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.

Vivian Mack’s Friend, Bunnie, Schoolcraft, Michigan

Divided back postcard. Postmarked November 3, 1912 from Schoolcraft, Michigan.

Price:  $15.00

The very cute, “Bunnie,” squinting a little from the sun, posing in front of a porch trellis that is covered in two different leafy vines. (One is heart-shaped, the other, something else.) She’s on her way somewhere (or just back from) – we’re playing detective here – noted because of the small purse she holds in her left hand. Her outfit of skirt and blouse has a short scalloped-edge, “curtained” layer:  This piece is called a peplum, and was created (in various styles) to add a little flair to the hips, thereby accentuating the waist – in other words, to bring back just a little of that “hourglass” look that had been previously so popular in women’s fashion.

From TextileGlossary.com:

“The peplum can be created using various techniques, such as pleating, gathering, or ruffling fabric. It can be attached to the bodice of a garment, creating a seamless transition from the waistline, or it can be a separate piece that is sown onto the waist. The length of the peplum can vary, ranging from a subtle and short flounce to a dramatic and floor-length extension.”

Peplum examples in some of the images below, from a Google image search:

Back to our postcard:

Addressed to:   “Miss Vivian Mack, Dexter Michigan.”

Well, if only life were always that easy! Dexter, Michigan (northwest of Ann Arbor, in Washtenaw County) must have been a pretty small town in 1912 – no street or rural route was needed to get this card to its intended. (Indeed, the census taker for Dexter in 1910 had enumerated 542 persons.) Established as a village in 1830, Dexter was not incorporated as a city until 2014. As of 2020 the population was about 4500. Schoolcraft, by the way, is on the other side of the state, south of Kalamazoo.

The sender wrote:  “Dearest Mimmie :- Don’t think that I have forgotten you or that your birthday comes Sunday. I hope you will have a lovely Birthday. What did you do Halloween? Merle had a party. Everybody in S. is pretty well but Papa, who has a broken leg. Hope I will hear from you soon – Bunnie.”

Note that Bunnie has embellished three of the capital letters in the address – a nice birthday touch.

Vivian Mack

Vivian Irene Mack was born in Rodney, Ontario, Canada November 3, 1896. Investigating further, we were so sorry to learn that she had died in January of 1920, at age 23 (pneumonia with heart complications). Vivian, (and we’re sorry we don’t have a picture of her) was the daughter of the Rev. Henry Mack and Annie Sine. She had married Robert J. Ernst on April 12, 1919.

Sources:  Dexter, Michigan. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dexter,_Michigan (accessed February 11, 2024).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Hadley, Lapeer, Michigan; Roll: 724; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0037. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Dexter, Washtenaw, Michigan; Roll: T624_677; Pages 1A – 17B; Enumeration District: 0139; FHL microfilm: 1374690. (Ancestry.com).

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 146; Film Description: 1919 Ontonagon-1919 Wayne. (Ancestry.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70977302/vivian_irene-ernst: accessed February 11, 2024), memorial page for Vivian Irene Mack Ernst (–), Find a Grave Memorial ID 70977302, citing Forest Lawn Cemetery, Dexter, Washtenaw County, Michigan, USA; Maintained by Anonymous (contributor 47412861).

“What is ‘Peplum’ – Definition & Explanation.” January 19, 2023, https://www.textileglossary.com/terms/peplum.html. (Accessed February 13, 2024.)

Google.com search, “images of peplums in 1910s.” (Accessed February 13, 2024.)

Amelia Kukiewicz, Chicago

Cabinet Card, circa 1905. Photographer:  Zacharias K. Urbanowicz, Chicago, Illinois.

Price:  $20.00              Size:  About 4 and 1/4 x 6 and 1/2″

A pretty young woman in a thoughtful pose, wearing a cotton or linen skirt, belted with a silver heart-shaped buckle; the blouse, with leg-of-mutton sleeves, is topped with a high collar of white lace, pinned to which is a brooch (we’re picturing the Italian micro-mosaic style or one of dried flowers); and the short necklace, of perhaps coral-colored beads, displays a silver cross.

This cabinet card was found at the Cannery Row Antique Mall in Monterey, California. The 1905 date on the back could be correct or could be just an estimate by either the family member who had it last or the antique dealer. The photographer’s address of 4841 S. Ashland Ave appears to have been a residence address and was found on his 1910 Federal Census record for Chicago. See the next post for more on Zacharias K. Urbanowicz.

From the marriage index:  Emilia Kukiewicz, born about 1883 in Lithuania, married Bronislaw Miczewicz, age 27, in Chicago. Illinois, August 15, 1909. Sometime prior to the 1940 census Bronislaw “Bruno” Miczewicz changed their surname to Mitchell.

From the 1940 Federal Census taken in Chicago:  Amelia Mitchell, born in Lithuania about 1883; spouse Bruno Mitchell, born Lithuania about 1883; son Medard Mitchell, born Illinois about 1924; married daughter Beatrice Malloy, born Illinois about 1912; son-in-law Thomas Malloy, born Nebraska about 1909; granddaughters Kathleen and Barbara, born Illinois, about 1934 and 1935. Also in household, lodger Peter Shusko.

Earlier census records were not found, though there’s a possibility that the following (a crop from the 1920 in Chicago) could be correct. This is from Ancestry.com and the surname here is transcribed as “Muizo” but as you can see it’s pretty hard to read. The occupation for the Bruno on this record is “gas fitter” at a factory, which is certainly in line with him as a pipe fitter on the 1940. The daughter on this 1920 record is listed as Bernice rather than Beatrice, however the ages of the family members and their places of birth fit the later record:

Sources:  Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, U.S., Marriages Index, 1871-1920.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Chicago Ward 29, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_275; Page: 11a; Enumeration District: 1570; FHL microfilm: 1374288. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 20, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_331; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 1131. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1940; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00945; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 103-800. (Ancestry.com).

A Mom and Two Daughters

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1918.

Price:  $7.00

No i.d. for this one. Why did I buy it? I like the contrasting fabrics, the plaid and the stripes – all that cotton. Refreshing to see in our day and age of synthetics. The girls’ expressions are so sweet, and there’s the mom’s narrowed (maybe a vision thing) but steady gaze, she’s slouched in the chair (a little unusual but that could have been according to where the photographer wanted her to appear, with the girls standing taller). The mom is wearing wire-rimmed spectacles, a watch and chain and a flat-topped hat. (There seemingly were no end to hat styles.)

One thing of note is the pattern on the younger girl’s dress, (click twice on the card image to enlarge). They’re a little hard to make out but those are (not pinwheels) but swastikas – the original meaning of this ancient symbol represented good luck. For more on that subject see the BBC article link below in “Sources”.

Since old newspaper articles and ads reveal a lot we always like to check them for proof of what was actually going on at the time; pretty enlightening in this case, as they do indeed confirm the swastika as a phenom and the time-frame that it had become popular (again). From Newspapers.com, starting around 1899 with 126 search results for “swastika” in the U.S., ads start appearing for products such as Swastika Stationary. (Bear in mind that many of these are instructional articles and, of course, there are always duplicate articles that appeared in multiple newspapers.) From 1899 through 1905 the results are in the 100 or 200 range. Then in 1906 it jumps to 787 results, and in 1907 it has skyrocketed to 9,875.

Below, a portion of a long article that appeared in the Washington D.C. Evening Star, September 1907, stating the then-current fad in the U.S. came from across the Atlantic, France actually. Caution:  Don’t take this as gospel – it could certainly be correct but we wouldn’t want to say for sure without extensive research.

There is also the probability that the symbol’s popularity was influenced by author and poet, Rudyard Kipling:  The author had requested previously (year unknown) that his father (an artist) design an emblem for him for book covers. See the images in this link of the elephant, lotus flower and swastika design (and subsequent image, minus the swastika). Kipling, in 1899, filed a lawsuit (which he lost, but that’s another story) against some publishers for copyright infringement (lower left from the Chicago Tribune, April 1899). Later in 1899 we see ads appearing nationwide, like the article on our right from The Los Angeles Times, August 1899:

One last note:  After readily falling down the rabbit hole for most of this post, we don’t want to forget to mention that the end date for our postcard is from Playle.com regarding the AZO stamp box, with all four triangles pointing upward.

Sources:  “How the world loved the swastika – until Hitler stole it.” October 23, 2014. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29644591. (Accessed December 4, 2023).

“Swastikas vs. Corbetts For Today’s Game.” Arizona Daily Star, March 22, 1908. Sunday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

“The Filigree Swastika Latest Form Of The Emblem.”  Albuquerque Journal. June 25, 1906. Monday, p. 4. (Newspapers.com).

“The Latest Out.” The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. (Fort Wayne, Indiana).December 3, 1899. Sunday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).

Search results for “swastika” from years 1898 – 1907. (Newspapers.com).

Watkins, Jake E. “Swastika, World’s Oldest Symbol Is Latest Fad. Modern Use Of This Ancient Good-Luck Sign.” Evening Star. (Washington, D. C.). September 7, 1907. Saturday, p. 21. (Newspapers.com).

“Tells of Kipling Books.” Chicago Tribune. April 28, 1899. Friday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

“Books.” The Los Angeles Times. August 24, 1899. Thursday, p. 9. (Newspapers.com).

“Kipling Loses His Suit Against The Putnams.” The Publishers’ Weekly. No. 1616. January 17, 1903, pp. 80-81. (Google.com).

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes. A – B.” playle.com. (accessed December 7, 2023).

Sophia Jane (McIntosh) Blake, 1892

Cabinet Card, 1892. Photographer:  McIntosh & Allen. Gardiner, Maine.

Price:  $20.00               Size:  About 4 and 1/4 x 6 and 1/2″

An adorable expression…..

If the date on the back is accurate, Sophia would have been about fifty in this photo.

She has accessorized here with a brooch fixed to a white lace collar, matching earrings (though only one is visible) and that’s perhaps a lace or net-type fabric head covering with fabric rosettes making her hair look a bit shaggy. (It only adds to the charm.) I’m picturing her with a good sense of humor.

Details….

Sophia Jane McIntosh was born September 3, 1842 in Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine, daughter of George W. and Hannah (Bayer) McIntosh. She was twice married. First to George William Webber, March 25, 1858, whom she divorced in October 1867. They had two daughters, Sarah, born 1858 and Alice, born 1861. She married Jeremiah Curtis Blake July 31,1870. He was born in Maine, about November 1846, and from the 1900 Federal Census for Winthrop, Massachusetts, his occupation was policeman.

Find A Grave lists Sophia’s maiden name as MacIntosh, though other records, including her birth record and her parents’ marriage record show McIntosh. You’ll have noticed the photographer’s surname is the same – it appears he and Sophia were brother and sister. (Rather a nice find!) Sophia died August 22, 1926 in Winthrop, Massachusetts.

The photographers….

No reference was found for McIntosh & Allen, and nothing for Allen in Gardiner, or its county, Kennebec. (Turn your head sideways slightly to see catch the “&” sign!)

McIntosh was George F. McIntosh, born April 26, 1849, Hallowell, Maine; and as indicated above, son of George W. McIntosh and Hannah (Bayer) McIntosh, and sister of Sophia. He married Elizabeth Blanchard in 1872 and they had five children. Sometime between the 1870 and 1880 Federal Census’ he went into the photography business. It’s unclear whether he may have had more than one studio at a time; records show him in various cities and towns:  Hallowell, Gardiner, Augusta and Richmond Township, Maine; Laconia and Dover, New Hampshire and Lynn, Massachusetts. The 1920 census in Laconia lists him as retired, however, a Hallowell city directory in 1923 has him still working. He died June 2, 1931 in Hallowell.

One last note….

This cabinet card was found at the Cannery Row Antique Mall in Monterey, California. It’s unknown who may have given the 1892 card date and without knowing, one wonders if it’s exact or more of a guess, though the 1892 city directory does confirm Gardiner, Maine for George F. McIntosh, photographer. As for the address penciled on the back of the card:  15 Ingleside Avenue was in Winthrop, Mass on the 1910 census but was 5 Ingleside on the 1900. (Maybe an error on the earlier census or a renumbering situation on the later.)

Sources:  Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/124584840/sophia-jane-blake: accessed 28 November 2023), memorial page for Sophia Jane MacIntosh Blake (Sep 1842–22 Aug 1926), Find a Grave Memorial ID 124584840, citing Winthrop Cemetery, Winthrop, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA; Maintained by Bob McLellan (contributor 47824019).

Ancestry.com. Maine, U.S., Compiled Marriages for Belfast, Hallowell and Pittsdon, 1748-1875. 

Ancestry.com. Maine, U.S., Divorce Records, 1798-1891. 

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100617756/george-f-mcintosh: accessed 30 November 2023), memorial page for George F. McIntosh (1849–1931), Find a Grave Memorial ID 100617756, citing Hallowell Village Cemetery, Hallowell, Kennebec County, Maine, USA; Maintained by Maine 101 (contributor 47130320).

Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; Pre 1892 Delayed Returns; Roll Number: 73. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1870; Census Place: Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine; Roll: M593_546; Page: 325A. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine; Roll: 481; Family History Film: 1254481; Page: 277B; Enumeration District: 096. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Winthrop, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: 690; Page: 22; Enumeration District: 1577. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Winthrop, Suffolk, Massachusetts; Roll: T624_626; Page: 1a; Enumeration District: 1691; FHL microfilm: 1374639. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine; Roll: T625_643; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 61. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

Julia Ann Johnson Peck – Bindon

Family Photo mounted on cardboard. Circa 1880’s.

Price:  $20.00               Size including matting:  About 7 and 7/8 x 5 and 3/4″

Note:  There is some “foxing” (the dark marks most noticeable on the right-hand side matting – an indication of mold/mildew from prior storage). This photo can always be used digitally or be reproduced by a photography studio. If purchasing, please store appropriately.

A lovely family…….but a mystery for identity

From the description on the back one assumes Johnson is Julia Ann’s maiden name, she married a Peck, and they lived in Bindon. However, the only Bindon for location shows up in Somerset, England, and no records were found there. So, other than Bindon being a street name or some type of remote possibility like the family called the home the Bindon house, or something like that, the next logical scenario is that Bindon was Julia’s second marriage.

So, we found a Julia Ann Johnson, born May 2, 1837 in Michigan, who married John T. Peck. He died in May 1872, and she married John N. Bindon, September 5, 1877. Julia Ann died September December 29, 1893. But, looking at the ages and genders and number of children on the 1870 and 1880 census records – they don’t seem to fit the photo, though of course, we’ve not been told which one of the group is Julia. Well then, it’s always possible that this is a different family, flying under the radar on records.

As for the date of the photo, fashion experts can, no doubt, narrow down the year this was taken, but we’ll settle for circa 1880’s – just to avoid the hours of searching to try to pinpoint then when-in-vogue dates for details like the striped and plaid accents, braid, and pleats on the dresses, the fit of the sack suits for the gentlemen, the older man’s beard without mustache.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Groveland, Oakland, Michigan; Roll: 598; Page: 108C; Enumeration District: 253. (Ancestry.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100739570/julia-ann-peck: accessed 26 November 2023), memorial page for Julia Ann Johnson Peck (2 May 1837–29 Dec 1893), Find a Grave Memorial ID 100739570, citing Hadley Cemetery, Groveland Township, Oakland County, Michigan, USA; Maintained by Destiny (contributor 47071650).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/100739516/john-t-peck: accessed 27 November 2023), memorial page for John T Peck (unknown–11 May 1872), Find a Grave Memorial ID 100739516, citing Hadley Cemetery, Groveland Township, Oakland County, Michigan, USA; Maintained by Destiny (contributor 47071650).

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 15; Film Description: 1877 Mason-1878 Gratiot.

“Sac suit.” historyinthemaking.org. (Accessed November 27, 2023).

“Vintage Style Sack Coats.” historicalemporium.com. (Accessed November 27, 2023).

Kristofa and Baby

Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1910’s.

Price:  $12.00

The sender wrote:

“Mrs. Hanna[?] & Hubby. Dear friends, hope you feel better today. [?] yourself for going home & see your mother before [?]. I vish I had a change, I vould like to come over next veek sometimes if the veather permits, hope you Hubby is working now. I send you a card vith the House & the old vomen on. Vhat do you think of it. I can not see[?] a day but hope to see you soon. Vith best regards to yourself , Hubby & Baby from us all. Kristofa.”

This house is really interesting with its entrance on the second floor – after some online searching I’ll admit I’m still lost on the style. My field guide to houses got water-damaged and I had to toss it (the answer probably was in there, rolling eyes) and I’m sure I’ll order another, but meanwhile I posted a query at an architectural site – hopefully they get back to me.

Another great aspect of this card is that it invites us, in a way, to share part of Kristofa’s Scandinavian-American life – just in hearing the accent that so nicely prevails in her note. But there she is, posing herself and her young son, he standing atop the wooden railing, safe and secure in her arms (note the tight grip on the trousers!). Note also the beautiful lace curtains in all the windows. If we were invited in, there would undoubtedly be coffee (Scandinavians love their coffee) and most likely an accompanying cake…..

Mary Kottmyer in Chicago

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard, used. Circa early 1910’s.

Price:  $15.00

The smartly-dressed Mary in suit and ostrich-plume hat. We’re guessing she’s in her early twenties…..

As you’ve noticed, this card was postmarked but the date and location stamp portion didn’t make it, though odds are it went through Chicago. The sign under Mary’s left hand, when darkened in Photoshop, shows “Chicago Express.”  That being said, this is a photographer’s set up (albeit a nice one) as the scene behind her looks a little too clean and contrived. Indeed, the iron railing has the same look, and note the lack of space someone would have had to exit that door. (Rather amusing and obvious once you notice it!) Mary’s surname we’re basing on some online searches for similar possibilities and looking at the rest of the writing (the “e” in particular). But the correct spelling could just as easily be Kottmeyer, with the person who penned it just being unaware. One gets the impression that the handwriting on our left is much later, as if Emaline was going through a group of old cards and photos and adding names and locations.

Addressed to:   Emaline Keebler, 1304 Prichard St. Pittsburg Pa.”

Emaline M. Keebler was easily found in census records at this address. Per the 1940 Federal Census in Pittsburgh, she was born about 1897 in PA, single, occupation teacher at a public school. Further info was found on Find A Grave:  born November 15, 1896, daughter of Emil Andrew Keebler and Clara Olga (Kirbach) Keebler.

Sources:  Year: 1940; Census Place: Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Roll: m-t0627-03670; Page: 63A; Enumeration District: 69-589.

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/109707824/emaline-m-keebler: accessed 26 September 2023), memorial page for Emaline M. Keebler (15 Nov 1896–21 Jul 1984), Find a Grave Memorial ID 109707824, citing Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Mount Lebanon, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA; Maintained by texjenn (contributor 48885098).

Mae at the Iowa River Dam, Iowa City, 1908

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked January 15, 1908, Iowa City, Iowa.

Price:  $15.00                Size:  About 5 x 3 and 1/2″. Card is slightly cropped. 

For old times sake…….

Addressed to:   “Mr. L. G. Johnson. Denver Colo. Box 4. 40th St.Station.”

The sender wrote:   “For old times sake I send you this. Mae.”

The Iowa River is a tributary of the Mississippi and measures about 323 miles long. We found some similar images in old postcards currently on eBay and then the ad below from Duluth Lumber in 1909 confirming that Mae’s location was indeed the Iowa City Dam, today called the Burlington Street Dam. The building in the background should be the power station. And enlarge the postcard twice to get a much better view of Mae’s hat. (It’s quite nice!)

Sources:  Iowa River. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_River (accessed September 17, 2023).

Burlington Street Dam. https://www.iowawhitewater.org/lhd/LHDburlingtonst.html (accessed September 19, 2023).

Duluth Lumber Co. Ad. Iowa City Press-Citizen. March 12, 1909. Friday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).