Pair of Seminole Indian Linen Postcards

Divided Backs, Linens, unused postcards. Circa 1940s. Publisher (top card):  G. W. Romer. A “Colourpicture” Publication, Cambridge, Mass. Series 12176.  Publisher (bottom card):  “Tichnor Quality Views.” Tichnor Bros., Inc., Boston, Mass. Series 69514.

Price:  $7.00 for the pair

Description (top card):

“Musa Isle, Home of the Seminole Indian. N. W. 25th Ave. & 16th St. Miami, Fla.

“The Baby Is Too Sleepy to Be Interested – See the Seminole Indians in Their Own Village at Musa Isle.” 

Description (bottom card):

“The only ‘Indian Nation,’ that has not signed a Peace Treaty with the U. S. A., still carries on in primitive fashion, the tribal lure of its ancestors in the Everglades, Florida.”

So, I’ve been away way too long from posting articles (chalking it up to “life – oy vey” 😉 and also working on my own family tree – having found a diary, of all things, for mine and siblings, 2nd-great grandfather. Yes, you guys, they’re out there. Proof, if we needed it, to never give up the search. People donate things to museums, snippets of such events get picked up on the internet….and we, for unknown reasons, Google a name we haven’t researched for years, and get blown away by the unexpected results. So, before moving to holiday cards, we’ll briefly continue with this “alligator morphing into Seminole Indian theme,” with a couple of the numerous tourist postcards from the Seminole Nation back in the day. And, we couldn’t even begin to do justice, in a short blog article, to the history of the land and people, so we’ll settle for some bits and pieces, sparked by a few forays into old newspaper articles:

Musa Isle – a little background

Musa Isle was part of a small “inland island” called Marshall’s Key, located between the north and south forks of the Miami River and near the city’s limits (according to an article from 1914). The area, boasting exceptionally good soil, was procured by a number of farmers and fruit growers. All the farms and groves had their own names but the “Musa Isle” endeavor ended up becoming so well-known that, as a misnomer, the name was often applied to the whole Key. Very understandable, as that particular grove became a popular tourist attraction famous for its fruit. Fifty-four varieties were raised there, as well as different types of palm trees.

Origin of a name

It’s been reported, in a very lengthy article written in 1921 (see first source below) the author having learned from “local history,” that the name Musa Isle was coined around 1896-97 by Charles O. Richardson. (The name comes from Musaceae, the botanical name for banana.) He and his wife were theater performers of twenty years who were looking for a change. They moved to Florida and established their tropical fruit plantation. C. O.’s father, James Richardson, was already in Florida, possibly on the property, or having started in another locale, farming. But accounts vary, so we’d be safe to say James and C. O. Richardson were the principles involved. Later the property changed hands.

The penalties of progress

Jumping to a March of 1922 clip, Musa Isle Grove was giving over to “progress”. Below, from a larger article that appeared in The Miami Herald, March 19, 1922.

Next, the Seminoles – a brief (we’ve been pogo stick jumping) “landing” with regard to tourism

A Seminole named Willie Willie started leasing a section of Musa Isle in 1919.  Toward the end of 1921, he turned the operation into a tourist attraction. Below, an article from the Miami News, October 25, 1921 (click to enlarge):

Lastly (for now) a jump to our 2022 perspective…..

Wow. If you’ve read the full article, you’ve likely been horrified, same as me:  As a tourist, you could purchase a baby alligator to take home as a pet. (Horrified both for tourist and baby gator and also in going further – simultaneously flashing on what must have been many similar instances happening at that same time, all around the globe – not that we’ve completely, or indeed, seemingly at all, learned our lessons between then and now. You’ll note also the additional dose of historical perspective needed when reading the descriptions above of the “vicious alligators” and their “cruel teeth.”) And, if it needs mention, and I’m aware this is a very simplified statement on my part, (and this is probably just to lead into the song) the Seminoles had, enterprisingly, turned to tourism in its many forms, for their continued survival……For the Everglades, I always think of John Anderson’s hauntingly beautiful, Seminole Wind.)

Sources:   Page, C. Clinton. “Abandon Theatrical Stage to Come South and Raise Fruits and Vegetables.” The Miami Herald. November 18, 1921. Friday, p. 4. (

“Musa Isle Grove, Early Showplace on River, Finally Yields to Subdivision.” The Miami Herald. March 19, 1922. Sunday, p. 27. (

Bananas. (accessed December 19, 2022).

“Alligator Farm Will Be Tourist Attraction Soon.” The Miami News. October 25, 1921.Tuesday, p. 17 (

John Anderson Seminole Wind. (accessed December 19, 2022).

Grand River Dam And Lake, Northeastern Oklahoma

Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher:  Dewey Post Card Co., Dewey, Oklahoma. Printer:  Curt Teich. Genuine Curteich – Chicago. “C. T. American Art.” No. or series:  2B88 – N. Circa 1953.

Price:  $5.00

“Length of dam 5680 ft., height 150 ft., length of lake 60 miles with 1000 miles shoreline. A playground of four states. Power plant capacity 200,000,000 KWH. Four 20,000 h. p. turbines, four 16,000 KVA generators.”

There’s a few similar-view-of-the-dam linen postcards that we see online, however none at the moment by this publisher, the Dewey Post Card Co. Per the publisher research we’re estimating the date of this postcard at 1953.

The Grand River Dam is an a.k.a. for the Pensacola Dam, in Northeastern Oklahoma, which is the longest multiple-arch dam in the world. Construction was started in 1938 and completed in 1940.

Source:  Pensacola Dam. n.d. (accessed June 12, 2017).

FDR, A Rendezvous With Destiny


Divided back, used, linen, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked from New York, July 29, 1943. Artist:  Onorio Ruotolo. Copyright Jos. Zegarelli, 1942. Publisher:  Genuine Curteich-Chicago “C.T. Art-Colortone” Post Card (Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.) Number or series:  2B-H1291.

Price:  $20.00

A timely one for this presidential election year 2016, and a great one for any FDR or Onorio Ruotolo collector. Onorio Ruotolo (1888 – 1966) was known as the  “Rodin of Little Italy” and was the founder of the Leonardo da Vinci Art School which ran from 1923 – 1942.  As of the date of this posting, no other cards were found of its kind.

Faith, Hope and Love

Ruotolo’s design shows President Franklin D. Roosevelt, having just released a dove carrying an olive branch. Underneath a cloud bank, fighter planes and ships carry out their destiny in WWII. Surrounding the scene are the words, “We fight for the restoration and perpetuation of faith and hope and peace throughout the world.”  Underneath the circle appear the triangular ends of a pyramid with the words, Faith, Hope and Love. Per Wikiquote, the “rendezvous with destiny” caption originated from a speech given by FDR, on June 27, 1936, to the Democratic National Convention. Below is the portion of the speech that contains the reference:

“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” 

Stargate Detroit

As we’ve said a number of times on this website, you never know where an old postcard, photo, trade card, etc. will take you. We’re time travelers via these old pieces of ephemera, and find ourselves synching up not just with the people, places and ideas of the past, but also with those of the present and future. (All happening at the same time anyway.) As I’m writing this I’m seeing beams of light connecting instantly around the world, the universe, and across “space and time.” What took me here was the mention of Isamu Noguchi (1904 – 1988) in the Wiki article about the Leonardo da Vinci Art School:  Noguchi being the school’s most famous student. Was that the same guy that designed the “DNA sculpture” (Pylon) in Hart Plaza, Detroit? (The one I did a high school paper about? Hee hee, hearkening back to high school.) Yes, the very one. From there I found the most fascinating web article by Chad Stuemke, entitled Stargate Detroit. (I’m blown away, and thinking of this find as my extra reward for scrubbing the kitchen tile grout yesterday 😉 )

Last, but never least

The Joseph Zegarelli that would have belonged to the  “copyright 1942” on the postcard was not located. Likewise, the addressee and sender weren’t found in online records either, but even so, the writing there shows a nice, though short, glimpse of typical family life:  Someone traveled somewhere and forgot to do something before they left, and now they have to ask the person back home to handle it. We’re guessing, along with you I’m sure, that Grover’s middle name was Cleveland. (A nice tie-in with a presidential postcard.) Addressed to:   “Mr. Grover C. Wood, Greene, N.Y., Box 176.”  The sender wrote:

“Dear Grover:  we arrived here in Utica 8 o’clock. it is now 12:15 Delores is sleeping & I am thinking of some one ( [?] ) You know. Say Dear would you please take care of the suit case as I left all my insurance papers & etc in it. Will try to write more later. Hope every thing is o.k.   Love Tine[?] & Delores.”

Sources:  Onorio Ruotolo. n.d. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Franklin D. Roosevelt. n.d. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Isamu Naguchi. n.d. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Leonardo da Vinci Art School. n.d. (accessed November 6, 2016).

Stuemke, Chad. “Stargate Detroit.” (accessed November 6, 2016).

Greetings From Waverly, Missouri

Greetings From Waverly MO pc1Greetings From Waverly MO pc2

Divided back, used “Linen” postcard. Postmarked September 23, 1938 from Waverly, Missouri. Publisher info:  “NYCE” Quality Colored Landscape Locals. Made in U.S.A. Series or number 61240.

Price:  $5.00

“Dear Mrs. Ellison. We are leaving for home next week. Have had a grand visit. Have been to visit all of Mac’s relations. And have pictures of them all. Love. from Virginia, Mac & girls.”

Oh, how the historians today for Mac and Virginia’s family would love to see those photos! Hopefully, they still exist and are in the next generation’s safe keeping. This is another from the Alice Ellison collection.

Waverly is a small town in Lafayette County (northwestern MO) that was established in the 1840s. It’s known for its wineries and also as the “Apple Capital of Missouri.” It overlooks the Missouri River, though it’s likely that the image depicted here is a generic one.

Sources:  Waverly. n.d.,_Missouri. (accessed May 28, 2015).

Waverly – Apple Capital of Missouri. Web accessed May 28, 2015. []

Greetings From Hamilton, Ontario

Greetings From Hamilton Ontario pc1Greetings From Hamilton Ontario pc2

Divided back, linen, used postcard. Postmarked August 22, 1954 from Hamilton, Ontario. Published by Royalty Specialty Sales, 118 Queen E., Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A Colourpicture Publication. Made in Canada.

Price:  $5.00

“Greetings From Hamilton, Ontario, Canada”

Beautiful Linen, Large Letter postcard from our Alice Ellison Collection, addressed to:  “Mr. & Mrs. G. Hume, 2100 Virginia St., Berkeley, Calif. USA” 

The sender wrote:  “Dear Mr. & Mrs. Hume. Here I am in Hamilton after a lovely trip. I hope you are both in the best of health. Will write you when I get settled   Love, Jean Leslie”

Old Biloxi Light

Old Biloxi Light pc1Old Biloxi Light pc2

Divided back, linen postcard. Unused. Publisher:  Emrich News Agency. Gulfport, Mississippi. A “Colourpicture” publication. No. 16121. Boston 15. Mass. U.S.A. Date circa 1940s -1950s.

Price:  $6.00

“Old Biloxi Light is one of the oldest lighthouses in America and is the city’s most treasured historical object. It is located on West Beach Boulevard and has been in use for nearly a century and still is in use today.”

The colors are beautiful in this linen postcard. It’s in very good condition except for the small mark on the right. This lighthouse stands today in the median of highway 90 and it’s history is quite interesting. Constructed in 1848, of brick wrapped around with cast iron metal, the iron construction has helped it withstand many a storm and hurricane. The bricks received extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In the wake of the terrible devastation wrought by Katrina, the American flag could be seen draped at the top of the lighthouse, as a symbol of the resilience of the residents of Biloxi and the surrounding community. The lighthouse was honored to be featured on the 2007 – 2012 state license plate, and in 2009 to be the subject of a set of U.S. postal stamps. In 2010, after a massive make-over had taken place, the lighthouse was re-dedicated, and if taking the tour today one will see the blue lines painted on the interior wall to show the high water levels that were reached during different hurricanes, Katrina’s being the highest. This lighthouse is unique in that it was operated by women keepers for 74 years; longer than any other lighthouse in the United States. The light became automated in 1940.



Rags, The Baby Burro

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Beautiful linen postcard of adorable baby burro, named “Rags.” The caption on the back states,

“N-4 – I WANT MY MAMA. When the photographer found this baby burro and its mother out on the hot desert – it was an effort to separate them. The baby would call pitifully for its MAMA.”

This is one I’d purchased years ago, before the collecting craze hit, as I love donkeys. Burro is Spanish for donkey. Don’t you just want to hug him?

Divided back, linen, unused postcard. Distributed by Southwest Post Card Co., Box 685, Albuquerque, N. M., Genuine Curteich. “C. T. Art-Colortone” Post Card (Reg. U. S. Patent Office.) Series or number N-4.

Not available for sale, in web author’s private collection.

Brulatour Courtyard, New Orleans, Louisiana

Brulatour Courtyard New Orleans LA pc1Brulatour Courtyard New Orleans LA pc2

Divided back, linen, unused postcard. Genuine Curteich – Chicago, “C. T. Art – Colortone” (Registered at the U.S. Patent Office) Publisher:  A. Hirschwitz, New Orleans, LA. Series 33. Stamp box shows “Place Stamp Here” and Curteich series “SA-H829.” Circa 1931 – 1945

Price:  $10.00

“Brulatour Courtyard, 520 Royal Street. One of the most famous courtyards in the city. This corner, showing the old stairway and arch, is painted and photographed more than any other place in old New Orleans.”

This posting is one of many that finds the researcher veering off in multiple, often surprising directions. In this case some of the subjects coming into the spotlight are film, furniture, wine, maritime disasters, and artists. One subject always leads to the next, and of course, this happily meandering path could go on indefinitely.


The courtyard gets it’s name from Pierre Ernest (or Ernest Pierre, city directory records show both) Brulatour, born about 1802, who came to New Orleans at about age 34, according to an online immigration record. He was a wine merchant in New Orleans, having lived for a time at the Royal Street address on the postcard, and was the paternal grandfather of Pierre Ernest Jules Brulatour (1870 – 1946.) The younger Brulatour is said to have been named after the grandfather. (Possibly they both had the same exact name but that question will not be looked into here.) Much has been written about Jules Brulatour, the grandson, who was a very successful pioneering figure in the early American film industry. An interesting fact about Jules’ second wife, Dorothy Gibson, is that not only was she a survivor of the Titanic disaster, but she played herself (prior to her marriage to Jules) in Saved From the Titanic, the first movie ever made about the maritime tragedy. Logically, the film’s producer was Jules Brulatour.


The building depicted here is said to have been built in 1816 and first occupied by François Seignouret, a fine furniture maker and wine merchant, born 1783 in Bordeaux, France. Seignouret’s furniture is famous for it’s elegant lines and is highly sought-after, and the wine business that he founded in 1830 is still in operation today, as Seignouret Frères & Cie.


520 Royal Street was also, at one time, home to the Arts and Crafts Club of New Orleans, a group of artists that organized to form the club, and are recognized as a major force in starting the movement to preserve the historic French Quarter. They had moved in to the building in December of 1921. The club incorporated in 1922 and ran till 1951, and though they only headquartered at the 520 Royal address for a short number of years, they are nevertheless, an important part of its history.


The building and courtyard are owned today by The Historic New Orleans Collection, who are currently working to turn the site into a historical museum, with a vision that includes the site as a venue for music and art. The site excavators have made a fascinating discovery of a 200 year-old well.


From time to time questions arise regarding the publisher information given on postcards, such as: Is the printed name appearing on the postcard that of the publisher? (Sometimes it  seems a bit unclear.) Or really, who is this guy – is he the publisher, and by the way, what does a postcard publisher really do? Well, it’s only logical then to create a separate category for publishers, and that will be forthcoming. In searching for some clarification for this post, we find that A. Hirschwitz was Aaron Hirschwitz, born in Louisiana, about 1874, according to the 1930 Federal Census, for New Orleans. He is listed there with wife Sadie, daughter Thelma Sarpy, grandson Aaron Sarpy, and boarder Simon Geismar. The Hirschwitz home address on this census is 1937 Peniston St., and Aaron Hirschwitz is stated as home owner, with occupation given as “President” in the industry of “Souvenirs.”

Sources: (re Curteich) U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2010.Original data: Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2012.

Hemard, Ned. “Jules Brulatour.” In KnowLA Encyclopedia of Louisiana, edited by David Johnson. Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 2010–. Article published August 26, 2013.

Bonner, Judith H. “Arts and Crafts Club of New Orleans.” In KnowLA Encyclopedia of Louisiana, edited by David Johnson. Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 2010–. Article published January 3, 2011.

Year: 1930; Census Place: New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana; Roll: 809; Page: 21B; Enumeration District: 0200; Image: 971.0; FHL microfilm: 2340544. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.

San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge

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According to a Wikipedia entry, this bridge (known locally as “The Bay Bridge”) still has one of the longest spans in the world. Construction started in 1933, and the bridge was opened to traffic on November 12, 1936. Since this postcard states this was the longest bridge in the world, it brought up the question:  What is the longest bridge in the world today? This depends on how you look at it. Do you count from beginning to end, or just the part over the water if water is involved? But just for contrast to the 8 1/2 miles listed for The Bay Bridge, the DanYang-Kunshan Grand Bridge in China, according to another Wikipedia entry, is 102.4 miles long, 5.6 miles of which is over open water.

Divided back, unused linen postcard. Circa 1936 – 1945. Publisher:  Scenic View Card Co., 667 Mission St., San Francisco, California. “Nature Tone Views.” #43.

Price:  $7.00