Saturday, December 29, 2007
This postcard is the only one of the four with a verse that rhymes. The verse alludes to New Year's resolutions, and the card is illustrated with the popular New Year's symbols, Father Time and Baby New Year. I can't read the date on this postcard. The other cards are copyright 1910 and have greetings wishing happiness and joy.
John Kendrick Bangs Biography
I love the simple design of this postcard. I was reminded of it when I looked out my window today. The snow is slowly drifting down in big white flakes and the trees have a white coating. This has been an unusual year for snow in December. We haven't had any big snowstorms, just a lot of little additions to the snow already on the ground. The snow that fell on Christmas day was the most for that day since 1950.
This postcard was designed by Craig Lueck and published by Hallmark Cards, probably some time in the late 1980s.
For more information on holiday postcards, see my recent article Modern Christmas Postcards.
Monday, December 17, 2007
The railroad was nicknamed "Monon" because its four main routes converged in Monon, Indiana. From Monon, the main routes went to Chicago, Louisville, Indianapolis and Michigan City, Indiana. In 1956 "Monon" officially became the corporate title.
In 1959, passenger service between Chicago and Indianapolis was discontinued. Other passenger service was discontinued in 1967.
An interesting bit of trivia concerns Purdue University's "Boilermaker" nickname. The nickname originated when the 1891 Purdue football team included several boilermakers from the Monon Railroad Shops.
The Hallmark Newsroom website has an interesting page about Christmas Cards Through the Years, a descriptive listing of styles and subjects of Christmas cards from each decade since the 1920s. Over the years, Christmas cards have reflected the traditions and trends of society.
Another page of the Hallmark Newsroom lists some facts about Christmas cards.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
These two Christmas postcards are WWII era cards by the American Red Cross Clubs Italy. They are printed on lightweight cardstock and have "Free" printed in the stampbox. The artist's signature is not very clear—it looks like G. Tosti.
A branch of the American Red Cross, Services to the Armed Forces (SAF), operated a Club Service for members of the armed forces serving overseas. Service clubs ranged from large facilities in major cities, often requisitioned hotels, to small facilities in towns and villages in both the European and Pacific theaters of war. The large clubs offered not only meals and recreational activities but also overnight accommodations and such amenities as barbershops and laundries.
More information about Red Cross WWII activities:
WWII Accomplishments of the American Red Cross
WWII Red Cross Canteens
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
This is a Photo Post Card on Kodak Paper. Facts about the City of Paris 1951 Christmas Tree are printed on the back of the postcard:
Measures more tha 50 feet high, erected as it comes from the forest. Adorned with 4000 ornaments and more than 2000 lights. Tree selected trained woodsmen weeks in advance…flame-proofed upon arrival in the city. Street roped off, doors removed to allow its entry late at night. Scaffolding with cat-walks allows even trimming by acrew of 30 men who worked 18 hours to make it ready for unveiling. Christmas 1951, the 51st tree, is the store's 101st year.
Department store Christmas trees used to be a big attraction for holiday shoppers. Some other stores that issued postcards showing their giant Christmas trees were Sterling Linder Davis of Cleveland and Barker Bros. of Los Angeles.
Bethlemem, Pennsylvania was founded on Christmas Eve in 1741. The settlement was named after the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of Jesus Christ. The city is known for its large 81-foot Christmas "Star of Bethlehem."
In 1937, the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce adopted the nickname "Christmas City, USA." Beginning after Thanksgiving and continuing until year end, Bethlehem offers many holiday-themed activities.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Little is really known about the first Thanksgiving feast, and most of what we do "know" is really a myth. An article about the First Thanksgiving discusses some of the myths and concludes with a list of things that we actually do know about the first Thanksgiving:
1. The first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration in 1621 that lasted for three days.
2. The feast most likely occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11.
3. Approximately 90 Wampanoag Indians and 52 colonists - the latter mostly women and children - participated.
4. The Wampanoag, led by Chief Massasoit, contributed at least five deer to the feast.
5. Cranberry sauce, potatoes - white or sweet - and pies were not on the menu.
6. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag communicated through Squanto, a member of the Patuxet tribe, who knew English because he had associated with earlier explorers.
7. Besides meals, the event included recreation and entertainment.
8. There are only two surviving descriptions of the first Thanksgiving. One is in a letter by colonist Edward Winslow. He mentions some of the food and activities. The second description was in a book written by William Bradford 20 years afterward. His account was lost for almost 100 years.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
A bronze statue by sculptor Cyrus Dallin was erected in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1921. It was commissioned by the Imperial Order of Red Men and commemorated the 300th anniversary of the peace treaty. Dallin also created other well-known statues of Native Americans.
The date of the Pilgrims' first landing was first recorded as November 11 because England was still using the old style Julian Calendar until 1752. November 21 (sometimes dated November 22) is the new style date using the Gregorian Calendar.
For more Mayflower and Pilgrim history, visit http://www.mayflowerhistory.com/index.php
Thursday, October 11, 2007
The 51st Annual Parke County Covered Bridge Festival will be held October
12 - 21, 2007 and will offer tours of the remaining 31 covered bridges. The festival is headquartered on the courthouse lawn in Rockville, Indiana.
There is a Covered Bridge FAQ web page that answers questions such as "Why does Parke County have so many covered bridges?" and "Why did they cover the bridges?"
This postcard shows the Sugarcreek welcome sign. According to the information on the back of this postcard:
In the Fall all roads into Sugarcreek are filled for
miles with cars as each Fall, the townfolk of Sugarcreek join with the Swiss cheesemakers of the vicinity in a two-day festival that has attracted nationwide attention. Known as the Ohio Swiss Festival it features Swiss wrestling, Swiss yodeling, Swiss dancing, and Swiss foods—with the accent on Swiss cheese which is a major product of the
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
At Rice Lake and Ladysmith, Wisconsin. Your 24 hour host all 7 days for those who want the best.
This postcard was published by G. R. Brown Co. of Eau Claire, Wisconsin and was mailed in 1964 from Frederic, Wisconsin. It is not clear whether Grouchy's was in both Rice Lake and Ladysmith or at some unnamed location between the two towns. Rice Lake is northwest of Eau Claire and Ladysmith is northeast of Eau Claire.
The description on the back of this postcard is as follows:
Two Gun Harry's cafe and curio stop at the Rock Island and Southern Pacific R. R. terminal at Tucumcari, in northeast New Mexico. Also the junction of U. S. Highways 54 and 66. Gateway to the southwest.
The message on the back of the postcard is dated November 26, 1958 and is postmarked from Tucumcari:
The train stopped here for 15 min. Its cold & I'm glad I have my winter coat on. I am in the building pictured on the card.
Tucumcari, New Mexico got its start around 1901 as a rowdy railroad camp. Passenger trains started stopping in the town in 1902. Tucumcari was once nicknamed "Six-Shooter Siding." A song "Two-gun Harry from Tucumcari" by Bobby Worth was published in 1948.
Tucumcari is a popular stop for travelers along Historic Route 66. According to Roadsideamerica.com, Tucumcari is considered the best concentration of retro-Route 66 buildings on what's left of the old highway. A number of vintage motels and restaurants are still in business. An old-style curio shop, Teepee Curios, is one of the main attractions.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The huge frontiersman towers three stories in the air at the entrance of the parking area of Rimrock City. He is pointing the way to a memorable return to the Old West, where there is fun for the whole family. Highway 80, between Odessa and Midland, Texas.
Rimrock City also issued some other postcards of their attractions including the Red Garter Saloon, Gambling Casino , Main Street, and Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
There has been some recent (August 2007) reminiscing on the lubbockonline forums, topic URL. Other features mentioned include a miniature golf course, an archery range, a small zoo, and a narrow gage railroad. An accident with a "shootout" may have led to Rimrock City's demise. There may still be some old western style buildings at the site.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
About 1941, there were 800 white squirrels in Olney. Olney has a squirrel count each fall, and recently the number of white squirrels apparently has been down to the 100-120 range.
Roadsideamerica.com (your online guide to offbeat tourist attractions) has a page on the White Squirrel Wars. Five towns use albino squirrels as their claims to fame: Olney, IL; Marionville, MO; Kenton, TN; Brevard, NC; Exeter, ON. Olney is considered the loudest booster of the white squirrel towns, titling itself Home of the White Squirrels.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
This postcard folds in half for mailing. On one side is a route map and information about a 1953 flight of the Clipper Rainbow en route from San Francisco to Honolulu. The other side has space for a mailing address and a message written aloft.
Pan American World Airways operated from 1927 until 1991. It began with a single route from Key West to Havana and was a pioneer in transocean and intercontinental flying.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Nixon's Family restaurant was owned by President Nixon's brother, Donald. In January 1957, Howard Hughes lent Donald Nixon $205,000 to bail out the restaurant. The restaurant went bankrupt less than a year later, and the loan was never repaid. Questions about whether this was a political favor dogged Richard Nixon during his political campaigns.
Ground was broken for the 241 mile Ohio Turnpike on October 27, 1952. At peak construction, 10,000 workers were on the job. The construction project was completed on October 1, 1955.
The Ohio Turnpike is now part of the nation's Interstate Highway System, running east and west across Ohio between the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the east and the Indiana Toll Road in the west. It remains a toll road. The Ohio Turnpike is a primary corridor between Chicago and Pittsburgh.
The Turnpike originally had 17 interchanges, located near the most populous areas of Northern Ohio. By 2004, there were 31 access points. There are pairs of service plazas (one on each side of the turnpike) located near mile-markers 49, 76, 100, 139, 170, 197, and 237. The over 40-year-old service plazas are being reconstructed with modernized facilities on the sites of the originals.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Watermelons in Hope, Arkansas began to increase in size after a contest for large vegetables began in 1917. A watermelon festival began in the mid-1920's and continued until about 1931 when it stopped due to the depression. During the early festivals, cold watermelon was served to passengers on the many trains which stopped in Hope. The festival also included a "Watermelon Queen" pageant and a parade. Several Watermelon Festivals were also held in the 1940's and 50's.
A modern watermelon festival began in 1977. The annual Hope Watermelon Festival attracts approximately 50,000 visitors to Hope over a four-day period.The festival features numerous activities including arts and crafts, melon-oriented events, and entertainment. The dates of the 2007 Watermelon Festival are August 9 - 12.Information, history, and pictures of the festival and large watermelons can be found at http://www.hopemelonfest.com/. This site also has several videos on the "World's Largest Watermelon" page, including one showing the picking of two giant watermelons in 2005. The first melon broke when it was dropped. The second watermelon weighed in at a world record 268.8 pounds.
There is also a nice collection of giant watermelon pictures at http://www.giantwatermelons.com/. This Giant Watermelon website sells seeds to gardeners interested in growing large watermelons and cantaloupes. These seeds are from melons grown from proven genetic seed lines.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Buck Lake Ranch was established in 1947 and is currently in business. It is advertised mainly as a place for camping and fishing in a private lake. The Buck Lake Ranch website invites people to come and help them celebrate their 60th Anniversary in 2007. They say that they have "taken great pains to restore it so it looks like it did years ago" in the 1950s and 1960s. They offer many activities and have a museum displaying country music memorabilia.
From the back of the postcard:
The Holy Bible Lord's Prayer feature is the largest in America—28' wide, 19' tall, made of a solid single slab of pink Texas granite and lettered in solid 14 karat gold. It is one of several works of art being added to theis lovely park. It was didicated in the presence of Minnesota's Gold star Mothers and veterans of World Wars , II, and Korea.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The Jolly Green Giant is the mascot of the Green Giant food company. The company was founded in 1903 in Le Sueur, Minnesota, as the Minnesota Valley Canning Company. The name Green Giant was introduced in 1925 to help market an unusually large pea. In 1950 the company officially became the Green Giant Company. In 1973, the Green Giant got a little assistant called "Little Green Sprout." The Jolly Green Giant was ranked by Advertising Age magazine as the third most recognizable advertising character of the century's top 10 ad icons behind only Ronald McDonald and the Marlboro Man.
In 1979 Green Giant merged with another Minnesota company, Pillsbury.In 2001 General Mills acquired Pillsbury and Green Giant.
For more information on the Green Giant Company, including recipes and history, visit the Green Giant web pages at bettycrocker.com.
Mascot trivia can be found at http://www.tvacres.com/admascots_jolly.htm and http://www.answers.com/topic/jolly-green-giant.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
The traditional, Holiday Inn roadside sign used during 1950s-1970s era was known as “The Great Sign.” The signs were large, eye-catching, and were an American icon as recognizable to the highway traveler as the golden arches of McDonald’s.The signs were also expensive which led to their phase-out in 1982. It is doubtful that any of the old classic signs remain today.
My favorite Holiday Inn postcards are these generic artist-drawn designs of the 1960s. These postcards illustrate and promote the 1960s version of the idealized American family on vacation.
The postcard with the poolside scene also shows a Gulf Oil sign in the background, an instance of co-branding. In 1963, Holiday Inn signed an agreement with Gulf Oil Corporation to accept Gulf credit cards at its hotels. In return, Gulf would build service stations on the premises of many Holiday Inns, especially those on or near major highways.
For more information on Holiday Inn and its sign:
Wikipedia — Holiday Inn Great Sign
Wal-Mart of the Hospitality World
Come Inn Off the Highway
The Holiday Inn Sign
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Variations of this postcard appear to be quite common — I saw five on eBay today. There are several variations in the prices shown on the sign, the wording on the bottom of the sign, and the colors of the sky.
According to an entry in Wikipedia, the original San Gorgonio Inn was built in 1883 and served as a stagecoach stop until 1920 when a fire destroyed most of the guest rooms. The inn flourished with the coming of both U.S. Highway 99 (now known as Ramsey Street) and of Interstate 10. It remained a popular, low-cost coffee shop until 1984 when the owners died. There have been several changes in ownership since then.
The most recent information that I could find on the Internet indicates that the restaurant is closed, but the sign is still there.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Information from Wikipedia:
Vegas Vic is the unofficial, yet most widely used name for the Las Vegas neon sign that resembles a cowboy. The sign was a departure in graphic design from typeface based neon signs, to a friendly and welcoming human form of a cowboy. His human like abilities of talking and waving his arm constituted an immediate acceptance as the unofficial welcoming sign reproduced thousand of times over the years and all over the world. It was constructed in 1951 and stood over the Pioneer Club on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, replacing a neon sign which simply read Pioneer Club accompanied by a cowboy hat.
The Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) built a 75-foot tall neon version of a sign used by the Chamber of Commerce in 1947, designed by Salt Lake City graphic artist Partrick Denner and consisting of a cowboy in blue jeans with a yellow-checked shirt and red bandanna. It was complete with a waving arm, a moving cigarette, and a recording of "howdy pardner!" every 15 minutes, by the then president of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Maxwell Kelch.
The recording was turned off in 1966, when Lee Marvin, a guest at The Mint Hotel & Casino, complained that he was too loud. It was replaced in the 1980s, but as of 2006 no longer works. The arm stopped waving in 1991. When the Fremont Street Experience was under construction in 1994, part of his hat was cut off in construction to make room for the roof.
This postcard was mailed in 1954.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
The Pine to Palm Motel was located in Crookston, Minnesota.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
"Miss A-Miracle" -- 2 Bed Room Home -- $2100.00
"Merickel Senior" -- 3 Bed Room Home -- $3150.00
Garage and Breezeway Extra -- $800.00
It is not clear what these prices include, but they are not the prices for finished houses. Merickel Lumber Mills has been in business since 1934 and currently has a website, www.merickellumber.com. The website displays their current model homes along with pricing. Prices are shown for shell materials, material to finish the interior, and more costly options. Prices do not include wiring, plumbing, or fixtures. Free 400 mile delivery is offered.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
According to the description on the back of the postcard, this is the "NEW LOOK" in HICKSATOMIC stations.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The message on the back reads "from his teacher."
First, this is a carefully composed iconic image of mid twentieth America which manages to capture both the the interior and exterior of the coffee shop. It also includes a good view of a googie style sign and a color coordinated 1956 Ford Ranch Wagon. Although photographed in daytime, the interior has an eery resemblance to Edward Hopper's famous painting, Nighthawks.
Second is the style of the Krispy Kreme sign which does not include or resemble the Krispy Kreme logo. Even the word "donuts" on the sign and in the description on the postcard back does not match the Krispy Kreme way of spelling "doughnuts." Roadside Peek's Donut Delights has another example of a different looking Krispy Kreme "donuts" sign, plus some other good examples of doughnut signs.
In researching the address (3441 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, Fla.) I discovered an article, a day in dough business, about the donut shop at this address. This article was apparently written in 2001 when there was a Fray's Donuts shop at the location. A longtime employee informed the reporter that the shop was built in 1947 as a Krispy Kreme shop and the sign (reading Fray's Donuts) was the first or second big business sign on Central Ave. At the time of the article, the place had changed owners four times since 1947. Current directories list this address as St. Pete Donut House.
Another interesting thing about my Krispy Kreme postcard is that it was mailed in 1957 to Cadillac Showcase of The Price is Right TV show. According to Wikipedia, The Price is Right frequently featured a home viewer "showcase," for which home viewers were invited to submit their bids via postcard. I wonder how many other postcards survived from this and other sweepstakes and are now in postcard collections. My postcard came from a lot of advertising cards in a 1980s Barr's Postcard News auction.
Monday, May 14, 2007
I have been accumulating these cards for many years. Most have been found when I am not really looking for them. Postcard dealers are unlikely to have a signs topic — most dealers don't even have a roadside category.
U.S. Route 1 seems like a good place to start. Here is some information on U.S. Route 1 and Florida signs from Wikipedia:
U.S. Route 1 (also called U.S. Highway 1, and abbreviated US 1) is a United States highway which parallels the east coast of the United States. It runs 2,390 miles (3,846 km) from Key West, Florida in the south, to Fort Kent, Maine at the Canadian border in the north. US 1 generally parallels Interstate 95, though it is significantly farther inland (west) between Jacksonville, Florida and Petersburg, Virginia. It connects the major cities of the east coast, including: Miami, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Columbia, South Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; Washington, DC; Baltimore,Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York, New York; New Haven, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine.
In Florida, where signs for U.S. Highways formerly had different colors for each highway, the "shield" for US 1 was red. Florida began using the colored shields in 1956, but during the 1980s the MUTCD was revised to specify only a black and white color scheme for U.S. Highway shields. As such, Federal funds were no longer available to maintain the colored signs. On August 27, 1993, the decision was made to no longer produce colored signs. Since then, the remaining colored signs have gradually been replaced by black-and-white signs; at present, there are a few rare colored ones still in place.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Question: What is Roadside America?
Answer: A miniature village located in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania!*
The greatest spectacle man has ever seen in miniature.
Which is titled as Roadside America which tells the story of life in America
from the cabin days to this period. It all started in June 1903 by two brothers
who climbed to the top of Mt. Penn at Reading, Penna. and reaching the crest
they say a beautiful panorama of 200 years of American Life laid before them. It
sure had the appearance of miniatures at 800 ft. above seal level. Lawrence said
to his brother Paul, "Let us start to build little houses as they look from here
to tell the life of the individual home live of America to the coming
generations." After all these years as a hobby, Roadside America is credited as
a shrine to American Life the world over.
Be prepared to see more than you expect. You will be amazed. Every true red-blooded American should see this display. Especially the children who will someday carry the flag and torch of destiny for Freedom.
The Roadside America, Inc. website gives a somewhat different story.
The indoor view of Roadside America, showing the builder making train adjustments, includes some additional information about the attraction — that the village then covered over 4000 square feet and was nearly 50 years in the making by Laurence T. Gieringer.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Postcards Magazine #1 — Carlson Wagonlit Travel magazine with articles about U.S. and world travel destinations.
Postcards Magazine #2 — Guide to travel, dining and lifestyle in Victoria, Australia.
Monday, April 23, 2007
This embroidery on this postcard is quite faded, making it less valuable than a brightly colored card. It still is very clean and collectible, however. The embroidery is on cloth inserted between an embossed paper frame and a paper backing. The embossing on the frame consists of horseshoes in the corners and four-leaf clovers on the sides--two good luck symbols. On the back is printed "Fabrication Francaise."
More information on embroidered postcards:
Gabrian Silk Postcards
Propaganda Postcards of the Great War, Silks (embroidered postcards)
Love Tokens from the front
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Sunday, April 8, 2007
This postcard was mailed in 1910. I have another postcard that appears to be from the same series as this one -- printed in Germany with small eggs and props. Some other cat designs I have are from another publisher and show cats and chicks with giant Easter eggs and pussywillows.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
This linen postcard probably is more than fifty years old. I consider this a "stunner" with "human interest"—terms used in the book Linen Postcards which I reviewed on my Postcardy.com website.
This postcard doesn't give any additional information on the back, so it is somewhat of a mystery. The title on the front seems a little confusing too. It implies that there is only one King and Queen. However, it probably should say "one of the many carnival balls," because each ball has its own King and Queen.
The Liberal, Kansas Pancake Race started in 1950 after a resident saw a magazine picture of the Olney, England race. The Olney race had been held there for over 500 years. Since 1950 there has been a friendly competition between Liberal, Kansas and Olney, England. Women race down the street with a pancake in a pan. Racers wear a head scarf and apron. They must flip their pancakes at the starting signal, and again after crossing the finish line, to prove they still have their pancakes.
Liberal, Kansas is also home to The Land of OZ animated entertainment and Dorothy's House, a 1907 farmhouse that has been restored and furnished to replicate the house shown in the movie The Wizard of Oz.
City of Liberal
International Pancake Day
Monday, February 19, 2007
Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota is a monumental granite sculpture with 60-foot (18 m) sculptures of the heads of four former U.S. Presidents. Between 1927 and 1941, Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers sculpted the huge carvings of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln to represent the first 150 years of American history. These presidents were selected by Borglum because of their role in preserving the Republic and expanding its territory.
Washington's face was completed and dedicated in 1934. The face of Thomas Jefferson was dedicated in 1936, and the face of Abraham Lincoln was dedicated in 1937.In 1939, the face of Theodore Roosevelt was dedicated.
Mount Rushmore represents the largest work of art on earth. For more information on the presidential portraits and construction process, see the American Park Network page on The Making of Rushmore.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I have about a hundred Whitney Valentine postcards. Most of the the ones I have have not been mailed, but many do have the "from" and "to" names on the back. I am showing this one (mailed and postmarked 1916 from Mankato, Minnesota) because of the interesting message on the back—also because it's very cold in Minnesota this Valentine's Day too!
My isn't it cold today? How is school? It makes me think of the Valentine box we had at Rush Lake school, ha ha didn't we have fun. We've got a swell new bob and go coasting nearly every nite. Loren is sending Valentine's to all his girls.
Love from Mary R.
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Write some time.