Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Little Girls

First I have an old postcard with a tinted photo of a little girl (at least I think it's a girl) and a cat. I don't know the age or the country of origin. The clothes are probably clues to the age. The bonnet is of a type I haven't seen before. On the back the words for postcard are printed in many languages.

Next is a tinted photo of me as a baby. My mother had a set of colors for tinting photos, but she seems to have used it only a couple of times. I'm not sure what I am holding--it looks like it could be the cap I am wearing in the next photo.

The photos below are ones that appear to have been taken during the same photo session by my father.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Minnesota State Fair Crowds - Then & Now

The 1908 postcard above shows "some crowd" at the great Minnesota State Fair. Typical of that era, the fairgoers on the old postcard are dressed much more formally than those of today. A few of them are also carrying umbrellas for shade, which is something you are not likely to see nowadays.

Below is a new crowd postcard from the 2011 Minnesota State Fair.

The 2011 postcard has images of Fairborne hidden in the crowd à la "Where's Waldo." Printing on the back asks "Can you spot the '7' Fairbournes [sic] enjoying the fair?" I found and circled 6 small Fairbornes in the crowd. I think the large one in front is probably the 7th.

Fairborne is one of two anthropomorphic gopher mascots of the fair. The other mascot is his uncle Fairchild.

A similar theme was used on a Minnesota State Fair postcard a few years ago. Fairborne is spelled correctly on that postcard.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gadsden Purchase 1853

This is a maximum card with the stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1853 Gadsden Purchase. The stamp is canceled on the first day of issue in Tucson, Arizona on December 30, 1953.

The Gadsden Purchase was a 29,670-square-mile area of land purchased from Mexico. The region later became part of Arizona and New Mexico. The purchase treaty was signed by James Gadsden who was the American ambassador to Mexico. This purchase was the last major territorial acquisition in the contiguous United States. The purpose of the purchase was to allow the construction in the U.S. of a transcontinental railroad along a deep southern route.

The stamp design features a scene showing pioneers in their ox-drawn covered wagon. The design includes shrubs and cactus plants native to that area. The scene is set against a background (in the "sky") of a map of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The Gadsden Purchase is the white area on the map.

I am participating in Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ranch Store, Kadoka, South Dakota

I chose this postcard of the Ranch Store for Sepia Saturday 89 because of the "groceries" sign in the window. It is one of my favorite roadside cards. It is a nicely photographed view and has some interesting signs and old 1950s cars. The following description is from the back of the card:
The "Ranch Store," is an unusual building on Highway 16 at Kadoka, South Dakota, Gateway to the Badlands. This is a good place for visitors to see many FREE attractions, a natural prairie dog town, rattlesnakes, a zoo, free cactus and mail service.
Originated, owned and operated by Doris and Emory Herring
This postcard was originally published in 1958. Surprisingly, the store has not changed too much since then. It still has a bull on the roof and a painted prairie dog on the side wall. There are quite a few recent pictures on the web. The location is now listed as Cactus Flats, a small unincorporated area near Kadoka. The store no longer has a "groceries" sign. It is more of a gift shop now, and a giant prairie dog statue seems to be the main attraction. The photo below is from 2005 and is by Brian Butko.

According to a death notice in the Black Hills State University Alumni Magazine Spring 2005 issue, Emory Herring operated this store for 17 summers. Emory Herring died in 2004, and Doris Herring died in 2006.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

G. A. R. Parade, Minneapolis, Minnesota 1906

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was an organization composed of veterans of the Union Army who served in the American Civil War. It was founded in 1866 and was dissolved in 1956 when its last member died. The GAR became one of the first organized advocacy groups in American politics, supporting voting rights for black veterans, lobbying the US Congress to establish veterans' pensions, and supporting Republican political candidates. Its peak of membership at more than 400,000 was in 1890. National encampments were held annually for 83 years, the last one being in 1949.

The 40th National Encampment of the Grand Army or the Republic was held in Minneapolis in 1906. The postcards above show two views of 1906 GAR parade. An article in the Minneapolis Tribune on August 16, 1906 reported that 16,000 men representing G. A. R. eagerly participated in "one of the greatest parades ever seen at annual encampment." The parade included 29 bands and 32 drum corps and took 3 hours and 20 minutes to pass a given point. Parade Day was a municipal holiday in Minneapolis, and thousands packed the streets to pay homage to the "heroes of '61."

A newspaper article on August 17 claimed that it was the unanimous opinion of Grand Army men then in Minneapolis, that the annual parade of the veteran soldiers be discontinued because it strained the endurance of the old soldiers. However the GAR parades continued for 30 more years.

A 1936 article in Time magazine described that year's parade (which was supposed to be the last parade) as follows:
The Grand Army which tottered down six blocks of Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue at its 70th Encampment last week was a sentimental relic which, by Death and the dimming of old passions, had been stripped of political power for a generation. Of the 355 parading oldsters, whose average age was 92, only 170 crickety survivors of the mighty march of 1883 were able to hobble along at a funeral pace under their own power. The rest rode in automobiles.
The 1937 encampment was held in Madison, Wisconsin. At the 1937 Encampment, 192 veterans attended the proceedings, and 122 hardy Grand Army veterans marched around the Capitol Square.

The last surviving member of the Grand Old Army was Albert Woolson of Duluth, Minnesota. He died on August 2, 1956 at the age of 109. He had gone to war as a drummer boy when he was 17.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stamp Show Greetings & Triangle Stamps

When I was young and collected stamps, I was really impressed by triangle stamps from other countries. I was used to seeing only the rectangular stamps that we had in the United States. I no longer collect stamps, but I do collect postcards that illustrate stamps.

Here I have two postcards made to be sent from stamp shows in the early 1960s. Each of these includes a triangle stamp, as well as a wide variety of topics from various countries. The first one is probably a little older than the second one which is clearly from 1963. Both have the message "Greetings from my favorite Stamp Show" printed on the back.

The first triangle stamp was the one issued by the Cape of Good Hope in 1853.

The United States didn't issue any triangle stamps until MUCH later. The first ones were the Pacifica 97 stamps issued in 1997. These were issued to celebrate the international stamp show Pacific '97. There were two stamps--a blue one featuring a sailing ship and a red one featuring a stagecoach.

The only other triangle stamp issued in the United States is the one issued in 2007 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Settlement of Jamestown, Virginia by English colonists in 1607. This stamp shows a painting of the three ships that carried the colonists. The first fort built by the settlers was shaped like a triangle, as is the stamp.

I am participating in Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Thursday, August 18, 2011

California Drive-Thru Trees

Tunnel trees have been popular tourist attractions in California for more than a century and have been pictured on numerous postcards. I started with a postcard of the Pioneer's Cabin tree in Big Tree Grove, Calaveras County, California and then went on to explore other California drive-thru trees.

The Pioneer's Cabin postcard was mailed in 1923 and has a R.P.O. (Railway Post Office) cancellation. It was sent to Eva Anfinson in Valley City, North Dakota with the following message:
Lodi Calif July 25
We spent Sunday at the Big Trees. Drove 84 miles on Sat and camped out all night. We are having a wonderful trip. Leave tomorrow a.m. for Sacramento. Will reach Medford Ore on Sat. I am sitting on the porch. The porch is shaded by two magnolia trees. There are still some blossoms on them.
Mrs Walker

The Pioneer's Cabin is a 32' diameter tree. A tunnel was carved in it in the 1880s to compete with the Wawona tree in Yosemite National Park. Both the Pioneer's Cabin and Wawona trees were sequoias. The Wawona tree (shown in the next postcard) was tunneled in 1880-81. It was 234' tall and 27.5' in diameter at the base. The Wawona tree fell down in 1969. The Pioneer's Cabin tree is still standing, but it is in poor condition, and it is no longer possible to drive through it.

The Coolidge Tree was named after President Coolidge's father. It was 305' high and had a circumference of 58' . The Coolidge Tree was tunneled between 1910 and 1915. The Coolidge tree was cut down in 1938 when it appeared ready to topple.

The next postcard has a view of the Chandelier Tree attached to a piece of redwood. Information about redwood is printed on the wooden back. This card was sent in the 1960s by a tourist who added this note: "This is where we were today. We saw the Pacific Ocean too."

The Chandelier Tree is 315' tall and 21' in diameter. It was tunneled in the late 1930s to replace the nearby Coolidge tree when that tree was cut down. The opening is 6' (1.83 m) wide by 6'9"(2.06 m) high. The Chandelier Tree was named for its shape which resembles a candelabra or inverted chandelier. Large branches, beginning about a hundred feet up, are balanced on the sides of the trunk. The Chandelier Tree is one of the two old redwood tunnel trees that it is still possible to drive through. It is in Drive-Thru Tree (Underwood) Park.

The Shrine Tree is the other old tunnel tree that still can be driven through. The Shrine Tree is 275' tall and 21' in diameter. The car in the old postcard below has a 1935 New York license plate.

The video below shows a recent drive-thru of the Shrine Tree.

Visit Sepia Saturday for More Vintage Photos

Monday, August 15, 2011

Christian Science Reading Rooms - Minneapolis

This Christian Science Reading Room was in the Plymouth Building in downtown Minneapolis. I love the way this room is decorated. It looks like an ideal spot for reading. I posted a large scan of this card so all the details could be seen and appreciated.

This card was mailed in 1913. I don't know how long this reading room was there. The current reading room is at a different location.

The following information on Christian Science Reading Rooms is from Wikipedia:
Branches of the Church of Christ, Scientist normally maintain a Christian Science Reading Room in their community where the public can study, borrow, or purchase Christian Science literature. There are approximately 2000 Christian Science Reading Rooms worldwide.

Such information includes the Christian Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, other writings by Mary Baker Eddy (who established reading rooms as a church activity), and other items published by the Christian Science Publishing Society.

Reading rooms are usually placed in public places—often storefronts—though occasionally situated within a church building itself, open either full or part-time, and attended by either a regular librarian or by members to assist or answer inquiries.

The first Christian Science Reading Room was established in Boston in 1888.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Salute to Youth

This stamp saluting young America was issued August 11, 1948 to commemorate National Youth Month of September 1948. The First Day ceremony was held at the White House in Washington, D.C. and was hosted by President Harry Truman.

National Youth Month was conceived as part of a campaign to combat juvenile delinquency. In announcing this stamp, the Postmaster General declared, "America looks to its youth of today, because the future destiny of this country depends in large measure on the younger generation. Only by continuing to recognize the importance of the men and women of tomorrow can America maintain the strong bulwark of freedom that is today."

The stamp design shown below is from the U. S. Post Office Department Stamp Design Files. This design was criticized as being nothing more than a billboard poster. It certainly is less intricate than most other U. S. stamps of that era.

I don't know whether National Youth Month was celebrated in other years. It doesn't appear to be celebrated today.

There is an International Youth Day on August 12 each year. It was designated by the United Nations in 1999 and was first celebrated in 2000. It is meant as an opportunity to draw attention to youth issues worldwide. The year from International Youth Day 2010 to International Youth Day 2011 was designated International Year of Youth by the United Nations. This was the 25th Anniversary of the first International Year of Youth.

I am participating in Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Romantic Couples

And when the day's ended you'll wait on our pourch
And the smile on your face will be my life's tourch

To show him, that there's nothing wrong,
She kisses long her lover strong.

Postcards showing romantic couples were popular during the postcard craze of the early twentieth century. These two were produced by the Theodor Eismann company in Germany circa 1910. On the back, they are marked in the bottom left corner with the company logo, a combination of a comet with the intertwoven initials Th.E.L.

Printed on the bottom of the right side is Th.E.L. „Theochrom” Serie N0 1124 (or Serie N0 1091 on the second card). “Theochrom” was their process name for a glossy lacquer finish. Postcards like these typically were published in series. The romantic series usually featured the same models in a sequence of poses acting out the words on the card.

The video below shows "The Romantic Postcard of the early 20th century in the social context of the time and what women had to consider before marrying as marriage was at that time for life."

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Old Minneapolis Postcards Video

Above is a typical back from a postcard view published by Acmegraph Co., Chicago. Acmegraph was one of the main publishers of Minneapolis views on postcards early in the twentieth century.

Below is a new video, Old Minneapolis Postcards - Volume 1, that I made with Windows Movie Maker. All the postcards in this video were published by Acmegraph Co. The emphasis in this group of views is on the downtown area of Minneapolis. This video is labeled "Volume 1" because I plan to make more videos of Minneapolis postcards.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Liechtenstein Stamps

Here are two postcards featuring stamps of the principality of Liechtenstein. The postcards share a common image of the Vaduz Castle in their centers. Vaduz is the capital of Liechtenstein, and Vaduz Castle is the most prominent landmark of Vaduz. The castle is the official residence of the reigning prince of Liechtenstein and his family.

The first postcard was mailed in 1966, and one of the stamps used also shows Vaduz Castle. The two stamps pictured in the top row center of the postcard show Princess Gina and Prince Franz Joseph II. Prince Franz Joseph II was the Sovereign Prince of Liechtenstein from 1938 until his death in 1989. The current reigning Prince of Liechtenstein is Hans-Adam II, the son of Franz Joseph II.

The stamp in the top left corner of the second postcard is the oldest and shows Prince Johan II who reigned 1868-1929 . It is from the period of Austrian administration of the post office. Since 1921 the post office has been administered by Switzerland.

I am participating in Sunday Stamps at Viridian's Postcard Blog

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