Alfred J. Hines Calling Card

Calling Card. Circa 1880 – 1900.

Price:  $5.00

Flowers and a feather in orange and peach tones for this calling card…..

There will be multiple possibilities for who this card had belonged to……But wow, as it turns out, not as many as you’d think. City directories for a search anywhere in the U.S., that includes the middle initial, show much later records than this time-frame (1919 at the latest and that person in Saginaw was born too late to fit this card). Many hits that come up under all categories, and without the middle initial, can be eliminated right off the bat – either too young, too old, middle initial not matching, and duplicates – later or earlier records of the same person. We could spend days to really narrow it down, but won’t, believe me, that would be really too much! (But yes, it is always tempting.) So, maybe the three best possibilities are:

Alfred John Hines, born December 17, 1867 in Wolcott, CT. His obituary states he was educated in the schools of Wolcott and Montpelier Seminary and married Agnes Conant in October 1901.

Alfred Joseph Hines, born November 13, 1873, PA. Lived in Cresson, PA, occupation clutchman? for P.R.R. Co. (Pennsylvania Railroad Company) per his WWI Draft Registration Card, in 1918. See if you can figure out what that says there:

An interesting fact on the “Pennsy” Railroad:  By 1882, the company had become the largest corporation in the world, with a budget second only to the U.S. government.

Or had this calling card belonged to the Alfred J. Hines, who was married to Dorothy E., living in Rochester, NY, per the Rochester city directory, occupation engineer (but employer name not listed). We don’t know the age of this Alfred J. Hines. Oddly, no census records were found on him.

Sources:  “Alfred J. Hines.” Hardwick Gazette (Hardwick, VT). January 8, 1942, Thursday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).

Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Cambria County. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

Pennsylvania Railroad. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Railroad (accessed January 3, 2021).

Drew Allis’ Rochester Directory, 1919, Vol. 70. p. 518. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

Flora J. Van Fossen Calling Card

Victorian Era Calling Card, circa 1893

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

A lucky horseshoe, a spray of single-petaled pink roses and love….

This card appears to have been made for the Miss Flora J. Van Fossen, born Worcester, Pennyslvania, August 21, 1876, daughter of Josiah Van Fossen and Sarah Louise Jones. Flora married James Stroh January 5, 1894 in Camden, New Jersey. The marriage index record shows “Stroak” as the groom’s surname, no doubt a transcription error when viewing the original.

Sources:  “New Jersey, Marriages, 1670-1980,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FZ2S-B31 : 31 March 2016), James R. Stroak and Flora J. Vanfossen, 05 Jan 1894; citing Camden, Camden, New Jersey, United States, Division of Archives and Record Management, New Jersey Department of State, Trenton.; FHL microfilm 495,719.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Certificate Number Range: 004651-007200. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964.

John Adams Handmade Calling Card

Handmade Victorian Era Calling Card

Price:  $6.00       Size:  4 and 3/4 x 1 and 1/16″

Some people collect old handmade cards; here’s our latest offering, and it’s sure a beauty. And certainly not by the early U.S. president but isn’t that what comes to mind when you hear the name John Adams (unless of course you are someone or know someone by this name?!)

T. A. Stephens Calling Card, January 1886

New Year’s Calling Card, January 1, 1886

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

It’s not often that you find a calling card with a date printed on it, and this one was made for the new year that was 1886. It’s not in pristine shape but in nice condition except for some soiling marks, especially considering its present age of 131 years old. The gold-tone edging has also held up well.  “A Happy New Year”  in block lettering is printed on the little fold, as well as a spray of pink flowers with stem and leaves artistically displayed to appear as if fastened to the card, bringing the bearer this small floral offering along with good wishes. The name  “T. A. Stephens”  and the date  “Jan. 1, 1886”  appear in printed script. Most likely it would have been made for a Mister rather than Miss or Mrs. and it’s tempting to start a search in records, if only to come up with a ballpark, maybe comical number of possibilities….

Okay we’ll cave, somewhat:  From U. S. city directories was he the attorney, T. A. who is (Thomas A.) Stephens in Portland, OR, the T. A. in Manatee, FL, the lady in Hennepin, MN? From the T. A. or Thomas A. possibilities from the 1880 Federal Census:  Was he the farmer in Bell County, TX, the clerk in Wilmington, DE, the attorney in Bodie, CA? The list goes on, and there’s probably about 25 possibilities within just the common first name possibility of Thomas and including T. A. It’s fun to imagine though….

Gustaf A. Johnson Calling Card

Gustaf A Johnson cc1Gustaf A Johnson cc2

Calling card, embossed. Circa 1880 – 1910

Price:  $6.00         Size:  3 and 1/2 x 1 and 5/8″

Here’s another calling card, but there are too many possibilities for this common Swedish name, even with the middle initial included, to try to narrow them down to who this card may have belonged to. The writing on the back (by Gustaf?) is a translation to Swedish of the lovely message that the rosy-cheeked girl displays.

“Across your path may sunbeams play!”

“Må på dén stig solstrålar leka.”