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).

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).

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 Beautiful Family

Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box. Circa 1910 – 1930.

Price:  $2.00

This postcard was found in Salinas, California, in an antique shop, next to the photos from the prior post. It was thought, at the time, that there was a link between the two (as in maybe the man in this postcard was the photographer) but, on second thought, I don’t think so (just based on the research from the prior). But anyway, a lovely family. I love the mom’s dress with the embroidery, the daughter’s delicate cotton dress, the father and son, both wearing ties.

Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, 1940s

Eleven black and white photos, circa 1940s.

Price for the set:  $40.00       Sizes vary, see each photo.

Here’s a group of eleven vintage black and white photos taken in Alamos and La Aduana, Sonora, Mexico, circa 1940s. They were found in an antique store in Salinas, California. A sticker appears on the back of two of the photos showing, “J. V. Ryan, 3425 Champion St., Oakland 2, Cal.”  He may have been the photographer.

There are multiple possibilities for J. V. Ryan in Oakland, too bad we don’t know the actual given name. Nothing shows up for the name at that particular address in census records or city directories. The person that does come up, at 3425 Champion St., is Charles A. Weck. His census records show him at this address since approximately 1935, occupation mining engineer. This makes sense, as I think these photos have a mining connection, as you’ll see in one of them. The best assumption is that they may have been taken by either Ryan (a possible miner?) or Weck; we imagine an employer sent one or both down to the Alamos area in some type of mining connection.

Sunshine in Alamos…..

Size:  3 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Three girls and a bell…..

Size:  3 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/4″

A hammock on the porch…..

Size:  About 3 and 3/8 x 2 and 1/2″

An old street…..

Size:  3 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/4″

 

 El Camino Real…..

Size:  7 x 5″

La Aduana, shrine in background. The “fountain has never been dry in 200 years…..” 

This fountain was not found in quick online searches. It’s unknown whether it’s still there and still running. The tower with two bells in the background is believed to belong to the  Temple of Our Lady of Balvanera in La Aduana, based on photo matches online.

Size:  3 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Cacha Pomba? Center of the big silver mining district…..

Size:  3 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/2″

Shelter from the sun…..

Size:  About 5 x 4″

Casa Ruins, Alamos, Mexico…..

Size:  7 x 5″

Plaza de Armas…..

Size:  7 x 5″

Three Burros…..

Size:  7 x 5″

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Oakland, Alameda, California; Roll: T625_91; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 129. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1940; Census Place: Oakland, Alameda, California; Roll: m-t0627-00436; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 61-196. (Ancestry.com).

Temple of Our Lady of Balvanera. https://explore-sonora.com/temple-of-our-lady-of-balvanera/ (accessed April 1, 2022).

In a Field of Cabbage

Vintage photo from film reel, circa 1940.

Price:  $2.00         Size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 2 and 3/8″

I picked this photo up at the same time as the one in the previous post. Presumably, they came from the same person or family. This is an odd one, though. And I’m not sure if that’s really a cabbage field, just my best guess. This group sure seems pretty intent on looking down at….something. The soil, insects? No idea. I pictured maybe the guy in the foreground, in the white sweater, might be the younger guy from the prior post at Treasure Island. (Maybe.) Then pictured he and his uncles (not in this picture, and just my imagination from the Treasure Island one) are sightseeing and ended up in the Salinas Valley or the Central Valley or somewhere else in California, south of San Francisco. (It probably is California.) Was there a “U Pick” kind of thing going on back then, like apples or pumpkins? But nothing shows in old newspapers for advertisement. Or, maybe they were a college group. The one guy does have a college sweater on, hard to tell from where, though. So, maybe they’re all “ag” students and this is a field trip. One thing’s for sure (and I love it), they certainly are all well-dressed!

Ruth Brown, Ida Corbett and Nellie Bond Bagley

Real Photo Postcard, cropped. July, 1913, Santa Paula, California

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

“Ruth Brown, Ida Corbett and Nellie Bond Bagley – on her wedding day. Santa Paula, Calif.”

Three beautiful ladies decked in lace, in that gorgeous style from the 1910s. It was Nellie Bond’s wedding day, Santa Paula, CA, July 1913. I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the names read left to right, which places the bride to our right, wearing the white shoes, long white gloves, and holding a bouquet of flowers that trails into a long spray. And, if you look closely, you can see that there are some black marks on the photo, obscuring the full bouquet. At first glance, you might mistake the marks as part of the flower arrangement (it works ascetically speaking, but no.) This Real Photo Postcard was found cropped down quite a bit to it’s approximate 2 x 3 inch size.

Nellie Bond was born February 1893 in Missouri, daughter of William and Susie Bond (from the 1900 Federal Census, Benton, Polk County, Missouri). In July, 1913, she married James Elijah “Ail” Bagley, also a Missouri native. His full name and date of birth, October 26, 1893 are found in Ancestry.com family trees.

The clipping below appeared in the Oxnard Courier, July 11, 1913:

Ida Corbett (maiden name Hardison) born about August 1870 in Pennsylvania, was married to Leonard W. Corbett, February 11, 1892. Their marriage announcement was found in the Los Angeles Evening Express, dated February 13th:

Ruth Brown proves to be a little harder to find in records – a common name and we don’t know whether Brown is her maiden or married name. Nothing definitive shows up in quick searches online.

Sources:  Year: 1900; Census Place: Benton, Polk, Missouri; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0122; FHL microfilm: 1240883. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Santa Paula, Ventura, California; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0166; FHL microfilm: 1240116. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Santa Paula, Ventura, California; Roll: T624_111; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0215; FHL microfilm: 1374124. (Ancestry.com).

“Wedding in Santa Paula.” Oxnard Courier, July 11, 1913, Friday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).

“In Social Circles.” Los Angeles Evening Express, February 13, 1892, Saturday, p. 8. (Newspapers.com).

Having Fun Yet?

Old photo, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $8.00          Size:  About 4 and 1/4″ x 2 and 1/4″

Continuing on with a mini-theme of families or groups of people. This one is a stumper. Where were they? The major clue, if we can call it that, appears on our left….something Ranch. Had the camera been pointing slightly more in that direction (or the photographer further back), we probably could have figured it out. Maybe “something-or-other Ranch” was a restaurant. Do we imagine we see a small outdoor dining table there covered in white cloth? The other clue (for some ingenious person) is the out-of-place looking geometric metal? phone booth-ish (space ship, time portal, 😉 ) thing at the far right, that we only see a portion of. What the heck was it? Then the people depicted here….Looking like, I hesitate to say it, a family of con-artists. Maybe it’s the younger girl – the stony-faced look and the cool octagonal sunglasses, note her grip on her grandma’s arm (yes, we remember that smiling into the camera was not mandatory, like it pretty much is today – refreshing, really – scowl if you want to) and her sister – with that trick of the eye – one eye closed, the other squinting slightly, not a wink though, but different….how did the camera catch that? Now, the dark-skinned gentleman on our right, is he the dad of the girls and the (nice-looking) older brother? Dad sun-bronzed from years of outside work…..or are they a wealthy bunch and this man is their driver (but part of the family) and native to (imagining) Central America. Well, idiotic questions like these are in abundance. Notice, too, how the whole gang is dressed in white except for the matron of the bunch. Makes you think this snapshot was taken in one of the southern states, Florida or southern Calfiornia, perhaps? Anyway, every picture tells a story, as they say, and what this one tells is……open to impression….flashes of insight appearing and disappearing…..in the end, I’d say they’re a nice, very stylish family with a million stories to tell. Oh, and this photo had been in the family album for some time, as evidenced by some of the black paper still stuck to the back.

San Antonio, Texas, Circa 1929

Old photo. San Antonio, Texas, Circa 1929 or early 1930s. Printer:  The Fox Company. Copyright by Carl D. Newton.

Price:  $10.00         Size:  3 and 7/16 x 2 and 7/16″

There’s a good story in this moment, for sure. The phrase, “a pointed look” comes to mind – that which the young girl is directing toward her…..would you say, older sister? If siblings, that might explain the hostility 😉 (Paraphrasing the judge from My Cousin Vinny.) Or, do you imagine, that the one girl is just very engrossed in what the older one is saying (is she talking?) Personally, I love these old photos from the ’20s and ’30s, with the front yards (if this is one, sort of) that were not expected to be showpieces and often with old hand-built wooden fences that are leaning. (Actually, that’s a very nice gate, but the fence is falling in, and the gate off-kilter.) Or, maybe if not a front “yard” this is a commercial or semi-commercial street view. I’m now imagining some sort of auto servicing business. When you enlarge the image you’ll see that there is a second car in this photo and then also a third person, who’s standing behind it. We’ll check with the experts on the Antique Automobile Club of America forum, for the make, model and year of the car in the foreground.

Update:  The response from the super sleuths at AACA, is that the car in the foreground is actually a 1929 Nash, and the one in the background a Model A Ford Coupe. Which means that the printer’s stamp on the back of the photo was not an updated one, since it’s showing 1927. Interesting!