Trimmed Garbage Pail

Trimmed Garbarge Pail pc1Trimmed Garbage Pail pc2

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked Chicago, Illinois, June 15, 1910. Publisher unknown.

Price:  $15.00

This is such a great one. Love it! The caption is:  “The Latest Style – Trimmed Garbage Pail.”  This postcard shows what appears to be a tinted photo of a young woman with a garbage pail for a hat, complete with large red bow and a large amount of yellow flowers. I don’t know how they did this one. Would the subject have posed like this, or would the image have been “doctored up” afterward? The face of the material for the front of the card is vertically ribbed, and is of the type that when you view it from an angle, you see the sort of “watered silk effect.” It’s very neat.

The sender wrote,  “Don’t come early tomorrow because we are all going for[?] some excercises.”  As you can see, most of the outer part of the back paper facing is gone, but it looks like maybe they were going “for” some exercise. And we don’t know if there was a signature, originally.

The card is addressed to  “Miss E. L. Brownell. 2514 Washington Blvd. Chicago, Ill.”

The address of 2514 Washington Blvd in 1910 is in Ward 13, district 0629. The Federal Census does not show the addressee living there or anyone with the name of Brownell. The street number in the census record has a blot over the number 1, (hilarious – what are the odds?!) but the address appears to be 2514. The surrounding districts were checked and cross-streets double checked, etc. so I don’t see any other possibility for this address. The family living there at this time shows James Kirby, his wife Anna, and daughter Edna, who was born about 1894 in Chicago. The census was taken on April 21st of 1910, while this postcard was sent June 15th. The Kirby family shows up living at a different address in the neighborhood on the next census. So it looks like they must of moved shortly before this postcard was sent…..There is an extremely helpful website called A Look At Cook (listed below) for ward maps in Cook County, Illinois. This made pretty short work of finding the address.

An entry shows up for a Mrs. E. L. Brownell in the 1887 Chicago city directory at 326 S. Paulina, which is about a mile and a half away. But this is Mrs. and the addressee appears to be Miss. But there is an Edna L. Brownell on the 1940 Federal Census for Chicago, born Missouri about 1878, living at 2018 W. Van Buren St. This address on today’s map is just down the street from the 326 S. Paulina address. Then the other thing is that the daughter’s name is Edna on the 1910 census at Washington Blvd. But, this appears to be just a coincidence. Edna was a pretty common name at that time, plus the dates of birth would be way off.

On the 1900 Federal Census for Chicago, there is an Edna L. Brownell, born August 1878 in Kentucky. Single, living with widowed mother Carrie Brownell. Edna’s occupation is music teacher.  The address is 948 Washington Blvd, which is about 2 miles east of the address on the postcard. I think this person is the most likely candidate for the addressee.

Sources and related information: Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 12, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 258; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0335; FHL microfilm: 1240258.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 18, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_329; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1035; Image: 17. (

“United States Census, 1940,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 Jun 2014), Edna L Brownell, Ward 25, Chicago, Chicago City, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 103-1574, sheet 12A, family 276, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 971.

The Chicago Directory Co., Donnelley, Ruben H., compiler for The Lakeside Annual Directory of the City of Chicago. p. 273. Database online. ( U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989)