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. (accessed September 17, 2023).

Burlington Street Dam. (accessed September 19, 2023).

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

Williamsburg Bridge, New York

Williamsburg Bridge, New York pc1Williamsburg Bridge, New York pc2

Divided back postcard. Postmarked December 11, 1909 from New York, NY. Publisher: The H. Hagenmeister Co., New York. Printed in Germany. Number 315.

Price:  $15.00

The Williamsburg Bridge crosses the East River in New York City connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. At the time it opened in December of 1903, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

“N.Y.C, Sat. Eve. Dec. 11 ’09. Dear Folks, 10 hr sketch a(?) esquisse – esquisse today. Subject a Facade of a Ferry(?) House. About 1/2 the ___ price(?) to design. Turned out the best sketch I have yet. Expected to go down town this eve – but it’s late and I’m tired. Will go to ___ library(?) and take a walk. Tomorrow will hear(?) Hillis I think, Trash, Lang, and I. Will send the original “pansif”(pensif?) of my ferry house right away. No mail today. ____ ____ Your(?) Harold” Card is addressed to Miss Lucile Umbenhauer, 932 Park St., Grinnell, Iowa.

This postcard must have, at one time, been in the possession of the recipient’s daughter, Bettie Ogden, per the writing at the top of the back of the card. The 1925 Iowa census shows Lucile (Umbenhauer) Ogden, born about 1893, her husband Parke Ogden, her parents Daniel Umbenhauer and Luella (Way) Umbenhauer. The 1940 Federal Census record shows Lucile and Parke’s daughter Elizabeth Ogden, born about 1930, daughter Constance Ogden, born about 1926, and other family members. As to the sender, research indicates he is Harold Way, as Harold appears on the 1905 Iowa census residing at 932 Park St., Grinnell. Harold Way and and Luella (Way) Umbenhauer were siblings, so Harold addressed this card to his niece, who would have been about 16 years old at that time. From the content of the postcard, it sounds as if Harold may have been in architectural school…Further research shows Harold David Way, born 4 Oct 1883, occupation “Draughtsman,” employed by A.C.Bossom at 366 5th Ave. New York, and married, wife’s name Elizabeth, on the WWI Draft Registration Card. A.C.Bossom was London-born architect, Alfred C. Bossom (1881-1965.) The 1920 Federal Census taken in NYC confirms Harold’s occupation as architect, and shows him with his wife, their son Arnold, and a boarder, Ethel Daniels.

Sources: Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.

1940; Census Place: Cass, Jones, Iowa; Roll: T627_1172; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 53-1. Source: 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

“United States, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01 Jun 2013), Harold David Way, 1917-1918.

Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 13, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1208; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 941; Image: 617. Source: 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line].