Wednesday, September 30, 2009

VTT - The Romance of Hats

Romantic postcards like this were popular in the early 1900s. These cards usually were published in series. I have another postcard from this series with the title ""Let's get together." That one shows the same man with his arms around two different girls.

Crocheted potholders in the shape of hats are more common than most shapes, but not nearly as common as dresses and panties. I think it is interesting to see the variations on the same basic idea of a broad-brimmed hat with flowers.

vintage crochet potholder hats

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mitchell Corn Palace - 1938

These are two postcards made from the same photo of the 1938 Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. They are colored differently to show "day" and "night" views.

This Corn Palace was built in 1921, and the Moorish style domes and minarets were added in 1937. The Corn Palace is a tourist attraction and is used for many local events. The Corn Palace Festival is now held at the end of August instead of September.

The description is the same on both cards.

On the front:

Original cost $275,000.00. Redecorated annually at a cost of $10,000.00 in corn, grains and grasses. The most marvelous exhibit of nature's wonderful colors blended into works of classic art be skilled decorators.

On the back:

Greetings from
You will find a friendly welcome when you visit Mitchell and the World's Only Corn Palace. The annual festival is held the last week in September but the building is open the year around. At night, it is further enhanced by multi-colored neon lights.
Dyer H. Campbell, Secretary.

More information:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

PFF - Vintage Standard Oil Ad

Back in the 1950s men and women still wore hats a lot, hardly anyone used seat belts, and booster seats were unheard of. This family looks like they are heading to church or Grandma's house--even in the 1950s they probably wouldn't have dressed up like this for a long road trip.

The Standard logo on this postcard was the logo used from 1946 to 1960. It combined the Standard torch with the Amoco oval. The logo was redesigned in 1960 with a more stylized torch and a flatter oval.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

VTT - Babies' Birthdays

The postcard here is signed by Ellen Clapsaddle (a famous postcard artist) and is a second birthday greeting for a member of the "Cradle Roll." Apparently Cradle Rolls usually were registries of babies born to church members, which explains the religious theme of this card. Writing on the back lists a baby's name, parents' names, and a 1927 date.

The greetings cards below are ones I received for my first birthday. The photograph is of me celebrating my first birthday.

The "Birth Certificate" in the leather folder is not an official birth certificate, but a certificate of membership in the "Babies Alumni" that was sent shortly after my first birthday.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Texas Longhorn Steer - Dead or Alive

The Texas Longhorn is a lean beef animal descended from hardy Spanish cattle. It can thrive in country where other breeds cannot live, but other breeds were preferred by modern ranchers. The longhorn breed dwindled but was saved from extinction by enthusiasts. Longhorns are valued today for their hardiness, survival instincts, and link to Texas history.

The first postcard (circa 1942) shows "Old Tex," said to be the best known specimen of Texas Longhorn who roamed Southwest Texas to an undetermined age and was mounted and displayed at the Buckhorn Curio Store Museum in San Antonio, Texas. His horns measure over 8 feet tip to tip.

The second postcard shows a live Texas Longhorn, said to the "the only Texas Longhorn steer in the Southwest," at the New Mexico Museum of the Old West on Highway 66, 48 miles east of Albuquerque and 70 miles west of Santa Rosa, New Mexico. The description on the back is as follows:

These half-wild Leghorn [sic] cattle were the only kind known in the early Southwest. The hardy critters are descended from Andulasian [sic] cattle brought from Spain by Gregorio Villalobos in 1521 and ranged over the entire plains county until the early 1900's. Today there are only a few of these old Longhorns left, and they soon may become extinct. The picturesque animal shown here was purchased from the U. S. government and is privately owned by Capt. and Mrs. Bill Ehret of The Longhorn Ranch.

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

5th Edition, October 2009: Quadrupeds

Thursday, September 17, 2009

PFF - The Cheese House - Cheesy Roadside Architecture

If you are looking for cheddar, you can find it at The Cheese House in Arlington, Vermont. It looks like it would be a nice place to visit in the fall. If you can't visit the store, you can order online at The Cheese House website. Their online offerings include Truck Driver Cheddar and 'Ol Rat Trap Cheddar.

The Cheese House was built in 1965 in the shape of a wheel of cheese. A wedge was cut out for the entrance. The circles were added to the building's surface to make it look cheesier. Chunky the mouse was on top of the building for more than thirty years but is no longer there. The building has been modified so that it no longer looks so much like a wheel of cheese.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

VTT - Cats & Granny Square Afghans

This postcard of two kittens is titled "Sisters." The kittens are are posed on what I personally consider the most classic type of granny square— rows of jewel-tone colors surrounded by black.

The photo of granny square afghans shows two that I bought secondhand. The larger afghan is one that I bought at an estate sale twenty-five years ago. I am guessing that it was probably made when "avocado green" and "harvest gold" were popular in the early 1970s. Those two colors are synthetic yarn. The bright colors were more popular in the 1960s and are wool yarn. You can see how the bright wool has shrunk and become felted from washing in a washing machine.

The colors on the larger afghan were already out of style when I bought it, but it was a good bargain. I used it folded up as a back support in lieu of a pillow on the back of a chair. When I got my former cat Tigger, he loved to knead it. He was declawed, so his kneading didn't damage it. Since Tigger loved kneading so much, I bought the baby afghan especially for him at a rummage sale in the 1990s. It probably isn't as old as the other afghan. The baby afghan is made as one large square instead of smaller squares sewn together.

Below is a photo of my "baby" Tigger posing with his baby afghan. Tigger has been dead since 2001, but I still consider it his afghan. One of my current cats likes to knead, but I can't let her knead anything that I don't want damaged— she has claws that she doesn't like to have clipped.

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Children's Zoo and Farm - Brookfield, Illinois

This is the 75th anniversary of the Chicago Zoological Park which is actually located in Brookfield, a western suburb of Chicago, and is known as Brookfield Zoo. This zoo was opened in 1934. The Children's Zoo was added in 1953.

This postcard brings back memories for me. I remember going to this Children's Zoo when it was new and I was about the age of the children on the card. When I was older, I spent several summers working in the refreshment stands at Brookfield Zoo.

The following description is on the back of the postcard:

Children's Zoo and Farm— Here children (and adults) may mingle with many species of wild and domestic young or baby animals. A typical, small-scale Illinois farm with barn, silo, windmill and pens is to be seen, showing calves, colts, lambs, pigs, chicks and ducklings. At feeding time children are invited to bottle-feed some of the baby animals.

Addendum 2012: LIFE magazine had an article about the new Children's Zoo in the August 31, 1953 issue: Zoo's Babies Get Overdose of Love.

This post was written for
A Canadian Family
A Festival of Postcards Blog Carnival

5th Edition, October 2009: Quadrupeds

Thursday, September 10, 2009

PFF - "Catching the Post" by Racey Helps

Racey Helps was an English children's book illustrator and author. He first wrote and illustrated stories for his daughter during World War II. His family has created a website "to preserve the interest he created in his beautiful illustrations and quaint stories about woodland creatures which have had world wide appeal since the early fifties." The Racey Helps website has his biography, bibliography, galleries (including many postcards), and an old video interview.

Many of the illustrations by Racey Helps were reproduced on postcards by the Medici Society. The Medici Society was named after the Florentine family who encouraged art during the Italian Renaissance. The Medici Society trademark showed the profile of Lorenzo de' Medici (1449 - 1492) until recently. This particular postcard is from the early 1960s and still lists the company as "Art Publishers by Appointment to the late King George V," although King George V died in 1936. The back of the card also says "Engraved and printed in Great Britain" and is numbered "Pk 261."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

VTT - Turtle Thingies

The first turtle thingie is a crochet potholder. I think the turtle looks a lot like the comic turtle on the postcard.

vintage crochet potholder turtle

The turtle thingies below are soap holders. These seem to have been a popular thing to crochet. One of them has a little vintage gift card attached to it. There is a handwritten verse inside the card:

When you bathe
In Shower or tub,
Use this Turtle
When you rub.
Then, to keep your soap
Nice & Dry
Hang it by the tail
So High.

vintage crochet soap turtle

Vintage Thingies Thursdays

Thursday, September 3, 2009

PFF - Minnesota State Fair - Monumental Postcard & Post Office

When I visited the Minnesota State Fair a few days ago I was on the lookout for anything resembling a postcard. This monumental "Greetings from Minnesota" postcard is a mosaic that was made for the Minnesota Sesquicentennial (150 years of statehood) last year. It is on the Cooper Street side of the Crossroads Building. Like a real large letter postcard, the letters contain images representing the state. The border is made up of tiles representing all the counties of Minnesota.

I went in the Minnesota State Fair Post Office to buy a USPS Teddy Bears stamps postcard. There was one of those little old blue mailboxes attached to the wall inside. It is very shiny and didn't really photograph well.

This is the Teddy Bears stamp postcard. The 37¢ stamps were issued in 2002 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of teddy bears. There are four different teddy bears on the stamps: Gund bear, c. 1948; Bruin bear, c. 1907; Ideal bear, c. 1905; and "stick" bear, 1920s.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

VTT - Minnesota State Fair - Territorial Pioneers Cabins

The Minnesota Territorial Pioneers is an organization whose members are descendants of early settlers in the Minnesota Territory, before Minnesota became a state in 1858. The organization has participated in the Minnesota State Fair since 1900.

The first postcard was mailed in 1911 and shows the original log cabin the Territorial Pioneers used at the fair. This cabin was built in 1900-1901 and was used until 1957. The second postcard shows the cabin that has been used since 1958. This cabin was originally built by the WPA in 1936 and was used for other purposes in another part of the fairgrounds. It was moved to the location of the original cabin after the original cabin was condemned and demolished.

The interior of the cabin has many "vintage thingies" on display. The photos below are some that I took when I visited the fair a couple of days ago. First is an old album of trade cards and scraps on display in the parlor area.

Next is a small painted trunk dated 1885.

The sewing machine perched on top of a crazy quilt is a "Minnesota" Model B distributed by Sears Roebuck & Co. in 1907. The "Minnesota" sewing machine was Sears Roebuck and Company's main sewing machine trade name for many years. It was named after Richard Sears' native state of Minnesota and was sold until World War II. There were many different models of "Minnesota" sewing machines made by a number of different manufacturers.

The last photo is a detail from the crazy quilt.

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