Frank and Girlfriend, 1919

Old photo, 1919.

Price:  $5.00                Size:  2 and 3/8 x 4 and 1/4″

Probably when I found this one (it was floating loose in a bin), I thought I’d be able to read the surname for Frank. Hmmm, no, not getting it. (My own scribble is just as bad.) But they’re a cute couple. (We’re on a short “couple theme” – a continuance of Valentine’s Day). At least, I think they’re a couple – no certainty there, either. But it’s a nice, “We were here….standing on this street….in the summer of 1919” photo. It would have been the summer after the end of the “Great War.” It’s a tree-lined residential road; you can see the utility pole and barely make out an old street lamp. There are train tracks, for a trolley one would guess, but we don’t notice any overhead cables, so maybe the tracks are a remnant from our horse-drawn car days, or maybe they’re old tracks, no longer used. That’s probably an old Model T in the distance (if you were betting you’d play those odds). Through the open wooden gate, we see a woman carrying something, potatoes maybe, on her way back from the garden or cellar storage.

The young woman in the photo – she’s beautiful, hair pulled up, appearing here in a long-sleeved white blouse with black cuffs (great style, yes, but think how practical that is) and in a striped, high-waisted skirt with big front pockets. Nothing fancy but it never needs to be. And Frank – he’s got that, “knows what he wants out of life” look. That direct gaze, a hint of sadness in the smile (did he lose an older brother in the war?), the confident, kind of brash stance, the backwards cap, that proprietary arm around his girl. We’re off with them, in spirit, just for a moment, to each of the many and wherever, those many possibilities led.

Roses For My Valentine

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Printed in Germany. Valentine Postcard Series No. 405. Publisher unknown. Circa 1907 – 1914.

Price:  $1.00

Valentine Greetings…..

To Miss Ella Ellison from Mary Strauch.

One from our Alice Ellison Collection. (A group of about 125 cards; they’re not all up on the website yet.) This one’s a little beat up and with a coffee stain at the top but contains a publisher mystery. We’ve seen this logo before, a capital G inside a rectangular artist’s palette with brushes attached, but haven’t found proof of the company name, to date.

Comic Donkey and Couple Circa 1940’s

Old photo, circa 1940’s.

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

These type seem to be generally referred to as “face-in-the-hole-board.” Other names include photo cutouts, Aunt Sallys, peep boards, character boards, fat-lady-on-the-beach boards. This handsome and fun, young couple (out for a drive in the surrey – yep, surrey with the fringe on top 😉 ) look to be from the 1940’s era. 

Sources:  Photo Cutouts. https://photocutouts.co.uk/blog/peep-boards-face-in-the-hole-boards-cutout-boards-what-should-they-be-called/ (Accessed June 10, 2023.)

The Surrey with the Fringe on Top. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Surrey_with_the_Fringe_on_Top#:~:text=%22The%20

Surrey%20with%20the%20Fringe,jazz%20musicians%20to%20play%20it. (Accessed June 10, 2023.)

Feeding the Pigeons, Atlantic City Boardwalk, 1939

Old photo, white border. Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1939.

Price:  $10.00        Size:  2 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

A busy street scene:  An older couple with the grandkids, feeding the pigeons. In the background, according to the source below, is the corner of S. New York Avenue and Boardwalk. This A. Schulte Cigars (one of numerous locations) address was 1645 Boardwalk and the Apollo Theater (most often spelled Theatre back in the day) was located at 180 S. New York Ave. The theater was a movie house and you can read the movie that was currently showing:  “The Women”, starring Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford. The year for this photo turned out to be an easy one thanks both to the movie marquee, and the vendor in his small sidewalk booth (check out his shoes) selling tickets to the Miss America Pageant, September 5th – 11th. The movie came out in 1939 and the pageant in Atlantic City for those September dates took place the same year.

To our left, of Schulte’s, we see a shop sign for what looks like, “Milano Linen.” It’s a little hard to make out. To our far right, next to Schulte’s, was Riley’s or maybe O’Riley’s Liquor. Or possibly, it was so-and-so and Riley’s – since the view is obscured we can’t tell.

Source:  “Apollo Theater.” (cinematreasures.org). Accessed March 6, 2023.

A Sidewalk Stroll in Memphis, Tennessee

Old photo, white border. Circa 1930s – 1940s.

Price:  $10.00          Size:  2 and 13/16 x 3 and 3/4″

An older couple strolling in a shopping district of Memphis, Tennessee. He in suit, tie, hat and horn-rimmed glasses, hands behind back and she in a hat, dark dress with flowered jacket belted at the waist and carrying a pair of white gloves. It’s a cute look they have, he’s turned towards her slightly, she’s smiling up at him. Behind them is a prominent sign showing “Economy Corner, Pantaze.” Pantaze was a drug store chain.

The photo’s reverse shows the photographer’s surname was Bolton and his business venture for these types of snapshots was called The “CANDID.” According to city directories and census records Bolton was Richard Bolton, and we’re seeing him on the 1910 Federal Census in Greenwood, Mississippi, occupation photographer. By 1912 he’s in Memphis, Tennessee working as a “photo finisher” for Engineers & Architects Supply Co. And by at least 1919, he’s again under the occupation of photographer. He stays with this vocation until his death in 1955.

Richard Bolton was born July 9, 1888 in Lula, Mississippi, son of West D. Bolton and Callie Louise (Perkins) Bolton. By the 1920 census he’s married to Bertha, who was born Nebraska, about 1893. The 1940 shows he is now with wife, Alma, born Tennessee, about 1907. He died in Memphis, December 23, 1955. The death certificate states he was divorced.

Below, worth reading –  love the humor…..♥  The case of the photographer’s disappearing Ford, from The Commercial Appeal, May 12, 1923:

Back to the photo……

What street was our strolling couple on? Unknown, at the moment. Since there were multiple Pantaze Drug Stores (the 1938 city directory, for instance, lists three different stores:  Store No. 1 was located at 38 S. Main; No. 2 was at 209 Beale Ave.; and No. 3 at 531 S. Main) we looked for any added reference to Economy Corner. That was, surprisingly, not found, so maybe someone with knowledge of the old Memphis days can let us know.

I’m aware there’s a glitch above with the grayed out wording and am trying to fix it – but it’s so appropriate though, kind of like the photographer’s car issue. 😉

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Greenwood South Ward, Leflore, Mississippi; Roll: T624_749; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0071; FHL microfilm: 1374762.(Ancestry.com).

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Memphis City Directory, 1912. Page 210. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Memphis City Directory, 1919. Page 186. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Memphis Ward 4, Shelby, Tennessee; Roll: T625_1763; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 82. (Ancestry.com).

“Phantom Car Vanishes.”  The Commercial Appeal, (Memphis, TN) May 12, 1923. Saturday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com).

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Memphis City Directory, 1938. Page 1602. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1940; Census Place: Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee; Roll: m-t0627-03963; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 98-103. (Ancestry.com).

Tennessee State Library and Archives; Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1958. (Ancestry.com).

Est ce d’un regard, d’un sourire…..

Divided Back, unused French postcard, circa 1920s. Publisher:  A. Noyer. Series 3268.

Price:  $6.00

Enlarge the image (twice) and you’ll see that there are a lot of creases on the front of this card, so it’s not in good shape but still, the subtle color variations and the softness, not to mention the romance and sender’s message make this a great one for Valentine’s Day….

“Est ce d’un regard, d’un sourire que vous avez su me séduire?”

Is it with a look, a smile, that you were able to seduce me?

Hopefully, I’ve deciphered and translated the reverse well enough for now, in hopes of having a French speaker look this over in the near future. The sender, “Louteke” is certainly a name I’ve never heard before, and doesn’t show up online. With luck, we can get clarification on that, too.

“Mon Chèr Petit Marcel,

Je suis très bien arrivée et Père était à la gare. Je ne devais pas changer à Courtois[?] J’étais content Georges à chercher la carte. Elle n’est pas très belle. Je m’ennui à mourir si loin de toi. Je ne sais pas est tu bien [?] Oui mon Chèr. Dort bien et mille gros bisous de[?] Chère Louteke qui pense beaucoup à toi mais quelle beau temps n’est pas Chèr à mardi soir. Je vais en promenade demain après midi. Mère est très content de son étagère et bien[?] les complements [?] et Père. Dort bien Chèri et pense beaucoup à moi, tu sais encore. 100 gros bisous de ta Chère Louteke.” 

My dear Marcel,

I arrived very well and Father was at the train station. I didn’t have to change at Courtois[?] I was happy George looked at the map. She [the town?] is not very beautiful. I’m bored to death so far from you. I don’t know if[?] you are fine. Yes, my dear? Sleep well and a thousand big kisses from dear Louteke who thinks about you a lot, but it’s not a long time Dear, till Tuesday night. I’m going for a walk tomorrow afternoon. Mother is very happy with her shelf and [sends?] regards from her and Father. Sleep well, darling and think of me a lot, you know again. 100 big kisses from your dear Louteke.

Mr. and Mrs. Biggs’ 60th Anniversary

Old photo, white border. Circa 1910s – 1920s.

Price:  $5.00            Size:  3 x 5″

“Mr. and Mrs. Biggs already to take a ride on their 60th Wedding Anniversary.”

The condition is poor, as you can plainly see, but what a great photo – an adventurous couple, in probably their late 70’s or early 80’s, ready to mark the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary with a ride in a biplane.

Café de Flore, Paris

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1920s. Publisher/printer:  Patras, 9 av. Marguerite, A Boulogne-Sèine, France.

Price:  $7.00

….un chocolat chaud et un croissant, s’il vous plaît.

We’re taking a mini-virtual vacation to the Café Flore (Flora Café), 172 boulevard St-Germain, for some relaxation and conversation – back to what appears to be the 1920s. After much clicking on videos recently, I’m taken with the idea that we could push the play button and have this scene come to life (!) But enlarge to get your imagination going on the stories evolving…..There’s the group of men on our left, one in uniform; the couple; the two girlfriends deep conversation; the two separate gentlemen in hats and overcoats; the woman with her young daughter, waiting for traffic to clear; the group of three who appear to have been caught in a delighted chance encounter; the man with hands in pockets at the curb; the man with the briefcase looking as if he’s hailing a cab; the others in blur, caught in motion, and those in the background or partial shadow; and last but not least, the contented-looking young woman at the second story window, arms folded, surveying the scene below.

Couple On Steps

Real Photo Postcard. Unused. VELOX stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $4.00

A moment in time, somewhere in rural America…..

According to the particular VELOX stamp box on the reverse, this would have been taken around 1907 to 1917. The building the steps lead up to is not a house, but maybe rather a grange hall, a train depot, a hotel. Note the metal screening on the windows, and the possibility of various small signs (enlarge the image twice – see the nails?) that had once been posted to our left of the doorway. But, I was drawn to this postcard from my impression of two people, caught in a great, candid moment of laughter – the woman seems to be, doubled over would be overstating it, but how do you describe, when someone says something unexpected, maybe ridiculous, and you have that reaction, turning off to the side in mirth, a little bent at the waist? The gentleman’s pose is in wonderful contrast, with arms folded, looking into the camera. In close up view, we can’t really tell if he’s laughing, but we’re taking in the working clothes, the heavy gloves, the dried mud on his boots (he’s probably listed as a farmer on the 1900 and 1910 census), and of course, the metal bucket to his right.

With Affectionate Regard

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1910 – 1920s. Series or number W1017. Publisher unknown. Printed in the U.S.A.

Price:  $3.00

“I send you my New Year greetings on this tiny little card.

They are prompted not by custom, but affectionate regard.”

The clarity is not the greatest on this postcard, but still, it’s a very cute illustration……and dig those duds on the gent!