Saturday, December 29, 2007

John Kendrick Bangs New Year's Quotes on A. M. Davis Postcards

My curiosity was aroused when looking over my old New Year postcards. I noticed that I have four New Year postcards published by A. M. Davis with greetings or verse attributed to John Kendrick Bangs. I had never heard of him before, but I soon learned that John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922) was a well-known American author, magazine editor, and lecturer.

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

A Beautiful Season

Snow scenes have always been popular subjects on winter holiday and Christmas postcards. Most of the scenes, even on modern Christmas postcards, are very traditional and nostalgic.

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

Christmas Eve in Mononland

This is a 1951 linen postcard advertising the Monon Railroad which was known as "The Hoosier Line." A blue Monon logo is printed on the back of this postcard.

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.

It's Christmas Card Time — Hallmark Advertising Postcard

This postcard advertising Hallmark Christmas cards and the "delightful Hallmark Jack-in-Box Christmas Card Holder (150XCH17-3)" was mailed by a store in 1964. There is an advertising message printed on the back with space below it for the store name.

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

American Red Cross Clubs Italy Christmas Postcards

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

City of Paris 1951 Christmas Tree

"City of Paris" was a San Francisco, California department store. The store closed in 1972 after more than 100 years in business. In 1982 a new Neimann Marcus store that incorporated the elaborate dome from the original City of Paris store opened on the site of the old store.

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.

Christmas Decorations on Bethlehem, PA Hill to Hill Bridge

Bethlehem Pennsylvania's Hill to Hill Bridge is a concrete arch bridge with two metal truss bridge sections. It was built from 1921 to 1924 and joins Bethlehem and South Bethlehem. This undated linen postcard has a night view of the Christmas decorations on the Hill to Hill Bridge.

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

The First Thanksgiving Dinner Party

This Thanksgiving postcard is by artist HBG (H. B. Griggs), an artist who produced some of the liveliest and wittiest Thanksgiving postcards.

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

Statue of Massasoit, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Massasoit was the chief of the Wampanoag Indians when the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth. He signed a peace treaty with the Pilgrims after being offered gifts and told that the Pilgrims were only interested in peace and trading.

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.

Provincetown Pilgrims

The Pilgrims anchored near present-day Provincetown, Massachusetts on Nov. 21, 1620. They spent time exploring the area and signed the Mayflower Compact there before landing at Plymouth on December 26, 1620 and establishing the Plymouth Colony. The first child born to the Pilgrims in New England, Peregrine White, was born aboard the Mayflower on December 16 while the ship was in Provincetown Harbor.

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

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Covered Bridge Festival, Parke County, Indiana

The sign on this postcard advertises the Covered Bridge Festival in Parke County, Indiana which considers itself the Covered Bridge Capital of the U.S.A. and the world. The information on the back of this card states that the "Covered Bridge Festival (is) held the 2nd weekend thru 3rd weekend of Oct. each year with tours of most of the 38 covered bridges."

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?"

Ohio Swiss Festival, Sugarcreek

Sugarcreek, Ohio is known as the "Little Switzerland of Ohio." Sugarcreek's Ohio Swiss Festival is held annually the 4th weekend after Labor Day, usually the last weekend of September or first weekend of October. The 2007 Swiss Festival was held September 26 - 29.

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

Grouchy's Coffee Shop • Dining Room

If you have any information about Grouchy's, please leave a comment. I haven't been able to find any information other than what is on the back of this postcard:

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.

Two Gun Harry's at Tucumcari

The signs on the Harry's building advertise an impressive assortment of items for the traveler—curios, coffee to go (they served Folger's exclusively), quick lunches, Coca Cola, comics, news, postcards, sandwiches, cold drinks, milk, malts, shakes, short orders, cheese & hot and cold meats, magazines, and papers.

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:

Dear Friend,
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, 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

Rimrock City Sign

Information on the back of this Rimrock City, Texas postcard:

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

White Squirrels of Olney, Illinois

Olney, Illinois is one of the towns claiming to be the home of white squirrels. The City of Olney website has some history of their white squirrels. There are two hypotheses about how white squirrels came to Olney in 1902. Olney held a 100-Year White Squirrel Celebration on October 12, 2002.

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. (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

Pan American World Airways Clipper Flight Log

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

From the back of this postcard of Nixon's Family Restaurant and Bakery in Whittier, California, we learn that children were "most welcome," that the restaurant featured finer foods at sensible prices and quality cakes and pastries prepared by Nixon's own bakers.

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.


Ohio Turnpike Plaza

This postcard has a nice view of an Ohio Turnpike Plaza in addition to a great close up of the signs. If you look closely, you can see a small trailer at the gas pumps on the left and a lineup of pastel-colored 1950s cars parked in front of the building.

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.

More information:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hope Arkansas World's Largest Watermelon

Hope, Arkansas is the birthplace of President Bill Clinton and is known for its World's Largest Watermelons. This linen postcard from the 1940s shows a 150 pound "champion" watermelon.

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 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 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

Buck Lake Ranch is located in Angola, Indiana. The back of this 1952 postcard just describes the attraction as "One of America's Greatest Amusement Parks," a description which seems to be quite an exaggeration. Actually, Buck Lake Ranch is much better known as a place for country music concerts, "the Nashville of the North where almost every famous country artist has been at least once, some of them many times.."

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.

Lord's Prayer Monument

I am showing this postcard today for Memorial Day. This Lord's Prayer Monument was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1957. It is located in Sunset Memorial Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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

The Minnesota River valley is known as the "Valley of the Jolly Green Giant."

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

Mascot trivia can be found at and

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Holiday Inn's Great Sign

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

Good Food, Good Prices at San Gorgonio Inn

The San Gorgonio Inn is located in Banning, California.

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

Vegas Vic at Pioneer Club

The back of this postcard states that this cowboy sign was the largest mechanical neon lighted sign in the world. The Howdy Podner of Las Vegas greeted visitors to the famous Pioneer Club, complete with 24 hour gaming and the comfortable cocktail lounge and saloon.

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

Motel Sign -- Pine To Palm

This is a 1957 postcard by Curt Teich. It is the prettiest postcard view of a motel and its sign that I have seen. It isn't the prettiest motel or the prettiest sign -- just the prettiest card with good lighting, color, and composition.

The Pine to Palm Motel was located in Crookston, Minnesota.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Affordable Housing

This postcard advertises model houses by Merickel Lumber Mills of Wadena, Minnesota. The card is not dated--I would guess it is from mid to late 1950s. The prices seem really astounding today:

"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, 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

Gas For Less

Record high gas prices have been in the news lately. Here is a reminder of the good old days. This postcard of a Hicks gas station in Canton, Illinois displays a price of 27.9 for regular on the sign.

According to the description on the back of the postcard, this is the "NEW LOOK" in HICKSATOMIC stations.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

For The Graduate

This postcard illustrates vintage 1908 topcoats for fashionable young men. The name of this model is "Graduate." The coats are by Becker, Mayer & Co. of Chicago, makers of "Viking System" Clothes.

The message on the back reads "from his teacher."

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in St. Petersburg

This Krispy Kreme postcard is interesting for several reasons.

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

Beginning U.S. Route 1 Sign

I am starting a new topic for postcard signs today. I am planning to include postcards of all types of outdoor signs. Most, but not all, will be chrome postcards of roadside signs: highway signs, billboards, historical markers, welcome signs, advertising signs, etc.

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

Roadside America Postcard

Question: What is Roadside America?
Answer: A miniature village located in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania!*

* So "Roadside America" is not just a term describing popular culture of the American roadside.
As described on the back of the postcard (in very small type):

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

SPAM Postcards

I am a postcard collector and graphic designer. I also like free stuff and popular culture, so I was thrilled when I found this Spam Museum brochure on a rack with ordinary brochures and flyers. It is printed on cardstock with perforations for removing the three postcards that make up the bottom 2/3 of this clever brochure.
This is the 70th anniversary of SPAM. You can learn about SPAM at . And there is a SPAM STORE with some more conventional SPAM postcards, as well as an awesome variety of other SPAM merchandise.

About "Postcards Magazine"

"Postcards Magazine" is not about postcards! Actually, I discovered that there is more than one "Postcards Magazine," and they are devoted to travel, not postcards.

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

Embroidered WWI Patriotic Postcard, April 1917

Patriotic embroidered postcards, made in France, were popular souvenirs made for soldiers during WWI. This one is unusual in that has the month "April" as well as the year "1917." It features an American flag. Embroidered American flags seem to be much less common than British and French flags.

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

Taxes or Texas

Some vintage political humor on the subject of taxes. The way some people talk, "Texas" really does sound like "taxes" to me.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Free Musical Easter Bunny

What a deal! A free Musical Easter Bunny just for ordering the Chicago Tribune. This postcard is undated but appears to be before the zipcode era since the address is "Chicago 11."

Easter Cats

I love Easter Bunny postcards, especially the ones showing dressed rabbits doing people things. There are oodles of cute Easter bunny postcards, but not very many Easter postcards with cats.

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

Mardi Gras King and Queen

February 20, 2007 is also Mardi Gras.

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 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.

National Pancake Day

February 20, 2007 is Pancake Day, the day of the International Pancake Race held in Liberal, Kansas and Olney, England. The date changes every year because it is held on Shrove Tuesday, the day before the beginning of Lent. Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day all refer to the same day.

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 & President's Day

Mount Rushmore is often used as a symbol for President's Day, the third Monday in February. This real photo postcard of Mount Rushmore shows the monument during construction. This postcard was mailed in 1940.

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.

Detail View:

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Whitney Valentine Postcard

Whitney Made cards were American made by a Worcester, Massachusetts company. Whitney produced many holiday postcards in the teens and twenties, most of which featured cute children on a white background. Their Valentines must have been especially popular, judging from the number still available.

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!

Dear Evanore:
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.

- - - - - - - -
Write some time.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...