893. Monday, p. 1. Sale of business, Visalia Daily Times. March 16, 1894. Friday, p. 4. (

Daily Delta. July 22, 1893. Saturday, p. 3. Daily Delta. July 26, 1893. Wednesday, p. 3. (

H. S. Crocker Co.’s Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory, 1900. p. 507. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

F. M. Husted’s Husted’s Oakland Alameda & Berkeley Directory, 1903. p. 480. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.