Three Women Carrying A Trunk

Real Photo Postcard, Undivided back, unused. Circa 1904. Eastman Kodak Stamp Box.

Price:  $25.00

This seems like a photo taken on a tropical island or at least somewhere exotic from our North American viewpoint. A clue to location should be the sign (mid-right in photo) showing “Hotel Continental” displayed atop two pillars, forming an entranceway. Behind, we notice part of a white building. Maybe that was the hotel. But Hotel Continental is, of course, a common name. When this postcard was made there were plenty such proud establishments, worldwide:  Atlantic Beach, Florida; New York City; Algier, Morocco; Havre, France; Vigo, Spain; Port Said and Cairo, Egypt; Cologne and Schwalbach, Germany; Bagni di Lucca, Capri, Genoa and Naples, Italy; Christiania, Norway, just to rattle off the ones we came across. Obviously some of these could be ruled out. But after browsing old photos of many locations (really too long of an endeavor), we didn’t get any closer to figuring it out. Also possibly, the Hotel Continental in this image was not too fancy or large, and might not have made it into old travel destination journals or onto old postcards which survived (except inadvertently, this one).

But, it’s a great photo. Imagine the scenario:  a tourist snaps this shot while walking behind these ladies, who are balancing this large trunk above (and on two of) their heads. Not something you see everyday, a definite Kodak moment (!) The time-frame is wonderful for clothing – the women all wear long (of course) skirts with striped shirtwaists, corsets underneath. The road they’re on is dirt, or at least, rustic; the wall of the building on their left, a little crumbling or aged, and with greenery growing on top. A short stone wall runs on their right. A gentleman, head down, in a dark suit and hat walks beside them, but is seemingly on his own, or at least unconcerned with needing to help with the trunk, or maybe feeling embarrassed he was not allowed to. (The ladies work for the hotel?) Notice his pant cuffs seem to be rolled up a little. Was this a seaside location somewhere and he had recently exited a small boat? Back to the trunk – it looks almost square, definitely well-used and…..did you assume, like me, that it was heavy, or at least full? (Thinking of photos of women carrying jugs of water, or whatever, on their heads?) Or, did you automatically assume the trunk was empty?

There are two other people in the photo, a woman busily occupied with something and a man behind her, barely discernible, wearing a tall hat (at least that’s my interpretation right now). Above them, some balconies, kind of rough-looking…..Wouldn’t this, wherever it was, have been a great place to stay?

As for the 1904 date for the card, this comes from the excellent, Playle’s website, as a date that’s been verified for this particular stamp box:  The design is a profile of a man with a pipe (Mr. Eastman?) looking through a camera, with the instructions, “Place One Cent Stamp Here”. And it may be likely that the photo was taken in the U.S. since it was found here, but always possible it was taken elsewhere and processed when the person returned home.

Sources:  “European and Eastern Hotels.” Cook’s Tourist Handbook for Switzerland. Thomas Cook & Son. London, 1895. (Google.com books).

Cook’s Tourist Handbooks Health Resorts. Thomas Cook & Son. London, 1905. (Google.com books).

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes, D-E.” https://www.playle.com/realphoto/photod.php. (accessed May 18, 2022).

John B. Hawkins Street Scene RPPC, 1920s – 1930s

Real Photo Postcard, divided back, unused. Circa 1920s – 1930s.  Made by:  John B. Hawkins, Marion, Massachusetts.

Price:  $12.00

This is possibly a Marion, Massachusetts, or neighboring town street view – showing a line of parked cars in front of stores, a man on our left about to cross the street, and another on our right, seated, at the curb. Surprisingly, we’re not finding any age-appropriate records for photographer John B. Hawkins, in all of Mass, though city directories online in Plymouth County (1910 – 1940) are only scattered pages of certain years. We’d therefor, have to contact a local historical society or local libraries for resolution to some of the mysteries herein. And, the image is not of the best quality for clarity, but may be of value to someone, for sure.

It’s disappointing to be unable to read the store names or signs after enlarging the image……Wait, we can just make out “Ice Cream” and the brand or shop name in two words…….but it’s indecipherable. (Sometimes if you gaze at almost-readable signs long enough, you get inspiration, but not happening for me, this time.) But still, every picture evokes a feeling….Staring at the scene (if we could just connect to a Hogwarts kind of thing, it would come to life and we’d see that guy actually cross the street, and maybe someone come out of one of the shops, and some movement from our friend on the right) but, primarily, in our “fixed moment” that the camera is offering, we might focus on that slightly dejected-looking gentleman, seated on the curb with head down, shoulders a little slumped – is he thinking about the cares of the day/month/year that are weighing on him……or is he just waiting for a ride? Whatever the case, he kind of makes you want to jump into the frame and go and offer him a friendly arm around the shoulders.

Smiling Young Man in Shaped Border RPPC

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1920s. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $7.00

A happy guy, great pose for the camera, wearing a large-check patterned suitcoat, pencils in the pocket (maybe he was an accountant, an architect, an artist….), tie, hat pushed back, and glancing up and left. He chose a nice, diamond-shaped border to frame the image, it might remind you of a Native American (i.e. design on a Navajo blanket). See our category “Shaped Borders” from the Home page for more.

Savillah (Rudy) Ward

Old photo, mounted on cardboard frame, circa 1883 – 1900.  Photo studio:  Ritchie Bros., Rantoul, Illinois. 

Price:  $15.00          Size: 2 and 1/2 x 2 and 5/8″ including frame.

A small photo, glued to a decorative cardboard frame, of an older woman with a nice smile. (Someone we would have liked to have met.) On the reverse, a descendant wrote:   “Savillah Rudy Grandma Ward Dad’s Grandmother”. A record for child, Orlando Francisco Ward, shows that Savillah (or Savilla) married Jesse Ward. The 1850 Federal Census for Berlin, Holmes County, Ohio has Jesse, Savilla and one-year-old H. I. Ward. Savilla was born in Pennsylvania in1827. She died at her home in Rantoul, IL, January 29, 1901, per the following obit:

No online records were found for the photo studio of Ritchie Brothers.

Sources:  Various Illinois County Courthouses; Various Illinois County Courthouses; Marriage Records; Collection Title: Marriage Records. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1850; Census Place: Berlin, Holmes, Ohio; Roll: 696; Page: 193b. (Ancestry.com).

“Rantoul Lady Passes Away.” The Champaign County News, February 2, 1901. Saturday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

Two Swedish Women

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard, circa 1907 – 1910. Photographer:  Fred A. Grinolds. CYKO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

“These two girls came 3 miles last Sunday to have me take their picture they are both Swedes and are engaged to be married soon they cant talk very good English yet write me if you are coming to Cal”

I think these ladies may be sisters, there seems to be a definite resemblance. Don’t you love the hats? In particular, I love the long cloak of the woman on our left, with that double row of decorative buttons. Too bad the photographer didn’t include their names in the above note. But still, we appreciate the fact that he did write a description, and we appreciate the sense of occasion  it would have been for the women, Swedish immigrants, both engaged to be married.

As for the photographer, he was Fred Albert Grinolds, born in Oil City, Pennsylvania, March 2, 1879, mother’s maiden name Swartz. Fred must not have been in the photography business for very long:  November 15, 1911, he married Elba Vera Lovelass in Marshfield, Coos County, Oregon, his occupation given as “ratchet setter” (at a sawmill). By the 1918 WWI Draft Registration, he was working as a millwright at the Old Dominion Company (a copper mining operation) in Globe, Arizona. Nothing was found for him online under the photographer heading, but it sounds like this would have been in California, before he got married. He and Edna had two daughters, Edna and Bertha. Below is Fred’s obit found in The Modesto Bee, August 22, 1960:

Sources:  “California Death Index, 1940-1997,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPWR-WK9 : 26 November 2014), Fred A Grinolds, 21 Aug 1960; Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Newport, Coos, Oregon; Roll: T624_1280; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0052; FHL microfilm: 1375293.

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

“Fred A. Grinolds.” The Modesto Bee, August 22, 1960. Monday, p. 10. (Newspapers.com).

Nora Ward, Silver Lake, Indiana

Carte-de-Visite, circa 1876. Photographer:  J. F. Shoemaker, Warsaw, Indiana.

Price:  $18.00      Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 4 and 1/8″

An adorable photo of Nora Ward, estimating she was about four years old in this picture. Love the stripes on the skirt and jacket, and I’m always struck by the quality of the clothing in antique photos.

We find Nora on the 1880 Federal Census for Silver Lake, IN:  Daughter of U. F.(?) and Ellen S. Ward. Nora was born in Indiana, about 1872, the fourth child of five. Siblings on this record are Laura, Charlie, Artemas and Mary. Their father is a physician. Further searches show the father’s full name is Uriah Irvin Ward and mother’s maiden name Giauque (possible French-Swiss origin). Nora grows up to marry a Mr. Gardner, and is living in Los Angeles in 1918, per Uriah’s obit, below:

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Silver Lake, Kosciusko, Indiana; Roll: 290; Page: 211B; Enumeration District: 058. (Ancestry.com).

Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929. (Ancestry.com).

“U. I. Ward is Dead.” The Hutchinson News (Hutchinson, KS). May 17, 1918. Friday, p. 8. (Newspapers.com).

Marriage Records. Ohio Marriages. Various Ohio County Courthouses. (Ancestry.com).

Lucille Wickson, Berkeley, California

Old photo, circa 1906 – 1916.

Price:  $12.00         Size:  3 and 1/8 x 2 and 1/16″

Availability status:  Original is sold. Digital copies only are available.

We have a last name this time:  Wickson. And I thought at first that Berkeley was the surname or it was a marriage situation, Wickson marrying Berkeley, but no such records appear online. However, we do find Lucille M. Wickson, student in 1909, boarding at 2662 College Ave., Berkeley, California (and the palm tree in the background fits). Other records show Mildred Lucille Wickson was born November 17, 1890, daughter of George Guest Wickson, II and Mary Ellen Winter. She married Walter Reeve Woolpert, July 27, 1916.

I’m estimating that Lucille was at least age 16 when this photo was taken. A fashion expert would no doubt be able to narrow down the time frame. Note that she wears both a large hair bow and a hat. But, easy to miss – she’s holding some daisies in her left hand. (It’s the little things that really bring the moment to life!)

Below, the announcement of Lucille’s upcoming nuptials from The San Francisco Examiner, July 22, 1916:

Sources:  Husted’s Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda Directory, 1909. p. 1214. (Ancestry.com).

“East Bay Society Notes.” The San Francisco Examiner, July 22, 1916. Saturday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com).

Ancestry.com. California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997.

A Photo of Miss Pansy

Old photo, circa 1900 – 1920s.

Price:  $6.00       Size:  2 and 3/8 x 3 and 5/16″

Even though there is no last name on the reverse for this young girl, her given name, Pansy, is unusual enough to maybe help anyone searching for any additional photos (she is someone’s grandma or great-grand or great-aunt). And we love out-of-the-ordinary names. Wondering then, how uncommon was this name in say, 1910? Just looking in the U. S. alone, on the 1910 Federal Census, the given name Pansy shows up 7,109 times. More popular than the name Poppy (only 28 Poppies in 1910) and more popular than the name Iris, which was surprising (6,219) and also surprising, much more popular than the name Dahlia (only 426). For perspective, the name Rose shows up 293,403 times. How about……Carnation? Yes, there were 14 Carnations on the 1910 census.

Source:  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.

Boy In Tire, California 1929

Old photo, decorative border, 1929.

Price:  $5.00          Size:  About 3 and 7/8 x 2 and 7/8″

Well, we know the place and year of this photo from the easily read license plate. (A definite departure from the usual norm of trying to “will” a plate into focus. 🙂 )

It’s an Art Deco design that frames this cute shot of a little boy sitting inside the upright spare (Goodyear) tire. He’s in overalls and wearing a couple of strands of beads, with a big smile and clutching something in one chubby hand. An adult, probably his dad, is in the background. As for the car – Model T Coupe? We’ll have to check with our go-to site for car questions, Antique Automobile Club of America. There is no writing on the back (though from a genealogy standpoint we feel like we’re looking at somebody’s grandpa, with great-grand in the back) but it’s a nice slice of Americana – back when the family car was also one of many play destinations for the kids.

Avenida Juárez, Guanajuato, México

Vintage Mexican postcard, unused. Publisher info:  Ediciones Guanajuato – Jardin Union No. 5, Teléfono 2.87.- Guanajuato, Gto. Series G-202. Circa 1950s.

Price:  $10.00

Avenida Juárez, circa 1950s

A beauty of a card with all those colors. The central Mexican city of Guanajuato is surely one of the most colorful in the world! The large building with the rounded roof is Mercado Hidalgo, an enormous market for pretty much anything you would like to buy – produce, clothing, souvenirs, jewelry, etc. Built on the site of an old bullring, the building was initially designed to be a railway station. Construction started in 1905 and was finished in 1910, when the market’s grand opening coincided with the centennial celebrations of Mexico’s independence.

Source:  Diaz Cornejo, Mireya. “El Mercado Hidalgo de Guanajuato.” https://www.revistabuenviaje.com/conocemexico/viajemistico/mercado-hidalgo/mercado-hidalgo-guanajuato.php# (accessed April 15, 2022).