Friday, May 31, 2013

Orville Ewing -- Artist From The Old West

Orville Ewing billed himself as an "artist from the Old West". He traveled the United States with his covered wagon/trailer and menagerie for about 30 years starting in 1938. He sold many different postcards of himself over the years. These are from the 1950s. I have five different postcards of him, and I know there are a lot more. The text on the front of the first card was used on many of his postcards, and there seems to be very little other information about him available.
Have traveled from the Atlantic to Pacific Coasts and from Canada to Mexico — at San Francisco World's Fair in 1939, and at the New York World's Fair in 1940. — I gave up oil painting becasus the paint affected my health, and started pencil sketching in 1938.

The first two postcards were published by Curt Teich in 1954 and 1955 (Curt Teich  printed date codes on their postcards). The third postcard states on the back that the photograph on the card shows Mr. Ewing at the time he visited Jacksonville, Florida, in 1957.

I found one newspaper article about Orville Ewing online. It was written in 1977 by someone who had seen Ewing in 1938. At first Ewing was using oxen to pull his wagon. His early menagerie consisted of  two dogs, several goats, a cat, a rooster, and a hen. Later photos on postcards show donkeys pulling the wagon, and usually have at least one goat and a dog visible.

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I have been busy this week designing some new T-shirts for my Postcardy Zazzle Store and have moved my Zazzle blog panel to the top of the left column. I was surprised to see that my store also shows up on the Zazzle UK website. Check it out!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Face on the Barroom Floor (Painting)

The Face on the Barroom Floor (painting) is a painting on the floor of the Teller House Bar in Central City, Colorado. It was painted in 1936 by Herndon Davis, who had been commissioned to do a series of paintings for the Central City Opera House. He was also asked to do some work at the Teller House. However, Davis was forced to quit after a dispute with the project director.

Davis painted the face on the floor before leaving. The face is is believed to be that of his wife. The title and possibly the painting was inspired by the famous poem Face on the Barroom Floor (poem) by Hugh Antoine d'Arcy. The poem is about an artist who became a vagabond drunk after losing Madeline, the woman he loved, to another man. The artist tells his story to a bartender and the barroom crowd, and he offers to sketch Madeline's face on the barroom floor. He ends up falling dead in the middle of his work.

The poem was recorded by country music stars Tex Ritter for his 1959 Blood on the Saddle album and Hank Snow on his Tales of the Yukon album (1968).  The video below used the recording by Hank Snow.

Visit Sepia Saturday 
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ellis Island -- U. S. Immigration Station


Ellis Island was was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States and was the country's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The peak year for immigration at Ellis Island was 1907. An Immigration Act was passed in 1924 that greatly restricted immigration and allowed processing at overseas embassies. After 1924, Ellis Island became primarily a detention and deportation processing station for displaced persons or war refugees

The postcards above are from "An Educational Series of Postcards." I chose these two cards for this post because of the Sepia Saturday prompt photo of children playing. The postcard series includes both exteriors of the buildings and interiors showing what the immigrants encountered there. You can see the rest of the series on my website here.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Corning Glass Center & Steuben Glass

Steuben Glass was a luxury glass made in Corning, New York for more than a century. It was founded in 1903 and became a division of of Corning Glass Works in 1918. The early focus of Steuben was on colored art glass. In the 1930s the focus shifted to making pure lead crystal.

Corning sold Steuben to Schottenstein Stores Corp. in 2008. The business had become unprofitable, and Schottenstein was not able to turn it around. They closed the Steuben business in 2011, and Corning bought back the Steuben brand name.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Greetings For National Postcard Week -- May 5-11, 2013

One of the types of postcards I collect is "Postcards About Postcards." This week is National Postcard Week. Although I am not making and mailing postcards, I thought it would be fun to add some greetings to an old comic postcard I bought at a postcard show last week.

the original comic postcard

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cigarette Factories - Durham, North Carolina

Above are two postcards of cigarette factories in Durham, North Carolina. I got these postcards when I was in Durham MANY years ago. Both companies welcomed visitors, but I didn't actually visit either of them. The description on the back of the Chesterfield card invited you to "take a fascinating tour, conducted by attractive hostesses."

The cigarette industry has changed a lot since then. Neither of these factories are still making cigarettes. The brands still exist, but they are owned and manufactured by other companies.

For your amusement, here are some videos of old Lucky Strike and Chesterfield commercials.

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