Gator Wrestling

Old photo, white border. Circa 1920s – 1930s.

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

The condition of this one is not great – with the crease on the bottom right and the image being pretty washed out, but it is one of a kind, and that’s always nice, since it was taken by an individual, rather than produced in numbers for the tourist trade. It shows a young man of the Seminole Nation, his legs on either side of a belly-up alligator, gator’s snout to young man’s chin; a line of spectators in the back; and another gator, under the palm tree. Enlarge the image (twice) for a better look.

See the links below for a few articles on the subject of alligator wrestling. And maybe you’ve had a similar experience, so I’ll share something here:  Rarely have I felt so overwhelmed by a photo:

I’ve been wrestling (no pun intended) with finishing this post, having re-written it several times – and have come to the conclusion that this photo is “weighty” for me. For one thing, a doorway to history – flipping back thru time with the Seminole people – life before tourism, before the tragedy of the Glades being diminished, pride for the Seminoles to have never signed a “peace” treaty with the U.S. government…..And this photo’s era – Florida in the ’20’s and ’30’s being a particular draw for me – that déja vu feeling, with it’s invariable why?……And questions for the present and future, our planet and its welfare (anguish) gators and all, and then jumping back to this particular gator and this particular wrestler, and the feelings and impressions of those spectators…. Multiple pathways to travel down. Maybe I’ll be drawn back to it all later, when I’m older and hopefully, wiser.

Some related articles:

Fitzner, Zach. “Alligator wrestling in Florida may soon become a thing of the  past.” Earth.com, April 18, 2019. https://www.earth.com/news/alligator-wrestling-florida/ (accessed November 20, 2022).

Lipscomb, Jessica. “Study, Actually Alligator Wrestling Is Bad.” Miami New Times, November 24, 2020. https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/study-says-floridas-alligator-wrestling-attractions-are-harmful-11748501 (accessed November 20, 2022).

Oztaskin, Murat. “How Florida’s Seminole Tribe Transformed Alligator Wrestling Into A Symbol of Independence.” The New Yorker, January 27, 2021. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-documentary/how-floridas-seminole-tribe-transformed-alligator-wrestling-into-a-symbol-of-independence. (accessed November 20, 2022).

Triple Royal Palm, Ridgewood Avenue, Daytona FL

Divided back, unused, embossed postcard. Publisher:  S. Langsdorf & Co., New York. Made in Germany. Series 618. Circa 1908 – 1914.

Price:  $35.00

This is what’s called an “alligator border” postcard. They were very collectible at the time and are pretty highly valued today. You can find them selling for around 30.00 or 40.00 dollars to in the hundreds, depending on content and rarity….And, imagine this particular card having been placed in an album after it was first purchased, because if you look closely (enlarge the image twice) you’ll notice the slightly darker coloration on each corner (so that when it was displayed in the album you were not seeing the corners). I like this kind of “physical proof” – it seems to add another layer or dimension to the card.

When looking for publisher S. Langsdorf, we found mention of him and (bonus!) the alligator border phenom in this Google book search:  America’s Alligator:  A Popular History of Our Most Celebrated Reptile, by Doug Alderson. You can also take a “Look Inside” for part of the book on Amazon.com right now. See the upcoming post for more on S. Langsdorf.

The “Triple” in Royal Palm is, I think, a description of a Royal Palm that has three trunks, or maybe multiple trunks, as in the most predominant palm appearing in our postcard above.

Sources:  Alderson, Doug. America’s Alligator:  A Popular History of Our Most Celebrated Reptile. Rowman and Littlefield, 2020. (books.google.com).

Royal Palm Tree. https://www.allaboutpalmtrees.com/royal-palm-tree (accessed October 22, 2022).

Gator Couple

Divided Back, artist-signed, used postcard. Postmarked August 21, 1917, Brimfield, Illinois. Postcard artist:  Hans Horina.

Price:  $15.00

A gator (the “husband” we presume) standing in a river or pond, calls out,“Oh, I don’t know!” to his wife, who is walking off, holding a small parasol. This card was part of a series of comic gator cards that told a story, so the caption would have made sense when seeing the full set.

We found a short description for the German postcard artist, Hans Horina (1865 – 1918) from the wonderful site, Lambiek – Comix Strips (lambiek.net) under the Comiclopedia section. (Check it out if you have time.)

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Ida Ost, 609 Abington Str., Peoria, Illinois.”

The sender wrote:   “From the bunch. Brimfield, Ill. Aug. 21st, 1917. Dear Peorians, We missed the mail yesterday after-noon so if your card didn’t go on through you wouldn’t get it to-day but hope you did. It is a rainy day here. Toodles is playing and has got Teddy in that little wagon now. Harland is going up town now and will mail this card. Oscar says to tell you that he got that piece of pie alright so he didn’t lose out after all. Does this look like the aligator in Central Park [grand-pa] ha ha ha. Oscar says for you Edie to meet him at the depot Wednesday night. Good-bye. Write soon.”

The above message was written by Clara (Wizeman) Pemble, wife of Harland Pemble. Clara, born in Illinois about 1886, was the daughter of William Wizeman and Louisa Mohler. Harland, born in Illinois about 1882, was the son of James H. Pemble and Mary Cavender. “Toodles” is probably Harland and Clara’s daughter Ida, who in 1917, when this card was sent, would have been about four or five.

Ida Ost, the addressee, is Clara’s sister. Ida was born in Illinois about 1875. She is listed as widowed on the 1900 Federal Census.

Sources:  “Hans Horina.” (https://www.lambiek.net/artists/h/horina_hans.htm). Accessed October 17, 2023.

Peoria County Courthouse; Peoria, IL, USA; Peoria County Marriages, 1825-1915; Collection Title: Peoria County Marriages, 1825-1915. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Brimfield, Peoria, Illinois; Roll: T625_398; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 47. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Peoria Ward 3, Peoria, Illinois; Roll: 334; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0097; FHL microfilm: 1240334. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1860; Census Place: Elmwood, Peoria, Illinois; Roll: M653_217; Page: 554; Family History Library Film: 803217.  (Ancestry.com).

James A. Anderson, Maumee, Ohio

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO stamp box. Circa 1914 – 1917.

Price:  $15.00          Size:  3 and 3/8 x 4 and 3/4″

Always charming – these photos and cards of children on donkeys and horses – a donkey in this case. And this particular postcard is a little off from the standard size in length (length of card as viewed from the reverse with writing side).

James, dressed up in wool hat, suit coat and knickers and wearing button, high top boots, was a Maumee, OH native, born October 26, 1909. The son of Charles E. Anderson and Julia “Jewel” Elnora Wise/Weis, James’ middle name was Arnold, according to the 1910 Federal Census for Maumee, Ohio, which flipped the names and lists him as “Arnold J.” (Note the stirrups are a little too long for him in the photo.)

Sources:  Ancestry.com. Ohio, U.S., Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Maumee Ward 2, Lucas, Ohio; Roll: T624_1210; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0163; FHL microfilm: 1375223. (Ancestry.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/112621700/james-arnold-anderson: accessed 24 September 2022), memorial page for James Arnold Anderson (26 Oct 1909–29 Jan 1956), Find a Grave Memorial ID 112621700, citing Calvary Cemetery, Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, USA; Maintained by TAYLOR (contributor 47701928).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/119834096/julia-eleanor-anderson: accessed 24 September 2022), memorial page for Julia Eleanor “jewel” Weis Anderson (2 Aug 1891–27 Aug 1980), Find a Grave Memorial ID 119834096, citing Calvary Cemetery, Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio, USA; Maintained by M_artin S_chauder (contributor 47780256).

The Falveys Get Back to the Country, 1929

Old photo, white border. Dated July, 1929.

Price:  $15.00            Size:  About 6 and 3/4 x 4 and 1/2″

Sláinte!………..Some glasses are raised in salute here – in celebration of something, maybe just in the happiness of getting back to the ranch.

The Falvey Family lived in San Francisco, but it seems likely they owned some property outside of the city. Indeed, a 1905 newspaper article in the San Francisco Chronicle, mentions the family,  “preparing to go into the country for the summer.”  

Falvey is an Irish surname, and one we hadn’t come across until now. From Wikipedia:

“Falvey is a surname which is an anglicisation of the name Ó Fáilbhe:  in the Irish language Ó means “descendant” [of] and “fáilbhe” literally means “lively, pleasant, sprightly, merry, cheerful” or, according to another historian, “joker”. Other anglicisations include O’Falvie, O’Falvy, O’Failie, O’Falvey, Falvey, Fealy and Fealey.”

From the photo:

Arthur Falvey, born February 17, 1877 in San Francisco, California.

Gertrude (Green) Falvey, born November 9, 1879 in California. Daughter of James Green and Annie Ryder, both born in Ireland.

Son, Jack Falvey, born September 29, 1913 in San Francisco.

Jamie(?) and Evelyn, surnames unknown.

Sources: Year: 1920; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 27, San Francisco, California; Roll: T625_142; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 329.(Ancestry.com).

Year: 1930; Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0237; FHL microfilm: 2339938. (Ancestry.com).

California Birth Index, 1905-1995. (Ancestry.com).

San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985. Microfilm publication, 1129 rolls. Researchity. San Francisco, California. (Ancestry.com).

Falvey. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falvey. (accessed September 22, 2022).

“Jumps From Roof After A Robbery.” San Francisco Chronicle. Friday, April 21, 1905. p. 16.

Indian Man With Monkeys RPPC

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1918 – 1936. Stamp Box:  K Ltd. 

Price:  $12.00

Jumping from Bali over to India, (at least, we presume this to be India), here’s a lovely, Real Photo Postcard of a man in a traditional style dress (the patterned portion is a lungi, I think) and cloth head covering. He likely has some fruit in his hand that the monkey is trying to get. You’ll see four monkeys in this image, probably all some type of macaque. The card is dated by virtue of the K Ltd type of stamp box.

Sources:  “What are the differences between Lungi and Dhoti?” February 23, 2021. mrlungi.com. (accessed July 26, 2022).

Joherey, Janhvi. “10 Native Monkeys of India – With Photos.” animalwised.com. January 30, 2017. (accessed July 26, 2022).

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes, K – L.” Playle.com. (accessed July 26, 2022).

 

La Crue du Nile Old Postcard

Divided Back postcard. Postmarked June 22, 1912, Alexandria, Egypt. Publisher:  POF or OPF. Stamp:  Postes Egyptiennes, Cinq Milliemes, rose color.

Price:  $15.00

La Crue du Nile…..The Flood of the Nile

The flooding of the Nile was usually an event each August before the Aswan High Dam was built in 1970. If you have time, take a look at this great article on the Saudi Aramco World site, “The Last Nile Flood,” by John Feeney.

This postcard was produced from a photo; at the time of this post, there’s a colorized version of the same scene available on eBay, but from a different publisher. The scene is two boys seated on a water buffalo, a man in charge of the animal at the reigns, and two men in charge of a camel, the one holding onto the camel’s tail. The boys and men are all posing for the camera.

Addressed to:   “Yonge juffrouw Lucie van Veen, Keizersgracht 254, Amsterdam Holland.”

The sender wrote:

“Alexandrië 22 Juni 1912. Beste Lucie, Ik ben nog niet op en kameel geweest, maar ik hed er al meer dan een op straat ontinoef. Ik denk heel dikwyils aan jullie allen en hoop dat je je niet te veel verveelt. Vele groeten.”

Translated from Google as:   “Dear Lucie, I haven’t ridden a camel yet, but I’ve seen more than one in the street already. I’m thinking of you all very often and hope you’re not bored too much. Many regards, Anie Schulthess.”

What a great way to start a postcard line, “I haven’t ridden a camel yet.” Love it! Neither Anie nor Lucie are showing up on Ancestry, however it’s always possible their descendants will find this card. We listed the type of stamp for the stamp collectors out there. The publisher’s a bit of a mystery:  Assuming that the initials go in the order of POF, if not OPF, however we’re not finding any other like this online right now or in the usual sources we consult (Metropostcard, Walter Corson’s Publishers’ Trademarks Identified and several others). Here’s the logo that’s appearing on the front of the card, bottom right:

Source:  Feeney, John. “The Last Nile Flood.” May/June issue of 2003, Volume 57, Number 3. https://archive.aramcoworld.com/issue/200603/the.last.nile.flood.htm (accessed June 1, 2022).

The Miser

Divided Back, unused postcard. Copyright S. S. Porter, 1907. Publisher:  The Western News Company, Chicago, Illinois.

Price:  $4.00

This postcard was titled, “The Miser,” at the bottom of the card. You can see it if you enlarge the image. For me, it doesn’t really fit the artwork, as I imagine the little boy would be dropping some crumbs for the bunnies (not that they should eat them) and the birdie. But it’s an adorable card, not in the best shape, as you can see, but still.

Addressed to:   “Master Ralph Enloe, Pinole, Contra Costa Co, Cal.”

Ralph Enloe would have been about six years old when this postcard was written. He was born November 2, 1901 in Pinole, California. Son of Anna May Morgan and Joseph Volley Enloe.

Source:  Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/47303740/ralph-thomas-enloe : accessed 23 April 2022), memorial page for Ralph Thomas Enloe (2 Nov 1901–10 Mar 1979), Find a Grave Memorial ID 47303740, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by rhale1100 (contributor 47198156) .

Bunnies Helping Chicks

Undivided back postcard. Unused. Circa March 1907. Publisher:  Richard Behrendt, San Francisco, California.

Price:  $10.00

A Happy Easter from Aunt Sadye

This is a day late for Easter but still heartfelt. I love the colors, the pinks and yellows reminding us of a sunrise. And such sweet bunnies, helping the chicks back up to their mamma in the roost!

Addressed to:   “Miss Mabel Chapman. 2929 Clement St. San Francisco Cal.”

From the 1910 Federal Census, Mabel is the daughter of Charles H. Chapman, occupation plumber, and A. Bella (needs research) Chapman. All native to California. Mabel was born about 1897, so would have been about ten when she received this card. We’re estimating the card was sent in 1907, after finding Charles listed at the above address in that year, in city directories.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 39, San Francisco, California; Roll: T624_100; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0229; FHL microfilm: 1374113.

Crocker-Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1907, p. 392. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.